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☼ Sheera: Lamictal and Brintellix

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Carmie

Hi Sheera, 

 

I’m so sorry your anxiety is so high. It sounds like anticipatory anxiety. I get that as well with certain things, it’s chemical, the withdrawals make things seem worse than they are. Even small things can leave us anxious, things we wouldn’t think about twice if we weren’t on these meds. 

 

Let us know how you go on your first day back to work. Hope you cope okay. 

 

Sending hugs🤗

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Sheera

@Carmie @Rosetta @Rabe thanks for checking in with me. Yes, Carmie, it is definitely anticipatory anxiety. Thank you for putting a name to it. I find that I do have this fear of things that would otherwise not phase me. I get this a LOT with sleep. I am afraid my sleep will not go well and then I am worried about making it through the next day being exhausted. Last night I distracted myself with some Gilmore Girls and a romance novel before bed and that seemed to calm my system. 

 

Yesterday went just fine!  Of course it did—my students were glad to see me and I was as glad as I could be to see them. I’m trudging right along—I guess at least when I’m feeling like this I can still feel some goodness about the impact I am having on young people.

 

It’s hard to get motivated to do anything right now which is a giant pain. I just want to chill and watch TV. That is pretty hilarious considering I have never been a TV watcher. Just a phase-I’m sure. At least I can—and want to— watch TV as a distraction. Last year it was not the case.  At times I would just have to lie in bed and do deep breathing to calm myself. Progress, I guess. 

 

Praying that the sun is shining on all of you and that you are noticing your progress as well, even if it’s small. ❤️

 

Hugs—Sheera

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Rabe

Oh Sheera how nice to read that!!  I was so hoping what you wrote would indeed be the case!!!  Yay for your day!!!  Take care my friend!  Just thinking about you and wanted you to know!💜

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Sheera

Journal:  I am feeling despondent this morning. Monday night I did too much after work and had anxiety before bed. Last night I tried to give myself some grace and just watched some TV a bit after work. About halfway through my show I just started feeling terrible guilt, the electrical feeling was running through me and I got a terrible headache. I’m frustrated. I guess the lesson is that no matter what I “do” to help myself it might not be the right thing. It is what it is. I was very revved up last night and I slept decent.  But the headaches are so bad right now. Sometimes they’re so bad they make me nauseous.  I’ve removed the clock from my room and don’t allow myself to look at the time in the middle of the night. This has helped. I am just sad. I feel lonely. I’m thinking about my kids and the stuff I’ve been present for but haven’t really enjoyed. It makes me sad. My emotions are big today. I have to go into school now. I’m too sad to be enthusiastic.   I’m really tired of this.  I see why people go back on AD—this is such hard work. The inconsistency with the rebuilding is so hard. Praying for acceptance today. 

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Rabe

Sheera I will be thinking about you today..praying for strength and acceptance that you might get through this day with some sunshine somewhere to tuck away in your heart!  Love and hugs Sheera!  I will write more later...💜

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Carmie

Hi Sheera, 

 

I’m glad all went well at school. We all have anticipatory stress over things when going through withdrawals. The smallest events can become such big, overwhelming things in our poor chemically affected brains. 

 

I hope you find many good distractions to help you to coping💚

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Sheera

Hey all—I’m going to check out from SA for a bit and see if I can distract myself with other things. I often get on here to feel better and a few times lately I haven’t felt that. Definitely not from my own thread—-those that stop here are amazing!  ❤️ But sometimes I will go to other areas hoping to find comfort and it’s a trigger. I have no self-control right now. 😊

 

Just know that all of you who have stopped by will be in my prayer journal. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

 

Sheera

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Rosetta

Ok, Sheera.  That makes sense.  Sometimes I have to do the same.  Thank you for being supportive of me lately.  I really appreciate that.  Hang in there, R

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Carmie

Hi Sheera, 

 

I know you’re not on here at the moment, but yay for self care!🎉💚

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Rabe

I sure understand as well Sheera.  Take care of you!!  Will be thinking about you as always!!!💜

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Rosetta

Thinking of you, Sheera. - Rosetta

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Carmie

Hi Sheera, 

 

If you pop in on this site again I’d love to hear how you’re doing. How is your teaching going? Hope you’re coping okay.💚

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Sheera

Hey all—I haven’t been around in awhile and I think it’s been good for me to try and find alternative things to focus on when I’m having bad times. They say you’re brain focuses where you place your attention, right?  I’ve gotten really good at using Netflix to distract and I’ve even been at a point a few times where cleaning felt good. That is an improvement!  

