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elizabeth11

Managing work, other responsibilities, with withdrawal symptoms

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Dez

Thank you Madeleine and PB. It's always great to find such support here. It keeps so many people going.

 

Madeleine, what kind of volunteer work do you do? How has it affected you or helped you? Thanks in advance!

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manymoretodays

Well hey.  Great topic and on the mark for me, right now in my own journey.........in and out through withdrawal.  I've been doing alot of volunteer/service as tolerated up until this point in time in my journey.

 

Presently seeking PT paid employment once again.........  I think the biggest difficulty/obstacle right now is deciding.  Really deciding which direction to go.  Be it further peer work(working with people with my kind of history with the psychiatric system and/or substance dependencies/addictions/alcoholism).  Or something different.  I mean I do the other fairly frequently on the ground(real life) anyway.  Not for pay.    I guess I just keep thinking that everything that has helped me the most, the very most........was gotten for free.  Yet, I do acknowledge...... frequently........ that I did get help from the system as it is, as well.    So......in my giving back........how would I feel/change if I did it for pay?    Or would I change?  And would my fundamental beliefs on healing be put into jeopardy if I worked for a system of some type?  The conflict.

 

In anycase am learning patience with myself.......as well as with others.......and that what I want may not always be what is best all around.  I'm a 12 stepper as well.

 

Oh........and the process.....the whole process of it.  The job hunt and search and prep and all that.........

 

Well......some days.........I just take a bit of a reprieve.  Not to mention that vacation that I just had.

So.......well.........I just thought I'd put it out here.  Me, always hoping for the best.  And balance.  Oh......that balance........so thankful that it is not as precarious as it once seemed.

 

Love, peace, healing/inrecovery, and growth,

mmt

Edited by manymoretodays

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I am losing my two sons in a week as they are both going to college a few hours away for 2 years.

It will be an empty house. Just me and my symptoms.

I am taking an art class on Monday afternoons, which I love.

I am a retired teacher who quit to homeschool my children.

I am signing up to substitute teach at a couple of area school districts because of the flexibility. 

I am thinking about full time but I don’t know about the stress. And no flexibility. It is a very hard decision.

But when at home alone in our 12’x36’ cabin all I do is ruminate and think depressing thoughts.(also, claustrophobic)😕

I hate what I have become since I quit prozac.

(not going back though)

I have tried every resource and technique you can imagine but the ruminating continues.

I am afraid of suicide if I can’t find any way to stay busy.

My husband has been the object of many emotional dumpings (as he calls them), is jaded, angry.

He does not believe my emotional problems are protracted withdrawal. He doesn’t like me on this site because he says it excuses 

my depression, anxiety, fears, neuroemotions as paws.

We are christians so he is not leaving.

He doesn’t want me to work, but he is never there. We have no tv in our house. 

So lonely. I feel useless and without purpose. 

I am praying for some kind of work that can get me out.

whenever I am out of the house interacting with others I feel 100% normal. 

I feel good about myself.

Any suggestions? 

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mdwstrx

Being a Christian doesn't mean you must tolerate misery or obey your husband 100%.  Jesus set very strict personal boundaries in a kind and loving manner.  Have you read the book "Boundaries"?  An excellent book that empowered me to see that setting boundaries is not unChristian.  

 

Rather than praying for work alone, go to a place you might enjoy and put in an application.  I did it recently, also being alone and an empty-nester.  I am now working in a small woman's shop part time.  (I'm retired so income/benefits isn't a problem thankfully).  The Lord will guide you and if you don't like it, quit and try something else.  :) 

 

It's been very nice to get out and makes being at home alone more tolerable as I don't spend 24/7 home alone.  I worried a little about my tapering and how working might be effected.  The first day on the job, I mentioned to my boss that I can be irritable sometimes at my age.  She smiled and said, "I know, I take something for that... Prozac". 😳

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Giulietta

Hi - this is a great topic. I'll share my recent experience, a little info about SSDI,  employment and what to do next.

 

On 2/16/2018 at 3:18 PM, manymoretodays said:

in and out through withdrawal.  I've been doing alot of volunteer/service as tolerated up until this point in time in my journey. 

 

Presently seeking PT paid employment once again.........  I think the biggest difficulty/obstacle right now is deciding. 

 

I am on SSDI and in my late 50s (how did that sneak up!). I have been doing some volunteer work and worked a PT (8 hours per week) job until the company had a mass layoff 1 month ago.  I have not worked FT since September 2015. Until worsening WD symptoms - I had wanted to return to work FT. Now I am not so sure I can. I am not able to function every day - and all of the day on many of them. I honestly don't see how I could manage a FT job even though one needs the money. I have lost confidence and one may lose social skills as well when they are not kept up (I think - maybe it is just me). 

