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Rhiannon

☼ Rhiannon's intro (by Rhi)

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Rhiannon

I'm chiming in late, too, but so happy for you both. I'm sending BIG HUGS and lots of pats on the backs of two of the finest folks I've ever had the honor and privalige of meeting. Thanks to you two for all the support y'all give. We love you both!

 

Love,

Tezza

 

aw, thank you Tezza!

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Rhiannon

grumble grumble...

 

I'm being Not Positive Rhi this morning. Grumble.

 

There's this situation in my life that's not really about meds but I'm still going around and around about it (that part, meds might be contributing to).

 

There's this narcissistic abusive jerk at work who acts so much like my abusive exhusband that it's constantly triggering my PTSD and I'm thinking about looking for another job.

 

Which I was thinking about doing in another year or so anyway because I live in the boonies and although the boonies are incredibly beautiful and usually less polluted than the city, it's a hard place to live if you're a single woman my age. In the city there are so many more groups and activities going on all the time. And even the possibility of dating maybe. So I had already been sort of considering that, which would be a big transition for me. Only now it's like, I have to decide sooner, and I don't want to.

 

And I've already been dealing with this guy for a while, I've done the talking to the boss and to HR thing, I don't know why they keep him on with all the complaints they get, but he only acts the way he does towards women, and only when there are no men around and nobody in authority around, and preferably nobody at all except his current victim. Again, very much like the exhusband. Otherwise he's charming and persuasive and everyone thinks he's a great guy.

 

And I just don't need to be feeling so triggered all the time. Withdrawal is hard enough without all that adrenaline and fear.

 

And being the boonies, there's really no other place for me to work and still stay in the area.

 

I'm not really looking for advice, exactly, although if anyone has a brilliant suggestion I would like to hear it. Mostly I just need sympathy and support.

 

And, you know, it sucks, that not only do we have to deal with all the crap these drugs cause, and all the crap from our (my) past, but life still throws curveballs and people can still be jerks.

 

Not even to mention how upset I am that my nation's government is being bought by the highest bidders. You shouldn't be able to purchase a nation. At least not one that's supposedly a democracy. I'm just trying not to even think about that for now and to save that fight for later. If there's anything left to fight for, later.

 

So like I said being grumbly not positive Rhi this morning. Please send good vibes and hugs.

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annej

Hi Rhi,

 

I am so sorry you have this jerk to deal with along with everything else.

 

I am sending you big hugs and lots of love. :) Annej

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Altostrata

Hey, Rhi, if you have nothing to lose, why not confront him?

 

Often bullies will change their tune if they meet stiff resistance.

 

That could buy you a little time while you figure out where you want to go.

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Barbarannamated

What kind of dog, Rhi? Big? Little? Chocolate? Heinz 57?

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Nikki

Yep a jerk like that can trigger things we are trying to move away from. Have you confronted him and set a boundary? Is it possible, or is he too self absorbed?

 

Sometimes boundaries have to be set repeatedly. Rhi...HR, Management are rarely helpful. It's probably better to handle it yourself like he does, with no one around except you and he.

 

Moving to the city sounds nice. There really is so much more to do. Maybe this is a cue ;)

 

Hugs

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Barbarannamated

Living in the boonies is definitely challenging when alone. Im not too far from limited activity, probably 30 minutes. Far enough to require more effort than I currently have in hot weather. Your porch in the rain sounded nice. :)

 

I only recently got to know someone who had completely different and opposite personas depending on audience. It's unsettling. Trust your instincts, Rhi.

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Jemima

Consider many warm hugs and good strong vibes sent, along with prayers.

 

I've experienced my share of jerks throughout my careers, although I must say they seemed to be more common in accounting and auditing than in social service-therapeutic settings. Most of them were bosses and they made my life miserable for years at a stretch.

 

However, assuming this pr!ck isn't your boss, I think Alto's idea is the best. Let him get you alone and when he starts his routine, give him a verbal shredding that he won't forget. (You may want to write out and/or rehearse this beforehand.) Most men, in my experience, are completely floored by a really angry, articulate, and assertive woman. The best way to deliver this message is very calmly and quietly so that you can't be brushed off as "hysterical".

