Musings and Snoozes

The Nazis Had Pancakes (and other such tales of drug induced sleep)

Day four of the new dosage and the “meh” has hit. At least I knew to expect it this time round, and I have the bonus of knowing that it should start to ease in a week or so. It does feel a bit like a step backwards, but I survived the first change, so I can survive this one too.

There are some positives to be had though. For a start, I’m writing even more than usual because it helps me stay connected to things, and stops me from just withdrawing into my own head and staring blankly into space. So my colourful handwritten journal that I have is looking particularly full and bright at the moment. Secondly, and more amusingly, my already strange and wonderful dreams have reached new levels of bizarre. The other night I dreamt that I’d been captured by Nazis during, what I think was supposed to be, the second world war. But it wasn’t as terrifying and doom and gloom as it could be, because fear not, the Nazis had pancakes, so that was ok. Honestly, I don’t know what that says about my headspace right now, but I’ll be sure to share with the psychiatrist!

So I’m taking the creative wins where I can. There are short stories a-plenty to be taken from my dreams alone at the moment (although maybe not the Nazi one), and trying to keep track of my moods and mind keeps me in coloured pens and paper diaries. And the anxiety is still at bay, mostly because of the not feeling anything at all, but still, I suppose it’s a break from the noise in my head, albeit not a particularly welcome one.

My strategy so far has been to take things pretty much day by day – hour by hour sometimes – because honestly, the thought of making plans is quite terrifying. I couldn’t tell you why, it’s certainly not because of the suicidal thoughts that I feared might come up because of the duloxetine, there’s just something that makes my chest tighten and makes me want to run away at the thought of making plans. But interestingly today, I’ve realised that medium term plans are ok. Long term plans aren’t tangible enough and so while they don’t scare me, they’re nothing to hang on to either, and the short term plans, as I say, are too much for my head to contend with at the moment, but medium term seems to work.

So with that in mind, I’m finally thinking about finding somewhere new to live (with husband I should add, that sounded a bit like I was leaving him behind!) and also booking the holiday we’ve been talking about for months and doing nothing about. Having those to cling onto, to know they’re not too far away, yet far enough that I should be back on an even keel by then, is really helping.

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Levelling Up

Well this has been one hell of a challenging week. Better than last week in that I’m slowly getting periods of feeling – not always good, admittedly, but *something* is most definitely more manageable than *nothing*. However last week I was able to hide away and deal with it, even if I was at work I could plug my headphones in and just focus on getting through. This week, in comparison, has been spent standing up in front of people and having to be functioning and coherent. I think for the most part I’ve managed to pass as a human being, but good god it’s been hard work.

Tomorrow is my next dosage change, and I’m hopeful it’ll be less drastic than the first one. My concern now is the withdrawal from the Duloxetine – now my feelings are coming back, I’m a little scared that the bad thoughts that come with withdrawal will surface, but acknowledging that is half the battle and I’m confident I can fight it, I’d just rather not have to fight in the first place.

But I’m still here, I’m still surviving each day and trying to congratulate myself on the positives, rather than mope on the negatives. I cannot put into words how incredible the amazing people in my life are being. It is not easy putting up with this, I am more than aware of that, yet they constantly check in on me and remind me I’m doing ok. And I believe them and that’s what’s keeping me going.

So tonight is self care night, before Mama’s exciting birthday celebrations tomorrow! New hair colour, bubble bath, chocolates, and my favourite music. No matter how hard this gets, I won’t lose the little things that brighten up my life 🙂

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It’s the noise that makes me human

So, things aren’t good. Well actually things aren’t anything, certainly not feelings wise. The numbness is pretty overwhelming and I’m having to fight hard to stay afloat.

I saw my psychologist this evening. For the first time I didn’t want to go, because I knew she wouldn’t have a magic answer for me. We know the drugs are making me like this, we know the drugs are necessary – what else is there to say?

Well, a lot actually. She can’t magically fix it, of course, but she can put into perspective quite how big a thing this is that I’m dealing with, and therefore that it’s ok not to be ok. She told me that normally when they switch patients drugs as drastically as this, they bring them in as inpatients to monitor and support them, so the fact that I’m doing this in the real world, so to speak, and still getting up in the morning and going to work is actually pretty amazing. I need to remember that. She suggested I take a few days out to look after myself, that there’s only so far I can push through, so I need to figure out what I can do. I have of course picked the worst possible timing for this, given that I have to physically be in the office most days for the next couple of weeks, but I will figure out how to work around that and make sure that my health comes first.

When I first started seeing my various doctors and therapists, I told them I just wanted the noise and the chatter in my head to stop. I just needed the anxiety to shut up and let me get on with life. Of course now it’s well and truly shut up and I want nothing more than to have that chatter back. Not all of it, but just something, anything, instead of this nothingness. So that’s the long term goal we’ve set – to find that balance between chatter and nothing. It will be a pretty long path to get there I think, with drug changes to consider and work with or around, but it’s nice to have a goal. And if there’s one thing this is teaching me, it’s that we all need a certain amount of chatter and focused anxiety to function, because the alternative is quite frankly, pretty depressing.

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She’s strong but she’s exhausted

I promised myself I’d blog and keep track of the new and scary meds, but I didn’t realise how exhausted I’d be. So I don’t promise this will be the most coherent post, but I’ll try.

I’m on day three now, and I’d hoped that the effects might take a little longer to materialise – y’know, maybe a few days grace or something. But no, yesterday they hit and they hit hard. I am physically exhausted and mentally meh, and the two together are really hard to fight. But I am fighting it, with the help of some really awesome people. It would be easy to just hide away, and if I’m honest that’s all I want to do – it’s less tiring that way, but there are too many important people around to do that, including myself. And that helps massively, because it reminds me that this is temporary, all feelings, or lack thereof, are temporary and it’ll get easier once the meds have all settled down. It’s just the next couple of months I have to get through first.

But I’m a fighter, everyone tells me that and I think I believe them, so day three, things are tricksy, things will likely get tricksier, but I got this, and so long as I remember why I’m doing this, I know it’ll be alright in the end.

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