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brassmonkey

☼ Brassmonkey: Talking about myself

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alaskamom

Rock on, Brass! Way to go!

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Pugknows

Congrats Brass! ((Waving pompoms in the air wildly))

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aberdeen

way to go! Im glad to hear of your creativity coming back. For those of us with a lot of hobbies we used to enjoy, its been hard to leave them on a shelf for years. I cant wait to get that back. 

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Ever

Woot!

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brassmonkey

Thanks everyone, I sure get more support here than I did in my DDA group (DDA Dual Diagnosis Anon, a subdivision of AA) they were more about getting on  and maintaining psych drugs and didn't really want to hear my message.  I usually left the meeting more upset than supported.  I quite going about six months ago and am a whole lot better for it.  I think the latest drop is catching up with me.  I noticed last night that I am not as together as I was a few days ago.  I am letting a lot of things slip past that I would have caught.  Today I am definitely scattered.  Well I'll be here for a few more weeks so it should settle out by them. 

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brassmonkey

Wrote this on another thread and wanted to keep a record here:

 

Being the sole provider for the family there was no alternative but to keep working.  It is probably one of the best things I could have done.  The daily routine and distraction are priceless for getting ones mind off of the struggle of WD.  I am lucky in several ways in that I love what I do as an R&D engineer for a composites company and for the most part I get to set my own tasks and schedule. However I have had almost daily meetings with one of the owners of the company who wants to know "What ya up to?" so that takes some navigating, but as long as I am showing results in a "timely manner" there have been no problems.  I made a decision not to tell anyone about what is going on, the last thing an employer wants to hear is that you have "mental/drug problems" so I figure that it is none of their business as long as I could perform. The owner I mentioned and I get on quite well and I'm pretty sure that he figured out that something was up when I started slipping into poopout because there were a lot of mental and physical changes, but he went along with things and didn't say anything about it.  There have been times when the symptoms did cause trouble.  I handle a lot of different toxic chemicals and work with large power tools so when I get too spaced, dizzy and the like I have to either stop what I'm doing and wait it out or pay very close attention to every little movement I make. The increased concentration really forces the WD into the background, bit I have to be more careful when I let down when I'm done with the task because of the rebound.  I think that if it is at all possible people should keep working just to get the focus off of themselves. 

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brassmonkey

Wrote this on another thread and wanted to share it here also:

 

Major life lessons have taught me that attitude and humor are two of the biggest keys to making it through the tough times.  Attitude is a choice that can make a tough time worse or tolerable, and a positive attitude really does make healing quicker.  I've been through enough to know that every situation is temporary, so why make things worse for my self.  As for humor, ya gota be able to laugh at your self before you can make fun of others, and a lot of natural occurring events are just plain silly so why not laugh at them instead of being embarrassed or upset.

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brassmonkey

Posted this to stranganimals thread and wanted to keep a copy here too:

 

After finishing work and spending two hours in a dentists chair I'm finally getting a chance to get back to you.  As you can see there are a lot of people here willing to help and they have really done their homework, both book learning and practical.  I have a real good idea about how you feel.  I started out on 20mg and was very happy for about ten years.  Then things started to go south.  After talking with the Dr. we upped it to 30mg and things improved a bit for a while but still weren't right. This lasted several years until it was bad enough to try going up to 40mg.  After hardly any improvement things really went down hill until I hardly had any short term memory, was in constant pain, disoriented, limited cognitive function and drank like a fish.  I was looking into changing to cymbalta when I figured out the paxil was causing my problems and the only way out was to get off of it.  I learned about the 10% taper method and was ready to try it.  I was scared to death, I figured that I would be just sitting in a chair rubbing a worry stone repeating "it's only withdrawal" over and over again for years.  It didn't turn out that way.  The 10% taper was gentle enough that I didn't particularly notice the drops.  I also developed a system of sneaking up on the 10% so the effect was a lot milder.  It took about three drops before I started noticing any improvements, but slowly they did start to show up and have steadily increased the entire time.  I not off yet, but I am feeling better now then I did back when I was on the 20mg.

