Jump to content
Dejavu

Dejavu: can anyone tell me what's going on?

Recommended Posts

Dejavu
Posted (edited)

@brassmonkey @ChessieCat @Gridley

I really need some guidance. I have just updated my signature, and in so doing, I think I realize where I might have gone off the rails.

 

First of all, keep in mind that I am a poor metabolizer of sertraline. I think that is why after a cut, not only do I have the normal slight symptom uptick from ~days 5-10, but they also come back around to take another bite out of me at ~day 30. Therefore, my holds need to be at least 6 weeks. 

 

So, as I'm updating my sig, I notice I made a dosing error (updose) at the beginning of March. I don't know how long I'd been back on the higher dose (between 1-2 weeks is my best guess). I immediately dropped back down, but failed to treat it as a dose change, and then cut again 3 weeks later, when I changed from a straight 10% cut to a Brassmonkey Slide. Between weeks 2 and 3, I started to feel poorly and held for another month before completing the next two 2.5% cuts. When it was time to cut again, I didn't feel right about it. Couldn't put my finger on any symptom in particular - just an overall sense that I wasn't at baseline. Sure enough, two weeks later, I descend into this wave I'm currently in. 

 

Tom has already been good enough to formulate a modified slide plan for me, but after 3.5 weeks of this wave (and it's a nasty one), I'm not even approaching stability. The question is: given the above, to updose or not? I have not had a dose change event since May 24 when I went from 20.625 to 20mg. Do you think going back to 20.625 would help or hurt? I am having a myriad of symptoms which I can tolerate, but the constant chemical anxiety and cortisol spikes are fairly severe. If not for that, I would definitely just ride this out. But when I originally crashed in 2018, it took me 10 months to stabilize, and I'm not sure I can do this again for another 9 months. 

 

The hubs is leaning toward favoring an updose (he is excellent unconditional support for me and has read a good deal of info on SA). I am undecided. I am almost too exhausted to think straight. We have agreed to go with the consensus of the mods. I would really appreciate your thoughts. Thank you so much!

Edited by Dejavu
Autocorrect error

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat
1 hour ago, Dejavu said:

I have not had a dose change event since May 24 when I went from 20.625 to 20mg. Do you think going back to 20.625 would help or hurt?

 

I definitely would not be going back to 20.625mg.  Your brain will have made some adaptations during that period of time, at least 8 weeks.  If you do decide to updose, and only you can make the decision whether to updose or not, I suggest that you make it a very tiny amount.

 

Personally if it was me, I'd be trying to hold at the current dose.  You've noted that you had an accidental updose in March.  It might only take another few weeks for things to improve.  I doubt that it would take as long this time to stabilise as it did last time.

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat
2 hours ago, Dejavu said:

I am having a myriad of symptoms which I can tolerate, but the constant chemical anxiety and cortisol spikes are fairly severe. If not for that, I would definitely just ride this out. But when I originally crashed in 2018, it took me 10 months to stabilize, and I'm not sure I can do this again for another 9 months. 

 

It's possible that you are adding second fear to the WD symptoms because you are scared that what happened last time is going to happen again.

Share this post


Link to post
Dejavu

@ChessieCat, thank you again for responding. 

14 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

Personally if it was me, I'd be trying to hold at the current dose.  

Okay, that seems reasonable. 3.5 weeks isn't a long time, I realize.

17 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

I doubt that it would take as long this time to stabilise as it did last time.

We were wondering about this as well. Thank you.

16 minutes ago, ChessieCat said:

It's possible that you are adding second fear to the WD symptoms because you are scared that what happened last time is going to happen again.

Yes, you've hit the nail on the head. I realize this is happening for sure. I try to use my coping tools, and I've become somewhat effective at calming my second fear.  It takes practice, and it's a skill I need to learn, in or out of withdrawal. But the waves of fear come unbidden, even when my mind is on something else, so I know it's not just me panicking about being in a wave.

