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Rhiannon

☼ Rhiannon's intro (by Rhi)

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Pokeshaw

Thinking of you, Rhi!  so happy to hear about the great gift of sleep. i totally understand.

 

best,

 

Poke

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600

 

I agree, I think the surfing grandmas need to be pinned! I wonder if I can pin them in my own thread somehow...

 

Do mods have the required permissions to pin posts? If they do, you could create a post in 'off topic' and pin them there. Then we can all reach for the pic when we want to give someone a lift.....

 

And an 8 hour night of sleep???? I am so jealous. I am waiting for the magic night where I wake at 8 am instead of 5:30 am. The whole world will know about it when that happens.

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Sparrow

Cheering from the sidelines...yay Rhi!

 

Sparrow

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Rhiannon

8 hours! That's amazing. A couple of weeks ago I rang a friend of mine to tell her 'I had a dream'. You would have thought I was Martin Luther King the way we went on about it,

 

Very happy for you. 8 glorious hours,

 

D

 

HA! you made me laugh out loud.

 

Oddly, I don't have a problem with dreaming. I feel like I dream too much. I think it's just because I'm waking up so often during the night that I'm always aware of the dreams. But I might not be getting as much deep sleep as I should, that's entirely possible.

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Rhiannon

Cheering from the sidelines...yay Rhi!

 

Sparrow

Thanks Sparrow! 

 

I dropped to 1.73 yesterday and will be holding there for five days or so. Just chugging along...

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Rhiannon

Just dropped to 1.72 yesterday...I think I'd probably better hold here for a while, since I still haven't completely figured out the pattern of withdrawal with Valium, with those danged long-acting metabolites.

 

Sleep has been consistently better now, 6-8 hours every night, which is why I decided to go with another reduction.

 

I'm really just writing this to remind myself that I need to hold at 1.72 for a while. I always want to go too fast when I get close to a "roundish" number like 1.7. It's silly, I know, but it's an urge I always have to fight.

 

I've very gradually cut my Lamictal down to 59, and I've just started diluting my 10 mg of Celexa in 40 mL of water instead of the former 20 mL so that I can come down off that last 1 mg with cuts of 0.025 mg. I'm so used to working on multiple meds at the same time, it feels weird to just hold and work on only one! But with the Valium, given its less predictable withdrawal rate, even I have to agree it's the best way to go.

 

Anyway, if you see me cutting too fast, please yell at me.

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Altostrata

You go, grrrl! But not too fast. :)

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Addax

Good stuff! :)

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mlrp

Rhi, your perseverence is so inspiring. I'm very happy for your progress.

 

Addax, hi from another newbie. I like your avatar (I used to have house rabbits.) We can be "Wellbutrin buddies!" What a club, eh? :-P

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Rhiannon

Okay, for my own information: made the cut to 1.72 six days ago, the insomnia kicked in two nights ago. So about four nights out. Also the increased tendency for muscles to spasm, nothing drastic, just noticeable.  That fits with the pattern of metabolic breakdown and active metabolites of Valium, so it makes sense.

 

Holding at 1.72 until my sleep improves. If it goes like the last couple of cuts that should be about another five nights or so. We shall see. Then two more drops until I'm at 1.7, at which point I hope I can summon up the willpower to do a longer hold and let my nervous system catch up with the changes.

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Rhiannon

Sleep already improving. Cortisol mornings but not too bad. Other weird, more subtle symptoms are becoming more noticeable. Particularly having problems with motivation and drive; I don't want to do anything but sit around, and it feels really hard to push myself to do even things I ordinarily enjoy, let alone taking care of necessary but not really fun chores.

 

When I get like this I try not to beat myself up about it--I really think it involves neurotransmitters and withdrawal, because a few weeks ago I was feeling very excited and motivated about some fun new changes in my life.

 

It's the weekend, so I'm going to indulge in not doing much of anything except maybe fiddling around in my garden a bit and a couple of social things I already have planned (which I also don't feel like doing, but I know they're important for me). Also going to try to get out for at least one long walk somewhere nice this weekend, lots of beautiful options around here. That feels like it's going to require really pushing myself, which I'm having trouble doing, so we'll see how it goes. 

 

Sigh...Well, at least I'm managing to hold down a job and pay my rent. It could be worse.

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Rhiannon

It seems weird to me that I'm having apathy and demotivation and fatigue from taking LESS Valium. Has anybody experienced this? 

