The Trick Is To Keep Breathing…. (have we had that title before?)

So say the wonderful Garbage 🙂  But there is a little more to it than that. It helps a lot if you also have an apparently slightly psychic friend, who happens to text you at a particularly crucial moment in time.

Let’s just say I had hit my absolute lowest ebb ever, and was prepared to act.

I was poised………….

Now, before anyone jumps to any conclusions here about possible reasons. I’m going to come right out and say that I have struggled – on and off – with depression for…..a good 20 years. Maybe even longer, depending on whether you take teenage angst and blah into account or not. I don’t.

My life hasn’t been the most straightforward, or easiest. It has been full of sudden, often dramatic twists and turns. Its been a struggle.

And – before anyone says…………..ooh look….she’s telling the world…..I’d like to say that I am doing this for a couple of reasons and pity is NOT one of them. The system in the UK is FUCKED. And that is worth talking about.  Plus, I am not going to pretend this is not happening because what comes next is going to take up a lot of my ….head space.

The day before this particular day my car had been in for its MOT, and had been deemed ‘beyond economical repair’. A particularly nasty blow for me, as my car is like the last link to my ‘old life’. It is my freedom, my independence, my mobility, my sanity.

Public transport – it hurts me – physically. There’s the walk to the bus stop, then the motion of the bus – it does my back in. That motion is the reason I stopped going to physio after my surgery. The minibus transport the hospital sent to take us there and back undid any good the therapist did me.

Taxis – uber expensive.

I do not have the funds to buy another car. Simple as that. And it’s going to take me a while to save up enough for another one.

It was like the final straw.

So – my amazing, wonderful, fantastic friend made a phonecall for me and got a ball rolling.

I had to tell my ‘story’ approx 7 times to 7 diff people and I think it was about 8 hours before I finally saw the “crisis team”. They gave me a number to ring. New system, they said. 2-6 weeks to see a psychiatrist for a review of meds (NOT SSRI type). They were wrong. I rang and left a msg telling them they were wrong. A nice chap rang me back and agreed that they were giving out incorrect info. But the chap at the number I was given ALSO gave me incorrect info. SO the new system is so new, not even the people who work within it, know how it works. Best thing to do, the nice chap told me – go see your GP *sigh*.

That in itself was an ordeal. New internet booking system in place meant 20 minutes hitting redial at 8am to be told I had a choice of either a 3 week wait or I could have a telephone consult so my GP could then decide how urgently I should be seen. No, they couldnt give me an idea of what time she would call me.  I left a note that it was a ‘delicate, personal matter’.

I was taking my car for a second opinion. It’s a deathtrap basically. The MOT station who did the test last year are getting reported to VOSA as they listed 3 minor advisorys. A wee bit different to the 3 pages of fails this year!!!

SO….I popped into the supermarket on the way back, while I was in the car. And that’s when my GP phoned me. It was packed in there, which was an ordeal in itself – I hate busy supermarkets with a passion. I had the volume on loud so I didnt miss her call.

Honestly, you can not make this shit up. I was stood by the cat food when my phone rang. The Minions Banana Song blared out at way too many decibels, alerting all the other pet owners in the aisle to the fact I was now on the phone. Great.  I tried to speak directly and discreetly into the phone to tell my dr why I had called “Can you speak up please” she says “Its very noisy there. I cant hear you” Oh FFS!!!  In my head I am screaming at her – No I fucking cant!! I am stood by the cat food in Asda’s!!!

I was hot and sweaty, crying – and had no tissues – and I still had to go through the checkout and get the shopping home.

There is a 3 month wait                                                           

3 months.

As another friend said……………can I wait 3 months? Well, in the grand scheme of things it’s not long. BUT – I have given up so much of my life to this illness already. And its not like I have endless time ahead of me now.

Sooooooooo……as I am terribly impatient at the moment, I am not just going to sit and wait. I have lost most of this year already.

First step was a gut reaction – get off the anti depressants that clearly haven’t helped me at all. I was already 2 days without them as I had run out, but yeah, well, sudden cold turkey wasn’t a great idea, and sent me running to the internet. Seems they are the hardest to get off.

There is an entire website dedicated to the withdrawal from this one drug – Cymbalta/Duloxetine. Licenced for Fibromyalgia as well as depression. This website has had something like 14 million hits. That’s an awful lot of hits.  I found an archived FDA presentation on the withdrawal symptoms – citing Google searches and forum questions as evidence. And I saw a figure of 11% of people who had permanent withdrawal symptoms.

They’re not nice, it has to be said.  Although they are very similar to what I experienced years ago coming off Prozac.

Brain zaps – a really unpleasant sensation in your head when you either move your head, or move your eyes quickly. Like a sudden electrical-type BZZZZZ inside your head, that you feel and hear. Its not nice.

Sense of losing your balance, even if you are sitting down. If you are standing you will lean to one side and can just fall over. When I was coming off prozac I was often hauled upright by whoever I was with.

Catching sight of things out the corner of your eye – but there is nothing there.

Seeing things move – that cant possibly move. My lava lamp did a weird kind of hoola dance for me the other day.

Very vivid dreams. I’ve woken up and Googled stuff because I was so convinced I had remembered it, not dreamed it.

Then there’s the emotional side. Out of proportion reactions basically. Altho some people can get very aggressive.

Shakes and tremors is another.  Its a joy.  Plus my FM pain hit me like a ton of bricks. To the extent I had to be helped to roll over. Been many years since I was quite that bad.

So, cold turkey went, and I am taking 30mg a day.

But you know – as fast as those withdrawal symptoms kicked in, they have faded almost as fast, altho its still brain  zaps a gogo here, they aren’t as bad.

On the plus side tho – and this is BIG for me. I haven’t had any of my hemi migraine symptoms for……5 days now. 5 days, people!!!

I have also………… wait for this…………brace yourselves…..have a sweet tea at the ready…………….on 3 occasions, I have slept for more than 4 hours at a time and woken up feeling RESTED.  Yep, you read that right. I woke up feeling RESTED. The last time that happened was last year…….probably last summer at Market Harborough.

I also have less brain fog than I have had.

So………..this has spurred me on, and further research has led me to taking a high dose of omegas – 3,6 and 9. and high strength of just about everything else. I am used to taking the high strength for my FM anyway – but I do forget. Omegas….I have never eaten fish or nuts/seeds, so I am probably seriously deficient in them, and again, altho I have bought flaxseed oil (its the proteins I am allergic to in nuts/seeds not the oils) I’m crap at taking them.  But this website I mentioned recommends them to help with the withdrawal symptoms and it makes sense. The brain needs omega oils, and all these chemical imbalances – all going on in the brain. This is my late at night explanation, don’t forget. Google is your friend for the real technical ins and outs.

Its very late here now. But I have Littluns laptop as we are reduced to online grocery shopping. Gods what a nightmare that is. I must get some sleep.

But when I awaken, there will be another post at some point as I want to talk about dopamine, and how I plan on tricking my brain into producing some godammit!!!

This post was created to the soundtrack created by Shuffle on my ipod:

Imagine Dragons – My Fault /   fade to grey by Visage /Prophets Song by Queen/ Somebody that I used to know by Gotye / acoustic version of Full Circle by Half Moon Run/The Boatman – The Levellers/Perfect Day – Lou Reed/Half Moon Run – Live version of Full Circle/Teo Torriatte – Queen/ New Divide – Linkin Park x LOTS/Motorcycle emptiness – Manic Street Preachers/Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen/In the Doorway – The Misfits/Acoustic version Private Universe – Crowded House/Stupid Girl – Garbage/Come up and see me – Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel






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