 

I'm with you regarding the government, and it breaks my heart to see my country being purchased, chunk by chunk and bribe by bribe, by the richest and sleaziest of corporations, particularly Big Agra and Big Pharma. I try not to dwell on this because I haven't figured out a thing I can do personally except to grow as much of my own food as I'm able, buy local and organic otherwise, and avoid all prescription drugs. [Most of the non-psychiatric drugs are every bit as toxic as antidepressants in my experience (i.e., Lipitor and other statins as examples)].

 

And yeah, it's a bear that even though we've suffered through and survived withdrawal, life is still tough on the other side. I have to remind myself almost daily that just because withdrawal is pretty much over, that doesn't mean there won't still be bad days and days when I feel sick and problems that are sometimes staggering.

 

One of my favorite authors, M. Scott Peck, advises in The Road Less Traveled that life is tough, but once we accept that, it becomes less so.

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Rhiannon

Thanks for the feedback.

 

Confrontation doesn't work--that's when he goes rageful and abusive, and that triggers my PTSD rendering me terrified and frozen and unable to think, and torn up and upset for days or weeks. (And if you don't have PTSD you may not understand that when that happens, there's not much you can do about it. Best quote I've ever read about PTSD, can't remember who said it, was "it's not a cognitive problem, it's a limbic problem.")

 

I've tried being tough in general, and he accused me of harassment (which admittedly HR didn't think he had a case for).

 

Really, avoidance has been the best policy with this guy so far. Unfortunately we're going to be working together a little more than usual in the next couple of months, because someone who works my shift just quit, and he's the one that gets moved in to cover.

 

Like I said I've been thinking of moving anyway. But I make better money here than I would in the city, which matters more right now than it usually does to me (I'm the opposite of materially oriented, but I have NO savings and need to accumulate some).

 

Well, we'll see. One day at a time. I'm reading articles about resume-writing. And I got on an Internet dating site. Who knows.

 

I should probably go for a walk in the sunshine, too, while I can. Try taking some of the advice I'm always dishing out to other people.

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annej

Thanks for the feedback.

 

Confrontation doesn't work--that's when he goes rageful and abusive, and that triggers my PTSD rendering me terrified and frozen and unable to think, and torn up and upset for days or weeks. (And if you don't have PTSD you may not understand that when that happens, there's not much you can do about it. Best quote I've ever read about PTSD, can't remember who said it, was "it's not a cognitive problem, it's a limbic problem.")

 

I've tried being tough in general, and he accused me of harassment (which admittedly HR didn't think he had a case for).

 

Really, avoidance has been the best policy with this guy so far. Unfortunately we're going to be working together a little more than usual in the next couple of months, because someone who works my shift just quit, and he's the one that gets moved in to cover.

 

Like I said I've been thinking of moving anyway. But I make better money here than I would in the city, which matters more right now than it usually does to me (I'm the opposite of materially oriented, but I have NO savings and need to accumulate some).

 

Well, we'll see. One day at a time. I'm reading articles about resume-writing. And I got on an Internet dating site. Who knows.

 

I should probably go for a walk in the sunshine, too, while I can. Try taking some of the advice I'm always dishing out to other people.

 

Hi Rhi,

 

I agree that avoidance with abusives can be one of the very best strategies. Confrontation is like "candy" to angry/jerky people.

 

You are a very intelligent person and even though you will have more contact with this person for the next couple of months, I feel confident that you will not allow yourself to engage in meaningless banter with the jerk. He is so not worth your mental health! We cannot control our outer environment, but we can control our speech muscles!

 

I recently signed onto an Internet dating site myself figuring it's been 4 years since my husband passed and perhaps I might meet someone nice to go out to the movies/dinner, etc. I actually met my late husband on e-Harmony and "finding" him was so very healing to my soul. I actually am in the "correspondence" phase with a man who seems interesting. More on that later.

 

Monster.com has some good tips for resume writing. They offer a third party resume writing service which I took advantage of and I found it to be a very good investment.

 

Last, but not least, I want to let you know how very valuable and helpful I find your posts. :) Hugs, Annej

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Barbarannamated

Rhi,

"Not a cognitive problem ....is a limbic problem"... freezing (as in cant fight or flee?). Makes a whole lotta sense on some instinctual level though ive not been in same situation. Thank you for sharing that.