 

I do know that withdrawal symptoms can manifest in all sorts of ways and I should just trust myself and probably just hold and see if things even out after a while. There is some part of my brain that remembers how to think logically about this.  But it's having a hard time with being out-shouted by the rest of my brain that's saying AAAAAAargh something is wrong and I don't know what to do and what if I'm stuck like this?

 

Sigh...what a trip.

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Skyler

Rhi... do you think the apathy and fatigue are WD Sx? As you noted above, the active metabolite WD kicks in at 4 days, on the money. Every time I tried to go faster than 10% a month of the previous dose, this would happen. I did not have those particular Sx however.. and I don't recall which Sx would kick in 1 or 2 days out, and which kicked in at 4, but there was absolutely a consistent pattern of which showed up when.

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bubble

I very often feel the way you describe: like I need a crane to move around and feel so deflated and deprived of all the characteristics which determine who I am: primarily enthusiasm about things. I wasn't able to determine a correlation between these states and what happens on the meds front. Maybe I should watch more closely. Now it's just coming down a high dose of xanax for me. Do you find valium different to xanax or are you still getting acquainted with valium? 

 

Thank you for sharing this. I've been reading that benzos usually cause depressive symptoms. Cutting on them one wouldn't really expect that those would resurface as a result so it's very useful to notice this for future reference. It feels like charting a territory so that we feel less lost when we find ourselves in such areas. I do the same as you do, with more or less success so have nothing more to add. Except that, as we all know, it passes. It's always a slow process but it happens. 

 

(I also found it so very interesting to read that even you have a problem with keeping things slow. Sorry but it helped :) I feel them same about approaching the round numbers: feel the need to make it happen sooner). 

 

Hope it passes soon!

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Rhiannon

I'm wondering if it's something like overcompensation...like my nervous system is first experiencing the reduction in the drug as causing a disruption in its GABA signaling, so it's upregulating or whatever, and it's overshooting.  Probably an oversimplification but it seems like I've noticed something like that in the past with Lamictal cuts. Only not this intense. 

 

Bubble, I tapered Xanax at the same time that I was tapering Celexa and (for the first couple of years) Neurontin, so it was hard to tease out which was causing what effect. I do find Xanax to be not so stupefyingly sedating as Valium and in fact sometimes for me it has a kind of stimulating effect. For me the two drugs feel pretty different. 

 

Lack of motivation and lack of enthusiasm, along with some thoughts about wishing I didn't have to be alive any longer, are pretty typical withdrawal symptoms for me during my taper. I had trouble with those during all my years on the meds, too (although I was often taking fluctuating doses because I always tried to take as little as I could and I mistakenly thought I could adjust the doses as needed, so I was in withdrawal a lot of that time, I suspect.)

 

But this combination of lack of motivation/enthusiasm with feeling just sort of stupefied and lacking in energy, that's not so typical for me.

 

Oh well. The ongoing parade and fun of psych drugs and withdrawal. It's impossible to tease out all the interconnected threads. I'm just going to keep on keeping on.

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bubble

 

 I was often taking fluctuating doses because I always tried to take as little as I could and I mistakenly thought I could adjust the doses as needed, so I was in withdrawal a lot of that time, I suspect.)

 

that was exactly my story for so many years. Knowing what is actually going on now is incredibly liberating. Makes keeping going a lot more bearable. 

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Addax

I'm wondering if it's something like overcompensation...like my nervous system is first experiencing the reduction in the drug as causing a disruption in its GABA signaling, so it's upregulating or whatever, and it's overshooting.  Probably an oversimplification but it seems like I've noticed something like that in the past with Lamictal cuts. Only not this intense.

Befor a read this I was thinking the same exact thing... But without the sciency terms :). I was think that perhaps when you lowered your dose your body got a bit amped up (overshooting?), and sort of tired itself out. Like your CNS celebrated the reduction too hard and is a little hungover.

 

In general I would imagine that major changes in our bodies can be energy zapping because really, our body and brains need to work/train a little harder as it adapts to it's new workload.

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Rhiannon

It's tricky, because I'm also dealing with thyroid issues. I saw a naturopath for those yesterday. She was typically clueless about psych drugs, but she seems to know more than I do about hormones (which isn't saying much), so hopefully we'll be able to come up with a regimen that works for me.  And she was at least okay with me doing my taper my way and didn't pass out in shock when I told her how long I've been tapering (four years) and how much longer I think it will take to get off all the way (probably another four years). 

