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Songbird

Songbird: a little about me

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brassmonkey

Hi Songbird-- It good to hear that you're doing pretty well in general and have been able to get back to the singing.  Sorry to hear about the injured wing.  They take for ever to heal right but if you keep up the physio it will happen.  A few years ago Monica fell off of a table and broke her shoulder.  Took just over a year and a lot of painful work but it's back 100%.  Cortisone shots are a temporary fix for pain relief that work sometimes and sometimes cause more pain.  They are designed to take the edge off for a week or so, so that the healing process can get going. They help to break the pain cycle.  The one I had for my back caused me to pass out at the time I got it and not much else.  Now that I think about it most people I know of who have had them didn't experience much relief.

 

I have been taking curcumin, a derivative of turmeric, for my hands and have been having good luck with it as an anti-inflammatory, might be worth a shot.  It took several weeks to really kick in. 

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nz11

Hi, SB

You Tuis sure are great singers thats for sure.

 

Sorry to hear about ongoing pain...

I wonder if soaking up the healing waters of the Hamner springs is useful its just up the road from you right...? The only problem is you cant take them  home.

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Songbird

Thanks, Brass, I'm going to try the shot as I've heard a couple of success stories so I think it's worth a try.  The physio thinks it might help to kickstart the healing process.  I'm already taking a supplement that contains a decent dose of turmeric, plus ginger, boswellia and withania.  It's been great for my lower back problems, but isn't fixing the shoulder.

 

Hi, NZ11, you need to brush up on your geography - Hanmer Springs is in the South Island, much closer to you than to me.  I've been there once and it was very nice.  We do have Waiwera just "up the road" to the north and Parakai Springs to the west, they're the same kind of thing.

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Altostrata

Don't forget acupuncture. It's very good for muscle pain.

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homeandaway

Hi Songbird, thanks for sharing, you don't need to give me a chocolate fish!  Im impressed at your tenacity on the work front, well done :)

 Im a kiwi too, will taper soon, realised I need to get a stronger footing first :0

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Songbird

Thanks, it's great to have more Kiwis here.

 

Two weeks since my drop and I'm feeling crappy last couple of days.  Nausea, dizziness, fatigue.  Keep needing a mid-afternoon nanna nap.  Not sure if this is w/d or some weird tummy bug maybe.  It isn't severe, but enough to stop me getting on with stuff.  I'm going to go lie down again now.

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Songbird

I realised yesterday I messed up my dose.  It suddenly dawned on me I was taking 2.6mg instead of 2.7mg and I had no idea whether I'd been doing that for a day or week or what.  As I've tapered I've noticed more and more memory problems, and cognitively I feel I am no longer the fairly sharp, intelligent person I used to be, or thought I was, anyway.  These days I feel as dumb as a post.  As thick as a brick, or two short planks, take your pick.  I also make a lot more typing and spelling errors, and other silly mistakes that I never would have made in the past.

 

My shoulder has been less painful in the last couple of days, so that's something positive.

 

Hi Homeandaway, nice to see another Kiwi here.  We're getting quite a good collection of Kiwis here lately.

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LexAnger

OMG, I hope you ride it out soon ok.

These tiny marks are tricky considering every deal for such a long time, even for those brains unharmed by these poisons.

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LexAnger

l.

OMG, I hope you ride it out soon ok.

These tiny marks are tricky considering every deal for such a long time, even for those brains unharmed by these poisons.

I mean everyday deal, not every deal

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GoodSarah

Hi Songbird- I just wanted to say thank you for visiting my thread a few times. I can relate to your story so much, being a new mom. I get the jittery feeling too at night. I feel like you "get it." Congratulations to you for being so careful with your taper. I feel like I've jumped around so much (in desperation) that I now understand that it takes wisdom and discipline to go slowly.

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Songbird

Thanks for visiting my thread, Sarah.  I've had several failed tapering attempts before this ultra-slow taper.  If wisdom is learning from your mistakes, then I've probably acquired some.  My babies are teenagers now - I never dreamed back then when they were babies and this all started that I would still be struggling with these stupid drugs all these years later.  They'll probably have moved out of home by the time I finally finish my taper.  They do grow up fast, and every age is interesting in its own way.

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Songbird

The cortisol injection didn't seem to cause me problems, and the shoulder pain level reduced considerably within a few days.  I've been able to stop taking panadeine (paracetamol + codeine) and only need a panadol (paracetamol) now and then.  I'm very happy to be mostly out of pain now.  That's the good news.  The bad news is that my range of motion became very limited and my physio is worried that my shoulder capsule has seized up somehow.  I'm now booked in to see a sports physician.  I've also got a different bunch of exercises to do instead of the ones I was doing before.  I still get some sharp pain if I accidentally move in a way that my shoulder joint doesn't like, which I seem to do several times a day.