 

I think I will give it a few more weeks if I can. Perhaps I will see some improvement soon. I can't believe I've made such a mess of things right out of the gate. If I ultimately feel I must try an updose, will you be able at that time to recommend an amount?

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat
35 minutes ago, Dejavu said:

If I ultimately feel I must try an updose, will you be able at that time to recommend an amount?

 

The best thing to do would be to increase by a very tiny amount and wait a week.  It's better to increase by tiny amounts gradually than to risk taking too much.

Share this post


Link to post
sunnysideup69

@Dejavu, honestly, I can so relate. This whole tapering game is exhausting, and in the current climate, is made very weird indeed. Nothing outside looks normal, nothing inside feels normal.

 

Honestly, I would hold longer. Three and a half weeks isn't long in the big picture ( although it feels like forever when symptomatic.)

 

Let your CNS settle. Distract yourself as much as you can and also, rest, even though it doesn't feel like resting. 

 

Our nervous systems have been rendered quite fragile by these drugs and it doesn't take much for them to fire off in very strange ways indeed. I really do get the neurofear you are talking about, random terror about benign things.

 

Sending love and hugs from London xxxx

Share this post


Link to post
Dejavu

@sunnysideup69, you are so sweet Sunny! Thank you for the support. Hubs and I talked it over. I'm staying put for a while. Hopefully this will settle out soon. 

35 minutes ago, sunnysideup69 said:

in the current climate, is made very weird indeed. Nothing outside looks normal, nothing inside feels normal.

I could not have said it better. I cannot believe what's happening, and I just feel so lost. I wish I could hibernate like a bear til all this craziness is over!

 

How are you coming along?

Share this post


Link to post
sunnysideup69
3 hours ago, Dejavu said:

@sunnysideup69, you are so sweet Sunny! Thank you for the support. Hubs and I talked it over. I'm staying put for a while. Hopefully this will settle out soon. 

I could not have said it better. I cannot believe what's happening, and I just feel so lost. I wish I could hibernate like a bear til all this craziness is over!

 

How are you coming along?

 

Yes, I've had that urge to hibernate, too. It doesn't feel like summer, this year...am being so cautious about going out, being around people etc. Some kind of normality will eventually return.

I'm doing okay, thank you, had a slightly odd few days, but my baseline has definitely improved. I'm healing. If these few odd days were a 'wave' then I am pretty stable now. BUT I'm not going to taper yet. I want about six months of coasting along, feeling okay. Also, will be heading back into school in September, having had six months of being away, which is probably going to be a bit of an adjustment...so I don't think that's a great time to begin a taper. I'm going to ease back into work for a while and get back into the routines and rhythms.

Glad you're gonna hold for a while and wishing you level out really soon. It's coming xxx.

Share this post


Link to post
Dejavu

Sigh...here's what my day has been like:

 

Woke up anxious and gloomy...again. Still.

 

But it actually lifted by mid morning. That's new. And oh so welcome. Spent the rest of the day relaxing, doing a bit of housework, talking with friends on the phone, playing a game or two. Absolutely zero anxiety or depression. Then...bam! Fear descended rapidly this evening and the good mood was gone, making me wonder if it had really happened at all. Fear that I've really screwed myself by messing up my taper. Fear that I just won't stabilize again. Fear that I'll suffer all the way down, and suffer even more once I'm off. You know, all the usual standards. Cue the tears, cue the meltdown.

 

And what a meltdown it has been! Missing my Mom so much - she was my best friend in the world - she was my rock. We were so close that I feel like an actual physical part of me is gone. It is so hard to go through this without her. And down the wormhole I went. I was reduced to sitting in my backyard, rocking back and forth and sobbing "I can't do this...I want my Mom" over and over, like a child. Very dramatic, huh?  I felt foolish and weak, but I had zero control over my emotions. Tried every tool in the shed, but there was such a disconnect between the "me" that was in that moment and the rest of the world that I could not - absolutely could not - stop. Awful to have your brain hijacked at the drop of a hat. I know I've said it before, but God, I'm so tired.

