Mood Swings

Maybe its the med switch or maybe its because my hormones are whacked.

But I’m feeling really emotional and unpredictable. Snappy for no particular reason, anti-social (beyond normal bounds), weepy, anxious, unwilling to have physical contact… generally a bit shit.

So..am I blaming the meds? Well maybe, Its now a week since I stopped taking the Prozac so it should be out of my system & I haven’t upped my dose of the mirtazapine (which tbh I think is crapping out on me) and the sleep is screwed.
On the other hand..I don’t know where I am in my menstrual cycle. Is this PMT or is this my body complaining about the fact that because of my meds I don’t have regular periods? Urgh

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Japanese Drinking & Photocopiers

So what now in my merry world?

Well Sunday was the meeting of my drinking club, or as someone nicknamed it Alcoholics Proud, and the theme was Japan.
We drank sake and plum brandy and ate sushi, we drank Shochu and Japanese whiskey and cocktails with a Japanese twist. It was a pleasant night of alcohol and gentle chatter. Say what you like about us drunks but we do like chatting about alcohol, the methods of making it, the ways of serving it and the ways of incorporating it into our lives.  Incidentally Japan is definitely on my list of places to visit, though I wish I could go back 200 years or so (and as a man).
Also this week Sleepy left the hospital (on which more later – probably after I have actually had a chance to see him) and I went down to my campus. I needed to sign off my mentoring sessions as per DSA funding regs – incidentally I did get them to pay for paper and internet cost for the last year (woo money c. £200), if only I could get a chair to support my shoulder too.  Also I went to the library – which would have been successful except for arguments with the copy machines, suffice to say there was no photocopying or scanning for byghan today but books returned and books checked out. (I’d tell you what but you probably don’t give a damn).
Incidentally I might consider taking more train journeys as incentives to sit and write on my thesis. Would you believe that because of editing despite all the improvements I have made to No.4 I still only have 10,000 words? Godsdammit! I think the editing is worth it, but I really need to put pen to paper so to speak and get more of my opinions down. I will beat the procrastination monster.l

In other news, I am 5 days clear of Prozac (and a few days short of upping my mirtazapine) and feeling … well great/shit tbh. Sex drive currently nil (body image is totally screwed), sleep pattern still elusive, body hurting like crazy, and totally obsessing about self harm (though physically I have it under control, thanks to fresh scars still hurting) but on the up-side … on the upside I have feelings and they aren’t all misanthropic..
In some ways I haven’t so much noticed that I have stopped fluoxetine as feel grumpy that mirtazapine seems to have stopped working. I’d like to say I’m sure that prozac made some difference but I can’t say it with conviction.. it has always felt like an ineffectual holder. I noticed citalopram, I noticed mirtazapine but fluoxetine I just took.

So here’s to another day gone and sleep beckoning.

 

Being Nice to Me

is a challenge.

Busy hearing the nagging whine that tells me I’m not good enough and all that stuff: You didn’t help Sleepy. He doesn’t want you interfering in his life. You are a hypocrite. You are a liar. Your supervisor is fed up with you & doesn’t want to see you til she has to. Your thesis is bollocks. You don’t look after the people you love. You are selfish. You let them down. You don’t keep in touch with people who have moved away. You aren’t there when they need you. You ruined your sister’s life, you didn’t protect her. Everyone is disappointed in you. You shouldn’t act like you know it all at work. You are ridiculously grumpy at people. you are stupid. you are a fraud. you are a waste of time and space and money…..

Its a familiar litany. Playing a little loudly today – I blame PMT which as a woman it is my right to do for another 25 years or so – but its hard to keep on doing the right thing when your mind won’t be quiet.

However, made it to the Dr.,talked a little about how i’m doing and meds. The guy i saw today isn’t really happy to see me taking my pain meds and wants to fiddle with the head drugs too. [It’d be nice not to have the naproxen but last time I stopped taking it I could barely move, even taking it I am still in pain most of the time, otoh I hate having it in the house cos I don’t trust myself not to od] Anyhow gonna wean myself off the fluoxetine for good I hope (though taking it every other day for a week is going to be a challenge to remember!) and up my dose of mirtazapine which will hopefully sort my sleeping pattern. I was used to taking an hour or so to fall asleep and sleeping a few hours at a time, waking regularly etc until the mirtazapine zapped me into 8hr rest – it was fantastic and now those effects are wearing off I really miss it.
Anyhow actually managing to talk about this to the Dr is me trying to take care of myself. Didn’t manage thesis today but did do a bit of reading [ex-supervisor’s thesis].
Also went to the wake and chatted with various (not sure I’m old enough to only be catching up with people at funerals already), went up to the psych ward but Sleepy didn’t want to see me, so I had a bit of a cry and a nap and then fessed up to B about my arms. I never stop feeling guilty about it – if only it wasn’t so damn good at easing the tension. I don’t heal as well as I used to. Need to be more careful.

So mostly just working on taking care of myself and screw the rest of it cos this is hard enough.

Food Cravings

I blame the pills – which is convenient on the basis that not only is it a recognised side effect, it also makes it ‘not my fault’

I have never felt hungry/thirsty like this before. Other than short bursts of craving for cheese or chocolate that were easily satisfied, I have never wanted to eat like this before – its sort of been a pleasant optional extra or occasional awareness of need. Now there is a want..
In general I ignore it, but its an effort, a constant effort.

