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LadyBlonde

LadyBlonde: little blue pills, Update. Please Help.

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LadyBlonde

Hey everyone! :)

Just wanted to introduce myself and let you all in on my journey and discontinuation of antidepressants. 

I am 28 years old and just ended an 11 year relationship with AD's.

There was so much shame I felt being on these drugs. I felt like I was this great person because of the pills I was taking and nothing more. I wouldn't dare tell a soul I was taking antidepressants for fear that they would then see the pill and not me. Make sense?

I said goodbye to Sertraline in November 2017. After completing yoga teacher training and having this new perspective of myself and my life, I started to actually feel the chemicals that weren't meant to be in my body. 

I had tried tapering off of Sertraline 3 times prior to the last over the past few years. The previous tries I would make it about a month or two before surrendering back to the pills to make myself feel better if I started feeling sad or uneasy. 

This time was different.

VERY different.

This time I started with intense research. I wanted to discontinue the dosage but this time was for real; I would do my homework and get off of these things once and for all.

And what I found first broke my heart, made me angry and then gave me hope. The anger is still present when I try to find a reason 'why' people are enslaved to these prescription drugs.

The research I found led me to this site, and I continue to research the effects and harms that these medications actually do to people, unbeknownst to them.

The cause of our sadness is residual, stagnant energy trapped in our bodies from a traumatic event or life experience that changed our perspective of what is. When we take these medications, we are never actually dealing with the source of our problems, rather than masking it over with a clouded perception of reality. 

I used to love my prescriptions. Even after I would attempt to quit, that love would return after I felt 'better' taking them again. 

I was prescribed my first antidepressant when I was 16. I was missing a lot of school because I slept in too late. I just loved my sleep. Eventually, I was sent to the PCP to see what could be done about this sleeping problem.. Well, her answer was Citalopram (Celexa). This was the beginning of a battle I never wanted to be involved with but here I am. And P.S. the sleeping issue was not resolved in any way thereafter.

 

To keep it short, I will just give you a brief history of how my dance with prescription drugs evolved after that:

2006 Celexa (Citalopram) 40 mg & Adderall XR 75 mg (a lot of the times more because I was heavily addicted)

2007 Citalopram & Ritalin (don't remember mg) .. soon after Vyvanse (don't remember mg) and finally to Amphetamine Salts due to unpleasant side effects from the Ritalin & Vyvanse..

** indicates time period where Amphetamine Salts were prescribed

2008 ** Citalopram 40 mg-> Effexor XR 75 mg after a psychiatric evaluation (which I now understand was due to the medications and the effect they had on me mentally ... psh)

2009** Effexor XR 75 mg - Paxil (Paroxetine) 30 mg due to the INSANELY high cost of Effexor without insurance I was forced to wean myself off and switch

2010** Paxil 30 mg-> Sertraline 50 mg due to weight gain and lethargy 

2011-2013 Sertraline 50 mg -> Wellbutrin (Bupropion Hcl) 75 mg due to sexual side effects and wanting to feel alive again

2013-2017 Wellbutrin 75 mg -> Back to Zoloft (Sertraline) 75 mg because the anxious side effects of the Wellbutrin made me uneasy and Sertraline seemed to be the only AD that had the least side effects at the time

2017 Sertraline 75 mg -> slow taper to 50 MG for two weeks -> halving the dosage & following this pattern until there was nothing -> 5 HTP 50 mg & 1200 mg Fish Oil

NOW = 1200 mg Fish Oil and becoming accustomed to an Ayurvedic diet along with daily yoga practice**** this is HUGE and one of the main reasons I have remained clean from AD's

 

Now, almost two months clean from prescription drugs I can say that there is still lots of work to be done. When you go through your teenage years and early twenties on AD's, you need to relearn how to interact and react as there is no longer that pill keeping you numb. Everything becomes real and raw. 

There are still days that I have my emotions consume my entire being in a negative way and I am still working on this. I WILL NOT GIVE UP. 

As of right now, it seems as though I am taking off from where I left off at 16 years old. This means emotionally and re actively along with maturity and sexuality. 

As many of you can relate, I could go on with this topic and how it has effected my entire life for ever and ever. There will be more posts that follow in regards to these drugs and how we can help each other become clean and free once again as we were made to be. 