 

What everyone here has said resonates with me. I don't know how I could manage a FT job.

The PT job was great as it was time I could focus on something besides my own issues and WD. It was also extra needed money (and is now keenly missed). It also gave me validation and confidence. I can't afford SSDI and a few hundred dollars a month, though. Life is expensive. I have had to dip into retirement savings. 

 

After my SSDI claim was approved in 2016 (or 2017?) -  family and friends told me not to jeopardize the SSDI - especially as I am approaching 'retirement age' and have assorted health problems. Not having much income is its own source of stress.  I have thus been 'afraid' to work to jeopardize my SSDI. If your gross pay exceeds a relatively low amount per month the SSA thinks that you can work (they call this 'substantial gainful activity' so you jeopardize your SS. For example $1200 per month gross. I can provide a little more on SSDI if anyone wants. It's very complicated (the government likes it that way!)

 

Volunteering adds meaning and value and through it I met some wonderful people. https://www.volunteermatch.org/

 

I also need to evaluate what type of work to do. I think it will be different from what I did before.

 

On 2/16/2018 at 3:18 PM, manymoretodays said:

and that what I want may not always be what is best all around. 

 

Well said. What I want may not be what is best for me - or anyone else. 

 

 

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lithiumnomore

I did a search and saw a handful of threads related to coping with trying to work while going through withdrawal symptoms. I wanted to start a new thread as those discussions were very brief, and it also seems broader than work. How do you manage responsibilities when you can no longer be responsible for them due to withdrawal symptoms?

 

When I first came off prozac--from 10 mg to none, not a slow taper because I didn't know about it-- late last fall, I went through a period first of feeling good but having insomnia. In the next couple months, intense anxiety joined the insomnia, and each day was trying. I reinstated prozac for a week (20 mg) out of desperation and it just seemed to aggravate the symptoms, so I dropped it again. Since then it's been an encouraging and frustrating path of ups and downs, windows and waves, but, on the whole, progress--at least when I'm a clear-headed observer. I'm reconnecting with myself and the clearest of the windows are glorious moments feeling connected with my world and myself. Simple things like the scent of gasoline when starting up the lawnmower pull up memories and impressions from pre-psychiatry reminding me what it's like to feel alive. I believe I am regaining my humanity after being deprive of the best of it for 20 years. That is important.

 

And while this difficult but powerful experience is unfolding, I am also trying to manage, among other things, 1) a demanding job with a lot of responsibility and expectations to work long hours under intense pressure, 2) being a husband to a wife whose career is also demanding and 3) being a father to a two-year old and five-year old. All during a global pandemic that has disrupted all of our lives. During the worst of the insomnia and anxiety, I had conversation with my management. Their response was to refer me to HR to discuss possible accomodations, including reduced hours and a shifting schedule. I raised the possibiltiy of taking extended time off--my available sick leave should cover it--but while not saying no, I didn't get the "yes, that would be okay" I had hoped for. After a few more weeks with some improvement I reported that my sleep issues had resolved themselves and have not raised it again. In the meantime, we were given a hard deadline of August for a project I'm on and my hours have actually ramped up. I need to work 60 hours a week to keep up, and having lost days due to withdrawal make that really difficult.  I want to step back and focus on healing, but I don't know how. I also am worried about giving up, facing a setback in my career. And the prospect of just outright failure and letting everyone down is terrifying. 

 

Anyone else faced this sort of dilemma? Is it just getting comfortable wtih letting go? Do you worry the sacrifices for the long-term goal of healing are not worth it? How do you stay focused on the big picture?  I know on the other side of this, the reward of being a complete human will have been worth it but it's hard to see how to get from point A to point B right now. I'm worried the most likely out come is I just trudge on until everything collapses, and I end up in a much worse state.

 

 

 

 

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lithiumnomore

To focus this some more.

 

How do you handle letting go of responsibilities and the sense of failure that goes with that?

 

How do you balance wanting to keep up with responsibilities in life when you unpredictability become disabled for short times?

 

How have others talked to their management or others about withdrawal symptoms and the need to lighten their load or take time off? How has that been received?

 

How do you explain something like withdrawal that is likely entirely foreign and unknown to people?

 

For my own part, it seems like I'm betting on things improving instead of doing the hard and stressful work of admitting I can't keep up and seeking to relieve responsibilities. This is a mistake obviously but the alternatives seem overwhelming.