I wonder if chewing gum or something would give me some kind of satisfaction.

Its a shame really cos actually the drugs are damn good for my head.

More Sleep & Dreaming

Sooo, been taking the new pills a week now – how is it going?

SLEEP. damn it is so fucking good. I like sleeping at the best *and* worst of times but this is something else. I was told that the mirtazapine can cause drowsiness and some people find the sedation way too much and quit because it interferes with their life too much. I have to say I understand, I am sleepy for 12 hrs after taking my pill and I know how that could interfere with people’s lives. Its Fucking Fantastic.

I have suffered with fatigue, tiredness and weariness for years now. Sometimes I have horrific insomnia and spend hours trying to get to sleep and sometimes I feel that I do nothing but sleep and always there is that nagging tiredness filling my bones and muscles and creeping through my thoughts so that they slow down to treacle. The trouble often lies in the fact that I sleep very lightly and even when I lie in bed for 12 or 14 hrs solid most of it I doze conscious of my surroundings and even as when I reach a deeper sleep I wake every 1 or 2 hours through the night, just 10 mins every hour leads to restless night.

The new drug.. I sleep. I mean I sleep 8 hrs before waking up and its amazing. I will take needing to go to bed within half an hour of taking the pill and waking up feeling stoned for the extra energy I get just from having that sleep. Awesome

But, (you knew there would be a downside didn’t you?) the dreams are harsh. For many years now I have been a lucid dreamer – that is I have the privilege of knowing as I progress through each dream that I am dreaming and 75% of the time can influence the dream in some way (I might add that 98% of the time it doesn’t quite work how I expect it to). I also dream in technicolour and often from multiple viewpoints. None of these things have stopped with the mirtazapine but the dreams are more often than not nightmares. It seems the subconscious that hasn’t developed because of my uber-short sleep cycle has some serious crap to throw at me. Night after night I have dreamt of rivers of blood and oceans of tears. Hurting myself in dreams I can almost deal with but crying in my sleep leaves me shaken every morning.

I hope that soon this will pass. … I don’t want to be afraid to get the rest that helps me to deal with daily life.

 

Mirtazapine: The beginning

So decided to take the first new pill last night, hey ho go with the flow right?
I was tired before I took it so I have no idea whether it made me feel sleepy but I do know it was 12 hrs til I got up again – no thats not strictly true, I got up and had a pee in the middle of the night, but thats normal for me.
I have to say I was most unwilling to get up and when I did I felt muzzy, a little like being stoned. I don’t know if thats genuinely a side effect of the new pills or something to do with reducing the fluoxetine or just me being me. Ditto feeling hungry today. I am feeling a bit paranoid about eating too much so I am trying to follow the cue of my wife and eating when she does and to satiate the cravings with water. I could say this is all psychosomatic, but since this is a head drug anyway it doesn’t much matter.
I am pleased to say that though a little spacey I haven’t had less concentration than usual, this is a big issue for me because without being able to do my PhD I would really feel a loss of purpose (taking a break from it was one of the hardest decisions I ever made and even then it was only the knowledge that I would go back to it when I had my head more together that kept me going)
Another day ticks by then, lets see what tomorrow brings…

Edited to add: Didn’t take another pill last night – decided not to mix it with the alcohol.

More Drugs

I got a kindle so I didn’t have to carry so many books when I travel – is there a sensible equivalent for pills?

So a month had passed since my last adventure to the Dr. and thus yesterday I presented myself to the quack so as not to run out of pills. Bravely, I muttered that perhaps the prozac wasn’t really working for me. I have been taking fluoxetine for a couple of months (3 maybe?) now and have spent at least a month at the 60mg mark. I thought I was flat and blue on the citalopram but quite frankly the flat dull misery is better than the crying. I had forgotten about the crying – well not forgotten that I used to cry a lot, just forgotten that horrific ache in the chest and mind that accompanies it. So um yeah.. not better on fluoxetine, I feel like I might as well not be throwing those green and yellow pills down my throat. I could blame myself of course, I drink, and one shouldn’t with anti-depressants, and I don’t exercise enough which doesn’t help –  the fact remains though these drugs aren’t as good as I need them to be.

Hmm, says the quack, better on the citalopram? Yup, says me, it was even better when I was taking both.. Hmmm, he says.

So I have new pills. Not back to the citalopram but a different one as a combo to the fluoxetine. The plan is to reduce the fluoxetine back down to 20mgs (a couple of weeks at 40 first..) and meanwhile add in Mirtazapine, 15mgs to start with heading up to 30mgs, but remember to take them in the evening. Have you been following closely? Try to watch as I try to take the right ones at the right time..

I have started reducing the fluoxetine today, feel a bit groggy and headachey but I’m not sure whether thats related. I don’t know whether to take the first Mirtazapine tonight or not, part of me thinks its daft to compound the weirdness but part of me thinks getting it over and done with is a better plan. I want to be really optimistic about the new pills – apparently they might make me feel quite stoned and when they work they are fantastic but I’m nervous about the sleepiness and weight-gain potential. Being a fat slug isn’t exactly my idea of cheery, but perhaps the mood improvement will mean more exercise and no comfort eating – plus some people find the doziness goes away after a few days.

Watch this space and I’ll try not to rattle (if I take my new ones today thats a total of 6 pills – and I’m at 5 items on my scrips)