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The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

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Miko789
On 12/9/2018 at 6:50 PM, Nena59 said:

Chochka,

I am going through this. I have been off 2 plus years and feel wd pretty bad. It seems I felt better, in that I had more windows, months ago. I did have some setbacks, my dad died in March and my mom had successful cancer surgery in April. I also get migraines almost weekly for sometimes multiple days (these are a lifetime problem, but it really affects me).

I am really getting discouraged. My main symptom is anhedonia...no joy, no energy, no hope. Any type of stress seems to affect me. I have at times thought that I wish to be dead. I wonder if I will have to go back on antidepressants. I've tried counselors, but they don't believe in paws. I have a very supportive group of friends and family. I don't know what to do except push, push, push. Mornings are usually pretty bad, but evenings are sometimes better.

I would love to hear any encouragement. I'm scared that since this is not really improving much that this is it.

 

Try not to fear, there is hope,

Mornings are not good for me either, but I push. evenings are better, are you currently working? Try to find some interests like hobbies, sports, gym, its very important to keep the  mind busy.

 

 

Have you tried in the past any herbs supplements like Omega 3 fish oil, you can purchase it from ebay, or indian herbs for energy, ashwaganda is good for relax

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Gridley

Miko, I'm sorry you're feeling so bad.  Unfortunately, recovery from these drugs takes time, more than we'd like.  No, doctors and counselors don't believe in PAWS but it is very real.

 

How Long Is Withdrawal Going to Take?

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Nevertoolate

I think I'm starting to see a bit of a pattern with the windows and waves and wonder if anyone else can relate? 

When I'm in waves I don't dream. I sleep like the dead but I've started to connect the periods of dreaming with the onset of a window. 

My thought is the dreaming phase is when the brain is rewiring itself or sorting things out?? 

Does this sound feasible? 

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RusTW
On 2/15/2018 at 12:29 PM, Vonnegutjunky said:

Sorry if there is already a similar topic, just looking for others who may also experience these extreme windows and waves. 

 

When im in a wave it seems I’ll never feel better again, and like my windows weren’t real. 

Then when I’m in a window I feel so normal, motivated, almost good, and it feels like my waves are all done and they won’t come back. 

 

They are just so extreme. 

 

Can anyone else relate? 

Do they become less extreme? 

Hi V I do relate. My windows are so clear.For a few months off and on.now back into a really bad wave going on 2 weeks

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Vonnegutjunky
56 minutes ago, RusTW said:

Hi V I do relate. My windows are so clear.For a few months off and on.now back into a really bad wave going on 2 weeks

Thank you Rus, it’s so mind boggling 

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Chochka
1 hour ago, Maryb said:

May I ask what symptoms you are having?  Are you completely off your medications?  I hope you are seeing some improvements.  I am going through a horrible wave again.  This is such suffering.  

Hi Maryb.

 

I've been completely off my meds for over two and a half years now, having gone CT after a prolonged period of jumping on and off various tablets at the doctor's advice. I thought things were improving a year or so off but I've been struggling badly again for the last year. I think the recent waves have been triggered by getting typhoid (very mildly) a year ago, which triggered a wave of about 8 months, and then taking a typhoid vaccine about two months ago which started it all off again. The symptoms aren't as bad as when I first went CT and some of them have pretty much gone, but the main ones are intense drowsiness, foggy brain, short-term memory problems, tinnitus, achy muscles and headaches and occasionally a numb face and tingly feeling up and down my body and head. The irritation has faded a lot, and the anxiety and tearfulness, although they still raise their ugly heads from time to time. It seems to me that I don't have any reserves - I'm ok(ish) if everything else is on an even keel but any kind of knock will really unbalance me and produce symptoms. And when I say 'ok' I mean that the symptoms are manageable, not that I feel 'normal'. Illness is a killer, but other things also knock me off centre, like alcohol, exercise and cold remedies. And woe betide me if I don't get a good night's sleep! I think I have at least another two if not three or more, years before I am symptom free, and I can see the symptoms coming back for years to come if anything serious happens. 

 

What about you? What are your symptoms?

