All too familiar

Today, Monday, is World Mental Health Day.  The first I’ve been aware since I’ve been more public about being a person living with depression.  The first as a person who is trying to keep a discussion about mental health alive, open and strong. I’m pretty awed by how today is promoted around the world.  I’m also a little surprised by how little I see going on today here in the US – there’s work to do, lots of work!

I’ve realized, that the work has to start “at home”, with me.  I’ve recognized a few things over the past  week or so, and it turns out my “home” isn’t so in order.  But I feel as if there’s good along with the bad.

The good news is that the withdrawal symptoms are pretty much history!  It was a really difficult physical period of time, but I got through it and they are behind me! Hallelujah!!

The not so good news – The new combo of Wellbutrin and Lamotrigine just isn’t working. Perhaps I’ve been waiting for this, looking for this, did I will it to happen?  Regardless, the first hint is that the lack of motivation has me firmly in its grasp.  I’ve been here before, I know it and I recognize that I need to do something.

The good with the bad is that I feel like I have an option and that my psych and I will get through this.  In the past, I wouldn’t see it, I would live in that safe place of denial until it got bad – really bad.  After experiencing that all too brief period of being Deb again, means that I don’t have to take it, be submissive to it, let it take over my life.  That I can and will do something.  So that that old, all to familiar feeling becomes something of the past.

 

Ch ch ch changes…

“I still don’t know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
Every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I’ve never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test…”

Changes – the late, great David Bowie

It’s amazing to me how lyrics can have a different meaning at different stages in your life.  I’ve loved Bowie all my life (well at least as long as I was able to buy my own music with my allowance), and these words now have taken on an entirely new relevance to me.

I’m 2 weeks in on this roller coaster ride of changing my medications – dropping Abilify and Venlafaxine and adding Wellbutrin and upping lamotrigine.  I’ve done this before, about 6-7 years ago, I stopped Cymbalta cold-turkey and thought I was DYING for a couple of weeks.  I was more hopeful about the side effects this time around, perhaps naively so, since I am’under MD control’.

The first 5 days or so were great, no issues at all – but then as I completely stopped the meds, the fun started.  So far, the brain zaps and nausea have been the worst. (I now think I have a feeling of what morning sickness may be like – the waves of nausea in the afternoon are horrible.)

I’m still hopeful that these will be short lived – I did my research, looked at dosing and half-life information.  I’ve seen the ranges of how long Abilify can stay in the system (2 weeks to a month or more), I’ve seen the contributing factors that could impact how long these symptoms stick around (hello – BMI).  Each day I wonder, what will today bring – will the zaps get less severe? Will the nausea subside?  Right now, it is really just riding the wave.

What scares and concerns me the most is that I won’t be the same once these drugs are completely out of my system.  I’ve spent the past 2-3 months being ME again.  Wanting to be out with friends and family, having energy and desire to do things, being able to complete thoughts, focus on work and be productive again. Not having to mask what was really going on inside and being able to truthfully answer GREAT when people asked how I was doing.  Feeling ALIVE again.

I’m trying so hard NOT to create a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure on Wellbutrin (I’ve been on it before and it didn’t work on its own – please god let the combo with lamotrigine work!)  I keep reminding myself that I have a psych that I love and trust and can go to if I feel ME slipping away… I’m worried family and friends won’t understand no matter how open I try to be.

And at the same time I try to remain as positive as I possibly can be and let things happen and deal with repercussions as they come.

I keep reminding myself to just keep on keeping on(KOKO)…