 

I think I’m in a wave right now. 🙁. I haven’t slept well for about a week—lots of  weird dreaming and waking a lot. Usually that means a good spell is coming soon so I’m hoping for that. I’ve felt a shift in my thinking at work in that I am not taking things so personally from students. That is helpful for the rest of my day in that I don’t get stuck. I am still having a hard time moving on from issues that are close to my heart. It’s hard to reframe them as positive all the time. It happens sometimes but it’s not automatic like it used to be. I am hopeful that will return. 

 

I hope all my friends are doing well and seeing little improvements here and there. You are always in my thoughts and prayers. ❤️❤️

 

Sheera

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ChessieCat

I've moved your post to the relevant topic which you can find here (click on the arrow, top right of the quote box):

 

1 hour ago, Sheera said:

Topic title:  L-Methylfolate--need to taper?

 

Hey All--

I am currently taking L-Methylfolate because when I was first ill I went to a holistic doctor that did some tests and said my depression wasn't going away because I had a certain gene.  I am pretty sure that I was in WD at the time ( I took a plethora of drugs when I was first sick because I wasn't feeling better--now I know I should've just waited and I would've healed on my own.  I thought I was still ill--I was probably still ill AND in withdrawal)  I have kept getting this prescription filled and now it's time to either stop taking it or get some more random tests done by my holistic doctor so she can figure out why I still don't feel my best.  I don't want to get the tests done or pay for them because I know I'm in withdrawal.  But she won't refill my prescription unless I do this.  My menstrual cycle is way off and she believes she can give me some hormones to make it better.  I don't want any more stuff.  Any thoughts on just quitting the L-Methylfolate?  Do I need to taper this too?  I have been doing "relatively" well, have longer windows, am more normal, and my waves are shorter.  I don't want to have a setback if I can prevent it.  Thank you for any feedback!

 

Sheera

 

 

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Sheera

 Hey all—I haven’t posted in awhile. I wanted to take some time away and see if that helped. I’m not sure if that helped or if it is just the nature of the recovery but I have healed quite a bit since February when I last wrote. 

 

I am in month 32 of recovery. I am impatient. I am definitely better and over the worst of it, I feel, but now I often wonder if this is all the healing that I will get. And then I think back to when I was worse and I thought that—and then I improved. So I’m pretty sure I will get even better but I have to continue to be patient. 

 

My improvements:

 

sleep!  I am trending toward more consistent sleep and don’t wake nearly as much as I used to. If I do wake, I get up and get something small to eat, go to the bathroom and then am able to fall back to sleep easier. If I don’t get up, my ruminating is terrible. It is a conscious effort to get out of bed because my brain wants to keep me stressed. 

 

Chest pain!  My chest pain used to come at all times. I thought I might need to get it checked out but I waited it out and it seems to only come when I am in really stressful situations. 

 

Handling of stress:  this has been a slow but steady improvement. I have tried to use the Claire Weekes method for this as well as meditation. I “try” to separate myself from my emotions by doing some deep breathing. I have to really watch myself or I will have an emotional spiral. My stressors include my son who is very emotional and my work— I am a teacher. Exercise also helps with this a lot. 

 

Neuroemotions—last year these were SO BAD. Everything was at a level 10 when I reacted to it. And my first response was that I wanted to die. I do have more intense emotions than I normally would but I am able to rationalize better. Not at my best but I am hopeful that will come. 

 

SI:  these is rarely there anymore and when it is I am able to ignore it and move on. I am hopeful this will also become non existent. 

 

Motivation:  I do things now!!  I cleaned my whole house this summer AND painted my daughter’s bedroom. I have been promising her this for two years.  She is happy. 

 

PMS:  This is slowly but surely improving. I can discern a little bit more the difference between a wave and PMS now. 

 

Currently my biggest issue is anhedonia. I do all the things but I don’t feel good about it. I am on vacation right now and typically LOVE sunsets and the beach. 🤷🏻‍♀️  The joy is not there—yet. My feelings for my family are minimal. Unfortunately if I dwell on that it causes anxiety so I try to do what someone on here suggests and just pretend that I have the feeling even if it’s not there. It used to be worse so hoping it continues to improve. 