 

One thing I learned from all my reading was that switching drugs rarely works and frequently causes a lot more trouble.  The drugs are not interchangeable, they all work in slightly different ways so they never really mask each other.  So you frequently end up with WD symptoms from the one you quit and start up symptoms from the new one.  Not a pleasant combination.  I was very luck in that I had only been exposed to one drug.  Reading other peoples threads showed me that the ones who had tried switching only kept on trying to switch, chasing the illusive "magic combination" and suffered greatly for a long time because of it.  Sure I've been tapering for close to three and a half years now and have the best part of a year left to go, but I haven't been in sheer misery the entire time.  There have felt like there were many setbacks along the way, but each one gave way to higher ground.

 

It is all uncharted, strange territory, so naturally it is going to be scary.  However, you are in a good position to gain the upper hand and take control of the situation.  

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brassmonkey

Boy the achy breakies have really got a hold of me.  Shoulders, arms and upper back just don't want to be moved.  Which has been fun because we spent most of the weekend working in the garden.  Probably better to keep moving and keep things loose.  The garden looks good, got the tomatoes and asparagus in will add scallions next week.  Have a very nice rash show up on my hip, itches like craze. 

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chia1214

Uh oh, maybe an epsom salt soak is in order? Feel better! Nice job with the gardening. Our garden is under 3 feet of snow...

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chia1214

Hi again bm - I had made some notes about your posts above and saved them. I'm going to post them into my own thread too, for my own recall.

 

 I agree about the daily routine being critical to keeping the mind focused and off wd. I know some can't do that for various reasons, but any little steps in that direction are so helpful. I personally have not worked outside the home for an employer since my girls were very young, but was always busy with being a wife, homeschool mom, keeping the home up, volunteer work and being part of a church community. When I went through this latest horrific wd pattern of the last 3 years, the girls were young adults, no longer needing my oversight. I really hit the floorboards though, so don't know if I would have been capable of anything. During this most recent wave, in the past month or two, I asked some friends who teach, for projects to do at home. They really appreciated the help and I could stay busy while still melting down. Didn't take away the angst a lot of time, but was a tremendous distraction, as well as being productive. I'm still doing it, as I have a hard time even now, making my own routine to fill the whole day up. But it's gotten better with this most recent period of stability. Thankfully I also have my husband to steer me when I need it most.

 

And about the switching drugs, tragically, my husband and me (and even our close friends) always thought we had to keep trying to alternate drugs when one or a combination pooped out. Each time I would experience what we now know to be wicked withdrawal, we were told and believed, it was my "illness", which we were told had to always be managed with drugs. Unbelievable to me it took this long to put two and two together. I always suspected these drugs were causing more problems than they fixed, but every time I tried to go off them, it was without wd knowledge and I always had horrific rebound symptoms. So the reinstatement of the same or new or a combo of drugs always seemed to calm the storm and I always felt subdued back into compliance with another cocktail. Over time I just began to settle for that kind of existence and put on a functional front as best I could. What a wicked merry-go-round. Hopefully it’s over now. And hopefully I won’t have to go through too much wd hell if I taper correctly. I’m going to copy this to my thread too, just for my own notes.

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alaskamom

Love hearing about your garden!  We are at -44 here, so it is beyond my wildest dreams at this point!  Those aches and pains are awful.  You need to move to feel good and when you can't, you feel worse!  I seem to have moved onto other symptoms, but the random aches and pains were incapacitating at times.  Oh the plus side of -44, we have had two moose wandering through the yard eating berries and leaves off our trees...

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brassmonkey

I'll be right over. Moose are some of my favorites. We spent one fall a few years ago chasing them all over Maine trying to get some pictures.  Finally caught a mother and calf near Yellowstone splashing about in a pond, it was great.  Bit of a drive from Maine to Yellowstone but it was a lot of fun, need to do it again real soon.  A local friend was just posting on Facebook that she has a Bobcat visiting in her backyard.  I really need to get over there and try to see it. Hope you've had some clear skies, I've heard you have had some really wicked Northern Lights  the last few weeks.

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clearday

 I still enjoy 2 beers on most nights

 

Whoa, wish I could do that. A guy at AA once liked to say that he wished he could live life existing all the time the way he felt after having two beers. But of course, for him, and most of us AAs, two beers always led to twelve. Looks like you can do the undo-able as far as alcoholics are concerned. More power to you! Two beers is awesome. I'm so jealous. Yet so happy you can enjoy some beer time after all you've been through - 

 

I benefited from your experience, strength, and hope while on PP, it is great to see you here too. I was keepbreathing on there. When cast adrift upon the shutting of PP doors, I washed ashore here and took the opportunity to shorten my name.

