I’ve been really out of sync lately, lost my mojo. It all really started in November of last year culminating a few weeks ago. I’m just gonna come out and admit it loud and clear; I’m depressed and I have been for a very long time. I’ve had too many heart breaks and the stress of living a life alone, raising kids, maintaining a home, shitty dating, all of it took a huge toll on my mental state. I’ve said it before, I’m not one of those people who has gone through this with grace and class. I’m the hot mess.
I’ve isolated myself from a lot of my old friends, the friends I’m talking about are the ones Zed and myself hung out with, you know the cookouts, pool, family stuff “couple friends”. They’re distant, by my own doing and I know this, it was too painful in the beginning and now it’s just different. I’m single and they are all still married. It’s tough to be around them and not feel lonely, not miss him and the life I once knew. I say these words to myself and others a lot… “I want my old life back”. Those words have kept me where I am, kept me from old friends, kept me from moving forward.
I know it’s gone and I can’t have it back but that is what the last 3 years have been about. Grasping for that life. I hit a wall back in November and needed help, I went to the doctor and was prescribed Cymbalta. “Oh my Gosh, I can’t believe she just admitted that”, please! Guess what, 1 in 10 Americans take anti-depressants. Which after being on them for the last six months, there has to be a better option; at least for me. It helped in the short term but man they really took a toll on my body and mind as well.
In the first few weeks of taking them I was extremely sick, nauseated, disoriented, unable to focus and I felt like I had the flu. I was told by my doctor to give it time. I did and then all of a sudden I felt better. I felt pretty good for about 2 months, then I started to become numb. I didn’t even realize it was happening. What I did notice though was how tired I was, how my body slowed down, how I couldn’t focus, how I GAINED 20 pounds! Slowly over those months, I wasn’t Gail anymore. I haven’t even wanted to write. I knew I needed to change something.
After the road trip with my girlfriends, I decided to call my doctor to make a plan to wean myself off the medication. Holy shit, it really sucks and I’m still feeling the effects. It’s been 16 days and I still feel terrible. I will never do this again. After doing some research on the how the drug affects you when you’re coming off the medications; which can last anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months. I have come to realized it’s gonna be a living hell. Every moment of the day I feel like I’ve just stepped off the merry-go-round. Remember that feeling? It’s like your body stopped spinning but your brain didn’t but with the added pleasure of what feels like an electrical jolt. It’s referred to as “brain zaps”. Seriously? It has a name that’s how many people feel this side effect. How did this drug get on the market? I have periods of time where I feel drunk, disoriented, unable to complete my thoughts and sentences. I’ve had very vivid dreams, restless legs and the list goes on. Very difficult when you’re working and your employer doesn’t know what’s going on. It’s crazy!! Pun intended
Good news? Maybe. Although the side effects are constant, I’m actually starting to feel things again, to have emotions. I was so unaware of what was happening to my body and brain. I have been crying and very emotional the last few weeks but it actually feels good. I’ve been trying to work on a plan to treat myself naturally, this can be difficult when motivation and focus is lacking. So I’m starting small, changing my diet, a few supplements, trying to cut out caffeine which is almost impossible for someone who LOVES coffee, and exercising. Exercising is tough too because the best time for me to go is at 5:30am; which is impossible when you’re exhausted from the side effects and changes in sleep patterns and energy levels but I’ll get there.
Today happens to be a bad day, mostly because I didn’t get any sleep last night(thanks Will)! I’ve really noticed, when and what I eat and how much sleep I get, affects the side effects. I just want to be completely me again. I want to feel whole and alive…happy.
When my mojo comes back though, watch out. It’ll be Mojo with a side of Mojito.