 

I am sharing this to give any other mommas out there some hope to get through this. I have noticed that there are not a lot of moms trying to get off AD’s. It hasn’t been easy and I have a VERY supportive husband who constantly reminds me of how far I’ve come during the moments I don’t think I’ve improved at all. (I do still have those moments but they don’t last as long and they come less frequently)

 

My current level of WD normal is probably a 7 with moments of 8,9, and even 10’s. I wouldn’t consider me a success story yet but I do know I am better. Hugs to everyone. ❤️

 

Sheera

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ChessieCat

Because you're feeling better, I added our cheerful "here comes the sun" symbol ☼ to the title of your Intro topic, to show you're recovering.

 

Please continue to let us know how you're doing. I hope you will add your story to our Recovery Success Stories eventually!

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Rosetta

Sheera, 

I am glad you are feeling better and have been able to feel good about some of the things you have accomplished.  Seeing a difference between WD and PMS?!  That would be nice (I think).  I hope that means you feel better during PMS then you used to feel!!  It seems to be a major cause of my symptoms.  Thanks for updating us.  This is month 29 for me.  Good to see you are improving albeit slowly.  I'm happy for you!

Rosetta

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Sheera

@ChessieCat Here comes the sun 😊. I will be back to write my success story—those were what got me (and still get me) through the worst of it. 

 

Take care—

Sheera

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Sheera

@Rosetta yes!  You will be glad to know that PMS has improved. It’s def still one of my worst symptoms but I seem to bounce back a lot faster than I used to. I’ve always been irritable during PMS 😳🙄 but WD took it to the next level. This is where I really have to watch my reactions to events and space myself from what I’m “feeling” compared to what a rational reaction might be. Sleep used to be awful around my PMS and it’s improved as well. 

 

Hugs—Sheera

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Sheera

Hey all— last time I posted I was definitely in a window. Yay!!  This time—not so much. I’m having so many intense neuroemotions again—anger, impatience, and annoyance is superbly high. Also, I pretty much know it’s withdrawal. At least half of my brain does. The other half seems to be feeding me lies—I’m a terrible wife, mother, teacher, etc. I’m almost 3 years out and I was just hoping someone could give me some reassurance that this is definitely just another phase of withdrawal that will pass. I used to get this reassurance from my husband and best friend and lately I’ve just felt like it’s bothering them to share. 3 years!!  This has been going on that long. And then the 2 years before that I was a mess from my job situation that is was prescribed AD’s in the first place. So 5 years total of “dealing” with me and me not being myself. I’m considering starting therapy again but my story is so long and complicated and who believes it’s WD anyway?  Most therapists prob think I’m making stuff up. Anyways, any words of encouragement from the other side would be helpful right now. ❤️❤️

 

Sheera

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Elyssa143

@Sheera

Hi! Im definitely not as far out as you but I get very discouraged when I get slammed back.  Im sure your emotions are still working on coming back online and balancing. Im 19 months out and yes having easier days but still get so scared when i get slammed bad. Everyone says its a journey to healing. You have come so far I read through your posts! Keep going it can only continue to get better! Do u have symptoms everyday or are you having much better days? Hugs to you, fellow warrior❣

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Sheera

@Elyssa143

thank you for responding. 😊Overall my withdrawal normal is so much better. So that is good. And yes I do have good—even great days. In fact, for yesterday being so bad it was almost like I was in a dream it felt so foreign. I’m pretty sure that used to be my normal all the time. I think I’m just fatigued of the waiting game and not really sure what each day will bring. That part is hard for me as it is for everyone in withdrawal. Ups and downs and life are normal and then you throw the symptoms of WD in and it makes me want to crawl in a corner!  Again—thanks for the encouraging words. Only others who have been through this can truly understand the pain. 

