Michele On December - 8 - 2011

Ho-ho-ho kiddos.

It’s already December 8th and this is the first time I really felt like saying that.

Although most people probably would’ve never suspected it, I’ve been in a really dark place for awhile. It’s not that I couldn’t get up every day and function, I did.

I didn’t withdraw from the world. I was out and about.

But it was easy to slip into sadness, real easy.

Prior to our epic trip to NYC* a couple of summers ago, I’d been on an anti-depressant for years. And I was OK with that…

But then while on the trip, by accident I got separated from my meds. And I went off them cold turkey.

I went from the max dose of Effexor to none in one fell swoop.

It was unwonderful times 10.

Those of you who’ve been here for awhile probably remember the story..

Here’s a link for those who don’t.

Anyway, after my head finally quit spinning around like Linda Blair’s and children and the elderly were once again allowed to be around me, I made what I thought was a good decision.

I wouldn’t go back on Effexor. I’d just go on through life unmedicated- well sans SSRI’s anyway. The way I saw it if coming off those meds was so heinous they just couldn’t be good for me could they?

So for the last year or so I’ve gone through life unmedicated.

And as far as most folks knew I’ve been OK; but I wasn’t like I used to be.

I knew it.

So did Doug, and Evelyn.

Six months ago Evelyn gave me a bottle of St. John’s Wort.

I took it. It helped- marginally.

Finally when I saw my family doc about 3 months ago I told him I thought it was time to go back on the meds, toxic side effects be damned.

He gave me Wellbutrin to try.

Doug was thrilled. Wellbutrin is not supposed to suppress your libido like most SSRI’s.

Did it work?

Not so much, which in reality means not at all. In fact, if anything it made me worse.

Much worse.

I was not only depressed, but now felt suicidal on top of it.

When I went  to a show I could flip that switch that turned on my happy face; so no one suspected where my head truly was.

But the rest of the time I was blue, bluer than blue, black-blue and a real barrel of monkeys to be around. And Doug knew better than to aim his “very special part of a man’s body” anywhere near me for fear that I’d just snap it off. It seemed I’d had insomnia forever.

As you can imagine things around here have been flat out awful. The last three shows have all sucked either due to the weather or just no people; and money worries make my stress worse-exponentially worse.

Feeling totally bummed the other night I ate a huge bowl of chocolate ice cream. And to top it off I covered it with walnuts.

I knew I shouldn’t have it. (Both chocolate and nuts are on the hit list for kidney stones).

It tasted sooo good though.

I hadn’t had either of those since October when I had surgery and was told afterwards to stay away from them.

Lucky for me it wasn’t too bad going the other direction since I made myself throw it all up less than 5 minutes later.

After that I made a decision. I called the Dr. and said I was ready to go back on Effexor.

So I did.

I told Doug.

He had mixed feelings.

He knows it’s depresses my libido; but in the last 6 months I’ve been either hostile, sad or both so we haven’t actually been swinging from the chandlers anyway. And I’ve actually been missing that too; but just couldn’t get my head into it much to Doug’s dismay. I think Doug was about to start looking for an apartment for me in Crazytown.

I knew he still loved me of course; but I don’t think liked me very much. There hadn’t been a lot of laughter.

So I’ve been on the meds for a few days and last night, for the first time in at least a year, I slept through the night. I woke up this morning feeling better than I have in a really long time.

And that’s a good thing.

And although I know I should stay here and keep shooting the photos for Ecofab, I’m taking off a couple of hours for me. I’m calling them mental health hours. We’re going to load up all the dogs and go to dog park.

So I want to extend a huge thank you to everyone who’s hung in with me this past year. I know I haven’t quite been myself. But now, thanks to the power of modern pharmaceuticals, I should be back soon.

Stay warm kiddos.

* I think in total there were about 7 or 8 postings about the trip. If anyone wants all the links, just let me know. A few can be found on the homepage under What is Bodacious Boomer?





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32 Responses so far.