 

I enjoy looking at open houses, new homes, apartments (though my budget and credit mock me). Gives a sense of a fresh start and some control of situation. I'm much more simple than i used to be - the smaller, the better. I love those Tiny Houses that are popular in your area (sustainability hub). Just a thought.

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Altostrata

How about a squirt gun? Works on obnoxious cats.

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Barbarannamated

How about a squirt gun? Works on obnoxious cats.

 

LOL!!

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Jemima

How about a squirt gun? Works on obnoxious cats.

 

LOL here, too! However, this guy sounds like someone who just might, uh, squirt back. :o

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Barbarannamated

Rhi,

If you ever feel inclined or with time to expand on the limbic/PTSD topic, I am interested.

B

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Rhiannon

Rhi,

If you ever feel inclined or with time to expand on the limbic/PTSD topic, I am interested.

B

 

Hi Barb--

 

I'm not feeling like writing anything demanding today, but there's extensive literature on PTSD and (in my case) something called complex PTSD or C-PTSD or DESNOS. Tons of stuff on the Internet.

 

Maybe later when I'm up for a writing challenge...

 

:-)

 

Thanks for the support y'all.

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alexjuice

Hey Rhi,

 

I'm sad to hear about this situation. I go through a lot of similar stuff just from things that have happened in withdrawal -- I've been semi nocturnal my whole life, though since my arrest on Christmas I have largely stopped driving after dark. I live in the suburbs and I used to frequently take late night drives to the campus for a chamomile tea. It hadn't really dawned on me that I'd quit this habit, I just thought I'd not been feeling well. A few weeks ago I decided to drive down and get a tea. The ride down stressed me greatly. After taking my drink to go, I saw a police car behind me in the rear view mirror. For the 1/2 mile that cop followed me, my neck and face and hands were frozen, heart racing... I was overtaken with fear... Felt like I held my breath for 30 minutes til I got home and felt safe to exhale...

 

I've returned to avoiding driving after 8pm.

 

Even before withdrawal, before drugs even, I experienced some horribly aggressive people. Teenagers can be nasty and cruel, of course. A big part of my anxiety came from that. Bullying and being defenseless. I haven't known freedom from limbic system fear -- fear for my life, feels -- for so long I can't remember what it's like.

 

Sorry you have to deal with it. Shame on him. I'm proud of you for enduring (I recall you raising this issue a while ago) for so long. I can imagine how hard it's been at times.

 

This fella sounds like a disappointment. I'd guess he disappoints a lot of people in intimate quarters while putting on a happy face for the masses. People suck.

 

But I sometimes find a good one... Support always.

 

Alex

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Rhiannon

thank you Alex...I needed that. Thanks all of you.

 

Having a bit of a bumpy time here still, probably still adapting to quitting the Neurontin completely.

 

Just mostly more bouts of anxiety and those crappy cortisol mornings. It's always kind of scary when this happens and things don't settle down quickly. I worry I'll never get better. But I've heard so many other people express those same fears and I try to remember, they usually do get better.

 

I'm holding my taper for a couple of months, or however long it takes.

 

It's just hard when stressful stuff is happening in my life and I'm already on edge due to the withdrawal effects anyway. And sheesh, I just want to feel better. I want to remember what it's like to feel happy and relaxed for more than three seconds at a time.

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dalsaan

Hi Rhi

 

I know this is still confronting but could you say clearly we don't enjoy working together given we have both been to hr I recommend we keep our interaction to the bare minimum

 

So you are not challenging him directly on his behavior but still setting boundaries

 

I haven't been her that long but I still admire your strength, courage and tenacity

 

You'll find your way through this

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broomegirl

HI rhi,

its BG im so confused i think im in withdrawal from being on my benzo so long im down to 5.5 now as a friend should i just keep my mirtz for sleep until um fully off my benzo you know my story the mirtz helps with sleep and i think my morning anxiety is all benzo.

 

i just dont think benzo will support me for sleep if i discontinue my mirtz just want to get my head around all this im wondering if i am blaming th mirtz too much.