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xyz

i was able top work 50 to 55 hours a week all throughout my taper that took 2 years to come off a benzo+ ssri. you can look up my thread.

i have 2 children (8 and 4), a house, 2 dogs. my husband helped also but he also have a very demanding job in management.

at almost a year off meds, i crashed and went into a major setback that was worse than acute, and made the withdrawal taper felt like a piece of cake, i had to take rescue doses.

that was 3 weeks ago and i am still recovering and in shock.

 

my advise: don;t overdue, watch out for your health first. 

  • don't eat MSG (for me that was the culprit)
  • don't drink alcohol
  • don't drink coffee
  • eat a clean diet
  • minimize stress

it was a hard way to learn, but i learned my lesson.

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xyz

but i want to add that working throughout my taper was very helpful - it gave me the structure and the distraction from my symptoms and gave me the financial security.

i never felt that my work was overwhelming, because i love what i do. it is only when my nervous system couldn't take it anymore that i realize how much strain i added onto myself.

i would just caution on overdoing it.

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lithiumnomore

Thanks, xyz. Your point about the benefits of work is well taken. My biggest worry about stepping back is that I will lose something that is very important to me. It's encouraging to hear that you were able to manage so much. 

 

 

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xyz

it is doable, but i had to slow down my taper. i did a daily micro taper of my meds using liquid and took it very slow and had to hold during stressful events.

i also worked out all throughout my taper despite the insomnia and i think the exercise helped.

 

the reason why i was put on meds in the first place 4 years ago was because i crashed and couldn't sleep for days and had endless panic attacks.

i had to take a leave of absence of 9 months to recover.

 

and it happened recently again, and now i won't overdo it.

there is no end to more work and responsibility. if you are smart and good at what you do, you will have other opportunities in the future.

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lithiumnomore
2 minutes ago, xyz said:

it is doable, but i had to slow down my taper. i did a daily micro taper of my meds using liquid and took it very slow and had to hold during stressful events.

i also worked out all throughout my taper despite the insomnia and i think the exercise helped.

 

the reason why i was put on meds in the first place 4 years ago was because i crashed and couldn't sleep for days and had endless panic attacks.

i had to take a leave of absence of 9 months to recover.

 

and it happened recently again, and now i won't overdo it.

there is no end to more work and responsibility. if you are smart and good at what you do, you will have other opportunities in the future.

 

Thanks. This encouragement is really helpful, and I'm sorry to hear about your recent struggles. I hope you can regain some balance. It sounds like you've come a long way. 

 

I've vascillated between definitely wanting to take time off and wanting to figure out a way to keep going today. The default is just to keep at it, hoping symptoms will improve but I feel I need to be more proactive about things.

 

I had a lot of work to get through today and have instead spent it struggling with my withdrawal symptoms--reading others stories and posting. Talked to my wife about everything for a while, trying to figure out a plan. Still am not sure what do and feel paralyzed by the gravity of the decisions. The other thing compliacating all of this is that I--not knowing any better--more or less cold turkeyed lithium and then prozac. I would consider reinstatement but part of me feels like I've made it this far. 

 

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xyz

you were on these meds for a long time and it will take some time to heal. acceptance and distraction are keys.

try to focus on your work one day at a time, i know it is hard when you have symptoms.

don't read too much on withdrawal. for me, it only added fear, but i read success stories when it got tough.

 

when i was tapering my meds, i was shaking and my teeth were chattering during meetings with my bosses, i just told them to ignore my symptoms, they were sign  of anxiety.

one of my bosses was on lexapro and also got off, so they understood what it meant to have anxiety.

 

if you work create more stress, then you have to be honest with your situation and assess.

again be prepared that healing will take some time.

 

many people on upper management are on spych meds for anxiety, you wouldn't believe it.

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henor
22 hours ago, xyz said:

i was able top work 50 to 55 hours a week all throughout my taper that took 2 years to come off a benzo+ ssri. you can look up my thread.

i have 2 children (8 and 4), a house, 2 dogs. my husband helped also but he also have a very demanding job in management.

at almost a year off meds, i crashed and went into a major setback that was worse than acute, and made the withdrawal taper felt like a piece of cake, i had to take rescue doses.

that was 3 weeks ago and i am still recovering and in shock.

 

my advise: don;t overdue, watch out for your health first. 

  • don't eat MSG (for me that was the culprit)
  • don't drink alcohol
  • don't drink coffee
  • eat a clean diet
  • minimize stress

it was a hard way to learn, but i learned my lesson.

also avoid refined sugar, it completely worsened my sleep.

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Altostrata

merged similar topics

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