Love and blessings to you all <3 we CAN do this..we are all in this together! LB 

 

Anti-depressants controlling tools of your system

Making life more tolerable, making life more tolerable.

The Unthinking Majority - Serj Tankian

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Altostrata

Welcome, LB.

 

Thank you for posting here. I would like to hear more about what you've found.

 

How long have you been off sertraline? Did you have any withdrawal symptoms? How are you feeling now? 

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LadyBlonde

Hello again!

I have been off Sertraline for 3 months now. At this point I feel so empowered and strong for keeping up the good work. It is a feeling of self accomplishment and I feel so damn proud of myself.

 

I now only take Fish Oil, regularly practice yoga & yoga Nidra and try to maintain an Ayurvedic diet - I have a great book to recommend if you are interested in going the holistic route following your taper: https://www.amazon.com/Ayurveda-Idiots-Guides-Sahara-Ketabi-ebook/dp/B0747MCZFH/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1518822848&sr=8-1&keywords=ayurveda+for+idiots

 

I received this book from a friend about 2 months after I was completely off the medication. I began to explore the Ayurvedic diet and noticed right away how what you put into your body directly effects how you feel as a whole. I advise having a strong tapering plan before starting this diet - there is a lot going on alone in itself when coming off of these medications. As I'm sure we are all aware.

It is very important to take it easy on yourself and allow the time to taper slowly. Your body NEEDS the time to stabilize itself.

 

As for the withdrawal symptoms...

  • Something strange that happened after the first month off of Sertraline was I didn't get my period. Almost another month passed and it still didn't arrive, this was odd because I was always regular with that sort of thing. I took a pregnancy test and it was negative. I researched the possible cause for a missed period and found the menstrual cycle to be linked to adrenal fatigue. Right away I went to the health food store and picked up some Adrenal Support (https://www.google.com/shopping/product/15745739134216277752?q=adrenal+support&biw=1366&bih=637&prds=paur:ClkAsKraX88sPg9F2gk7-ismdvDNKoEKvdFwt40nt7FGH6tkJIKgYnfECqomZZUWkkdYP1n8EFDkQXx6J8U-NaIh4AN-SSRyvx4mFX2IBRKiVfJSDfTZF3o_SRIZAFPVH723ANLd-ZPL1hqA327IjEDhlMQvuw&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjHuqmlyqvZAhVF42MKHQ6SD7QQ8wIIsAU) and sure enough my period came back to normal not even a day later. Further research into the subject showed a direct link from Sertraline and Adrenal fatigue. Interesting.
  • I recommend to anyone tapering off to NOT do it during the wintertime. I feel like that was the only thing I would change about the process because I feel like the winter season brings about a sense of melancholy on its own. As the weather gets warmer, I have made a point to be out in the sunshine for at least 15 minutes every day. Since doing this, I feel like my whole mood is uplifted.
  • About a month after I took my last dose, I began to have these really dark emotions and thoughts that would come out of no where. As I continue to get familiar with myself, I realize that these are moments where old, residual traumas are passing through. Since being on SSRI's, all bad memories from the past used to be buried, not to be felt. Now that the veil has been lifted and these memories are revealed, I am given an opportunity to witness them and let them pass, without becoming attached to any particular thought. It's very challenging, frustrating and liberating to get to know one's true self.
  • The really cool thing about coming off of these pills is the feeling of enhanced memory. Being able to remember something so instantly, without this deadened feeling when trying to recall something, is amazing. It just feels as though this thick, cloud has been pushed away and everything is so bright and REAL.
  • Some things that I've had happen are sudden jerks where if I am holding something I drop it. It happens maybe once a week. 
  • I have also experienced this feeling of shakiness in the whole body when presented with nervousness or being overly excited. It is much less than it was when I first began the withdrawal process.

 

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Gridley

That is a very inspiring report, LadyBlonde.  Great work.

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AshleeM

Thank you for posting. I’m statting to feel better and our timelines are about the same! Wishing you the best!

