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FarmGirlWorks

FarmGirlWorks: sertraline WD - kundalini yoga helping

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FarmGirlWorks

I've been grieving hard for people lost to psychotropics and rage at the medical system's incapacity to treat depression/anxiety effectively and, more importantly now, knowing and communicating  SAFE ways to withdraw from these strong drugs.

  • Singer/bandleader Chris Cornell hung himself in a Detroit motel room; apparently had taken too much Ativan after a show.
  • Heath Ledger OD'd on antidepressants and painkillers
  • David Foster Wallace hung himself at month 10 of a cold turkey from Nardil after almost two decades of it
  • Robin Williams hung himself and was on mirtzapine (sp?) and seroquel

The list goes on and it pisses me off that we are in this phase of history where people are drugged without knowing the full story of "poop-out" and side effects and how incredibly dangerous these drugs are. I am sad and grieve that I am part of this story as well as you but I am grateful -- so grateful -- that I found SA. Last year, after Cornell's death, I stopped drinking. Flat out stopped (I guess cold turkey is my style for better or worse :) One year and one day of no alcohol, and 13.5 months of no antidepressants (who's counting?) and this has been the toughest year I ever remember. But I am thankful that there are fellow travelers here and I don't have to feel as alone in this journey.

 

Thank you and strength and courage to everyone.

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FarmGirlWorks

Today is 14 months off Zoloft. I've been taking a break from this forum because discussions about how CT and fast tapering leads to protracted withdrawal triggered me hard  but, like a moth to a flame, have come flitting back because I feel sad and it helps to read of others' struggles. Today, after a month of being mostly clean of supplements, I have taken one liver capsule and some stinging nettle tincture. I am feeling as depressed as I ever have remember feeling so am also thinking about taking Omega3 capsules too. The pill-popping habit rears its head! My friend brought back my dog and I took him for pizza nearby. As he ate and marveled at the weather, it was just like watching someone far away and I could not even make words.

 

This week I went to an art residency which was a cabin in the woods by a stream and forest preserve in Oregon. To say it was beautiful and peaceful is an understatement. I was totally alone which is a state I am often in so that wasn't welcome nor feared. I was free to be "crazy" by myself for a few days. I am proud that I made it there as my front tire literally exploded on the interstate. A six-hour epic saga to get it to a Firestone (on the holiday which made it even more fun) ensued and introduced me to a Buddhist term "Sansho Shima" which refers to "devilish obstructions" when we are trying to change. I do believe that I did change a little on that retreat and that Sansho Shima was trying to stop me.

 

I think that all of us here at SA are trying to change ourselves for the better -- why go through such pain otherwise? -- and that this pain both physical and mental forges our characters, despite how unpleasant it is.

 

"There is no easy path to the realization of good," .... "We have no choice but to root ourselves firmly in reality, deliberately taking on difficult challenges, ceaselessly training and forging ourselves in the smelting furnace of the soul."

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powerback
10 hours ago, FarmGirlWorks said:

Today is 14 months off Zoloft. I've been taking a break from this forum because discussions about how CT and fast tapering leads to protracted withdrawal triggered me hard  but, like a moth to a flame, have come flitting back because I feel sad and it helps to read of others' struggles. Today, after a month of being mostly clean of supplements, I have taken one liver capsule and some stinging nettle tincture. I am feeling as depressed as I ever have remember feeling so am also thinking about taking Omega3 capsules too. The pill-popping habit rears its head! My friend brought back my dog and I took him for pizza nearby. As he ate and marveled at the weather, it was just like watching someone far away and I could not even make words.

 

This week I went to an art residency which was a cabin in the woods by a stream and forest preserve in Oregon. To say it was beautiful and peaceful is an understatement. I was totally alone which is a state I am often in so that wasn't welcome nor feared. I was free to be "crazy" by myself for a few days. I am proud that I made it there as my front tire literally exploded on the interstate. A six-hour epic saga to get it to a Firestone (on the holiday which made it even more fun) ensued and introduced me to a Buddhist term "Sansho Shima" which refers to "devilish obstructions" when we are trying to change. I do believe that I did change a little on that retreat and that Sansho Shima was trying to stop me.

 

I think that all of us here at SA are trying to change ourselves for the better -- why go through such pain otherwise? -- and that this pain both physical and mental forges our characters, despite how unpleasant it is.

 

"There is no easy path to the realization of good," .... "We have no choice but to root ourselves firmly in reality, deliberately taking on difficult challenges, ceaselessly training and forging ourselves in the smelting furnace of the soul."

