28 September 2007

Listening to my own advice

Things are not as good this last week. I've been short-tempered, sullen, tired and unmotivated. Sunday was stressful: I chaired a meeting that an ad hoc committee I was not a part of had planned. I kept getting hit with surprises, which I like even less than usual when I'm chairing. I had my own 5-minute spiel to give and I felt inarticulate while giving it.

But all that was okay. When I got home, I had a bummer of an interaction with Nimue that seemed to have started me into my... well, "tailspin" is too strong a word, maybe "unplanned descent" is more accurate. We had several such spates throughout the week, mostly recently last night.

All week long I've been wondering to what extent, if any, this is due to my on-going unplanned withdrawal from Prozac. When I last posted about this, I once again had some slight hope that I had gotten through to my mail-order pharmacy, Caremark. A couple of days after that post, I got a call saying my order had finally shipped. But then a week later, I got another call saying they couldn't ship because they needed more information from my doctor. I let this person really have it and wound up hanging up on her because she wouldn't listen to what I was saying and insisted on talking over me when I was trying to speak. The next day I got the non-Prozac portions of my order filled at a local pharmacy, which of course cost me more than getting them mail-order would have. But at least I got them. I figured I had proven by then I didn't really need the Prozac and even was better off without it (mostly due to sleeping so much better). Or so I thought.

Then in reflecting this morning, I had the thought that for the preceding few weeks, back to the beginning of August, I had finally started to have "the courage to change [some of] the things I can," addressing some ongoing issues in our household that have left me feeling out of control of my life for years. Not that I ever expect my life to be manageable. But I do feel like we ought to be able to keep strangers—to me anyway—from walking into our house unbidden when no one's home, to not have leftover foods lying around the living room for days at a time, to not have dirty dishes pile up for over a week on the kitchen counters, to not have piles of cigarette butts and other smoking trash littering the entrance to our house, etc. I had begun to address some of these issues on my own, without Nimue's help or cooperation, even with her active opposition at times, despite the fact that her children are responsible for these things.

But this last week, I have once again started feeling that the price I pay for such efforts in terms of my relationship with Nimue is too high. I've got a real bad case of the "f--- its." The Rock, my sponsor, is very sympathetic to this view of things. He thinks I tolerate far too much abuse and keeps telling me not to be such a doormat. But then I know that he's got issues that cloud his judgment when it comes to relationships with women.

When my therapist first recommended going onto an anti-depressant, I was skeptical. I told him I thought my depression was situational rather than clinical. He responded that if the anti-depressant improved my mood, by definition it was a clinical depression. Up till now I've pretty much bought that. But all along I've wondered about it. Defining something a certain way doesn't make it really so. Who's to say that a depression can't be caused by the situation and still be helped by chemicals?

Or am I just playing my lifelong head game of finding the reasons to justify whatever point of view I prefer? I don't know. My inclination is just to muscle my way through the situation and "force" myself to feel better.

Funny, that's what I keep hearing from Mr Riches-to-Rags. And I keep telling him that's not how it works. Maybe I should be listening to my own advice.


doctor a said...

Having grown up with a prescription drug-addicted mother, I used to be a strong believer in fighting one's way through life's difficulties without the use of pills. But 15 years ago, two of the people I had worked with for several years who had lots of sobriety, worked the steps, used their sponsors, worked hard in therapy, etc. tried Prozac because, as one of them said, "I thought I'd feel better than I do after all this work." The change in both of them was extraordinary. As one of them said, "It's like there's been a black cloud over my head all my life and now it's gone."
So I hope you will get the Prozac soon, use it, and wait to make any decisions about your relationship until you have had a chance for the medication to work.
Hope your suffering subsides a little bit soon.

sharonsjourney said...

One big problem seems to be that you haven't gone off your prozac gradually. Of course you're going to feel the way you do going off all at once. That's not good at all. Maybe you should go back on when you can, until you get your relationship taken care of. It does sound like you're being taken for granted, & not respected. If it were me I would get a handle on it. Your home is your castle, & you shouldn't have to put up with that crap. I wish you all the luck on both issues. I hope I haven't overstepped your boundaries by what I said. It's just how I see it.

MICKY said...

Namenlosen Trinker said...
Please stop commenting on my blog unless and until I give you permission.

Dear Trinker
Are you a Psychopath? You have the eyes of a shape - shifting reptile. I imagine you are a TERRIFIED "Little Boy", who wants his MUMMY. Were you FROTHING at the mouth when you left you DIATRIBE on my BLOG.Get down on your knees and ask JESUS CHRIST to have mercy on your soul. Are you in Hell, Trinker?
You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
—John 8:44

butterflygirl said...

Hoping you'll be back to yourself soon.

Stan R said...

The blues we can live our way out of. When it passes the point that we can no longer do that, no matter what the original cause, we've wandered into the wonderful world of neurochemical cascades -- clinical depression -- where we can do no more than "suffer" occasional, brief bouts of happiness. That's what antidepressants are for.

Do you need ADs for life? It ain't necessarily so. That being said, returning to ADs after a break is probably the biggest danger point for side-effects like suicidal ideation, so one should avoid on-again, off-again use if possible. And make SURE you return to medication under supervision if you've been off long enough for the ADs to leave your system. (This is especially true of SSRIs like Prozac and Paxil.)

Scott W said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Namenlosen Trinker said...

Thanks for all the supportive comments. Thanks in particular, Stan, for your warning about about going back on the anti-depressants. Despite being better informed than most about my medications, I wasn't aware of this and have since been warned by another close friend who has some professional and personal experiencing about ping-ponging back and forth between different anti-depressants and/or none at all.

Kathy Lynne said...

Citalopram is the best thing that happened to me. It made a huge difference. Unfortuantely when first prescribed I was still drinking and while my drinking alleviated at first but being the alcoholic that i was I got back up there. In fact, my alcoholic self was thrilled to be prescribed medication because I thought it would help me get a better high. Imagine my suprise when there was no high involved. It just evened me out. Now that I am sober, I am afraid to go off because I feel so good. I am a terrible pill taker and miss days and when I do there is a significant change in how I feel. I can almost feel the chemicals rearranging themselves in my brain. I spoke to my Dr. about this and while I want to try doing without, now during this huge change in my life is not the time.
In a way I think that the medication helped me to think clearly about my disease and to finally after all these years seek help and for that I will forever be grateful.