 

Just have to grumble about the sleep problems, which I'm still having. It's not terrible or anything, I'm managing to sleep six or seven hours, but it's not good sleep. I'm tossing and turning all night, waking frequently. I feel like my body has just forgotten how to sleep or something. 

 

And cortisol mornings, yuck. It takes about two or three hours of keeping sensory stimulation minimal before I feel well enough to actually deal with the day, which is pretty limiting as far as actually getting things done. The house is even more of a mess than usual.

 

On the other hand I'm feeling really good to be finally tapering off the Valium, and all the more so now that I see how much it's been affecting me, as evidenced by how much a very small reduction in dose affects me.

 

Dropped to 1.71 mg a few days ago and going to see if I can manage the willpower to hold here for a few more days before dropping to 1.7. Once I get to 1.7 I plan to hold there for a while. I seem to find it easier to hold at those "round number" dosages. It's not rational, but hey, my frontal lobes aren't working so great, so, whatever. You gotta work with what you've got.

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mattinsmom

Hello Rhi

 

CNS hangover - absolutely. As for restless sleep, you are right, you have forgotten how to sleep. Your body has had a chemical to do the work for it for many, many years. The sleep the chemical gave you was far from adequate. There is a lot of catching up for your system to do. Top that with thyroid issues and I'm sure your body and mind are reeling and healing. 

 

I read back through your thread and it seems to me that you have had a lot of changes and trials. You would remind me that I have a lot going on, that this will pass, and to be patient with myself. Just sayin' :)

 

As for grumbling - grumble away. I will listen to your grumbles any day. After all the listening and support you've given to me, and a gazillion others on this site, supporting you thru a grumble is the least I can do. 

 

Sorry about the cortisol mornings. I think I am just beginning to truly experience them and they rather suck. Your mornings sound especially sucky 

 

I feel like I want to say a million things but apparently words are not my thing today. Just know that I support you, I hear you, and I think you are amazing.

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Rhiannon

Aw thanks Amy! Perfect timing, feeling kind of sad and lonely and blue today.  You said just what I needed to hear. 

 

I just got 90 more Celexa tablets today and I just realized that adding that to what I still have from my old prescription, probably another 10 or 20 tablets, this might be the last bottle of the stuff I ever have to buy. If I have 110 tablets that's 1100 days worth, which might be all I need. Three years. Crazy.

 

Otherwise I'm mostly still feeling like crap. I have that kind of quasi-anhedonia (hmmm..so maybe not anhedonia, maybe semihedonia or something) where I experience something that I know gives me pleasure, like seeing beautiful flowers for example, and I have this sort of distant sense of pleasure, but it's like there's a space between "me" and that feeling of pleasure, like it's on the other side of a sheet of transparent Plexiglass or something. Like I can see it but not quite touch it. It's not too bad, it has been much worse and could be much worse, I'm not really complaining so much as observing.

 

The thing that I AM complaining about though is the slightly increased sensory sensitivity. That's annoying. I just walked to the pharmacy and back along roads that are sort of busy but nothing exceptional, and just the sound of cars passing gives me like a very mild nails-on-chalkboard sensation. And at one point I walked by somebody mowing his lawn with a normal, not particularly annoying lawnmower, and it was like having my senses assaulted. It's been beautiful and sunny but I don't want to go outside because the sun is just too sunny. I just want to stay inside and hide, except then I get all lonely and weird. Well, and I have to work. A lot, right now.

 

So, grumble grumble grumble. Except that like I said, seeing how much even this little reduction affects me makes me realize how much this drug has probably been warping my perceptions and feelings and thoughts. So actually hopefully I will be coming off of it, and that will be a good thing. Assuming I manage to get off of it, and assuming that when I do I actually do manage to get my brain back, ever.

 

I'm so tired of feeling so alone though. When I'm feeling well I get out and do stuff with friends and it's okay, but when I'm not feeling well enough to socialize actively, I get lonely. It sucks. 

 

Am I complaining too much? Have I reached the complaining threshold yet? Sigh...

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Narcissus

 

 

Am I complaining too much? Have I reached the complaining threshold yet? Sigh...

 

Not at all!  And there's no such threshold!  Not here anyway.  

 

Sorry to hear about the sensitivities and your semihedonia (nice term!).  

 

How's summer in the Northwest?  It can get pretty hot up there from what I remember.

