BYE BYE EFFEXOR

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Samuel said, “You’ll be alright.” As I cried, upset with myself for taking a drug I vowed never to take again. After three weeks on Effexor, a drug my new male doctor talked me into taking, I felt funny, not myself, anxious and a bit nauseous, weird. I emphasize male because after trying many women I decided to give up and use a doctor close by who happens to be male. His NP is female and my friends like her.

Now I’m wondering if putting on the History form ‘past depressions’ and occasional use of Xanax that I’m stuck with him not the NP. How could I let someone who just met me five minutes judge me, and tell me things about myself I know not to be true? What works for others doesn’t for me. I have a handful of friends, family or acquaintances who use anti-depressants on a permanent basis and I’m all for it. But I’m very sensitive to medication and I already know this. He seemed so caring. And since he talked to me for an hour, I gave in. I tried to tell him I know what depression is, I’ve had a few, and I know to get help.

“I’m not depressed,” I said.

He said, “Once depressed, always depressed.”

Horseshit. Why did I believe him? I know better. I know me better than he does. He doesn’t know me at all. So the self-flogging continues.

I wish I could take a magic pill to make like easier. But life is hard. That doesn’t mean I’m not happy. I’m happier and more at peace than I’ve ever been. I didn’t just say “NO!” I wish I did.

“I don’t feel right,” I told Samuel, crying as I held the wood in place as he screwed in a board to repair the old camper we are giving to our son. “Something is taking control and I don’t feel like me. I feel forced to be different than I am, than how I am used to feeling. I don’t like it and have to get off it.”

“Well, you’ll get it off, and you’ll be alright,” he repeated.

Knowing he wasn’t worried helped. But out in the canoe I couldn’t help but keep talking about it despite the beauty and peace of the surroundings. I steered myself back to the present, feeling the warm sun on my shoulder push away the other weirdness invading my brain.

“I don’t like chemicals fucking with my head!” I exclaimed as my paddle dipped in the cool water reflecting the colors from the trees hanging over it. And I thought, “It’s ok, get it out and be done with it.” And I did feel better, enjoying the rest of the ride, noticing the tree trunk where Mr. Beaver chewed off the bark and the fresh chips laying on the grass below.

It’s a medication that must be tapered slowly, I read on the web, and other horrors about withdrawal. Knowing I should wait to ask the doctor Monday, instead I choose a method that sounds reasonable. I open the capsule and count the pesky little granules reducing the amount by 1/3. Went off Prozac once on my own without tapering slow enough and got scary shocks in my head. Which is why I’m still wondering why I took this stuff again. But I did. And now I’ll be more careful ridding my system of it. When I get in real trouble with depression, my best cure is talk therapy. I’ll stick with that when I need it.

 

 

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8 thoughts on “BYE BYE EFFEXOR

  1. It’s amazing (not in a good way) how easy it is for us to doubt ourselves. I’m sorry you are going through this. It sounds like you have some great support in your hubby. I hope the tapering off goes well.

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    1. Thank you alice. I have learned, or accepted, that I make mistakes and once I do, I can change my mind. I’m learning flexibility! I suppose part of me is still a little girl craving a father to take care of me because mine fell flat on the floor dead while my brother administered mouth to mouth to no avail; very traumatic for an eight year old. So it’s no wonder that little girl searches for the father she barely remembers. (Chap. 1, DADDY)

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  2. Oh my gosh can I ever relate to doubting yourself, and letting an authority figure like a doctor override what you know to be true about yourself. Good for you to follow your own heart in the end! My son was on Effexor for several years and it wasn’t pretty. He’s currently in the process of tapering off that and onto something else and thankfully it’s actually going quite well.

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    1. Yes, thanks! He knew me less than five minutes and just wore me down. I’m all for it for those that need it. My body reacts way too sensitively though.
      Hard not to kick myself but I used it as another opportunity to change the cycle up beating myself up and each time said, “It’s ok to make mistakes and still all too easy to look up to another.” I tell myself it’s ok a lot! I’m off it completely and feel fine.
      Glad your son is tapering off ok. Is there a better choice?

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  3. I had to go to a new doctor and after 5 minutes he said I have major depression and severe PTSD. I never thought I was depressed but it still went on my permanent record. I take Effexor and I am going to start coming off of it in the spring. I am very sensitive to medications but need them to eat or sleep still. Would love to see the day when I don’t need pills to manage my brain. It scares me still.

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    1. If the Effexor was helpful I would have stayed on it permanently just like my cholesterol lowing medication, but it didn’t. Guess I felt it was worth a shot especially after he convinced me how much I needed it despite my too soft voice trying to tell him I’m more happy now than I have ever been! (happy=peace and a feeling of wholeness)
      I think I’m just one of those who can’t tolerate it just like others cannot tolerate aspirin or other medications.
      I hope it’s helping you though. I believe in treating all aspects of dis-ease in the body. It’s ok if your body needs it to help the brain chemicals do their job. It’s not your fault that process was damaged if it was. Mine was damaged. Meditation has helped more than anything else.

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      1. Effexor did help but I am not sure I need it anymore so that is why I want to try coming off of it. I am open that I may always need to be on some medications. I think just relishing the life I have will make tremendous progress despite my daily suffering.

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        1. I can’t really speak about anti-depressants except that I’m all for it for anyone who needs it. Only you know what is right for you. Except my doctor, he probably thinks he knows more than both of us… : )

          But yes, loving my life, relishing it- luckily I’ve lived long enough to appreciate whatever time I have left. (I’m 61) Anytime today I could die. I could get hit by a car or have a heart attack.

          So I try to live each day fully. By fully, it might be a walk to the creek and sitting by it for a half-hour or so. So I’m not talking about anything spectacular. But for me that is spectacular, a peace settles within deep down inside me .

          That’s why I feel lucky. Because I’ve lived long enough to have achieved this sense of peace and wholeness. I wish for others that it does not take as long.

          Feelings of peace and wholeness are in addition to suffering over painful things, and that peace I crave is easily upset. But at least now it’s not all suffering. So yes, why not enjoy what you have along with all the rest? You’re right!

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