Hugs—Sheera

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Sheera

Hey all—I haven’t posted in awhile. I’ve had some good moments but I seem to be hovering in a depression/anhedonia wave. I don’t like to come on here and complain but this is the only place where people really understand. I’m sleeping better but having really vivid dreams so I don’t feel rested when I wake up. But my perception of life is so negative. I’m struggling because positivity is one of my strengths and I can’t be positive right now. I also can’t think right either. My brain feels scrambled. I’m tired of this mountain I’ve been climbing now for 3 years. My emotions are so heightened that I can’t tell if what I feel is real or not. So it makes me wonder if I should quit my job??  Is my job making me stressed and unhappy or would I feel this way no matter what.  At least my job keeps me distracted. I don’t know. I should probably wait. I’m going to make some tea and put on my sweats. Maybe that will give me some relief. 

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Sheera

Hey all—I just wanted to do a quick update. After about a 4 month period of no windows I finally had one at the beginning of December that was my longest one yet. Oh it was pretty amazing!  I forgot about WD for about two weeks. I was able to think and react to things oh so clearly. This is so important as a teacher and my lack of it over the past few years is probably why teaching has been so hard!  I had faith in my decisions, got along with everyone so nicely, and had my generally positive outlook back. 
 

Most of the time during that 4 months, life was manageable. I had a better Halloween and Thanksgiving than I’d had in many many years.
 

The cloud is back now but it’s not quite as heavy. The window is over but I can sense that my normal has improved slightly. My biggest symptoms that are still there—Anhedonia 😞. Mornings are still terribly hard for me. Since my window is over, I am trying not to get caught up in the negative thinking about how the window will never come back. It felt so wonderful. I want it back now. There’s nothing I can do though except wait. There’s ways I can distract and small ways to cope but the best thing I can do for myself is wait and give myself grace. 
 

I’m not sure if anyone reads this, but if you do, just keep hanging on.  You are strong. You are a warrior. ❤️F45480A9-42C3-40D6-BF27-7C71CA1B9634.thumb.png.ec4d128e77ced43eaf55c95ed7abee90.png

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Sheera

I don’t know what kind of wave I’m in right now but it “feels” as bad as ever. I’ve got so much rumination, Anhedonia is so so so terrible, and I’ve got anxiety thrown in there too. Everything is 10000000% terrible. Even though it’s not. Oh how I wish I could be thankful. How I wish I could turn my mind to the positive side. I am

just sitting here in the parking lot of my gym for some reason terrified of going in??  I have no idea why?  Maybe it’s just another thing I know I should do to make myself feel better but also know that it won’t really make me feel better. Time passing is all that really works. So I go through the motions but it’s making me frustrated now. I do all the things and don’t feel better. Better is relative though. Better than last year?  Yes. I’ve seen more light this past year. But better all the time?  No. I just keep waiting and wondering if this will ever be behind me. Will there be a forever window or will the mistake I made 6 years ago when I first started AD’s haunt me forever?  What I’m saying is so gloomy and dark. That is not me. That’s why it’s so painful. I can’t stand this attitude and how I feel sorry for myself or how I don’t really know what kind of food I like or what music I like because none of it really interests me. My husband wants to buy me some new tennis shoes...I don’t care.  But then when I come out of this I will care. I will want to be strong from actually going into the gym and have new shoes and try out new restaurants. Until then....

 

stay tough friends—

 

Sheera

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Elyssa143

Hi my sweet friend💗

I can relate oh so well. Im so sorry your feeling so gloomy in dark, I can also relate. Its quite awful to go from feeling better and on the track to thrown back down. Im experiencing it now. But it is better than it was before even though it is oh so tough! We will get through this! The better times are happening more often. Just wanted to say Hi and respond because you put your feelings out there. Hang in there. Im right there with u sister. I wonder if I too will ever recover but apparently thats how everyone feels. So we must preservere!

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Sheera

@Elyssa143 thankfully the darkness passed pretty quickly. So much quicker than it has in the past. Yesterday was decent and today was better. I get stuck in the depths and then think it will last as long as it used to. And it doesn’t. It’s like a split second compared to before. That is a positive!  I do think I used my coping skills pretty well. Meditation and I listened to some Claire Weekes. I also just trusted that what I was thinking and feeling was WD and not me.  The real terrible feeling was only about 90 minutes long.... bouncing back much more quickly than I used to. Thanks for stopping by my friend. ❤️