 

In a way, I regret starting my taper so quickly (only in withdrawal could a year be called "quickly"). I wonder if things would be different right now if I'd held another 6 months. I was super-stable, happy and living normally, and now that's gone again. But on the other hand, I want off this drug more than anything I've ever wanted before in my life. I know that if I give up and stay on it, I would not be living my best life. And I would not be able to live with myself, knowing that I quit when it got hard.

 

I keep thinking about that short month between my CT and when the wd kicked in. My energy and mood were top-notch. No more hand tremors or weak legs. It was unbelievable how well I felt. That is, until the roof caved in. But since then, I've held that wonderful month in my mind as a preview of what my life will be when I'm finally rid of the poison. That memory has sustained me through all the miserable symptoms and all the months of holding. I can't give up that dream, but on the other hand, sometimes I lose hope I will ever get there. I'm very conflicted in that way. 

 

This withdrawal stuff is not for babies, that's for sure. I feel so sorry for every one of us who is struggling. Wishing you all wide windows, good sleep and above all, recovery.

Share this post


Link to post
sunnysideup69

@Dejavu, it's a possibility, what you've suggested. But it's also a possibility that this wave would have happened anyway. That's the frustrating thing.....you just never know.

 

If you feel you started the taper too soon, maybe you could allow yourself a few months after you stabilise, to just coast a bit.

 

Love that you had a window! Sending big hugs xxx

Share this post


Link to post
Dejavu

@sunnysideup69, thank you for the hugs. Desperately needed atm.

 

I feel like two different people in and out of waves. Yesterday I felt fairly okay and positive. Today I am convinced I will simply not stabilize again - that I've run out of "luck" in regard to how many times I can come back from the brink. 

 

Dizziness and anxiety are the worst today. This is the dizziest I have been so far. I guess it's a good sign that the symptoms morph? Maybe the brain is making a little progress in righting the ship? I do so want that to be true!

 

I can't get off the bed. I also can't stop reading negative posts. I know it's not good for me, but it's almost like I have a need to know how bad this might get for me, so I can be mentally prepared. It's crazy-making and self-destructive, but I cannot seem to stop.

 

I keep trying to "make deals" with the powers that be (whoever they are). It goes something like, "okay, if getting off this drug and healing is too much to ask, then please at least let me stabilize again so I can live some semblance of a normal life."  Like I don't deserve the ultimate reward (drug-free recovery). Feeling like I must settle for something less because of my stupidity in getting on this drug in the first place, and as punishment for the tapering mistakes I made that probably led to this latest tour of Hell. Does anyone else ever feel that way?

 

The hubs is tired and feeling powerless to help me. Men are very solution-oriented, and he is even more so than most. He has expressed frustration with me today over my negative thinking loop, albeit gently because that is his way. But I can tell he needs some distance from me today. I cannot blame him. He has been rock-solid for me during my initial crash, the year it took to stabilize, and the beginning of this taper, and he is only human. I'm lucky he hasn't fled by now. And I was doing so well that neither of us saw this latest crash coming. That's what is so scary about ever trying to taper again. But the idea of just staying on it is equally scary. It all just feels too big for me. 

 

I do apologize for all the negative posts lately, but I have nowhere else to express these fears atm. I realize too late in my life that I have never learned to self-soothe. I am actively working on it, researching online, gathering materials to read, and learning as I go. It will be something I need to explore when I restart therapy, but I will need more stability first to be able to concentrate effectively during sessions, so that's on hold for now. Meanwhile, I still get overtaken by the fear and anxiety sometimes, despite my best efforts. This is one of those times. I know how exhausting it is to constantly have to reassure someone - I see it in my partner's eyes and hear it in his voice today - but the hopelessness is overwhelming me right now, even though I know intellectually it's not realistic. 

Share this post


Link to post
sunnysideup69

You don't need to apologize, @Dejavu, it's important to be able to vent.

You will stabilise again....trying times at the moment.

