Wednesday, April 4, 2012

It's Been Awhile!

It has been a long time since I have posted anything on my blog. I guess with the school year in motion, there's not as much time to reflect. Sometimes that's good and sometimes it's not. I tend to get in autopilot mode during the school year and everything is "all business". I become a major "task master" ticking things off my to do list and taking care of business. I'm not near as fun! :-)

But, lately, I have taken on a new exercise routine that I LOVE-biking! I can't get motivated to go into a gym on a regular basis and workout. Goodness knows I have tried and had SO many good intentions. But, I just can't do it. It is so boring to me. But, biking-I can do that! I LOVE the solitude, the peacefulness, and being outdoors and watching the scenery as I ride. It's very relaxing to me! Weird, I know, that exercise would be relaxing, but that's what's so great about it-it doesn't really seem like exercise because I love it so much! I have to be "fooled" into exercising to actually be consistent with it. :-)

My typical ride is about 14 miles. I prefer to go by myself because I can get better exercise when I'm not having to stop frequently to give the boys a break or make sure that they are doing ok on the ride. They have done the entire ride with me before, though. :-)

It takes about 1 1/2 hours start to finish, so it has given me lots of thought and reflection time. I began to think about this blog once again as a way to kind of get my thoughts down and continue growing into the woman that God has planned for me to be. Not that I should ever stop that journey just because I am busy with the school year, but I think I just so very easily get sidetracked when there is so much to get done. I don't juggle multiple things very well, and unfortunately, I think I tend to lose touch with myself when life demands so much.

I've always had tendencies towards anxiety and have let it get the best of me on several occasions throughout my life. For the past 10 or so years I have taken Zoloft to help ease my anxiety (shortly after 9-11). It has worked REALLY well up until the last few months. I found that I had started feeling just kind of "blah" and apathetic-like I just had no motivation. I had read on the Internet that when taken for extended periods of time, medicines like Zoloft can actually start CAUSING the symptoms that they are taken to PREVENT. Thinking that I was really lucky to have gotten so much benefit from Zoloft for the 10 years I've taken it and now maybe it's time to get off it, I started "weaning" myself off.

Doctors never recommend quitting an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication "cold turkey". There are terrible side effects to quitting so drastically. Instead, you have to gradually stop by cutting back on the dosage a little at a time. I was on the lowest dosage to begin with (50mgs daily), so I went a week cutting back to 25mg daily. That went pretty well. After that, I decided to try 25mg every other day. Since then, I have really been struggling.

The withdrawal symptoms are really hard to get through right now. I have a lot of light-headedness, headaches, slight nausea, "brain zaps" (kind of like electricity is shooting through your brain really quickly), trouble sleeping, and I have not been this emotional since I was pregnant! I am not normally a very big crier at all (takes a lot to turn on the water works usually!) , but I have cried rivers in the last few days! I have been EXTREMELY irritable as well-so much so that while I'm being that way I even have the presence of mind to think, "Wow! What is wrong with you?" :-) I even got mad at a website that I was registering with because it told me my password was "weak". How rude! :-) I am REALLY ready for this to be over so I can feel normal again. The apathy I was feeling that led to this process suddenly doesn't seem so bad. But, I really feel like I need to push through the process to get to the other side. I feel like it's time to say goodbye to Zoloft for good.

Strangely, even in the midst of feeling so yucky, I have continued to bike-it makes me feel better. That, and gummy bears. Weird, huh? :-) Whatever works.

Long long story short, I would covet your prayers for this unpleasant time. Both for me and for anyone that has to be around me while I'm going through it. It can't be easy to be in my family right now. I'm pretty good at work because I know I have to hold it together there, but I've been falling apart pretty bad otherwise. At least this whole thing has found me on my knees in prayer. During my bike rides I've done some crying and lots of praying along with the reflecting.

I know that "this too shall pass"and that eventually my body will adjust. I am just not enjoying the trip there. I know this post is long, thanks for sticking around to read it. Please don't take away from this that I think anti-depressants are bad. Quite the contrary-I firmly believe that life is way too short to waste it feeling bad when there is something you can easily do to help. I knew when I first started taking Zoloft that getting off it could be challenging. Despite how bad I am feeling right now, it was well worth the help that I received from it the past several years.

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