 

Withdrawal-wise, I decided to drop again, despite not feeling 100% stable, as it felt like some of these symptoms were more long-term things that weren't going to go away for quite a while (fatigue, brain fog, memory problems), and also some of it felt hormonal (mood swings), probably peri-menopausal stuff.  I'm not going to wait to drop until menopause is over, so I decided to drop and see how it goes.  If more severe symptoms than normal crop up, then I'll hold for a while, otherwise I'll keep chipping away with the tiny drops.

 

I've been having patches of fatigue and needing to nap in the afternoon.  I know that you're "not supposed to" nap, but when I say needing to nap I mean really needing to, my body not giving me much choice in the matter - I just have to lie down.  Some days I have napped for four hours.  Usually the feeling hits right after eating lunch (but strangely doesn't happen after breakfast or dinner). 

 

Today I had a weird variation - rather than just feeling fatigued, I felt like I was in a half-asleep-half-awake state all afternoon.  I couldn't really sleep properly, but couldn't wake up properly either.  It felt like my brain was full of fog so I couldn't focus or do anything.  When I finally got up, it felt like I was walking around kind of asleep while awake - very weird.  It's 8 p.m. now and I feel better but still kind of tired and foggy. 

 

I'm finding that this stuff can vary a lot day to day and a tired day can be followed by a good one, so I think some days I just have to kind of write off and hope the next is better.  Nothing very bad, it is just frustrating as there are things I want and need to get done.  At least I have more motivation to do things these days, even if I don't always have the energy to do them.  The desire to do stuff is there most of the time now, which I feel is a positive.  I also recently had a weird day when I felt like crying all day, which I seem to get now and then.

 

It's only been a couple of days at 2.6mg, so now I'll just have to wait and see how it goes over the next few weeks.

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Rain

Hi Songbird, your story is encouraging me a lot, many thanks! I will keep going with tapering my Lexapro, Although I still feel not well after the big drop of lexapro(20mg to 10mg). 

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Songbird

I woke up this morning feeling a bit depressed, which passed very quickly, and I soon cheered up and actually had a really good day.  Deciding to bypass all the things that need doing around here, I treated myself to a whole day in the studio, working on a new song.  I plan to do the same tomorrow, as it's a public holiday. 

 

Time in my studio seems to revitalise me in a different way to anything else - my spirit, I suppose - or the creative part of me - the part that makes me feel the most like me, if that makes any sense.  There's nothing else like it, so it seems to be something I really need, and usually I keep putting it off, because there are always things that need doing - work, and chores, and bills, and stuff - and so it gets low priority, pushed to the back of the queue, when really it shouldn't - I need to make time for it.  It's so easy to deprive yourself of the things you love, by doing all the things you think you "should" be doing.  I remember years ago reading about a lady who diligently swept her doorstep every day, and when she got old and they asked her if she had any regrets in life, she said she wished she had spent less time cleaning and more time writing poetry.  There's another saying like that - that nobody ever looked back on their life and wished they'd spent more time at the office.  No matter what - I'm a musician, so I need to make music - this bird's gotta sing!

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ladybug

Yay for a good day! And yes it's absolutely vital that we take some time out for ourselves doing something we love that nourishes our soul. I'm sure stuff like that also aids in our healing. I have an awful voice so I must admit I'm a little jealous lol. Regardless, one of my favorite things to do is to sing at the top of my lungs to the radio while driving. It's a good stress reliever for sure.

 

Congrats on getting the courage to make another drop. 2.6mg! That's freaking awesome. I know exactly what you mean about dropping despite not feeling 100%. Expecting to feel 100% before making every drop is unrealistic in my opinion. I like Brassmonkey's term "WD normal." This is what I aim for before dropping. I'm certainly not feeling normal normal but stable enough that I don't think I'll make myself much worse by doing a drop.

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brassmonkey

Ladybug-- You have an understanding that I wish more people would gain.  As long as we have some of the drug in our system we can't possibly be 100%.  We have to achieve a steady level of discomfort called stability or WDnormal.  Then we can make our next adjustment and start the process again.  As we remove more drug the level of WDnormal rises until one day it reaches that mythical 100% mark.  Yes, 100% is mythical, because even "normies" are never 100%.