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LadyBlonde

Thank you! And congratulations to you for making it this far! Keep up the good work!! :D

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Carmie

Hi Ladyblonde, 

 

Just checking in to see how you’re doing? Are you still doing really well? Sending hugs🤗

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LadyBlonde

Hey Carmie thanks for checking in! I'm doing pretty good, still adjusting to life without Zoloft. Although it's been over a year now that I've been off of it, I still feel as though I'm recovering. There are moments I feel life would be easier if I started taking it again, but I'm reminded of how far I've come and why I did it in the first place. I feel best after drinking plenty of water, getting out of the house and exercising. Returning to these forums when I have my weak moments helps for sure. Lots of love 🌻

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ChessieCat
4 hours ago, LadyBlonde said:

There are moments I feel life would be easier if I started taking it again

 

Are you referring to reinstatement because of withdrawal symptoms, or because you feel that your emotions are so strong?

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Carmie

Hi LadyBlonde, 

 

I’m glad to hear you’re not doing pretty good. Yes, it can certainly take a while to recover once we are off the meds. Keep up the getting out of house, drinking a ton of water and exercising. Just make sure you don’t overdo the exercise as it can ramp up your nervous system.

 

How is your diet? It’s best to stay away from caffeine, alcohol and sugar. 

 

Sending hugs🤗

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LadyBlonde
On 1/13/2019 at 5:39 PM, ChessieCat said:

 

Are you referring to reinstatement because of withdrawal symptoms, or because you feel that your emotions are so strong?

Hey ChessieCatt,

I believe it is a little of both. There are times when my emotions get the best of me and I tend to get moody or shut down. I feel like it would be easier to pop a pill and not feel those unpleasant emotions at all. A lot of these things I experience are also connected to withdrawal symptoms. Such as irritability, fatigue, and sometimes depression. It isn't often I have the thought of reinstatement but it does occur once and while if I'm having a rough day.

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LadyBlonde
On 1/14/2019 at 8:12 PM, Carmie said:

Hi LadyBlonde, 

 

I’m glad to hear you’re not doing pretty good. Yes, it can certainly take a while to recover once we are off the meds. Keep up the getting out of house, drinking a ton of water and exercising. Just make sure you don’t overdo the exercise as it can ramp up your nervous system.

 

How is your diet? It’s best to stay away from caffeine, alcohol and sugar. 

 

Sending hugs🤗

Hiya Carmie,

Thanks for your advice as I was unaware that too much exercise effects the nervous system - I am currently doing T25 which is 25 minutes a day for 10 weeks, so far I love it and it doesn't feel like I am over doing it. I am vegetarian and looking for ways to add protein to my diet. It's hard to stay away from caffeine as I am almost always tired and need it to wake up/function. If you have any suggestions for alternatives that would be awesome! I don't like drinking anymore so it's very rare that I'll have a drink. Sugar is always fluctuating depending on my cravings.

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ChessieCat
2 hours ago, LadyBlonde said:

Hello,

I have been off Sertraline for 15 months and ever since my last dose my hormones have been out of whack! Immediately after I took the last pill I didn't get my period for a month (after taking some Adrenal supplements it returned). Over the course of the year I have gotten progressively more moody and lethargic with still no signs of a sex drive returning. Along with these, I now have cramps with every period, headaches and a very irregular flow.  The only day I feel slightly better is the first day my cycle begins, after that and for the rest of the month it's just a foggy, tired, slump.

I am wondering if anyone else who has gone off antidepressants  has experienced anything like this? If so, what did you to do balance your hormones and do you feel better?

 

I've moved the above post to the existing topic:  pms-and-menstrual-cycle-issues-during-withdrawal-and-after

 

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Carmie
On 1/17/2019 at 4:48 PM, LadyBlonde said:

Hiya Carmie,

Thanks for your advice as I was unaware that too much exercise effects the nervous system - I am currently doing T25 which is 25 minutes a day for 10 weeks, so far I love it and it doesn't feel like I am over doing it. I am vegetarian and looking for ways to add protein to my diet. It's hard to stay away from caffeine as I am almost always tired and need it to wake up/function. If you have any suggestions for alternatives that would be awesome! I don't like drinking anymore so it's very rare that I'll have a drink. Sugar is always fluctuating depending on my cravings.

 

Hi Ladyblonde, 

 

How are you doing? Are you still drinking coffee? I haven’t had any for 30 years, so I certainly don’t miss it.😁 I drink mainly water, or soda water. I love soda water, I think it’s called club soda in America, isn’t it? I do like herbal teas like peppermint and apple and ginger. I’m going to start buying ginger again and making tea with that. I just grate it and pour hot water over it. I want to get some rooibus tea too. 