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Sheera

I am on spring break this week which gives me some time to reflect on my past spring breaks and where I am today. There is no comparison.  I think last year at this time I had started to be able to be distracted by tv and I still had a lot of anxiety. These days my anxiety has been replaced with anhedonia and depression which is another kind of evil. I’ve realized that I’m just not one of those people that does acceptance very well and I guess that’s the part I’ve accepted. Maybe it’s in my nature to be solution oriented. Some people call it controlling. I call it being focused on the solution rather than the problem. And this problem has no solution but patience. And patience is also one of my arch enemies.  One of the things I’ve come to terms with in the past few weeks is that as hard as it is, there are some things I can control in this withdrawal. Emotional spirals are my nemesis right now. Luckily they’re more rational emotional spirals related to work stuff and my kids. That’s also a problem.  Before when I would notice one of those irrational emotional spirals, I got pretty good at putting a stop to it and distracting myself. I remember in my early stages of withdrawal reading a newspaper article about a women who had been attacked by her husband and thinking that would be me. I also used to think my husband and I would get a divorce. Now I just think how could he enjoy someone with very little laughter—although it continues to improve.These emotional spirals about daily life are—right now—harder to deter because the problems  do seem real and very important. It is hard for me determine what is a real issue and what I can look away from. This is a positive because the issues are real.    Some people would actually choose to get riled up by some of the stuff that comes up in my daily life. But that’s not me and never has been.  So I have to choose to be conscious about the emotional spirals and know that eventually it will be an automatic thing for me to say oh well and move on. It’s hard work this withdrawal. And even though I am very much healing it is still a work in progress. 
 

I do want to say that the windows I have had have been glorious. I think the longest has been a few weeks, but I know it was a window because I didn’t think about withdrawal. It was just life. My withdrawal normal is also better because the reminder of withdrawal is not as intense. I don’t feel a constant chatter to think about it. It’s very distant, but still there.  
 

I don’t know if people read this 😆 but if you are and in the midst of it, please know that it does improve and it is worth it. If anything, I’ve learned that the self I was before I took AD was wonderful and amazing and I don’t give myself enough credit for all the goodness and love I was bringing to this world. You are enough just the way you are. Even in the midst of withdrawal, you are enough. ❤️

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Elyssa143

I read it.❤ 

Im sorry your still struggling. I know the feeling all to well. Its a slow painful process. I often wonder how much more i can take and then i keep going. But im tired just like you are. I too had the anxiety last spring. But ive always had this underlying depression/anhedonia and suicidal stuff. Im glad u said that the windows are better and your withdrawl normal is better. Mine is definitely not the hell it once was but its still hell :( and its so discouraging.  Much love to you my friend 

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Sheera

Well, this seems like a good time to reflect on my current symptoms. In all areas I’ve seen gradual improvement. 
 

**sleep is probably still my biggest problem. It has improved so much but I am still waiting for that consistent sleep pattern. I rarely wake up feeling rested. I dream a lot but don’t move beyond that state of sleep.  
 

**mornings are still difficult but definitely a minute issue compared to before 

 

**neuroemotions are still there but previously I would feel them throughout my body and it would be hard to ignore. Jealousy and insecurity are the main ones I feel. Also annoyance. Some anger/frustration Sometimes I catch it. I hope that improves. 
 

**Emotional spirals are a deal for me right now. Also rehashing conversations/rumination. This is making some days more difficult than they need to be. I’m trying to be more aware and distracting myself. It doesn’t always work. 
 

**anhedonia/depression they sneak up on me. My inner monologue is not very nice but I try to ignore it

 

I have had level 10 moments in the last 6 months. Moments that mimic my life prior to withdrawal and my work issues. But they have all revolved around a big event like a concert or sporting event or good friends coming to visit. I had a level 10 day last week that didn’t revolve around anything. I felt peace and joy and contentment all day. I didn’t have anxiety.  I was in the moment. It was wonderful. I’m hoping those continue to pop up for me. 
 