 

((((((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))))

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brassmonkey

Songbird-- Taking a couple of days just to play in the studio is wonderful.  For a musician not to make music is torture.  I am so excited you have the studio up and running and are making time to use it.  I'm a bit behind you as I'm still getting control over my studio but I'm making a lot of progress on that front.  It's going to be a big life event year so I still have to prioritize and in some cases life must be first in line, but once the smoke settles I have some really interesting projects on the board.

 

For ever one reading this: The creativity does come back, here are two prime examples.

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Songbird

Thanks, you guys!  I was in the studio again most of today.  Wish I could just do that every day and not have to bother with having to work for a living! 

 

Some creativity has come back, but not all.  Before meds, I used to get song ideas popping into my head, and I had little flashes of it last taper pre-crash, and earlier on in this one, so I thought it was going to come back, but it stopped and hasn't come back in all these years of tapering.  I don't know if it will ever come back if it hasn't by now.  I'm working on some traditional Celtic folk music, so luckily I don't have to write my own songs.

 

It's good to hear you are making progress on getting your studio going, Brass.  It took me several weeks of sorting through mess, tidying, cleaning, and recabling, before mine was usable again.  I'll be interested to hear about your studio projects.

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LexAnger

songbird,

So great you have your creativity back for music!!

You have been a great example for slow tapering and winning the battles,

 

Keep the good progress going!

Lex

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Rain

Hello Songbird: I feel happy for you that you are slowly back to yourself again! 

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brassmonkey

Mine's an art studio, not sound recording so it's a bit different.  I use to have a television studio in the garage but had to take that down years ago when everything went to digital.  Anyway, currently I'm working up the designs for some oversized steampunk type projects.  Something along the lines of a full size mechanical horse pulling a buggy.  That one's going to take a while as I want to do a small scale one to work out the design first.  Then there is a variety of steampunk lab equipment, a solar telescope and the like.  Problem is I want to make them functional and not just pretty.

 

I rather like Celtic music.

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Songbird

Something along the lines of a full size mechanical horse pulling a buggy.

 

Wow, nothing like thinking big!  That sounds pretty cool.

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grandmaD

Wow Songbird, I am so amazed that you are still suffering with drops even this low.  It is so crazy isn't it.

 

On the other hand, I am impressed by the fact that your creativity has returned.  I think I can say the same thing.  Mind you, I don't want to get back to scrapbooking, quilting or painting, which is what I used to do A LOT.  However, my mind has desires to do those things at times, but it seems like too big a task to get started.

 

More proof our brains can heal is that it wasn't until mine changed, probably starting last year, slowly, that I realised I was brain dead before that and had got used to it and thought it was normal!  I began to be able to read bits and pieces and I did a jig saw.  Throughout the year I attempted more and ended up reading 3 (small) books and doing 3 (500piece) jig saw puzzles and I was amazed by myself!

 

And for you too, Tom, starting to work on "far-out" projects, it is all very encouraging for us all!

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brassmonkey

Not long after I joined Prior Place one of the other male members posted a video of a speed boat he had build while in WD.  He said he needed something to keep his mind active and his hands out of mischief while going through his taper.  I found it very inspiring and it pointed up the need to keep thinking, distracted, and creating as much as we're able just to try to maintain our humanity.  I think every little creative thing we are capable of, journaling, gardening, coloring mandalas, reading, doing jigsaws, even if it's only for a few minutes a day, are all very important to keep the juices flowing while we fight our way through this.

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grandmaD

I forgot to put this in my thread,but I had a laugh (another good sign of healing!) when I read how you trick your brain into sleeping with the book.  I realised I have done something similar (but I don't always remember things to do in the middle of the night) but I would tell myself that I would just lie there and wait till the next half hour or hour and get up and make a cuppa.  I was quite surprised when I woke 2 hours later that I had gone back to sleep!  I guess it is a similar thing to your book reading!

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Songbird

The idea is to remove the pressure to fall asleep.  If you try to fall asleep, it's like performance anxiety - you feel like you've got to fall asleep and the pressure goes on.  Saying you are going to just rest takes all that pressure off, because you can rest lying down but it doesn't matter if you fall asleep or not.  And resting is something positive, that's good for you, so it feels like a good thing to do.  While it sounds like you set a duration for your rest, I didn't do that, as I liked to feel like I had the freedom to return to my book at any time I wanted, so there was no pressure to rest for a set period of time.  It is interesting that you tried something similar and it worked for you too.

 

What I have found is that many of the conventional "sleep hygiene" rules don't work that well for me.  They usually say that if you haven't fallen asleep within a certain time period, to get out of bed and do something else, but that doesn't tend to work for me.  The resting and reading thing has worked better for me. 