 

It would be nice if the AMA was poring over the wealth of information on the PP record as we speak, so that they could redo the SSRI Withdrawal Guidelines to reflect the reality of how bad SSRI WD actually can be.....  :lol::D  :lol: yeah right!!! We'll be waiting a long time for them to catch up. For now, THIS is where people find out what is actually happening to them, and the best place to find their way out of this hell, thanks to people like you and everyone else here - 

 

Cheers -  :D

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brassmonkey

Hi clearday-- I remember posting on your threads several times over at Prior Place.  I glad I was of help and so glad that you seem to be doing pretty well.  You do realize that you quoted one of my posts that is several years old. lol  Since then I have even given up the beer and don't miss it a bit.  I really think that the paxil had a lot to do with my over drinking.  As I have gotten lower in dose the alcohol cravings just melted away.  Maybe a few more years and I will see if I can "drink like a gentlemen" but it isn't a priority.

 

Hope you're doing well.

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clearday

Hi clearday-- I remember posting on your threads several times over at Prior Place.  I glad I was of help and so glad that you seem to be doing pretty well.  You do realize that you quoted one of my posts that is several years old. lol  Since then I have even given up the beer and don't miss it a bit.  I really think that the paxil had a lot to do with my over drinking.  As I have gotten lower in dose the alcohol cravings just melted away.  Maybe a few more years and I will see if I can "drink like a gentlemen" but it isn't a priority.

 

Hope you're doing well.

 

 Oops!  I should have read your signature more closely. Doh!

 

Prozac helped to turn me into an alcoholic within a month of going on it, so I can relate to SSRIs increasing alcohol intake.

 

I sure do wish I could have a beer now and then, but for me one is too many, and ten is not enough. 

 

I've been sober for 15 of the last 17 years. The two-year gap was due to a relapse during the worst of my Prozac WD years.

 

While I take full responsibility for my alcoholism, Prozac sure helped bring it on it on and made it worse. 

 

Anyway, I am doing well considering everything - thanks for asking - hope you are too -  

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Micromonster

Hey folks, hope all is well, we'll done on the two years sobriety, that's a real achievement you should be very proud of yourself. It gave me a little lift reading the good parts, hope the aches and pains soon fade x

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Ever

My alcohol cravings are almost zilch nowadays Tom.   And even when I do have some, I don't drink very much at all, instead of keeping on until it's all gone.  I'm soooo pleased.   As I get lower I presume.   Really really glad.   I thought I was an alcoholic for a long time, or at least nearly so. 

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brassmonkey

Just for you Alaskamon-- the tomatoes we planted on Sunday are noticeably several inches taller this morning.  The sweet 110s, a vining cherry tomato should be big enough to start torturing in a few weeks,  the regular tomatoes I will leave alone this year, they haven't taken well to torture in the past, so I will just put them in cages.  This all sounds very perverted doesn't it.

 

The WDs are sticking with me so far this week.  Had a good bought with the intrusive thoughts yesterday, finally got them to shut up after a few hours, but ended up feeling off the rest of the day.  Hasn't been as bad today, but still have to watch myself so they don't get going.  Right now it is lack of motivation and the achy breakies that are getting to me.  It doesn't help that "life" stuff has been keeping up it's pace at the same time.  Get this week over with and hopefully things will settle down a bit.

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sunshine01

This is great! the old crew :)

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DLB

Hey brass, just checking on you. I can't wait to start my tomatoes, they can't go in the ground here until after Mother's Day though. We have about 3 feet of snow to look at now so it seems a loooong way before tomatoes! Glad your hanging in there and have motivation for planting.

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alaskamom

Torturing the tomatoes?!  No wonder I could never grow anything even when we lived in warmer climes!  I was doing it all wrong!  LOL

 

Up to 10 deg here and we're dancing in the streets!  Hoping it is warm enough to go tubing at the ski hill tomorrow!

