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Lucky to be alive


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  • Moderator Emeritus

I do, SpaceCadet.  I'm glad you do too - it's a lovely thought to have.  Sometimes I think how hard my life is, what I'm missing out on etc, and then I'll stop going down that track and think of the things I still get to enjoy in my life: 


- my daughters, husband, deeper relationships with people due to experiencing on-going tough times, dear friends,

- my garden, my dog Phoebe

- just yesterday I came home from my first ever camping trip (only one night, but in a tent with a real camp-cooker and everything!)

- all the new and delicious/strange thoughts that are able to make themselves known to me, due to the amount of time I need to spend resting


I am lucky to be alive indeed :).

2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

2023 Now on 7 micro-beads of Effexor. Minimal symptoms but much more time needed between drops.

 'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I definitely see life through a different lense, and have done for years now.


Hoping that that lense will become brighter and brighter with more and more color.


If it wasn't for SA, I don't think I would be alive given the horrendous WDs I had.


For that I feel very lucky to be alive.

Dose History: 19 Feb 2014 - Escitalopram 10mg daily June 2015 - Started taper, 5mg every other day July 2015 - 5mg every 2 days August 2015 - 5mg every 3 days September 2015 - 5mg every 4 days Sept 14th - Completed tapering, but at 7 weeks "drug free" I suffered serious WD symptoms as a consequence of "incorrect" tapering. Nov 25 2015 - Re-instated Cipralex @ 2.5mg daily. WD symptoms faded. Held at this dose and experienced "windows and waves". 12 Oct 2017 Reduced dose to 1.25mg. 13 Mar 2018 Reduced dose to 0.625mg (approx.). 16 April 2018 0mg. Windows and waves triggered by stress (IBS/reflux, headaches, sinus issues) Aug 2019 Mirena coil fitted 6 Jan 2020 MAJOR Wave hit 19 months following last dose (protracted WD).  Symptoms listed below Mar 2020 Mirena coil removal.

Therapy: Nov 15th 2016 Re-started therapy Jan 19th 2017 Started CBT Dec 2017 Started listening to Hypnotherapy CD (self-esteem). Nov 2019 Started couples therapy.

Supplements: "Bioglan" Biotic Balance Ultimate Flora 10 billion CFU, live Bacteria, Probiotic, suitable for Vegetarians, with Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium Longum"Pukka" Vitalise a unique blend of 30 energising botanicals.

Diet: 16 April 2018 Detox cleanse / anti-candida for 90 days. Jan 2020 Started "small plate" diet (i.e child size portions).

Exercise: Stretching, Yoga, Pilates, Spinning, Elliptical/upper body workout, walking.

Medical Test Results: 4 Jan 2017 Homeopathic Treatment starts 24 Feb 2017 Started weight loss program 24 Mar 2017 Naturopathic Treatment + anti-Candida diet started due to suspected Candida Related Complex (CRC). DETOXED for 7 weeks to "re-set" gut. April 2017 "Genova Diagnostics" Comprehensive Stool Analysis NEGATIVE; Full Blood Count (Normal) / Blood Cholesterol: 5.6 (Borderline) / Blood Sugar (Normal) / 28 Jun 2017 FSH 8.2 / 14 Nov 2017 FSH 17.7 Dec 2017 Blood Cholesterol: 3.9 (Normal) / Kidney Function (Normal) / Blood Sugar (Normal). December 2017 "Genova Diagnostics" Food panel allergy (bloodwork) analysis - a few "VERY LOW/VL" allergens; Mar 2018 "Genova Diagnostics" SIBO urine analysis: High Level of Yeast/fungal markers found in small intestine but NO SIBO.  April 2018 Thyroid (Normal) / Full Blood Count (Normal) / FSH (Normal). 16 April 2018 Started anti-Candida diet - 3 month protocol.   25 March 2020 All test results "Normal". CRP" 5 mg/L (normal range to 0-5 mg/L).

Symptoms:  Flu-like symptoms, anxiety, anhedonia, sinus headaches right-side (severe), IBS issues/reflux (severe)**, tinnitus, fatigue, inner tremor, nausea, chills/hot flushes, pounding heart, muscular issues including stiff left hip flexor, intense anger, PSSD (ongoing).  **Histhamine intolerance (suspected).

Major Life Events: 

Re-located to UK from Canada: Jan 2016

My father died: 5:05pm, Monday 5 Feb 2018 Last Lexapro dose: 16 April 2018 (its now been over a year since I quit ADs)  Moved house: Friday 23rd February 2018  "Divorced" toxic Mother: Monday 26 March 2018 Starting working again: 19 November 2018  Diagnosed with: 5th August 2021 PTSD/C-PTSD Diagnosed with: March 2022 Interstitial Cystitis (IC)/Painful bladder syndrome

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This notion of being grateful for being alive reminded me of something similar:

During the period aftetr my daughter Monique took her life, I sought desperately for ways to ease the unbearable pain, which felt like a literal, internal physical wound that was almost impossible to bear. I did find release from that feeling--took a few years, but it went away!  Meditation, exercise, spiritual reading, connecting with her spirit on the "other side," and--most to the point--the practice of gratitude, all in combination, was what helped lift the dark weight off of me. Somewhere along the way, I heard of the practice iin which you say to yourself, "I am so blessed," no matter how you feel.  It's focusing on what we have left, rather than what we've lost. Looking up into the sunshine rather than down into the dirt. It's hard to practice, but it helps when you do.

Drugfree Prof

Psychologist and Psychotherapist

Prozac 20 mg for approx 3 months during 2000, withdrew, no w/d sx

Prozac 10 - 30 mg Jan. 2008 - Dec. 2014

Ritalin 30-40 mg Jan. 2008 - Mar. 2015

W/d sx from Prozac started around 3 months after cessation--crying spells, depressed mood, lethargy; resolved in 8 - 12 mos. post cessation

Used and continue to use a TON of alternative methods--meditation, mindfulness, nutrition. supplements, exercise, etc.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Today I feel lucky, having a window, its really lovely after the last few weeks.  I really try to focus on appreciation as much as I possibly can.  When I feel terrible I listen to youtube speakers and hide but I always try and feed my mind with nourishing content. Unless I am catatonic with distress then its serial killer documentaries, anything to distract myself from pain.  I do believe I am lucky to be alive there have been some close shaves during my time on this planet.  I guess it makes me who I am today and I more or less like that.  I walked my dog yesterday and it was great I am really trying to get off the couch, because I know it is good for me and I really love my connection to nature, man its a mission when all you want to do is hide and read books and eat!!!


things I am appreciating at the moment:

  • my lovely wee dog Chester
  • new solar panels about to go off grid
  • finishing work
  • having time to look after myself
  • my awesome kids and family
  • finding this website!!!



Great topic

2006 May 40 mg paroxitine for post natal depression until

2010 weaned off on very slow taper 1.5 yrs.

2012 back on paxil 40mgs

2012 august  Lamictal at 200mgs

Valium prn at most 2 times a week, normally 1 a month

clonazpam 1 time every two months

2017 February starting slow taper 1/8 cut down of the Paroxitene 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey All, I too feel so grateful to be alive. I will admittedly tell you I struggle with the lengthy process. In a window, the inner angst is so much lighter and that is such a blessing. I am working hard, as you all are, to live here, in the now, accepting, all of this. It can be so hard. I am almost 11.5 months into RI and not yet good and steady. Perhaps you might reflect more on what you find helpful to yourself as you continue to go from window to wave. Acceptance, yes, this is hard and it takes s great deal of practice. Over and over. Hoping to get so much better at it.

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