 

Also, I don't follow the rule about making the room dark.  I need to keep a bedside lamp on so that I am able to read if I want to, and if I turn the light off, then there's nothing to do but try to go to sleep, so on goes the pressure.  I've slept with the bedside lamp on since my crash in 2008.  I haven't even tried turning it off, because even the thought of it brings on the psychological anxiety, so I just don't go there. 

 

I also don't follow the rule about using your bedroom only for sleep and sex (I've never understood why sex was the exception, I've never thought of it as a particularly restful activity).  I use my bedroom like a living room and do most everything in there - it's basically my sanctuary where I feel safe and comfortable.  I mean I don't entertain visitors there - it's my private sanctuary - but I read, eat, watch TV, and so on.  That stuff doesn't seem to negatively affect my sleep.

 

I also break all the other rules.  I don't go to bed at the same time or wake at the same time every day.  I don't get up early unless I have to because I hate mornings.  I don't know why I hate mornings so much, I've been that way my entire life and still don't know why.  It isn't that I actually hate mornings, I just hate the way I feel in the morning.  I hate waking up because I love sleep so much.  I feel like some kind of weird sleep addict.  After waking I usually feel grumpy for a while.

 

In recent times my sleep patterns seem to be more affected by hormones - at the PMS stage each month I will have several nights of insomnia, which is usually sorted fairly easily with a small dose of melatonin.  I don't mind plain insomnia all that much (i.e. the non-anxiety kind) and so I don't worry about it too much.  Of course, my sleep issues in recent years are very mild compared to my crash experience, so I feel very fortunate that my sleep is mostly pretty good these days (crosses fingers and touches wood).  Anyway, enough rambling on...

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brassmonkey

I've found it very important to find ones natural sleep cycle.  Early to bed early to rise is a manifestation of the industrial age as is 8 hours or uninterrupted sleep.  My natural cycle is to go to bed between 1 and 2 am and sleep to 9 or 10.  Every holiday and most  weekends I revert to that schedule.  Weekdays I'm forced to 10pm through 5:30 am and I always feel horrible because of it.  The few years I had to start work at 5am were miserable, but the years of working 6pm to midnight were great.  Monica is similar, but even later, generally 4am to 1pm.  I have to agree with the "sleep anxiety" aspect too.  Just the act of getting out of the recliner, brushing teeth and crawling into bed is enough to trigger things and spoil that delicious slide into oblivion.  We've both learned not to fight it, if the brain fades out then just go to sleep where ever you are and don't worry about it. 

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apace41

I also don't follow the rule about using your bedroom only for sleep and sex (I've never understood why sex was the exception, I've never thought of it as a particularly restful activity). 

 

At the risk of taking Songbird's thread off track, and perhaps at the greater risk of being deemed "inappropriate", I couldn't help when I read this but to think of Woody Allen's line when he found out his first wife had been the victim of a sexual assault.  Allen's response to the reporter?

 

"Well, knowing my first wife, I'm pretty sure it wasn't a moving violation."

 

Pretty wrong but pretty funny.

 

Songbird,

 

I think the fact that you are finding something that works for you is great.  Just because the "experts" say "this is what you MUST do", we are all different and we all respond in different ways to different stimuli. 

 

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

 

Best,

 

Andy

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KarenB

Hey Songbird,

 

Wondering if you'd copy that post (#98) into the insomnia thread?   

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grandmaD

What I have found is that many of the conventional "sleep hygiene" rules don't work that well for me.  They usually say that if you haven't fallen asleep within a certain time period, to get out of bed and do something else, but that doesn't tend to work for me.  The resting and reading thing has worked better for me. 


I found this didn't work either.  I also tried music with words but found I was trying to listen to the words and wondered what the next song was and the next, and so on.  I find my music without words helps the most, but if it gets towards the end, I can feel the anxiety come on because "oh, no it is almost finished and I'm still not asleep!"

Also, I don't follow the rule about making the room dark.  I need to keep a bedside lamp on so that I am able to read if I want to, and if I turn the light off, then there's nothing to do but try to go to sleep, so on goes the pressure.  I've slept with the bedside lamp on since my crash in 2008.  I haven't even tried turning it off, because even the thought of it brings on the psychological anxiety, so I just don't go there. 

This is okay if you don't have a a husband who wants it to be dark!  I will keep it in mind, just the same.