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Dizzy4
On 3/17/2019 at 5:50 AM, RusTW said:

Hi V I do relate. My windows are so clear.For a few months off and on.now back into a really bad wave going on 2 weeks

 

I'm pretty early in to this but am blown away by the clarity of the window I had at 8 months. I was working, I was sharp, I was normal (I was employed) and then one day about a month ago (9 months after initial cold turkey off Lexapro), it was like uh oh I 'm having trouble understanding and then I felt unwell.. all the things came back, the fog, the fluey-ness, motion sensitivity, light sensitivity, sadness and today its lifted again 4 weeks later, almost back to normal ..but no job now 😞

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Dizzy4
On 2/25/2019 at 2:51 PM, Nevertoolate said:

I think I'm starting to see a bit of a pattern with the windows and waves and wonder if anyone else can relate? 

When I'm in waves I don't dream. I sleep like the dead but I've started to connect the periods of dreaming with the onset of a window. 

My thought is the dreaming phase is when the brain is rewiring itself or sorting things out?? 

Does this sound feasible? 

Noticed my dreams the past couple of nights, just coming off a wave now. Interesting!!

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RusTW
17 minutes ago, Dizzy4 said:

 

I'm pretty early in to this but am blown away by the clarity of the window I had at 8 months. I was working, I was sharp, I was normal (I was employed) and then one day about a month ago (9 months after initial cold turkey off Lexapro), it was like uh oh I 'm having trouble understanding and then I felt unwell.. all the things came back, the fog, the fluey-ness, motion sensitivity, light sensitivity, sadness and today its lifted again 4 weeks later, almost back to normal ..but no job now 😞

oh im sorry .im going in and out of heavy waves every 3 days fatigue fog anxiety 

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Dizzy4
5 minutes ago, RusTW said:

oh im sorry .im going in and out of heavy waves every 3 days fatigue fog anxiety 

every three days! 😔  How are you today?

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RusTW
Just now, Dizzy4 said:

every three days! 😔  How are you today?

beginning wave fatigue flu symptoms 

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Dizzy4

😔what do you do? Bed? Netflix? I feel like I watched ALL the shows last year when I was going through my initial withdrawal!

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RusTW
5 minutes ago, Dizzy4 said:

😔what do you do? Bed? Netflix? I feel like I watched ALL the shows last year when I was going through my initial withdrawal!

During waves netflix for sure. Mostly stay productive.work -art -music-hiking whatever works to distract from wd.I push myself to do new things and c new places.even when im bad.i stay out of bed in the day.i cant nap

During windows I take it all in and try to note it down for later reference.

Windows- I take care of everything i laxed on during waves.Family- friends- pets- yardwork- errands.

Like emerging from a big storm feeling relief.lol.

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Dizzy4

 

5 minutes ago, RusTW said:

Mostly stay productive.work -art -music-hiking whatever works to distract from wd.I push myself to do new things and c new places.even when im bad.i stay out of bed in the day.i cant nap

 

Windows- I take care of everything i laxed on during waves.Family- friends- pets- yardwork- errands.

Like emerging from a big storm feeling relief.lol.

Sounds like me!  After quite a few sedentary months last year, I actually don't enjoy laying down during the day. I lost muscle tone and had trouble walking my kids up the hill to school without losing my breath! I'm working on getting a stronger body again. Even when I'm feeling pretty crappy, I can walk or do Yin yoga which I've rediscovered 😍 

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RusTW
3 minutes ago, Dizzy4 said:

 

Sounds like me!  After quite a few sedentary months last year, I actually don't enjoy laying down during the day. I lost muscle tone and had trouble walking my kids up the hill to school without losing my breath! I'm working on getting a stronger body again. Even when I'm feeling pretty crappy, I can walk or do Yin yoga which I've rediscovered 😍 

Staying busy is what keeps me from going bananas .i always exercised during this wd thing.nothing like the past very mild exercise.i got over weight on zyprexa took 6 months to lose 35lbs.

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Nevertoolate
1 hour ago, Dizzy4 said:

Noticed my dreams the past couple of nights, just coming off a wave now. Interesting!!

I don't doubt it's possible! 