To those of you earlier in your recovery than me—keep in keeping on. It will and does get better. ❤️❤️

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Elyssa143

@Sheera

This is wonderful.  Im so greatful to read these improvements.  Im so glad to constantly see you say it gets better. Im trailing way behind you at 25 months today! Do you still have akasthsia or dread? When you say neuroemotions what do you mean? When you say feeling a 10 is that completely normal no symptoms or thoughts of withdrawl? Did you have full windows like that at 25 months off? I am sorry your still having difficult times but I would have to believe it will only continue to improve! I sure hope i turn a corner here soon and the si stuff and feelings leave. I am never symptom free. I always have skme sort of level of symptoms. The Akathisia and dread has been pretty constant for me. And of course feeling like i dont want to do this anymore because i have zero positive feelings or good feelings makes the days hard. Im sure in 6 months u will be way better! Hugs to you my friend

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Rosetta

You are doing great!  I’m sorry to hear about the sleep.  I still have those mornings, but they are less than 50% of the time.  Could be even less.  You are having really good days!!!

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Sheera

Well—I was in a pretty good withdrawal normal for awhile and have shifted into a wave over the past few days. Sleep has been sporadic and my emotions are everywhere. I can’t find anything to do that interests or motivates me. Things are going on around me that I would find funny or interesting and all I can think is “meh.”  It’s hard. Today I thought a run/walk in nature might help but it was a struggle. My expectations for it were too high. I wanted to feel better after it and instead it was just frustrating me that it didn’t work. I am isolating from my family thinking I need some me time but that doesn’t help either. I’m trying to find things to help. I guess I should probably just accept that this is hard right now.  
 

My sense of direction is skewed. We were delivering May baskets today and I could not navigate. There were times I couldn’t recall where I was and I was in familiar neighborhood. It was the weirdest feeling. My sense of time is also weird . I’m not fully present so it’s like time gets away from me. And I look back on the day and wonder where the day went and what I even did.

 

All of what is happening is not really bothering my family. They can’t hear the thoughts I have in my head which to me are terrible. My family is annoying me even though they’re not annoying. My husband tries so hard but I just want to scream at him. Like somehow if I scream really loud he will finally understand. I feel guilty because I WANT to be the person he married who was free spirited and fun and silly but the effort is too much. I just can’t. it’s the weirdest thing. I have the remote in my hand and a book next to me but I can’t pick up the book or pick a TV show to watch. I’m paralyzed. 
 

I am really thankful I don’t have to go teach right now. That is one blessing for me in all of this. It has also helped me see that my job wasn’t causing me stress. WD has always been the stress. WD creates stress that doesn’t exist. I will wait for the day that this will pass. It will. It always does. 
 

Hopefully I’ll be back soon to share some progress. 

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Sheera

Thankfully the wave passed relatively quickly. I had an epiphany!!!  I finally realized that when I am myself, I don’t have to try. I don’t have to consciously use my coping skills. I don’t know why this was such a big deal to me. I guess I’ve just wondered if I’ve even had coping skills—during therapy when I first went on AD’s my therapist wondered how I coped with anxiety. I didn’t know 🤷🏻‍♀️  It didn’t seem like I’d ever really experienced it before. Instead of assuming that the situation I was in was absolutely horrific, I just assumed I’d had no coping skills up to that point. Clearly, I had coping skills. In fact, I’m a really faith based person who typically lived pretty in the moment up until that point. It’s really too bad that I was put on AD’s instead of someone suggesting that the situation I was I was not right for me. Now that I’m coming out of this I see that I’ve had these skills all along and never really knew it. I don’t get caught up in drama, I give people grace, I listen to understand, and I usually don’t take things personally. Withdrawal has helped me to see that, when I’m well, I am a pretty healthy and normal person.  This last wave probably lasted 11 days. Woah. That was fast!  To those of you out there still in the thick of it, you got this!  It really does get better. I am coming out of this more sure of myself, my values, and just the beauty of a simple life in general. You will make it too. You are tough. You are resilient. ❤️❤️❤️
 

Sheera

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Rosetta

Yes, the difference between how I react is enormous from one day to the next.  I’m two different people.

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Sheera

@RosettaI don’t think I was having enough really good days before this to notice. And then when it was bad I’d get caught up and wonder what I was doing wrong during those bad days.  There are days when I take things so personally and then I try to figure out why it’s bothering me so much. I think it’s the emotional spiral Brass has talked about. I think I might finally might be aware of it at least. Not convinced I’ll be able to prevent it, but awareness is the first step I guess. I also think it has something to do with your insightful post about all the info we can’t filter. Usually I would just shrug these thoughts away but for some reason I feel it necessary to analyze every one. 🤷🏻‍♀️  Thanks for stopping by and posting. 

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