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Rhiannon

So far it's not been too bad, but then I moved here from the Southwest, so I was used to hot summers. I live on the east side of the Cascade range and our weather out here (eastern Washington and eastern Oregon both and probably down into California too) is not the kind of rainy green lush that you get in the mountains and west from there to the coast. It's actually more like high desert here. So the humidity's not too bad, and it cools down at night.

 

Come July and August though it will be getting into the 100s (37s or 38s or so, for our centigrade friends).(Which is to say, the rest of the world...)

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WinningThrough

Sending a big hug, Rhi x

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mattinsmom

Checking in. 

Today any better?

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mammaP

Hope this wave passes soon Rhi,  stay on that board! More hugs. xx

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dalsaan

Your 'complaining' reminds me what it takes sometimes to keep putting one foot in front of the other.   I know I am blessed that I can work but it often it takes all I have and more.  I hope things take a turn for the better soon.  

 

D

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bubble

sending a big hug. i could only repeat what everyone said. In particular about there being no grumbling threshold here.

 

As I wrote to somebody else the other day (remembered now-Narcisus), coming forth with what we see us our weaknesses shows how strong we actually are,opens us for compassion and acceptance of both ourselves and others.

 

I also need a licence to, as I say, moan, groan and whine and this is so very useful because I get it. Also since not many people around us have been to place we are now, describing this scenery helps tremendously because it becomes less scarry and we feel less alone.

 

I'm sorry you can't be more social at the moment but this is actually our gain here since we can benefit more from your company.

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Addax

As much as i know your wave is temporary, as has been discussed before, it probably doesn't FEEL temporary. I wish I could send you a hammer to shatter the plexiglass and a surfboard to ride this wave.

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Rhiannon

:-)

Thanks for all the good thoughts!

I'm hanging on to that surfboard with both hands. Doing okay, not great, not horrible.

 

I'm working this weekend but only eight hour shifts instead of my usual ten, which is good in that I have more free time on work days, but bad in that I have fewer days off. Oh well. I really shouldn't complain. I have a job that lets me pay the rent and buy mostly organic food and save enough money to fly to visit my parents a couple of times a year. It could be worse.

 

And I'm not making things any better by binge-ing on my favorite Netflix show that just released season 2 on Friday. I'm embarrassed to admit I've already watched nine episodes!

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Altostrata

Rootin' for ya, Rhi.

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Pokeshaw

Hi Rhi - Thinking of you from out east in Bklyn ~~~ i always identify with almost everything everyone says on this 'board'.  You are, as my friend Mike used to say about brave special people like you ~~ ** a Superstar** ~~

 

Poke

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mattinsmom

Hey you

Holding you in my thoughts.

You ok?.

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Rhiannon

I'm hanging in there.  *^%^&ing withdrawal. &***&^%.

 

Seriously, I'm okay, getting like 6-7 hours of bumpy sleep most nights. I just did some math today and realized I need to dilute the Xanax more because I'm down to such a low dose now that my usual cuts of 0.1 mL are 4% and I don't want to be cutting by that much while I'm also tapering Valium.

 

Which is kind of good news because it means I'm at a new stage in the tapering, down to a larger dilution, that's good right? I've had to double the dilution of Celexa too. I remember back when I used to think "someday I'll have to increase my dilutions..." and now I'm there. That's a good thing, right?

 

Gotta find these little things to hold on to, so I can feel like there's progress, because it goes so danged slow.

 

It's okay, though, I'm okay, able to keep up with the necessary stuff in life. And maybe sort of dating maybe. I met a guy I kind of like. He's actually kind of intelligent and forward thinking by the standards of this benighted little conservative hick town I live in. And single. Not going to get too excited about it yet, I don't think we're soulmates or anything, but it's fun to at least flirt, after so long of not.

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mammaP

Go Rhi! It's good that you have met someone you get on with and feel comfortable enough 

to flirt with.  :wub:   

 

Great that your dilutions have increased too, it's slow but you're getting there.  :)

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bubble

this is great news!really makes me happy ;)

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dalsaan

That is progress on a couple of counts. 6-7 bumpy hours of sleep is not the glorious 8 of our wildest dreams but it's enough to get by with. Enough to turn up to work and enough to locate the only forward thinking, seemingly intelligent single male in a small town somewhere in the Pacific Northwest! Kicking goals despite $&@?ing withdrawal.

 

Good on you

 

D

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