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MRothbard

Hi mary b,

 

Well, i'm happy to say at this point things are looking a lot better. A lot. Back in october through january more or less my symptoms were very heavy anxiety all day, most days. I would obsess about existential stuff, the afterlife, stuff like that. I would have very depressed days. Sometimes both anxiety and depression. Difficulty getting to sleep. Waking up too early. Couldnt eat any sort of carbs or sugar without getting hear palpitations. Couldnt excercise, it would make anxiety worse the next day. I feel like im out of that big wave and experiencing wavelets now. If i drink even decaf for a couple days it will make me anxious the following few days. Cant overexert myself, that makes things worse as well.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel. I was on lexapro and mirtazipine for abot ten years so getting totally free of them may take a while. But i know it can be done.

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Dizzy4
On 4/4/2019 at 11:32 PM, Maryb said:

Hi Dizzy4,

 

I have a hard time watching TV everything seems to make me feel more sad.  Is that normal?

Hi Maryb, I'm so sorry I missed this!  No, not normal, although I understand. I'm really careful about what I watch at the moment i.e. what I'm feeding my brain. I keep it very light or otherwise something which takes me away to a nice place, I'm just too fragile. We watch a lot of Brooklyn Nine Nine here but that's not for everyone, it just works for me :-)

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Dizzy4
3 minutes ago, Maryb said:

MY CNS was very unable to watch anything when I first went into withdrawals but getting better.  Thanks for responding. 

 

Oh yes, I put the tv on and then just stare to the side of it when I'm really bad. My eyes/brain can't handle it.

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MRothbard

Sorry I took so long to reply Mary. I think you were asking me about symptoms so I'll tell you:

 

The worst was hardcore anxiety all day every day. Obsessive thoughts and worries about existential questions. Not getting enough sleep. Excercise intolerance. Food intolerance—sugar, carbs, caffeine, basically all the crap you're not supposed to eat anyway.

 

Everything has eased up a LOT at this point. I still have a lingering negative bias about nearly everything. fatigue. A vague sense of overwhelm about a lot of things that don't deserve that kind of outfreakage. meaning of life questions still linger they're just not nearly as loud.

 

If I had a "suck" knob on my brain in October it would have been on 8, now it's at about 3.5.

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Nevertoolate

The windows and waves pattern is so frustrating and painful 

The last couple of weeks have been pretty good but yesterday was fantastic. We were looking after the grandies I was feeling so good! Playing football, basketball, walking the dog, laughing. It's the best I've felt in a long time. 

Then BAM today I'm feeling withdrawn tired absolutely no energy. Muscles feel like jelly. 

I know this is par for the course but sometimes I have to share coz I know you all understand. 

Of course I'll get through it but I hate it  😖😖

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Adili13

Do other people find they have shorter and less intense waves from smaller drops? I find I have more frequent waves that are very short lived and less intense once starting a more appropriate taper? I can have multiple small waves throughout the day. Less debilitating, but more frequent than the multiple day waves I would have from bug drops. 

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Allreadygone
On 4/4/2019 at 6:30 AM, Maryb said:

Good morning all,

 

I cannot taper at this time 30mg cymbalta.  I've tried many attempts to get off by switching to generic with small beads and it didn't work.  I ended up so severely in withdrawal for one month while trying on the small beads.  I hope that didn't do permanent damage; although I had many windows and waves too afterwards.  I have been back on my old generic (large beads) Lupin brand for 6 months now. I can't tell if I'm in a crappy window or less intense wave.  Can I still heal while on my medication without tapering.  I really need help.  Has there been anyone out there that has experienced this.  I'm very sad, crying, no real joy, not much to look forward to.  I'm taking xanax .5 twice a day and it was working but doesn't to be working lately.  I really need hope and to hear if anyone has a similar experience.  Please let me know your story and if it is possible to heal while still on the AD.  I think I will give it 2-3 more months and I will have to start to lower using my generic with each bead being 5mg.  My capsule has 6 beads in it.  Has anyone tapered using these beads.


Thank you for your help.

 

Regards and God bless us all. 