Hi FGW I empathise with you at the moment, I just had a very taxing few days at a peers wedding in a bad wave to boot .

I was listening to Allen watts the other day and it was very interesting what he said ,I think its a Buddhist term he was on about .it was on the lines of "be careful of going to far with self-improving ".almost like going to far and becoming Alien to ourselves .he gave  the analogy  of if you sharpen a knife too far it gets to a point were there's nothing left to sharpen .this is vey interesting to me .

I can so relate to your situations with the pizza .everyone at my table was eating there meal and I was in my mind thinking about the food and what's in it and I left half the soup because there was probably MSG in it .

Take care .

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manymoretodays

Thank you too FGW.

Tis.  Difficult.  To find the correct balance with all that life/universe throws our way.

......and the whys........and then what are we to do next?

I try to be thankful for the stall.  And think in the narrators voice of "Call the Midwife".

And keep moving.......my triathalon W/D training will re: commence!!!   Swim, yoga, walk/run.  Observe.  Pause.  Trust.  Faith.

And ooooh, this whole self care thing like never before.

 

Best, and Love, peace, healing/inrecovery, and growth,

mmt

 

 

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FarmGirlWorks
6 hours ago, powerback said:

"be careful of going to far with self-improving ".almost like going to far and becoming Alien to ourselves .he gave  the analogy  of if you sharpen a knife too far it gets to a point were there's nothing left to sharpen .this is very interesting to me .

@powerback Huh, I agree that that is interesting to chew on. I think I could spend 24/7 doing healing activities like acupuncture, yoga, swimming, meditating, walking...  but I feel helping others, being of service has to come into play for "happiness."  The idea of becoming "alien" to oneself... how does that even happen? * I feel you on the soup and caution about putting food that could trigger our delicate CNS. I ate a slice of pizza to be polite and it was histamine-y (tomato sauce) and gluten-y (crust). To be fair, I was depressed before but that probably didn't help.

 

2 hours ago, manymoretodays said:

And keep moving.......my triathalon W/D training will re: commence!!!   Swim, yoga, walk/run.  Observe.  Pause.  Trust.  Faith.

And ooooh, this whole self care thing like never before.

@manymoretodays  I like that metaphor of triathalon training... are we in the third section yet??? I feel the discomfort of this snake's skin coming off my form and just want to wriggle as fast as I can away from it because it is so painful. Not possible, though. So we persist.

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manymoretodays
1 hour ago, FarmGirlWorks said:

So we persist.

Yes.....we do.

We have to walk a bit....... before we run.

(((((FGW))))))

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bhasski
8 hours ago, powerback said:

As he ate and marveled at the weather, it was just like watching someone far away and I could not even make words.

 

This feeling .. its like the disconnection that I also feel from the world.. my old self.

 

Its true that this forum is triggering and I agree. Though I also agree that knowing  I am not alone in the battle and someone will come out to write here with atleast words of compassion, settles me down.

 

Wish you get better soon.

 

Bhasski

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Rosetta

Hi, FGW,

 

It's good to take a break from the forum.  I should take a break, too.  Thinking of you and hoping you are feeling better this evening. -Rosetta

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FarmGirlWorks
6 hours ago, bhasski said:

Its true that this forum is triggering and I agree. Though I also agree that knowing  I am not alone in the battle and someone will come out to write here with atleast words of compassion, settles me down.

Yes, it helps to know we are not alone, so very much. Health and healing to you, @bhasski.

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FarmGirlWorks
2 hours ago, Rosetta said:

 

It's good to take a break from the forum.  I should take a break, too

Ah, I always like to see how someone a few months further down the road is 🙂 and check up on you, @Rosetta. I was feeling a bit obsessive and then triggered... are you feeling that way? Don’t feel like you need to answer if you don’t want to, just doesn’t look that way from here. Your posts are intelligent and compassionate.

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Rosetta

Oh yeah, exactly.  I get very depressed when I read here, if I was feeling depressed in general.  I get more anxious if I was feeling anxious, and even if I wasn't.  I really have to skip a lot of threads and just try to keep up with certain people.  So that how I do it.  I had to stop reading new threads as much as possible, but sometimes I slip up.

 

Your post on May 20 -- I wanted to respond and I feel so bad that I didn't.  I set it aside until I could get my emotions under control and then I forgot.  I'm sad that no one else wrote to you!!  Anyway, I'm constantly seeing things in the news and thinking: that person was in WD or that person was having a paradoxical reaction, etc.  It's all around us.  