  1. Aleta Woods says:

    I do not like meds either, but sometimes it is all you can do. Glad you are feeling better and hope you continue to improve. Funny, Gary is on Wellbutrin and it works well for him, but then he is ADD. Hugs.

  2. I understand. I, too, do the happy public face and can be very sad behind the scenes. I’m sorry your odyseey has been so long and unpleasant.

    And, I, too, took effexor for a while–many years ago but did not like it. I found that I felt nothing–not sad, not happy, nothing so I am med free but what I did do and will sing it to the roof-tops is find a good therapist (for every good one, there are 6 billion assholes)qho helped me with life long issues. That is what saved the day here.

    You’re back on the meds, that naughty kidney stone is gone, Ecofab is looking good…it’s going to be a good year. XO
    “Susan Says…” recently posted..My Christmas Wish…Hint: It Belongs to Jerry SanduskyMy Profile

  3. Pearl says:

    I have suffered from depression in the past but never took Effexor. I am so sorry that you went through so much! The new year is coming and with it promise of fulfillment. :-)

    Pearl recently posted..The Apres-Bar Will Be Held In the AlleyMy Profile

  4. Albug says:

    I too understand that dark place and the public happy face. When I was in my thirties, I used to lie in bed at night and think how well I fooled everyone. I took meds, which helped but not enough. What also worked for me was finding a good therapist. Two years of hard work helped me learn to work through the bad days. I also gave myself permission to be unhappy sometimes, and to take those mental health days.
    I hope those meds work for you, depression is the pits. Here’s to you and a new year full of what makes you happy. Luckily you have an understanding husband. Remember, every day’s a gift (even the crappy ones).

  5. Michele says:

    Lucky for me Albug, Doug stayed around to see me through this. (It hasn’t been pretty.) I’ll still have my ups and downs of course, but still it shouldn’t be as bad as it’s been.

  6. Dazee says:

    I think that when you need to be on medication it is good. I didn’t think I needed to be on it, but my doctor knew better. Welcome back.
    Dazee recently posted..I Spy – DecorationsMy Profile

  7. Michele says:

    Thanks Miss Dazee. It’s nice to be feeling at least a little normal again; more to come I hope.

  8. Elisa says:

    I’m so glad you’re feeling better! If you ever need anyone to talk to, you know how to get ahold of me.

    • Michele says:

      I do indeed young one. One of these days we’ll have a nice chat when we both have the time. Thanks for being so sweet.:)

  9. Janet NZ says:

    I’m so glad you’re feeling better Michele – I hope that continues and that this is the start of fabulous.
    I too know about the private sadness/public happy face thing. I’ve never been on medication, but I went through a very bad patch a few years ago and would have made it through much better with some help.
    Do whatever you need to feel better. Life is just too bloody short to be miserable.
    Janet NZ recently posted..The Big DinnerMy Profile

  10. TRACK says:

    M, Hopefully the good times will last with new meds! Time for yourself is what most of us need and don’t get enough of, but everything will be there when you get back. We are glad we have you n family…TRACK :-)

    • Michele says:

      After the holidays I intend to start taking at least a little time for myself every day. Everything else can just wait. I’ve put myself last for too long.

  11. Darla says:

    I am so sorry to hear that you have been going through so much. My best friend has struggled for years with depression and different med trys, so I agree that if something worked, you should stick with it. There is no shame in taking meds when you need it. My best friend is doing much better than she has in years largely due to an excellent therapist. I agree with Susan Says that finding a good therapist makes all the difference. My best friend has been through lots of kooks and assholes and now finally has a good one and she is also on a really good med combo.

    I have been on Wellbutrin before during one of my attempts to quit smoking. I had hallucinations and could go from maniacal laughter (over something stupid) to a deep deep sadness. It happened so quickly, the mood shift it was like turning the knob on a radio station and finding different channels. It seemed to help the quitting smoking at the time probably cause I was so distracted by the “tripping effect” Wellbutrin had on me. Well obviously I had to stop taking it after this month long roller coaster, and well I went back to smoking. I sometimes wonder if cigarettes are my antidepressant. I do rely on them to help me cope.