Hey @Maryb I’m in a similar situation as I lowered my 3 meds to low levels and got severe wds.Every symtom u can imagine,I too have had a couple clear windows but I seem to eat bad and expose myself to stress when in window and my CNS just freaks out.I know that 6/7 yrs ago I got down half my doses and had a 4/5 year window so ur brain can heal while u go thru the process of tapering as small amounts are removed from the brain.I did a small 5mg updose on the Effexor in hopes it will quiet some of the mental pain.We are all diff but myself I’m goin to hold until my windows are longer.im tryin to watch my diet now,trying to avoid trans fat,vegetable oils,sugar,gluten.Also removing myself from coaching sports as I have done for 15yrs but at this time my CNS isn’t ready.Hope that helped a lil @Maryb

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Iowan

Like many or all of you, I have read a TON about withdrawing from my antidepressants. Mine is Lexapro (SSRI). My waves and windows don't seem to align very closely with any withdrawal stories that I've read. So far, my waves last roughly 7 days or a touch less, (and I've had MANY). My windows tend to last anywhere from 14 days to a couple of months. Mid way through my windows, I tend to feel pretty normal and toward the end of my windows, I feel pretty darn good, but notice I start to become kind of an *******. Soon following, when my waves come on, they hit me like a truck, fast and hard. Early AM's are the worst with overwhelming feelings of absolute despair and everything else that goes along with them.

 

Does or has anyone experienced window and wave cycles like this? My cycles of high windows and low waves are making me feel like I'm bipolar.

 

In longer windows, I start to get confident that I'm healing and ready to taper again. Then a wave hits and my world crumbles again. I'm into my 4th day of a wave now and am trying desperately to make connection with what others are going through or have gone through.

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MRothbard

Oh yes. I thought I was DONE with this whole ride 3 weeks ago. Nope! 

 

Yes mornings suck. I have been getting a good 7.5 to 8 hours sleep but in the morning no dozing in and out of sleep. I get the grab-in-the-gut fear jolts so I'm up whether I like it or not. And then I have a nice existential crisis in the shower.

 

I've been off drugs for a year. Withdrawal didn't really kick in til 6 months after zero dosage. Still have the windows and waves. Waves are not nearly as severe as they were in Oct.-Dec.

 

It's confusing as hell. I always wonder, "How can this be withdrawal? I felt completely over it 3 weeks ago! Is it something else??  ' the hell is wrong with me???"

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Iowan
1 hour ago, MRothbard said:

Oh yes. I thought I was DONE with this whole ride 3 weeks ago. Nope! 

 

Yes mornings suck. I have been getting a good 7.5 to 8 hours sleep but in the morning no dozing in and out of sleep. I get the grab-in-the-gut fear jolts so I'm up whether I like it or not. And then I have a nice existential crisis in the shower.

 

I've been off drugs for a year. Withdrawal didn't really kick in til 6 months after zero dosage. Still have the windows and waves. Waves are not nearly as severe as they were in Oct.-Dec.

 

It's confusing as hell. I always wonder, "How can this be withdrawal? I felt completely over it 3 weeks ago! Is it something else??  ' the hell is wrong with me???"

 

Thanks for responding @MRothbard. I've been feeling like an outlier lately and have been having a harsher time than usual within this wave because of it. Awesome job on tapering down to zero! I look forward to that day. And then I look forward to the year anniversary after my last wave too, whenever that may be. It will happen!

I get decent sleep, almost normal, mid to late into my windows. I get little to no sleep in my waves. Insomnia sucks! Zero appetite, high anxiety and panic, intrusive thoughts (suicidal at really bad points), vomiting, crying, mush brain and zero short term memory, etc. You know, the usual for most of us here.

I take 1 step forward and 2 steps back sometimes with my waves, but in general, overall, my waves are better today than they were 9 months ago. It sounds similar to what you've said, but I'm not at zero yet. I pray this means we're on our way to full recovery.

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MRothbard

I have mostly mental symptoms, although I wonder if my hypertension isn't psych-med or withdrawal related. I think I'd trade some physical symptoms for the mental garbage.

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MRothbard

so what were you on?