 

The artist's retreat sounds lovely.  I'm glad you were able to unlplug and be alone for all that time.  Amazing.  I hope it helped you a lot.

 

Peace, Rosetta

 

 

 

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FarmGirlWorks
1 hour ago, Rosetta said:

Your post on May 20 -- I wanted to respond and I feel so bad that I didn't.  I set it aside until I could get my emotions under control and then I forgot.  I'm sad that no one else wrote to you!!

Oh my goodness: don't feel badly for a second. It's okay, I don't expect responses from many, so many of my posts seem kinda off-the-beaten path for this forum. Plus, there are people on here, yourself included, that I try to keep up with but fail to respond all the time. Try not to beat myself up about that...

 

2 hours ago, Rosetta said:

Oh yeah, exactly.  I get very depressed when I read here, if I was feeling depressed in general.  I get more anxious if I was feeling anxious, and even if I wasn't.  I really have to skip a lot of threads and just try to keep up with certain people.  So that how I do it.  I had to stop reading new threads as much as possible, but sometimes I slip up.

There are certain threads I just can't read too... but anything about sertraline draws me in...

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Rosetta

Hi.  How are you now, FGW?

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FarmGirlWorks

Hey  @Rosetta, I'm still feeling depressed, way down. That is real, this week has been hard. However, I was telling someone today that the other night I had a "feeling memory" of what it felt like when I first moved here long ago. It lasted maybe 30 seconds. I haven't had one of those in many years, definitely not in WD so that was hopeful that there are tiny blips of recovery happening.

 

How are you? I thought of you today as I went with a friend and three little kids to a pool called "Playland" with slides, bucket showers, areas with currents... totally overstimulating! I admire you're dealing with a small one during this time.

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Rosetta

That's great that the feeling memory came along.  The depression can be so deep with this WD.  It's neuro emotion misery.  

-R

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FarmGirlWorks

This artist perfectly captures the last few days... an hour ago, met with a person who works in a field I am thinking about transitioning into. It was hard and would have been more embarrassing except she was so kind! I can barely track other people talking longer than 10 seconds and had multiple times when I lost a train of thought in mid-sentence. While not exactly a headache (there is not pain per se) it feels like a vise is being applied to this cottonball brain. Can't think, can barely make words sometimes. I still believe that my brain will emerge from this time but trying to move ahead and feeling like I can't is, well, frustrating. To say the least.

SAbrown-illustrations-monica-barengo.jpg

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wantrelief

Your post and the accompanying picture so eloquently describes your experience at the moment.  It is amazing you met with the woman and are even able to contemplate what you would like to do in the future, FGW.....this is such an accomplishment in itself!

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FarmGirlWorks

A quick note for my thread that I stopped taking supplements again. I noticed yesterday that my mood got just low and not so extreme; I had forgotten to take Vitamin C and the correlation was apparent. Today I skipped both vitC and Omega3 and feel clearer. So, correlation is not causation and two days does not hard data make, but if the headaches diminish and I feel clearer (not so cotton-headed) then I will continue sans supplements for a while. I read here somewhere that supplements can turn paradoxical on you and that may(!) be what is happening now.

 

It is hard as I love taking pills -- it's a childhood memory of control and safety.

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FarmGirlWorks

I "stole" this symptom list from @Waiting12 (thanks!) because I haven't been regular about keeping track of symptoms and this really helped. I want to note it here for future reference.

 

My main symptoms at 14.5 months:

* Anger at Pfizer and former friends

*Mental Akathisia

*Hormones/PM increasing black mood
*Fatigue the week before my period and during first few days of bleeding

*Anhedonia- No strong positive emotions, personality blunted, stilted sense of humor, inability to have fun, no interest in new music… just comforting sounds like classical or classic rock

*Intrusive Thoughts – use “change the channel” technique a lot.

*Head pressure, cotton ball head

*Loss of motivation & confidence

*Small Appetite -- have to make myself eat

*Balance compromised esp. during menstrual period

*Cognitive issues- Feel brain damaged, stunted word recall and memory, brain fog, can't think clearly… hard time with mental meditation so do kundalini “breath of fire” instead.

*Muscle tension in neck and shoulders

*Tinnitus – but have had this since brain tumor surgery 15 years ago so probs not WD. Have not noticed change in intensity although it does seem loud now. Could be because I am noticing it more.