    Depression and anxiety varies from person to person and is also a matter of degree. Which I think is why there is such a variety of meds. I know the idea of being on meds is not always a nice thought but it is not good to suffer as long as you did. I know that you may not be swinging from the chandeliers yet, but you sound like you are in a better place than you have been.

    Sleep and a couple of mental health hours a day will also contribute to you feeling better overall. I am so happy to hear that you finally got some rest and DO NOT feel guilty about taking some time for yourself. You need and deserve it.

    Sending you lots of positive vibes and warm hugs.

  12. Michele says:

    Thanks for all your kind words and support Darla. You are so sweet.

    And I don’t feel guilty. I was just trying to keep as many chemicals as possible outta my body as possible; but I really need them. Such is life.

  13. Kara says:

    While I’ve only flirted with clinical depression, I’ve experienced enough to know it is a nasty, bleak place to be. I’m glad you’re getting the medication you need, and that you’re already noticing an improvement. Here’s hoping you’ll be swinging from the chandeliers again soon!
    Kara recently posted..Some Things Never ChangeMy Profile

    • Michele says:

      Bleak. That’s the perfect word to describe how I was feeling. And yes, I’m starting to feel much more like my old self, which to me is a great thing.

  14. fishducky says:

    Sometimes people NEED meds to cope–I’m glad you realize that you’re one of them. WE ALL WANT YOU TO HAVE A HAPPY LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Michele says:

      Apparently I really did the need the meds, since the difference I feel in just a few days has been dramatic. Thanks Fishducky.

  15. Janet NZ says:

    Oh, and by the way… I want you to know that I don’t check in with you in order to be amused… the funny as you say… I check in because you are interesting, your life is different from mine, you are artistic – which I envy, you love animals… – me too, … What I am trying to say is… you don’t NEED to be funny/positive etc all the time. I’ll still be here. I’m here Michele because I have come to like you… to CARE. I can see by all these comments, that I am not alone in this. You can talk to us… you are not alone in this… or in anything.. XXXOOO
    Janet NZ recently posted..The Big DinnerMy Profile

    • Michele says:

      Thanks for that Janet. Isn’t it amazing just how close we can become to people we’ve never actually met? Prior to starting BB I never would’ve guessed that could’ve happened. I feel lucky to have made some truly great friends.

  16. As far as I’m concerned, there are two kinds of people: Those on meds and those who should be. I fall into the former and believe they should just be added to the public water supply. Glad you’re feeling better my friend.
    injaynesworld recently posted..injaynesworld we are now "Suitable for Giving…"My Profile

  17. DWei says:

    I normally caution against any drug usage but this is one of those cases where I think it warrants it.

    Depression really isn’t something to mess with, don’t take any chances.
    DWei recently posted..Volunteering WoesMy Profile

  18. Michele says:

    If you’d seen me just a week ago you’d know just how right you are kiddo. I was teetering on the edge of a chasm.

  19. Jan says:

    Oh,HONEY. I am so sorry you were going through all that while putting on an “everything’s fine” face for the world. In addition to the pain, that must have been exhausting mentally, emotionally, spiritually.

    You deserve so much better and I’m just glad you’ve found what’s working for you.
    Jan recently posted..restricted readingMy Profile

  20. Most everyone on my mom’s side of the family is medicated. As much as my mom dislikes having to live a medicated life, she knows that she needs to because it is a medical condition and needs treatment. Although she tried St. John’s Wort one time and her face broke out in hives! People with other medical conditions understand the importance of using medication to keep things in order but anti-depressants sadly come with a mindset that “I should be able to handle this on my own”. There is no shame in taking medication! (heck, I’m probably only 15 years or so before I have to go that route!). Here’s to swinging from the chandeliers…happily!
    Padded Cell Princess recently posted..Overjoyed and a bit OverwhelmedMy Profile

  21. Ellie says:

    Don’t dispair. For me the correct combination is Depakote and Wellbutron. Every person reacts differently to drugs.

    Ellie recently posted..my anxiety experiencesMy Profile

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