 

alto says stay on benzo then tapper off mirtz first this still is confusing for me can you get bk to my site on bb if possible or my post in introducrions im still new to this site

 

thanks trace

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Rhiannon

Hi Rhi

 

I know this is still confronting but could you say clearly we don't enjoy working together given we have both been to hr I recommend we keep our interaction to the bare minimum

 

So you are not challenging him directly on his behavior but still setting boundaries

 

I haven't been her that long but I still admire your strength, courage and tenacity

 

You'll find your way through this

 

Thanks daisann! I actually tried an email saying something like this, I think it's a good suggestion, because it makes it kind of not about him or his fault, just that we both need to avoid more trouble with HR, kind of thing. So we'll see how it goes.

 

Thanks for your good thoughts. Tenacity, that would be me! :-)

 

Knock on wood, don't want to jinx anything, but the past couple of days I've felt the first inklings of some improvement with my current hold, so maybe my brain's adapting to the absence of the Neurontin. Whew, that would be great! I'd like to be feeling better by my daughter's wedding which is just two and a half weeks away. I thought when I quit the Neurontin the end of April that would be plenty of lead time before the wedding but now it's feeling like I'm cutting it a little close.

 

Well, we'll see how it goes. Like I said, last couple of days I've noticed some subtle signs of improvement. For one thing my thinking seems to be a little clearer and I have a little more self-control. I think that's usually a sign the frontal lobes and higher executive functions are kicking back in. A good sign. My limbic system is still pretty trigger-happy, though, as far as kicking in the overdose of adrenaline at the slightest provocation. And I'm still having some sensory hyperacuteness. Well, we'll see how it goes.

 

Took one of Gia's mega-Epsom-salt baths last night and I did get eight hours of sleep, so that's something to be grateful for.

 

Anyway that's me now.

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Rhiannon

HI rhi,

its BG im so confused i think im in withdrawal from being on my benzo so long im down to 5.5 now as a friend should i just keep my mirtz for sleep until um fully off my benzo you know my story the mirtz helps with sleep and i think my morning anxiety is all benzo.

 

i just dont think benzo will support me for sleep if i discontinue my mirtz just want to get my head around all this im wondering if i am blaming th mirtz too much.

 

alto says stay on benzo then tapper off mirtz first this still is confusing for me can you get bk to my site on bb if possible or my post in introducrions im still new to this site

 

thanks trace

 

Hi bg, did you start a thread here in the Intros section? People will check in with you if you do. I think there's some stuff around here somewhere about tapering off mirtazapine.

 

Alto usually advises tapering off the AD first then the benzo. I'm not quite as certain that this is always the best approach 100% of the time; there are various factors involved, as in your case here. Mirtazapine is a pretty sedating AD and not a regular SSRI I don't think...not sure. It does seem to really help people sleep, and insomnia is a big problem in benzo withdrawal, so I see where it's hard to decide which to do first.

 

I'd consider maybe alternating. You've tapered down on your benzo a ways, maybe you could hold the benzo for a while and taper a little off the mirtazapine, then hold that and taper the benzo some more.

 

You'll need to taper very slowly and take long breaks when you switch from tapering one drug to tapering the other. You might want to consider holding your taper for a couple of months now, not cutting anything at all, and then maybe beginning with a very slow taper on the mirtazapine and see how that taper affects you.

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Rhiannon

Hey, just wanted to jump in and let folks know things have settled down. I had a bumpy period after quitting the Neurontin, but just about the time I started worrying it was never going to get better, it started getting better. Can definitely tell now that things have settled down. I worked graveyards last week and had a fairly busy weekend, and I'm doing well. And no agoraphobia, thank goodness.

 

My daughter's wedding is next week and I really wanted to be in good shape for that because there's lots of running around involved, as well as three days of camping out, and my elderly mother is coming. Thank goddess it looks like I'll be in good enough shape to do what's needed and maybe even enjoy some of it.

 

Anyway wanted to let y'all know things have settled down, and also why I'm not around much right now. Will be back of course!

 

 

:-)

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Barbarannamated

Sooo glad, Rhi!! Sending all good wishes your way. You are an inspiration!!

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Skyler

I started worrying it was never going to get better, it started getting better. Can definitely tell now that things have settled down. I worked graveyards last week and had a fairly busy weekend, and I'm doing well. And no agoraphobia, thank goodness.