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Iowan

Most, if not all of my symptoms are still mental, at this point. I do feel flu like symptoms and vomit or dry heave in the mornings during the worst of my waves, and my body gets extremely restless and my legs twitch and jump a bit during the worst of it, but it's short lived and I can mentally stop them.

 

Mentally, it's despair, anxiety, panic, fear, intrusive abstract thoughts, insomnia, funky dreams, exhaustion but forced awake as I doze off, crying, extreme fuzzy brain, minimal short term memory ability, minimal ability to comprehend information, suicidal ideations, etc. etc. Basically, waves are a living Hell for me. But... They seem to be getting better. I don't suffer from brain zaps, vertigo, achey eye sockets, and a few other things, like I did at the beginning. I can totally see how prolonged exposure to all of this mental stress and anguish could eventually contribute to heart disease or a stroke or some other horrible physical ailment, but I can't worry about that now.

 

I need to update my signature, but I am currently on 0.055g of Lexapro daily, and my listed supplements.

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persistente
On 4/25/2019 at 3:38 PM, Iowan said:

Like many or all of you, I have read a TON about withdrawing from my antidepressants. Mine is Lexapro (SSRI). My waves and windows don't seem to align very closely with any withdrawal stories that I've read. So far, my waves last roughly 7 days or a touch less, (and I've had MANY). My windows tend to last anywhere from 14 days to a couple of months. Mid way through my windows, I tend to feel pretty normal and toward the end of my windows, I feel pretty darn good, but notice I start to become kind of an *******. Soon following, when my waves come on, they hit me like a truck, fast and hard. Early AM's are the worst with overwhelming feelings of absolute despair and everything else that goes along with them.

 

Does or has anyone experienced window and wave cycles like this? My cycles of high windows and low waves are making me feel like I'm bipolar.

 

In longer windows, I start to get confident that I'm healing and ready to taper again. Then a wave hits and my world crumbles again. I'm into my 4th day of a wave now and am trying desperately to make connection with what others are going through or have gone through.

do not worry, you are not alone. my windows are also at least 2 weeks.  my waves are around 10 days. and i had so many like you. also, my symptoms are very similar. morning despair and anxiety are the worse for me. plus adhedonia. the truck comes from nowhere for me. last two windows i was sure it was over. it was not...so i changed the strategy. i am in a window presently. i am waiting for the new wave. i am expecting it. this time i am really waiting for it to happen.

 

a doctor who is a friend but can not accept that this is wd said to me that it looks like i have become bipolar.  when in wave i start to think that she was right. but when in window (presently) i know she is not.

 

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Allreadygone
On 4/26/2019 at 5:51 AM, Iowan said:

Most, if not all of my symptoms are still mental, at this point. I do feel flu like symptoms and vomit or dry heave in the mornings during the worst of my waves, and my body gets extremely restless and my legs twitch and jump a bit during the worst of it, but it's short lived and I can mentally stop them.

 

Mentally, it's despair, anxiety, panic, fear, intrusive abstract thoughts, insomnia, funky dreams, exhaustion but forced awake as I doze off, crying, extreme fuzzy brain, minimal short term memory ability, minimal ability to comprehend information, suicidal ideations, etc. etc. Basically, waves are a living Hell for me. But... They seem to be getting better. I don't suffer from brain zaps, vertigo, achey eye sockets, and a few other things, like I did at the beginning. I can totally see how prolonged exposure to all of this mental stress and anguish could eventually contribute to heart disease or a stroke or some other horrible physical ailment, but I can't worry about that now.

 

I need to update my signature, but I am currently on 0.055g of Lexapro daily, and my listed supplements.

I have all same symtoms in waves as well but they last longer.Im polydrugged which makes it harder to figure what’s what.Fear,intrusive thoughts and the knot in my stomach they create sucks.You have done great gettin down to .0055,I’m at lower doses but have to hold and hope the windows come more often and waves less dark.

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JackieDecides
On 4/27/2019 at 1:03 PM, persistente said:

a doctor who is a friend but can not accept that this is wd said to me that it looks like i have become bipolar.  when in wave i start to think that she was right. but when in window (presently) i know she is not.

 

maybe you could give her a link to this forum? Doctors are so uninformed about WD! 

