A full year later / making major changes

Right around this time of day one year ago, I was just getting out of the hospital.  I remember the out-take process was long / we had to wait on meeting with certain people first.  I was so antsy to go, that once we finished something at the front console, I went to open the door to leave.  I didn’t think about the fact that you had to be buzzed out!  Oh yeah, no coming and going as we please – I forgot…

I got coffee at a snack bar on the way out, and we went home.  I was super up and psyched to be out of there.  It wasn’t till later that I got depressed.  For a full year, more or less.

Within the past month, I’ve made some major changes that are impacting my mental health.  I currently feel better than my baseline.  We’ll see if this lasts.

I changed medications:  I had been on Geodon, Wellbutrin, and Klonopin (for sleeping).  I didn’t think the drugs were doing anything; I still felt shitty, and in December, it was getting worse again.  I was having vague suicidal thoughts and was having trouble making it through my daily routine.  I talked about this in therapy, and my therapist asked if I would talk to my new psychiatrist about it.  I said, “Yeah, but what can she do?  What else is there to try?”  It seemed hopeless – I’ve been on so many drugs, and overall nothing had ever worked out long-term.  My therapist just said that she might have some ideas.  So at my next appointment, I did talk to her, and she suggested switching off of the Geodon onto something else.  She listed a few, told me about what they work best for and what side effects accompany them, and left it up to me to pick one, basically.  I said Seroquel, but I couldn’t really tell you why.  I didn’t have much faith.  I did the tapering off /ramping up thing, and surprisingly, right when I hit a certain dose of the Seroquel, my day got way way better.  And then the next day.  And the next.  And now it’s been 23 straight days where I have felt free of crippling anxiety and vague suicidal thoughts.  I feel present in my body, and I am looking forward to simple things that make my day more interesting / better.  Like listening to a radio show, or going to get a bagel, or just, anything that previously would not have brought me any extra joy.  I’m kind of floored by this.  I’ve never had this experience with a drug before.  We’ll see if it lasts…

I went off testosterone:  I had been increasing my dose for a while, but it was a fine line between looking for more masculinizing changes and worrying about my hairline receding.  (It had started to.)  I found myself obsessing about my hairline and feeling negatively about testosterone.  I felt stuck and stressed.  Eventually, I decided, why don’t I just go off it for now and stop all the worrying.  I have my whole life to figure out if I want to look more masculine or not – it doesn’t have to happen right now.  So I stopped, and I felt better.  I worried I might hate feeling colder or having less energy or having more aches and pains or experiencing a drop in mood.  But none of those things happened.  I haven’t been looking for anything to be different, and as a result (partly) nothing feels different.  (I’ve been reading this book about expectations and beliefs and how much our judgement gets clouded – maybe testosterone hadn’t been doing much for me if I hadn’t been looking at what I thought it was doing.  This is convoluted, and of course there’s more to it – it’s a powerful hormone! – but so far, so good.)

I stopped going to therapy:  I have been going to therapy consistently for 4 years.  Much of that time was weekly, sometimes we scaled back to every 2 or 3 weeks.  The past few times recently, I didn’t know what we were doing / didn’t know what to talk about / we were going in circles.  All of a sudden, it occurred to me that maybe I didn’t need to go.  And instead of that thought freaking me out, it settled in and felt right.  So on Tuesday, I talked to my therapist about it, and she said it sounded like a great idea.  We wrapped some things up for now, with little fanfare, and she made sure the door was open if I ever want to go back.  I imagine I probably will, but for now, I had just been spinning my wheels, and it feels good to put an end to that.  Maybe I can focus more on other areas of my life…

Considering how unstable I’ve been for a long time, these are some pretty huge changes.  And I am finally starting to look forward to what’s ahead!


7 Comments on “A full year later / making major changes”

  1. The butch says:

    That’s awesome about Seroquel. My mom was on it for about a year after she survived treatment for Guillain-Barre Syndrome, then we weaned her off and she’s on something a bit more light-weight now.

    That’s also awesome about stepping away from therapy for now and it feeling right.

    Like

  2. Lesboi says:

    I’m really glad to hear you’re feeling better! Congrats on getting your medications straightened out better.

    Like

  3. Fredrication says:

    I’m so happy for you that you’re finally feeling better! And better than baseline is awesome!!!

    Like

  4. witlessX says:

    Gratz on finding a med sweet spot… Happiness is under rated: enjoy it, collect it, stock it, share it, ok that’s really getting corny… best…

    Liked by 1 person


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