 

Other symptoms: (all coming and going with various intensities)

*Chemical Anxiety -- but not shaking hands in the morning anymore

*headaches
*DP/DR – randomly
*Sensitivity to stress, sadness and negativity, violent TV, and overstimulation, kids playing loudly

*Inability to relax

*Difficulty Making Decisions

*No Libido… gradually coming back

*Ruminating/Obsessive/Racing Thoughts

*Sleep- still trouble falling asleep and use valerian root/passionflower tincture, but usually sleep 8 hours
*Crying Spells- not often and usually due to situational sadness and despair

* Overly aware of conscious thoughts

* Face muscles tightening up in corner of nose & eye

* Poor concentration

 

Gone:

Bruxism, Feelings of doom, Phantom smells, Teeth nerve pain, Frequent urination, morning dread, Intrusive Memories

 

Signs of recovery:

·      “Feeling” memories where I remember what it felt like before drugs – for instance, how Seattle felt 28 years ago when I moved here, and a smell at yoga (nag champa) that reminded me of another studio, Samadhi Yoga, in the late ‘90s.

·      Wanting to pet my dog’s fur and enjoying the texture and feeling great love for her.

·      New interests like psychedelics.

·      Less “grasping” and “desperate” feelings about having friends; several disappeared and realized I can still survive. Sad but realize the idea of a community of friends is not in this lifetime. Gradually making new ones.

·      (TMI alert) Ability to orgasm w/o vibrator. Only did once 16 years ago and credit a year of kundalini and getting off drugs and alcohol. An old dog can learn new tricks.

·      Starting to see my selfishness more dispassionately and without shame (AA) and desire to repair that so I can move forward. This will take a long, long time.

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Rosetta

Hi FGW.  I hope you are doing ok today. - R

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FarmGirlWorks

Thanks for the check-in, @Rosetta. I see from your thread that the anxiety you experienced is not as bad as it was a few days ago and that relieves me greatly. I also read your synopsis of the past year and it is similar to mine even down to joining SA in July. I've been in a depressed wave since May with mild windows every few days or so for a few hours. Talking with others helps briefly but then I am back in the weeds again after they are gone. My head is not great company 😣 But I realize that I didn't have any kind of window from last November through April and at least they now pop up occasionally.

 

I've been listening to audiobook Blue Dreams by Lauren Slater who has been on psychotropic drugs for the last 40-odd years. It is refreshing to hear a more nuanced view of psycho-drugs; she uses data from Whittaker (Anatomy of an Epidemic) and refers to Healy but is also honest about her deteriorating health (so bad) from the drugs and how she made the choice to be on the drugs to cope with life. It has softened me (a little) to people on drugs and reinforced why I've made this choice although it is a rough one (and I wish to hell I didn't cold turkey but can't go back).

 

Hope you continue to improve, however that looks.

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FarmGirlWorks

Update -- 15 months off sertraline/zoloft: not at all where I wanted to be but trying to "radically accept" where I am... and trying to encourage healing in whatever ways I have the capacity to. I still have deep depression, anxiety after stressful episodes (see below), and suicidal ideation. It is worse in the morning and gets better by the evening. Anhedonia about everything. Emotional anesthesia -- except for my righteous anger at Pfizer and pharmaceutical shills. What is better is that I am more attuned to my female cycle and try to "float" that dark week before instead of going deeper. Also, I am finally honoring that less-is-more when it comes to supplementation.

 

Nutritionally, I will continue taking Omegas but now with vit E oil (it is beyond me why I did not read the thread here until today about omegas and the suggestion to increase absorption with vitE) and also taking a liver supplement (1 capsule instead of recommended 4). Continuing with gluten-light, eggs, kombucha, coconut yogurt, salmon twice a week, and no refined sugar. Diet could be improved but it is definitely okay.

 

Exercise, continuing kundalini yoga aka "hippie yoga" and trying to add 2-3 times per week at the gym to swim and do weights. The kundalini strengthens the CNS and glands. A member here posted about how weight training, specifically in the legs, helps brain function. I went twice last week and that article re-motivates me to go again this week. Trying to meditate 20mins each day and do breath-of-fire. BoF is a kundalini pranayama that increases oxygen to the brain which is, coincidentally, what high-priced brain rejuvenation essentially does but without the work.

 

Medical, switched my primary care doc whom is relatively new to me but I could not stand after one visit (desperate to write a scrip even though I expressly said No Drugs); have an appointment in mid-July and will see if I can get some blood work done to see where I am at these days. The doc is a woman so I am hopeful. Also am entertaining the idea of therapy again but keep coming back to no way.