 

My daughter's wedding is next week and I really wanted to be in good shape for that because there's lots of running around involved, as well as three days of camping out, and my elderly mother is coming. Thank goddess it looks like I'll be in good enough shape to do what's needed and maybe even enjoy some of it

 

Good to hear Rhi. It's really hard to wait for those bumps to smooth over, especially after jumping off. I have much more confidence with my triple taper thanks to your example. I'll be off diazepam in 6 or so weeks, close to same for Requip. During the questioning days, I thought of you and said "YES I CAN".. well, :lol:, I did better than a certain Pol who used that phrase, thanks to Rhi! ~S

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Nikki

Have fun at the wedding, you deserve it ;)

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broomegirl

 

HI rhi,

its BG im so confused i think im in withdrawal from being on my benzo so long im down to 5.5 now as a friend should i just keep my mirtz for sleep until um fully off my benzo you know my story the mirtz helps with sleep and i think my morning anxiety is all benzo.

 

i just dont think benzo will support me for sleep if i discontinue my mirtz just want to get my head around all this im wondering if i am blaming th mirtz too much.

 

alto says stay on benzo then tapper off mirtz first this still is confusing for me can you get bk to my site on bb if possible or my post in introducrions im still new to this site

 

thanks trace

 

Hi bg, did you start a thread here in the Intros section? People will check in with you if you do. I think there's some stuff around here somewhere about tapering off mirtazapine.

 

Alto usually advises tapering off the AD first then the benzo. I'm not quite as certain that this is always the best approach 100% of the time; there are various factors involved, as in your case here. Mirtazapine is a pretty sedating AD and not a regular SSRI I don't think...not sure. It does seem to really help people sleep, and insomnia is a big problem in benzo withdrawal, so I see where it's hard to decide which to do first.

 

I'd consider maybe alternating. You've tapered down on your benzo a ways, maybe you could hold the benzo for a while and taper a little off the mirtazapine, then hold that and taper the benzo some more.

 

You'll need to taper very slowly and take long breaks when you switch from tapering one drug to tapering the other. You might want to consider holding your taper for a couple of months now, not cutting anything at all, and then maybe beginning with a very slow taper on the mirtazapine and see how that taper affects you.

 

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broomegirl

Hi rhi,

have been going through the whole site so interesting brandy did get back to me she sugested simular to you i really feel that the AD causes me the most grief the AD gives me so much phcical problems back pain,muscle pain restless legs and the worst anxiousness wn i wake im so panicky and anxious i worked out wn i take my valium im so calm i know wellness from bb had the same problem as me and he just had to go bk on the benzo and get off mirtz.

 

So at this stage im thinking i will get stable for my cns and try comming down real slow off my AD it means being on benzo alot longer but if an AD isnt working why stay with it just because it makes you sleep im dopy all day on it and come good at late afternoon then by evening i know i have to take my mirtz again and the cycle starts again.

 

Its so wierd how these drugs work against us hey you have been so helpfull getting me on this site i love my friends on bb but this site really works well on the both meds thats we are on not just benzo i feel im getting no where with my AD it causes me so much grief

lobe to you

trace

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tezza

Rhi, I trust you. Please tell me what I need to do

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jr1985

Hi Rhi,

 

I just got around to reading your intro thread. Wow! I am so sorry to hear about everything you have been through! It's amazing that you've come through it all in one piece, you should be very proud of yourself. I'm glad you're doing better now though and I hope the wedding goes well.

 

I always enjoy reading your posts, as they're always so informative. You're a very intelligent, knowledgeable lady, just like Alto. ;)

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Barbarannamated

How was the wedding, Rhi?!

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alexjuice

Hey Rhi,

Want to say hi. Hope things are going okay today.

Alex

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Jemima

Hi, Rhi -

 

It's been ages since you posted in your Intro thread. How are you doing?

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Sparrow

I want to know how you're doing, too! You are missed.

 

Sparrow

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Rhiannon

I have an intro thread somewhere, but it's so far back I can't find it, and I don't remember what it was called. I want to post an update here, at the beginning of 2013, almost three years into my interminable multi-drug taper.