 

Take care, sending hugs 🤗

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LadyBlonde
On 3/20/2019 at 1:27 AM, Carmie said:

 

Hi Ladyblonde, 

 

How are you doing? Are you still drinking coffee? I haven’t had any for 30 years, so I certainly don’t miss it.😁 I drink mainly water, or soda water. I love soda water, I think it’s called club soda in America, isn’t it? I do like herbal teas like peppermint and apple and ginger. I’m going to start buying ginger again and making tea with that. I just grate it and pour hot water over it. I want to get some rooibus tea too. 

 

Take care, sending hugs 🤗

 

Hey! Sorry for the delayed response, I'm finally getting around to writing this. Thanks for checking in! I'm going strong on 1.5 years completely free of AD. To answer your question, yes I am still drinking coffee. I stopped for a little bit but when the weather got cold it was nice to have and I felt like I needed something warm and to also give me a boost. I have recently added aloe vera juice to my diet and I always feel great afterwards. I have it in the morning first thing and before bed with lemon water and it does a good job making me sleepy. Soda water is great, I love to drink La Croix (are you familiar with it?). Yum I want to make some ginger tea, I know I've got some ginger in the fridge.

I won't lie, I've been in a bit of a funk this month as I become consumed by negative thoughts. The town I live in has hardly anyone my age and it has been next to impossible to make friends. I've lived here 6 years and cannot say I have anyone here to call a friend. All the friends I've got live far away in the city or another state. It gets very lonely/frustrating and being 29 years old with no girlfriends close by is depressing. Also,  I am very much into yoga and this town has no yoga studios or anything. The teaching job I had in town has been cancelled because not enough people were interested. I feel very stuck and defeated.

That's just how I feel in this moment. I always appreciate the check in and hope you are doing well! xo

 

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LadyBlonde

Not sure if this belongs here as it's partially an update and partially asking for help.

I've been off all ADs for 2 years now and it seemed like I was finally feeling somewhat like 'myself' again but then I started a job. Its a great job with little to no reason to ever feel anxious yet here I am. I also had an issue with fluid in my ears causing vertigo for 6 weeks straight triggering intense anxiety that hasn't gone away. This anxiety is the worst I've ever had and it makes it so all I do is watch the clock at work waiting for the day to end so I can stop this constant feeling of fear.

I've tried everything from meditation, CBD, deep breathing, exercise, quitting caffeine.. Nothing is working. I try to talk myself out of these scary feelings by telling myself I'm ok or I'm safe but I'm to a point where I feel crazy with how often I'm having these internal conversations. Its all the time.

I'm not creative anymore. I don't feel anything. I don't laugh or cry. I hate this and I'm to a point where I'm desperate enough to start medication again. I'm just so fed up with being a hollow shell that only feels anxiety and nothing else.

Is there anything anyone can suggest? I never thought I'd feel this desperate for relief but here I am. Thanks.

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Leo1983

Hi

 

How long were you on meds? how did you come off them?

 

Could it be a wave from stress?

 

Could it be something you different?

 

 

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ShiningLight

I wonder if the state of brain excitement/stimulation in the new job, and also the ear symptoms, brought back some brain memories of withdrawal, kind of like a flashback and your brain said, 'gosh I haven't been this excited in a long time, this must be drug withdrawal again, let me play the drug withdrawal tape!'

 

I don't have a lot to offer, except to say that sometimes it's like that, nothing works. Unfortunately that's just the nature of things sometimes. :( I've been there too. The important thing is that you keep trying to cope. I try to practice radical acceptance when I get like that. I recently went through a difficult time like that at work. It lasted about 2 months when I was returning from medical leave. It gradually got better, and now it's just a memory.

 

Can you try to sort of soften into the anxiety rather than fighting against it? Get curious about it. Try to see it as a phenomenon outside of yourself. Know that it's not "you," it's just a collection of brain chemicals. 

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Guilietta

Hello there.

 

Were you unemployed prior to your current position - or is this is position after being out of work for a while? If so - how long? Is the work a change from the type of work you have been doing?  Starting a new job can provoke a LOT of anxiety. Do you feel confident in your role?