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brassmonkey

Well the tomato plants have more than doubled in size in a week and a half.  At this rate they should engulf the world in about six months  MUHAHAHAHAHa.

 

Otherwise, things are plowing right along.  Have been having a lot of fun with leg and eyelid twitching the past few days.  Minor depression and the usual intrusive thoughts are showing their heads too. Monica has been having some really, I mean REALLY bad stomach pain the past several days.  The worst lasted only one night but the after effects have lasted several days, this has not helped my anxiety levels at all.  She seems to be on the mend now which helps.  The doctor put me on some NSAID for my hands along with some exercises.  It has only bee a few days so I won't commit, but so far the results seem positive.

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mustangwoman

lol.  I have about 48 tomato seedlings started in the house to transfer in early May, but it gives me hope just watching those seeds grow.  I hope you are doing well brassmonkey.  Hope the achy breakies give you a break.

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brassmonkey

It's all on a day by day basis MW.  Day before yesterday I was feeling pretty good, a little too good in the afternoon with a bit of hypomania kicking in.  I recognized it and was able to keep it from getting out of control and causing a crash.  Yesterday I was quite tired, but I am doing some design work for manufacturing a new product line which is keeping me excited.  Today I am still tired, pretty usual for Friday, and a bit frustrated because I have to work on a "design team" with poor communications so it is hard to get good ideas listened to.  The achy breakies are at bay for the moment, but that can change all too quickly.

 

48 seedlings, that will really keep you in tomatoes is they all take off.  Hope you're doing well.

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mustangwoman

I'm doing ok, a bit of the achie breakies myself I think it is these low dosages that we're in.  I hope all the tomatoes do take off, it will be a good project for spring and summer with great benefits.  :)

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aberdeen

Once again, jealous of your early gardening season!!!! I wish! Hope the NSAIDS work out. I used an NSAID cream for my excema, worried that a steroid would cause issues, and I had very good results. Not the same thing but similar.

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alaskamom

I have caught your gardening madness up here.  Of course, it is up to 36 degrees today, but we have lots of daylight, so I am accumulating house plants like crazy.  I haven't even finished killing off my Christmas poinsettia yet!  We have a grow light in the downstairs where my youngest has started sweetpeas in hopes of building a butterfly habitat.  Too bad the butterflies won't be here for about 4 months or so...

 

Glad you're not aching too!  Yay!

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brassmonkey

I'm so glad to hear that all you ladies are doing well.  I'm pretty much WDnormal at the moment.  I have one moe week at this level and then I start to slide again.  I'm pretty excited because I will break below 2mg this round.  The NSAID seems to be helping the hands as they are not nearly as painful, mainly just stiff and sore.  We've been having cold rain the last few days so I have to make sure not to let them get too cold, as that really sets them off.  Things must be okay as I just noticed that I am typing with out much trouble.  I have been thinking about trying to use typing as a form of exercise.  Maybe break out one of my old writing projects and see what happens with it.  It would give me something different to do in the evenings.

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DLB

Nice update Brass, keep on sliding!!!!

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LoveandLight
:) great!

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Rhiannon

Wrote this on another thread and wanted to keep a record here:

 

Being the sole provider for the family there was no alternative but to keep working.  It is probably one of the best things I could have done.  The daily routine and distraction are priceless for getting ones mind off of the struggle of WD.  I am lucky in several ways in that I love what I do as an R&D engineer for a composites company and for the most part I get to set my own tasks and schedule. However I have had almost daily meetings with one of the owners of the company who wants to know "What ya up to?" so that takes some navigating, but as long as I am showing results in a "timely manner" there have been no problems.  I made a decision not to tell anyone about what is going on, the last thing an employer wants to hear is that you have "mental/drug problems" so I figure that it is none of their business as long as I could perform. The owner I mentioned and I get on quite well and I'm pretty sure that he figured out that something was up when I started slipping into poopout because there were a lot of mental and physical changes, but he went along with things and didn't say anything about it.  There have been times when the symptoms did cause trouble.  I handle a lot of different toxic chemicals and work with large power tools so when I get too spaced, dizzy and the like I have to either stop what I'm doing and wait it out or pay very close attention to every little movement I make. The increased concentration really forces the WD into the background, bit I have to be more careful when I let down when I'm done with the task because of the rebound.  I think that if it is at all possible people should keep working just to get the focus off of themselves. 