 

When I started tapering, back in February of 2010, I had just come off a terrible CT and partial reinstatement of Neurontin. In the process of dealing with the intense depression and suicidality caused by that CT, I had ended up on Celexa and Xanax (in addition to the Lamictal and Ambien I was already taking). I'd also been on and off Paxil during that time, briefly. It was during that process (during the last half of 2009) that the lightbulb went on, finally, revealing to me the fact that all these psychological problems I'd been having for 20 years (especially the constant suicidality and overall sense of misery) might actually have been being caused by the drugs I was supposedly taking to HELP them.

 

The three years since have confirmed this as fact. The active suicidality went away about six months into my taper, and the passive suicidality faded more gradually over the following two years. Now, I still have days, or hours, or minutes, when I feel like life is just too damn long and I wouldn't mind skipping the whole "long old age" thing that seems to be the norm for females in my family (who live to be, like, 98 or 102).

 

But the thought of harming myself--which for 20 years (on psych meds), I thought of almost constantly--is completely repugnant to me now. Most of the time I have this weird feeling of actually loving life, and loving myself too, both for no particularly good reason and both with no particular justification. It seems to just come from inside me. Weird.

 

I'm also getting back my personality as I remember it being way back "in the day", before I was started on psych meds at the age of 36. Agoraphobia is gone! I find I love getting out and doing things. My sense of social disconnect is gone completely, I find it easy to enjoy the company of other people, and I seek it out. (Note: That is to say, when I'm doing well. When I'm having an amplification of withdrawal symptoms due to recent cuts and/or stress, those things come back. Then they pass again as I hold for a while, and do my limbic retraining stuff, and regulate my schedule, and generally just do all the self-care maintenance stuff I've learned over these years.)

 

I'm getting back more emotions--I find I can weep again, and I feel my emotions intensely, which is, well, intense, and painful when they're painful emotions. But I feel them intensely and then they move through and process and resolve fairly quickly. I think the drugs got in the way both of being able to feel, and of being able to move through the healing process. This is much better.

 

I'm having to work through a boatload of grief about all my losses--both from the abusive childhood, but even more these days, from the years that were lost to me on the drugs. My life has been stolen from me. My children's childhoods, especially my younger one who was only 2 when I was put on the drugs, were lost to me. I was a crappy mother, and she bears the wounds from that and will for her whole life. How do you let go of something like that? I don't know. I'm just trying to learn to live with it.

 

I don't hate myself, but I hate the fact that things happened the way they did. Maybe I'll start a thread on this--I bet I'm not the only one.

 

Oh yeah--My brain is working better, as far as learning and remembering things. Not as well as before I ever took psych meds, but given my age, that's probably normal, plus I'm still taking meds, so hopefully there will continue to be cognitive improvement as I come off of them. I think it's not going to happen as fast as it did at first though. The rate of improvement seems to be sort of leveling out.

 

You can see my starting numbers in my sig line. As of today I'm down to 85.5 mg Lamictal, 0.230 mg Xanax, 1.78 mg Valium, and 2 mg of Celexa.

 

So--that's my update. I'm not as thrilled with the numbers as I would have been if I'd been able to get there overnight, I expect. It's hard to be excited about a process like this, particularly given how much I HATE HATE HATE that I have to spend ONE MORE DAY on any of these horrible life-destroying poisons. Unfortunately I have probably another three years or so to go before I'm all the way off everything. But. We have what we have and we get what we get. And life goes on, and time passes.

 

I feel like I'm in a different reality from most people out there, not because of my drugged condition, but because of my history, my perspective, my losses, what's important to me now. I'm just going to continue to assume that this, like everything else, has some advantages. I'm not so caught up in the shallow concerns of mainstream modern life, that's for sure. It might be nice to enjoy that privilege from time to time, but I don't think I ever will be able to.

 

Anyway, that's my 2013 update. Thank you for listening and thank you all for being here and supporting me through this process.

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Nikki

Hi Rhi

 

So glad you posted and things are so much better for you. You have seen a light in the tunnel and are basking in it now :) Marvelous. It takes guts, determination and fortitude to proceed

and yet we feel like we are worthless while in it.

 

Like you, when I got off Lexapro I went thru a grieving process over the loss of time. I was sad and angry. The good news is that it does fade. Think of next year at this time where you will be....further and further away from the med mixer.

 

Hugs

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