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persistente
1 hour ago, JackieDecides said:

 

maybe you could give her a link to this forum? Doctors are so uninformed about WD! 

 

i tried but when people do not want to find out the truth there is no link that can make them do so...we do not talk about this anymore..and we are not the friends we used to be...

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JackieDecides
2 hours ago, persistente said:

we do not talk about this anymore..and we are not the friends we used to be...

 

I'm sorry. 

I know my doctor believes if a drug doesn't work for anxiety and/or depression it's because you aren't on the right one or need a higher dose, etc. 

this makes me not mention anxiety to her because we can't talk about it. hardly ideal for your primary care doctor!

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Ipap0

Hi all. I've posted here once before but long story short I was on Zoloft for about 5 years starting at age 16, gradually upped dosage until I had the poop out effect and got off at 21. Reinstated the beginning of this year due to symtoms getting very bad out of nowhere, which after this site I realize was probably the weird waves that hits around 8-12 months out, was 8 for me.

 

Anyway, took Zoloft again on 50mg for 2 months, after feeling better and not suicidal again and fed up with side effects (emotional blunting, sexual dysfunction, etc) I quit again over the period of about two weeks. I didn't start having bad withdrawals until about two or so weeks out, which was severe anhedonia, depersonalizatuon/derealization. I went three weeks through no changes emotionally, nothing brought pleasure, couldn't cry, genital anesthesia, had a two day window, where i was maybe 50% again, then went back to a wave, and last week I had a window lasting around the whole week.

 

I'm currently in a wave again, I'm about one week out from my three month mark. 

 

 

I'm confused about Windows and what classifies as one, during all this I have never felt myself, but had periods of less symptoms. During my window I could get slightly embarrssed again, felt some periods of motivation, could cry (though not much, but had several periods of hot tears and then sometimes a bit more than that, but never full out crying) and didn't feel as disconnected from the world as usual, could put more thought into conversation, could think about relationships some, had partial return of genital feeling and orgasm intensity (maybe 60%) etc. Does that count as a window ? Do people going through Windows eventually hit one where they feel 100%, or even just 90% themself ? This wave has been weird, it started Sunday. It hasn't been as relentless up until today, it wasn't as severe, even during it I have periods it lessens by about maybe 10-20%, but not feeling as good as last week window.

 

Also, do you find periods cause a wave ? I noticed the wave hit and got worse when my period began. Lastly, why would the first time getting off Zoloft will the symptoms would resolve within 3 weeks, after being on a higher dosage longer, and now I have much more severe effects after a much shorter period and dosage. I was very reckless the first time on them, I was a teenage kid with tons of anxiety and no will to live really. Abused alcohol, skipped doses regularly, did psychedelics, etc. I guess I got lucky. I wish I had never reinstated but it is too late now. If anyone could answer any of these Id be super grateful, thank you. 

 

Also, thank you alto for this site. It's been helping immensely knowing I'm not alone.

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thecowisback

hormones affect withdrawals terribly in my experience. i'm peri-menopausal and i'm sure it's making withdrawal a whole lot harder to deal with. 

i class a window as the days i get when i still have the withdrawal effects but they are greatly reduced. some people class a window as any cessation in symptoms, for example i find my anxiety drops a huge amount as the evening wears on, but i don't class that as a window, that's just normal for me as my cortisol levels drop throughout the day. i've had 3 good days now which i class as a window. the first two days were great - i still had symptoms but they were manageable and not taking over my whole day. the first two days i had greatly reduced anxiety and very few intrusive thoughts, and those i had i could dismiss. the 3rd day wasn't quite so good but better than normal - that was yesterday. i was starting to feel the anxiety rising and i was getting hooked by intrusive thoughts. today my anxiety and ocd are back to what they have been throughout withdrawal so i class that as being back into a wave. i have maybe one of two days a month that i class as windows. some months go by with none, sometimes if i'm lucky i get them more often in a month. 

i just wish i could learn how to handle the waves better after a window. the windows are so blissful i never want them to end, then when i wake the next day back to 'normal' i completely wig out and feel like i'm back at square one. 

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