 

9 hours ago, LadyBlonde said:

This anxiety is the worst I've ever had and it makes it so all I do is watch the clock at work waiting for the day to end so I can stop this constant feeling of fear.

 

Does the anxiety end when you leave work?  Does anxiety present itself when you are not at work?

 

As @ShiningLight said - sometimes this is the way it is and we find a way to cope. It's not 'us' it's a series of brain chemicals. Remember to not resist/fight the anxiety. That makes it worse. It's like an unwelcome house guest. It comes in and if you dn't give it coffee, give it attention, it will decide, OK, I'm not welcome here (!) - let me check out the neighbor. I hear they have coffee AND cake. :)  Someone on this forum said "AAF" acknowledge, accept and float.

 

8 hours ago, ShiningLight said:

I recently went through a difficult time like that at work. It lasted about 2 months when I was returning from medical leave. It gradually got better,

 

I also experienced this, although not recently. I had a lot of stress around this because people wanted to know my business, management took opportunity to move me to a different department, etc., etc. Eventually things settled. It took a bit of time to adjust.

 

I hope that is helpful. I'm sorry you're having a hard time.

 

 

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Gridley
9 hours ago, LadyBlonde said:

Is there anything anyone can suggest?

 

This legs-on-wall yoga pose has helped me more than anything else.  If you can't manage to get your lets on the wall, hook them over a chair.  Obviously you can't do this at work but can at home.

 

 

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Train28

Does your cbd have any THC in it, even a trace amount? That might be worsening things, if so. 

 

If you can tolerate magnesium, that helps immensely with the panic.  When I was going through withdrawal from Abilify, adding that was a big game-changer. I continued taking it even once I was recovered, in fact, and found my normal stress response was stronger - when we were embroiled in a lawsuit with our apartment complex over a roach infestation, I handled it way better than I would have in the past. I think magnesium and prayer were why. 

 

Having your vitamin levels checked could help too - especially D and the B's. 

 

I'm sorry you're going through this ❤ I'm experiencing a resurgence in old symptoms too. Mine seems to be from a lot of Sudafed and maybe an antibiotic. But it does get better! I'm still doing way better overall than in my early recovery. 

 

You said you've been off 2 years - for what it's worth, that was roughly my turning point in withdrawal. But it was preceded by a nasty wave wherein I thought i was getting worse - once it passed, though, I felt better than before! My windows started lasting longer and feeling more like myself.  So maybe this is a normal wave - even if it was triggered by the new job - that would've happened around this time regardless, and signifies more healing :)

 

I'm praying over you (well, my phone) and sending lots of positive thoughts ❤

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LadyBlonde

Wow thank you everyone for all the responses. I'm so grateful for this community, it helps me to not give up hope. When I wrote that post a couple nights ago I felt helpless but now I feel like there is a way through this.

 

On 10/4/2019 at 10:49 PM, Leo1983 said:

Hi

 

How long were you on meds? how did you come off them?

 

Could it be a wave from stress?

 

Could it be something you different?

 

 

I was on meds for 11-12 years, I came off by tapering and using supplements. I've been stressing over silly little things lately so stress is certainly involved. I was prescribed Montelukast (generic for Singulair) for the ear issue and it also doubled the amount of stress I felt. I haven't been taking it due to the side effects.

 

On 10/4/2019 at 10:51 PM, ShiningLight said:

Can you try to sort of soften into the anxiety rather than fighting against it? Get curious about it. Try to see it as a phenomenon outside of yourself. Know that it's not "you," it's just a collection of brain chemicals. 

I can definitely try that approach. I do a lot of fighting against it. Thank you!

 

On 10/5/2019 at 7:36 AM, Guilietta said:

Hello there.

 

Were you unemployed prior to your current position - or is this is position after being out of work for a while? If so - how long? Is the work a change from the type of work you have been doing?  Starting a new job can provoke a LOT of anxiety. Do you feel confident in your role?

 

 

Does the anxiety end when you leave work?  Does anxiety present itself when you are not at work?

 

As @ShiningLight said - sometimes this is the way it is and we find a way to cope. It's not 'us' it's a series of brain chemicals. Remember to not resist/fight the anxiety. That makes it worse. It's like an unwelcome house guest. It comes in and if you dn't give it coffee, give it attention, it will decide, OK, I'm not welcome here (!) - let me check out the neighbor. I hear they have coffee AND cake. :)  Someone on this forum said "AAF" acknowledge, accept and float.