 

Lifestyle, is the weakest link in recovery. My car is a beater and I've had two close-calls with serious accidents this month. After yesterday's close call (human error by my mechanic) that resulted in my *hood* going up into my windshield on a particularly hairy part of the freeway, I took 2 benadryl in the day to still my shaking hands. Also an Epsom salt bath. I started looking at new cars which is at least proactive. I just get into an emotional spiral when I think about replacing it (adding costs) in this dense, high-crime neighborhood (newer cars get smashed windows)... I feel like the car is a metaphor for me: it is being beaten and dented but still keeps going.

 

Going to one, occasionally two, AA meetings a week to decrease self-absorption. Learned a fantastic acronym today: WAIT (What Am I Thinking). Like a crazy lady, posted it in sticky notes all around my apartment. I have a sponsor but we haven't started anything yet (turns out some people actually have social lives). Also, saw a dog get hit by a truck right in front of me this week and held it while it died -- it wagged its tail when I kneeled. Its owners screamed, yelled, and cried. The truck driver was shaken. Shades of my childhood on the farm and, justifiably, it overwhelmed me. At yoga, I started crying a little (thanks, sertraline, still can't cry properly) and, for the first time, let a Higher Power take all of it. Felt better.

 

Finally, instead of going out and trying to make new friends which is a thought that overwhelms and saddens, I try to nurture the relationships of a few close friends and create boundaries (i.e. not calling and not feeling guilty about it) with emotionally distant family and friends. Work is still sporadic and where the most shameful thoughts occur and this is an area where I do need to focus a bit when I have the capacity. I dog-sit (still!) and do occasional graphic design.

 

Whew: sorry for the length of this post but wanted to journal the progress.

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healingspiral

@FarmGirlWorks thank you for sharing. It's really interesting to read about what you're doing in terms of diet/practice/supplements as well as the social aspects of your healing. 

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RachelSusan

Hi FarmGirl,

I love your most recent post.  It really got me thinking about so many things in my life.  Thank you.

RS

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FarmGirlWorks

Thanks @healingspiral and @RachelSusan and @wantrelief. Success Stories always say the main thing was time, time, time but I keep trying... We'll get through this!

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Rosetta

You are doing a beautiful job, FarmGirl!

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Rabe

You are an inspiration Farmgirl....that was a wonderful post to read...thank you SO much for sharing!  It can help us all.

I try to do some of those tings...but some days simply cannot.  But I like your boundaries and not feeling guilty, as well as the WAIT.

 

And I cried when I read about the dog...soemtimes God sends angels...he sent you!  Bless you! 💜

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FarmGirlWorks

Thanks @Rosetta and @Rabe, very kind words indeed and I need an "atta girl" to keep slogging through this. I am in the PMS phase before my cycle starts (at 51, they are like 3.5 weeks instead of 4) and cranky as *&!#. I wish I could know if the PMDD is improving or staying the same through WD.

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wantrelief

Ugh, PMS.....so sorry, FGW.  I'll help you out with the "atta girl" - you are doing great and you are going to get through this to the other side!  You are one tough cookie. :) 

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FarmGirlWorks

😊

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Rabe

I give my permission for crankiness FG!!!  You've earned it!!!! :) Take care!!!  Hope the PMS abates for you soon! 💜

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Rosetta

Thinking about you, FGW! -R

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Rabe

How are you doing?  Wanted you to know I have been thinking about you!!💜

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FarmGirlWorks

Hi, thanks @Rabe and @Rosetta for the check-in, much appreciated. Today is day 4 of the cycle and feeling dark. But I've gone to "black" in the past so "dark" is an improvement. The interior head pressure is back but it is not as heavy and strong as it was last month. The anxiety/traumatic events of the past couple weeks has caught up to me, though; I feel numb. Plus I had my will drawn up today and while it relieves me that my mother nor father nor brother will have any power if health decisions need to be made, it is still sad, grief-laden to be a single, childless person.

 

I know that healing is happening. But, as you all know so well, it still feels like crap.

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Rosetta

((((FGW)))  I'm sorry you had to keep your family out of your medical care.  That's sad, but necessary for many of us.  

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wantrelief
2 hours ago, FarmGirlWorks said:

I know that healing is happening. But, as you all know so well, it still feels like crap.

It is so hard to feel that healing is happening but it is.  Even the small improvements you noted in your post are proof of this.  But, yeah, it feels like crap for sure.  

Thinking about you - WR.

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