 

That was true for me too. I had no choice but to work, and also to deal with all the stressors and changes of life as an aging middle-aged single mom who has lost her life savings and pretty much everything else. In my case it has forced me to do an extremely long taper and I'm actually grateful for that because I feel like it's giving my brain a chance to heal better. I also find that when I'm having WD times after cutting, going to work is not actually bad, it gives me a structure, forces me into the shower and then out of the house, you know? Not everyone can work while tapering, and it's good that not everyone has to, but it's nice that we can do this and get through it without giving up the rest of our lives.

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brassmonkey

I do wish that earworms would be polite enough to give you a break when you're asleep. At least this one is a fairly benign tune, but 24/7 for three days now and it's getting old.  I've tried throwing snippets of other songs at it to no avail, hoping something might derail it, it just got the two songs intertwined.  I just might have to resort to forehead tapping to see if that will work.  It is surprising how much energy they take.

 

Things have been going pretty smoothly all week.  WDnormal while at work and then some improvements in the evening.  Have been able to hold real conversations and deeper discussions of the things we have been watching on tv.  Just finished the re-release of "The Jewel in the Crown" which took some real digging into to understand in a historical light.  I think that I am slipping into WD a bit at work because of the forced structure and not being able to take extended breaks when I really should.  It's not a problem, but is a bit irritating.

 

Yesterday I was going to post that the whole drama with the tooth I broke before Christmas had been put to rest, but NNOOOOO.  He broke my broken tooth, or more like he broke the replacement tooth.  Got the thing all positioned and fit very nicely, took it out to put on the glue and broke it.  Total accident, but still a real pissser.  Now I have to take time off yet again to go back next week.

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alaskamom

Man, that sucks on the tooth!  On top of having to take off work, having to get yourself psyched up and mentally prepared to go!  If the tooth was that fragile before it even went in your mouth, imagine what might have happened once you had it in and bit down on something substantial!  I am currently hiding from some tooth sensitivity (cavity?) because the dentist totally freaks me out!

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brassmonkey

Just posted this on KittyQs thread and wanted to keep a record here too:

 

 I had a look at some of the ascension sites and found it all quit familiar.  A person can't go through such an experience as WD and not come out changed.  For us the majority of our humanity has been chemically stripped away and the world then sifted through one grain of sand at a time as we try to rebuild.  It is a torturous, wrenching process, but I feel that we emerge  as better people.  One of the hards parts to accept is that we are doing it involuntarily.  I first faced that during my "Seven Years of Pain", but I was lucky that I had several years of spiritual training under my belt and was able to understand what was happening and work with it.  Those experiences held me in good stead when, many years later, I started passing through chemical torment caused by my Paxil use and have helped me navigate the changing world as I have emerged on the other side.  I have mentioned on many other threads that this is our second chance at life that many others won't get and we should take full advantage of it.  Just think of the positive changes that can be made if the tens of millions of us who will be going through this in the next years will let it be a growing experience.  The inner strength, confidence, clarity and world view I have gained are amazing, almost to the point of moving beyond the pain etc. I went through to get here.  There is still some acceptance to be dealt with on that issue, all in it's own time.  Life is too precious and short to be ruled by bitterness, the past is over and done with, can't be changed and must be let go of, and that gets into another subject for another time.

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brassmonkey

This has been quite the morning for sage commentary, I wrote this to justwanttobefree and want to keep it here also.

 

Racing twilight thoughts can be a major pain in the a** but they are nothing to be afraid of.  They have a habit of overstating the obvious but in a vailled and symbolic way.  Many years ago I nearly died of a gangrenous Gaul Bladder.  After two operations, one to remove it and one to clean up the resulting infections, I remember laying in bed semi asleep and watching the the legends of H*** crossing a bridge out of my body.  It was quite frightening but marked the point where I knew I would recover.  The possession and people exiting your body are the same sort of thing.  There will be many changes taking place in your mind and body, many of them will be frightening but they will all be for the better.  The trick is to not let them upset you.

 

Thank you for causing me to write such a cathartic post.  I am sitting here raining tears thinking back on that dream twenty some years ago and how it marked so many positive changes in my life.

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