I wasn't technically unemployed before having this job as I was teaching yoga a couple times a week. But during those 2

 years I was pretty isolated so its much different now being around people every day. I also previously worked at my job I have now before going to school for yoga teacher training so I've got lots of confidence where I'm at. Its literally the best job I could ask for, I just wish I could enjoy it without the anxiety on my back. The anxiety is consistent throughout the day until I go to bed. Little things at home like a houseplant not doing well or a sink full of dishes makes me shrink down and hide in bed. Thank you for the advice on seeing it as an unwanted guest. I'll write it down and try using it.

 

On 10/5/2019 at 8:07 AM, Gridley said:

 

This legs-on-wall yoga pose has helped me more than anything else.  If you can't manage to get your lets on the wall, hook them over a chair.  Obviously you can't do this at work but can at home.

 

 

Thank you, I love restorative and will try this.

 

On 10/5/2019 at 9:21 AM, Train28 said:

Does your cbd have any THC in it, even a trace amount? That might be worsening things, if so. 

 

If you can tolerate magnesium, that helps immensely with the panic.  When I was going through withdrawal from Abilify, adding that was a big game-changer. I continued taking it even once I was recovered, in fact, and found my normal stress response was stronger - when we were embroiled in a lawsuit with our apartment complex over a roach infestation, I handled it way better than I would have in the past. I think magnesium and prayer were why. 

 

Having your vitamin levels checked could help too - especially D and the B's. 

 

I'm sorry you're going through this ❤ I'm experiencing a resurgence in old symptoms too. Mine seems to be from a lot of Sudafed and maybe an antibiotic. But it does get better! I'm still doing way better overall than in my early recovery. 

 

You said you've been off 2 years - for what it's worth, that was roughly my turning point in withdrawal. But it was preceded by a nasty wave wherein I thought i was getting worse - once it passed, though, I felt better than before! My windows started lasting longer and feeling more like myself.  So maybe this is a normal wave - even if it was triggered by the new job - that would've happened around this time regardless, and signifies more healing :)

 

I'm praying over you (well, my phone) and sending lots of positive thoughts ❤

The CBD I have says zero THC and the seller was very specific that they only carried products that were free of it. I guess you never know though. I'll have to get some magnesium as it helped when I was initially tapering. I like that you suggested prayer as well. Thanks for your reply, it's nice to know I'm not the only one going through this. Glad to know you got out the other side and I hope to join you soon.

 

Love you all.

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Train28

So happy to hear you're feeling hopeful again! :) I hope the anxiety lifts soon, and congrats on your job - it sounds like it'll help you feel even more like yourself, once this wave passes. 

 

Give yourself permission to take things easy in the meantime, too. Even good changes can require adjustment periods (especially when our central nervous systems are still a little sensitive from withdrawal) ❤

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manymoretodays

Hi LadyBlonde,

 

On 10/4/2019 at 11:24 PM, LadyBlonde said:

Not sure if this belongs here as it's partially an update and partially asking for help

 

Welcome back.  I've  got you all merged up with your previous introduction now.   Just one introduction per member.

And you may find some inspiration from your earlier posts.

 

Good idea on trying some magnesium again.

This too will pass.

 

 

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

manymoretodays(mmt)

 

 

 

 

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Guilietta
9 hours ago, LadyBlonde said:

I wasn't technically unemployed before having this job as I was teaching yoga a couple times a week. But during those 2

 years I was pretty isolated so its much different now being around people every day. I

 

This is a new circumstance then?  - from being isolated most of the time to being around people everyday. This to me seems like a change of note even though you enjoy the work and the people and may be draining unless you are extraverted (I would think?).

 

9 hours ago, LadyBlonde said:

Little things at home like a houseplant not doing well or a sink full of dishes makes me shrink down and hide in bed.

 

I understand what you are saying. Not to minimize your anxiety in the least there are times when looking at a kitchmen mess (definnitely me) and desk covered with paperwork, full email inbox full of new messages is overwhelming. I'd rather not do these things and  spend my time elsewhere.  😳 

 

Bedtime is when we can  have time to one's self and  get away from the daily pressures of life.

 

 

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