I also break all the other rules.  I don't go to bed at the same time or wake at the same time every day.  I don't get up early unless I have to because I hate mornings.  I don't know why I hate mornings so much, I've been that way my entire life and still don't know why.  It isn't that I actually hate mornings, I just hate the way I feel in the morning.  I hate waking up because I love sleep so much.  I feel like some kind of weird sleep addict.  After waking I usually feel grumpy for a while.

I love my sleep too, and always had 10hours sleep each night, perhaps that is why I am worried now that I am not getting enough.  I've always been a morning person, opposite to you and love the atmosphere of sunrise with the peace, quiet and cool.  I am at my best then and wind down, down and get very tired, sometimes even before tea, but try and stick to that "rule" about keeping the same times of going to bed.  You probably heard the expression, but you are an owl and I am a fowl!

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grandmaD

 We've both learned not to fight it, if the brain fades out then just go to sleep where ever you are and don't worry about it. 

This seems to be the key, not to fight it, but to tell myself just to rest, whether I sleep or not.

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Songbird

I've always been a morning person, opposite to you and love the atmosphere of sunrise with the peace, quiet and cool. I am at my best then and wind down, down and get very tired, sometimes even before tea, but try and stick to that "rule" about keeping the same times of going to bed. You probably heard the expression, but you are an owl and I am a fowl!

 

I love the atmosphere of sunrise, etc., too, but I'm just not wired the right way to be awake then.  I can do it for a day or two, but it's really hard going.  I haven't heard the expression owls and fowls before, the one I know is owls and larks.

 

My natural cycle is to go to bed between 1 and 2 am and sleep to 9 or 10.  Every holiday and most  weekends I revert to that schedule.

 

Me too, I've always been an owl, not a lark.  I've kind of fallen into that cycle most of this summer, as I don't have an normal day job any more.

 

This is okay if you don't have a a husband who wants it to be dark!

 

My husband has slept in the lounge for years - that's how he likes it - he likes to fall asleep in front of the TV.  I suppose that sounds a bit strange and sad, but we just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary two days ago, so we've managed to stay together despite sleeping in different places.  I suppose it's a bit unconventional but it seems to work for us.

 

I think the fact that you are finding something that works for you is great.  Just because the "experts" say "this is what you MUST do", we are all different and we all respond in different ways to different stimuli. 

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

 

I totally agree.  This whole process is about finding what works for you, and I guess so is life in general.

 

I thought of another sleep "rule" I don't follow - the one about keeping the room cool.  I can't sleep if I'm too cold, I have to be warm, especially my feet.  Most nights (except in the heat of summer) I use a hot water bottle by my feet in bed.  In this case I'm pretty sure there is some research that showed that people sleep better when they have warm feet.  I don't have to worry about it at the moment as it's the middle of summer here and we're having a bit of a heatwave, so most nights I have a fan going all night.

 

Well, time for bed!  It's only 10:30 but I'm a bit tired.  I'll probably read for a while before going off to sleep though. Sweet dreams, everyone! :)

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nz11

Sorry to change the subject.

Songbird i noticed you mentioned elsewhere you are taking your dose twice a day.

Does that mean you are taking 1.3mg twice a day?

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Songbird

Yes, I am currently taking 1.3mg just before breakfast, and 1.3mg just before dinner.

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Songbird

I am wondering whether anyone else has experienced a lot of fatigue in this dose range.  Anything at all seems to wipe me out for hours.  Today I had a smear test and then my physio worked on my injured shoulder for a while, and it seems that one or both of these may have been too much for my body - when I got home I had to lie down and I slept for a few hours - again!  This isn't fatigue as in just feeling tired, I feel wiped out and have to lie down.  It is making it difficult to get things done.  I'm also finding it difficult to get to sleep some nights, but once I get to sleep I tend to sleep very well.

 

My mood lately has been pretty good.  I've had some patches of feeling very happy (which always worries me, because past experience has taught me that feeling really great comes before a fall).  And some little crying patches, but not always in a bad way, and I usually feel better afterwards.  The fatigue is a problem, but it is a symptom that I find more bearable than others I could have, so can't complain too much.  Overall, things are quite good right at the moment, but I keep "waiting for the other shoe to drop" as they say.  There is still time for this drop to hit me!  In the meantime I'm just enjoying the good moods while I can.

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AliG

Songbird.   I think fatigue is a  withdrawal symptom , no matter where you are on the scale .  I've experienced it in spades, as have many others , and it's one of those symptoms , that while relatively mild - sounding , can have astronomic repercussions , in real life.  I hope this improves for you , soon.

I'm sure it will eventually recede.

Ali

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