It's just over two weeks since I started taking Fluoxetine. And it's really kicking in.
After a pretty rough sleep last night, I realised I'd recorded a couple of vlogs since starting the course, but not written anything for the actual blog.
The black cloud that once took up residence in my brain has gone.
I still have the odd flash of negative thought and anxiety, but they're more of a flash than a prolonged sense of frustration. For one thing, I no longer have 4 hour long guilt trips.
Before starting the course, my common sense, logical thought process and strength was wrapped up tightly in a box in the back of my head with no escape from the malice and anger surrounding it.
My last counselling session revealed that since taking the course, everything's swapped.
The negative thoughts are still there and I still have the struggle going on inside, but I've located the strength I had before and am able to use logical thinking to over come difficult situations.
No longer do I feel like the happy avatar in my head is curled up in a dark alley, having the shit kicked out of it by my inner demons.
For one thing, I can meditate. The usual method for meditation is to ground yourself, breath carefully, then focus on emptying your mind. I had no issues with meditation in the past, then it got to the point where it was almost impossible to focus my mind due to the number of thoughts and distractions floating through my head.
And now? Not a problem. I can even visualise which was always an issue.
I can also stand in a room, take a moment to observe the four walls around me and feel like I'm in it rather than a floating entity outside my own head.
The best part is I've realised I'm actively noticing the colours of the trees changing from green to all the colours. Taking it in rather than just giving it a cursory glance.
Ha! That's a whole different ball game.
First off, these past couple of weeks, I've been exhausted. Especially if I leave the house for the day. I've spent much of this time on the sofa, completely tuckered out, watching as much intellectually stimulating TV as I can find (here I'd like to thank Tom for arranging Netflix for us. Seriously...life saver). I've been pretty much next to useless due to my crap energy levels.
Despite this, however, I'm also buzzing. Every movement I make seems to be accompanied by slight physical vibrations, as if all the electrical charges and buzzing in my brain have leaked out and reformatted into my skin instead. It might not be obvious to those who see or listen to me, in fact in might just come across as nervous energy. But it's very obvious to me.
I attended a social gathering on Saturday, the first one since being depressed then starting the course of medication and after roughly 2 hours of being there, I actually had to force myself to lie on the sofa for a bit to try and calm myself. So it seems to increase with adrenaline. As the evening progressed, I was sat in a ball between Tom's legs to add 1) having someone close to me I could use as a focus point and 2) curled up in a ball so I could create some tension in me to try and subdue to the twitch and that only lasted so long til I had to get up and move around.
My morning insomnia has got a touch worse too.
For a while now, usually once or twice a week, I wake at 5am, try to get back to sleep, fail, go downstairs, curl up on the sofa with a blanket, put some mundane TV on, then pause it when I feel myself drift off. I then usually catch up on another 2 hours.
I tried the whole going to bed earlier to get better sleep, but that just resulted in my waking at 3am instead. So...I try and push myself, making my bed time as late as I can manage. Evenings are now putting something on TV, curling up on the sofa, then just zombifying my brain until I think 'right, that should do it' and slink off to bed.
Last night was the worst one I've had since starting this course. I could not stop vibrating.
I've found I'm usually able to focus the full body vibration into a single constant motion eg finger tapping or foot jiggling. But after a while that can get really annoying and a touch distracting. For others as well as myself. So, at one point, lying on the sofa, I raised my hand into the air, clenched my fist and focused the energy into that. Just focusing on holding my arm up seemed to help as I then realised I'd managed to zone into the last half of the program we were watching without noticing what my body was doing.
Then went to bed.
And had the most restless night ever. I could tell I was disturbing Tom too. I was clearly grinding my teeth, rolling around, and generally making a nuisance of myself.
I'm now honestly wondering if it's better if I sleep on the sofa until these symptoms pass. That might not give me the best night's sleep, but then, he's got to work in the morning. I don't. I can rest...he can't.
the meds are doing their job. One of the symptoms people feel during the early stages of taking the drug is increased depression, and I can understand why. If you're not used to feeling like this, it's pretty horrible to deal with. However, all the side effects I'm going through are what I felt before, just magnified....so no major change really. I'm used to it.
I'll be seeing my GP in November to get a review and see if the dose needs to be adjusted and continuing with my counselling on a weekly basis.
What I've explained does sound unpleasant but when you've dealt with full on depression and anxiety the way I have, the strain and the fact that I knew I was losing strength...it's a very small price to pay to hold onto a peace of mind.
In other news, my donor has set up her own blog to describe her experience as a donor.
Please do check it out as it's very interesting and well written and it fascinates me to see what the other side of this experience is going through!