Yes, I know that feeling of being two different people very well. 

The competent, optimistic one and the doomy gloomy one.

Had an odd day today, am catsitting so not in my own home. Even though day was a bit weird, am finally relaxing in my own presence this evening. 

Sending good wishes for settling down soon. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
thelegend

I am so sorry you are struggling so much! I know the feeling all too well right now. Last week seems like a different lifetime ago when I was firmly in a fantastic window. Now I am barely crawling through my days. You have had stability, it will come again. In the meantime do what you can to take care of yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
Tom37

No need to be sorry. A lot of us can relate to how your feeling and gives comfort that it’s not just us. I to have been known to make ‘deals’ which is totally absurd because what happens will happen but for some reason still do it. 
 

You have stabilised once so you know your body can do it again. You don’t just get the one chance so you will be fine but will just take time. 
 

I know what’s like to switch from normal to being a mess and how hard that is to deal with but it’s just withdrawal and they are just thoughts. 
 

You will get through this.

Share this post


Link to post
Tom37

Just checking in that your doing ok? Hopefully feeling bit better.

Share this post


Link to post
Dejavu

Hi @Tom37, thanks for checking on me. Means a lot.

 

I woke up with less anxiety initially but it crept back later in the morning and has now been bubbling all day, culminating in a teary/feary meltdown a few moments ago. Afraid I won't stabilize this time, or that, if I do, my baseline will be worse. I made the mistake of reading some triggering threads today. I'm kicking myself for getting back into this position again. I feel so guilty for putting the hubs through this again also. Don't know if I can deal with several more years of this. I'm scared to cut again (not that I'm anywhere near ready), but scared not to as well. 

 

You've been holding a while now. In all this time, have you ever felt you were stable enough with your symptoms to resume your taper? 

Share this post


Link to post
Tom37

I’m sure things will change soon for you. You might go back to a window/wave pattern for a bit so be prepared for that.

 

I haven’t felt stable enough yet to taper but compared to where I was there is significant improvement so my baseline keeps rising but I still get new symptoms coming up and good waves which is a sign I’m not yet ready. Had my clearest window yet before this episode where felt great so I need to be like that consistently to be stable. It may take me another year to get there but can’t control that.
 

Try not to read other threads that are triggering. My thread isn’t great but compared to the beginning I’m way better just in a horrible period at the moment although I’m having a very hard time remembering feeling good as you do.

Share this post


Link to post
Dejavu

@Tom37, thanks for the reassurance. I realize you know as well as I do that the fear is part and parcel of WD. Doesn't really make it any easier tho. Fearing weird, random things right now. Like, what is there was a fire and we couldn't get the dogs out? Yesterday, the pattern of my Mom's old furniture popped into my head and triggered grief over her death just like it was yesterday.

 

Why do you think you crashed in 2018? I can't see signatures atm because I'm on my phone. If there was nothing we can point to as a cause, how in the world do we know when to cut, how much to cut, how long to hold, etc. This is why I fear tapering. Really interested in people's thoughts on this.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Tom37

I think after crashing we all have that fear of not ever wanting to go back to that place. Sometimes it feels like any and everything is enough to trigger neuro emotions. It’s way more intense than any natural fear etc.

 

I think you just need to start of very very cautiously and go from there especially when had previous problems because even though stable and maybe even symptom free doesn’t mean the nervous system is solid. 

 

I tapered too fast over 12 months which while was 11 months  longer than doctor advised was still too fast for me. It was going from 4 to 3mg that got means essentially  broke my nervous system.

Share this post


Link to post
sunnysideup69
5 hours ago, Dejavu said:

@Tom37Fearing weird, random things right now. Like, what is there was a fire and we couldn't get the dogs out? Yesterday, the pattern of my Mom's old furniture popped into my head and triggered grief over her death just like it was yesterday.

 

Can relate to this....got really upset about being alone/ not having kids on Friday. (I'm looking into family tree at moment, could legitimately be stirring emotions up, but the feeling was way out of proportion.) Then got really scared about 'all my friends will leave me!' 

