Guess I should try meds

5 comments

Through my twenties I never understood depression or anxiety. I was that awful, “just think positive thoughts,” friend. I have since apologized to my friends that were struggling during that ignorant time of my life, and if you are reading this and I never reached out to you, this is my apology. I was a horrible friend for not being more empathetic. I am like a shitty politician that didn’t understand discrimination until it happened to someone that I know. Also, let’s be honest, I was pretty much drunk through those years and was lying to myself about so many things. And then everything changed.

My life flipped upside down in 2010 and 2011. I said goodbye to a ten-year relationship, stopped drinking every damn day, started nursing school, and then my mother unexpectedly died in her sleep. I pushed that grief down, finished school, and graduated top of the class. The grief wasn’t gone though, and it hit me like a ton of fucking bricks while I was an unemployed new grad and living on my friend’s living room floor. I was resourceful and stumbled upon a grief group specifically for daughters that had lost their mothers. I felt like I didn’t belong in the first session because their losses were all within the month or days, and mine was almost a year old. Then it was my turn to speak, introduce myself, and say one thing about my mother. I sobbed so hard I could not get a word out of my mouth. They were so kind and I was so terrified. I had never felt something so raw and intense – I was pretty much numb at her funeral, and then the whole, “gotta go back to school in a week or else repeat the entire semester even though you are literally halfway complete and just finished finals” thing, so yeah, I was a mess. The therapist that led the group felt that I should seek 1:1 counseling and when I explained I was jobless and had no insurance, she offered to meet with me weekly.

I think my anxiety started sometime during nursing school. It was a mix of the not feeling prepared, but trying to keep patients alive in a county hospital thing. Of course the call from my father, who was confused and crying, but informing me that my mom died while I was in my car on the way home from a day of clinicals, and supposed to immediately start studying for class the next day didn’t really help the whole mental health thing.

grief
image from avenues counseling

I have been dealing with depression, uncontrollable moodiness, and anxiety for several years now. Here is a list of other shit that has also happened over the last seven years:

  • moved across the country twice
  • changed jobs six times (in my defense, three were the same place, which I recognize that’s not a positive thing, either)
  • started a new relationship
  • saw a psychiatrist a few years ago that prescribed Wellbutrin (but I never got up to the full therapeutic dose because the side effects were awful)
lexapro
image from drugwatch

I don’t want to list stuff anymore. Now I am routinely seeing an awesome therapist, but I still am unable to control my crying, sadness, frustration, and depression. My primary doctor had always suggested trying meds again, especially because almost every time I see him, I am sobbing. So being a nurse and having that rapport with him meant I could message him to call in a prescription for a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) of my choice. I researched which had the least sexual side effects (because my relationship matters to me), and went with escitalopram (Lexapro). He replied, “Prescription sent. Hang in there.” He prescribed 10mg a day, but starting dose of 5mg for a week and then go to 10. I took the first 5mg dose today.

I felt some effects almost an hour later. It was like a buzz in my head, almost like a bunch of caffeine was pumping through my veins. Then I started feeling like I wasn’t breathing. That nervousness feeling right before an anxiety attack, but like, without thinking, I just kept taking very long and deep breaths – in and out. At work. Audibly. A few colleagues asked if I was okay. I drove home and couldn’t listen to the news or a podcast like I usually do, and instead had to listen to music. Then I noticed all of my usual playlists were annoying me. I got home and felt overwhelming anxiety right when I walked in the door. I started taking those serious deep breaths again. I couldn’t make a decision about dinner and definitely couldn’t have a rational conversation. I am now laying in bed after not being able to finish dinner, taking an anxiety-filled shower, and shaking almost uncontrollably while taking deep breaths and crying really fucking hard.anxiety

Nervousness and restlessness are common and should subside in a week. Same with any stomach drama that I am about to endure. Cool thing is that I can’t take off any work and am either giving large presentations or training groups of staff every single day.

I do not know if this is going to be tolerable for a whole week. And then every deep breath I take, I see my doctor’s message sorta flash in my head, “Hang in there.” Before my first dose, I thought he meant to, “hang in there, meds are on the way.” Now I am assuming he meant, “Hang in there, this shit is gonna blow.”

 

5 comments on “Guess I should try meds”

  1. I had the exact same response to my first dose of that. Exact same. I was alone with my kids and was so afraid that I called 911 and the fire department came to tell me I was having an anxiety attack.

    So… same.

    But also, I’m proud of you for fighting for yourself the way you fight for other people.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As I’m sure you likely know it can be a long (and arduous) process of finding a medication that works for you! Good for you for fighting through this tough road. For me it has been important to give meds a try (and I think they have genuinely saved my life!) but I would say that you don’t have to live in discomfort forever if one of them doesn’t seem to be working for you. The whole point is to better your quality of life, not worsen it x

    Liked by 1 person

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