It's withdrawal-brain and i get this intermittently. It takes normal stuff and blows it all out of proportion.

Hang in there xxx

Share this post


Link to post
Hopefull

Hi Dejavu,

If I was you, I would hold onto the current dose and ride it out, until the symptoms settle. I would not updose. Sometimes it took 5 months for things to settle down when I experienced setbacks.

Keep in mind that it will pass.

Take care, Hopefull. 😊

 

Share this post


Link to post
Dejavu

What would I do without my friends here!! @Tom37 and @sunnysideup69, you are both absolute lifelines to me! 

 

And @Hopefull, what a gift to hear from you! I'm so thankful you've stayed around. We need your perspective so very badly. For instance, it's so comforting to know you made mistakes and came right again after a while. I've got in my head somehow that even though I fully stabilized before, it was somehow a one-off. Doesn't make sense, I know. 

 

I am taking your advice and holding, which isn't easy, especially after days like yesterday, but I know it's the right thing to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Erell

Just wrote a long post to you dear friend, and erased it by mistake. Ugh !

I have to stop screens for this evening, but wanted to send you my support and a love wave (no pun intended) ❤️

Hope I'll be inspired tomorrow to write to you a beautiful post 😃 

Share this post


Link to post
Hopefull
9 hours ago, Dejavu said:

What would I do without my friends here!! @Tom37 and @sunnysideup69, you are both absolute lifelines to me! 

 

And @Hopefull, what a gift to hear from you! I'm so thankful you've stayed around. We need your perspective so very badly. For instance, it's so comforting to know you made mistakes and came right again after a while. I've got in my head somehow that even though I fully stabilized before, it was somehow a one-off. Doesn't make sense, I know. 

 

I am taking your advice and holding, which isn't easy, especially after days like yesterday, but I know it's the right thing to do.

 

It is disheartening when you do experience a set back. 

But it does settle down. 

I experienced a setback in May. It took at least 6 weeks for things to clear up. 

It happens.  Get through it as best as you can. Keep going, the end is around the corner. 

Take care, 

Hopefull. 😊

Share this post


Link to post
Dejavu

@Erell, I do that all the time. Write a nice long post and then accidentally delete it. No worries - I just appreciate hearing from you. I think of you each day and send you healing energy. I hope you can complete this crossover soon. You're on the right track.

 

@Hopefull, you experienced a setback just a few months ago? I'm sorry. How often has that occurred since you jumped? Is the severity lessening? Thanks for your encouragement. I'm feeling pretty down right now, and it's very appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
thelegend

How are you doing @Dejavu? Feeling any stability? 

Share this post


Link to post
composter

Hi Dejavu! Been playing catch-up on your thread. I’m glad you were felt well and good enough to take some time and space away from the forum. I find it’s mostly a needed comfort when we’re not doing well. 
 

Looking at your timeline I want to echo what others have said that perhaps this wave was more inevitable and not due to anything you did. Were there still symptoms that hadn’t healed during your long hold? 
 

Perhaps you can line up your dates with mine: I went through two waves after I began my taper (post-reinstatement and hold). I saw you stabilized 10 months after reinstatement; for me it was 8 months. Once I started my taper, I went through Wave 1 about 5 months into the taper (and 1 year after my crash) and Wave 2 about 9 months into the taper. Thankfully no wave since and I’ve past the 1 year taper mark. 
 

With both waves I noticed something very subtle healed. After the second wave I was no longer light sensitive which was one of my longest symptoms. 
 

I would just say hold on, hold tight, stay on that dose until the wave passes and then some. You might find something has healed on the other side. 
 

Sending you love and hugs from California. I hear you on all those points about feeling ashamed about our country’s COVID trajectory. As with a lot of things in life, take care of yourself and then you can take care of others. Put your oxygen mask on first. 

Edited by composter

Share this post


Link to post
Dejavu

Hi @composter. Good to see you and glad you're doing well. Congrats on becoming a moderator.

 

I have to say that after I stabilized, I honestly felt symptom-free. I was doing very well. I waited another 2 months to start my taper, so it was a full year after reinstatement. I have, in all that time until July, never had a wave. This one has been persisting for almost a month, but perhaps showing some weakness at this point. 

 

I've decided not to taper any further until all this COVID business is put to rest with a vaccine. The current state of affairs in this country have left me in a constant state of anxiety since March, an anxiety that has nothing to do with withdrawal. And when a vaccine becomes available, I want to be as stable as possible before I take it.

 

I'm so glad you will be around as a mod. Remember to take care of yourself first. You cannot pour from an empty cup!

Share this post


Link to post
Dejavu

Hi @thelegend! I think this wave may be ever so slowly fading away. It's sure taking it's time though. Maybe a tad less anxiety. I only cried once yesterday, and that only briefly. Still dizzy and have vision issues. Appetite and sleep are improved. I don't seem to have windows as much as just a gradual fading away of symptoms. So perhaps I'm on the right track. We'll see what the rest of the day brings.

 

Thank you for checking up on me!

Share this post


Link to post
composter

Glad you’re feeling a bit better! 
 

Thank you! I think that may be wise. Remember that your progress has not been lost! You have come so far and will continue on steadily. It’s distressing when we get these bumps in the road when we thought it was in the past. Your brain is just re-calibrating and has healed so much already. 

Share this post


Link to post
Cigale

Hello @Dejavu - I have been quietly following your journey and just want to let you know that you continue to inspire me with your resilience. And through it all, you still take the time to help others with thoughtful support. It is good to hear that your wave is started to subside. I hope you have an ‘window-weekend.’ Thank you - Cigale 

Share this post


Link to post
Dejavu

Thank you @Cigale. You are very kind. I'm doing my best in a bad situation - we all are. I'll drop by your thread later today. Keep pressing on!

Share this post


Link to post
Erell

Hello dear, 

 

how was the week-end?

 

Thinking of you ☀️

Share this post


Link to post
Dejavu

Hi @Erell. I was so happy to read you have seen a little improvement. I'm rooting for your stability every single day.

 

I had a better day yesterday. At one point, I almost felt totally stable, but alas, that did not last. Today, I'm not as well. Anxiety and tearfulness are both worse today. I am so worried that I just won't stabilize this time. I'm in this wave for a month now, coming off of 10 months of full stability. It's a hard pill to swallow, and I fear I'll never get back there. More wasted days...

Share this post


Link to post
Erell
22 minutes ago, Dejavu said:

I had a better day yesterday. At one point, I almost felt totally stable, but alas, that did not last. Today, I'm not as well. Anxiety and tearfulness are both worse today. I am so worried that I just won't stabilize this time. I'm in this wave for a month now, coming off of 10 months of full stability. It's a hard pill to swallow, and I fear I'll never get back there. More wasted days...

 

I understand really well the fear of not reaching stability 😉

 

When I manage to extract my mind from my current situation, I can see on SA that yes, people do stabilise, even those who believe they won't ;)

 

We know that, but symptoms can be so overwhelming it makes it almost impossible to believe that our situation will also improve eventually.

 

I'm with you on this one : after holding for months I was feeling much better before starting my bridge. 

It is hard to go back there.

But, we also can use positively this first experience :

- we have survived : yes, even if exhausted, we are strong enough to keep hanging on :)

- more important : as we felt better, we had the luck to take note that life worth it. When I felt better some months ago, I learned how sweet life could taste, how bright could be the day, how delightful it was to feel asleep with a smile.

Yes, it is hard to go back in hard times, but we also know that life worth it. Definitely ❤

 

Share this post


Link to post
sunnysideup69

Sending good wishes, @Dejavu. You will stabilise again, this is all just part of recovery.

It's not linear, as much as we would like it to be. 

Xxx

Share this post


Link to post

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy