That’s how long I’ve gone without taking one of my little gray and white pills.
That’s how long I’ve suffered with disorienting nausea, knock-me-off-my-feet dizziness from my inner ear, muscle and joint aches and pains, dry mouth and dry eyes, upset stomach, tremors, brain zaps, chest pressure and trouble breathing, swollen/tight neck, irritability, severe fluid retention of my whole body, and depressive thoughts.
It’s the longest stint I’ve gone without Effexor XR in my system in the past four years and I’m regretting ever having started it in the first place. I started it after my son was born, because life was crashing down around me and I
needed wanted a quick solution. I’ve always been a sucker for instant gratification and was never much for waiting. If I had waited I might have found a feasible holistic and/or cognitive treatment methods. Now I’m paying the real price for my impatience.
This withdrawal phase is supposed to last 2-4 weeks and is comparable to detoxing from heroin. I couldn’t know that for sure as heroin isn’t my drug of choice, but I can tell you that if it weren’t for the scopolamine patch currently glued behind my ear I wouldn’t even be functioning at the half-life level I am now. I believe the Internet comps when I read how terrible it is to come off of Effexor XR, even when it’s a controlled, doctor-supervised method of lowering dosages. I’m currently on the lowest dose and still suffering.
Right now I feel completely betrayed by my body, and frankly I hate her. I tried to be good to her, treated her kindly, dressed her up and presented her healthy self to the world.
In 2013, I got pregnant. I thought it was her repaying my kindness for all the good health I’d worked hard to give her over the years. But it wasn’t that. First, she dealt me a miscarriage at a vulnerable and lonely time. Second, while she gave me a healthy baby boy for which I am so grateful, she tried to kill me in the process and I haven’t been the same since.
I tried to help her out of her confusion and pain with medication to quickly treat the anxiety. At first we were good again. Like nothing had ever come between us. But then the stomach problems started. And then the depression came on fast, going dark quickly. And then the endometriosis grew and required surgery and synthetic hormones. And then the weight gain that’s been never-ending for the past four years ultimately reached a rock bottom number. Despite working out several times a week for nearly a year and eating health-conscious foods, I’m officially heavier now than when I was 9 1/2 months pregnant and I hate my body for it. I can’t stand the sight of her.
I am now 13 days off that horrible medication in the hopes that one day I’ll be totally free and ready to find a holistic solution to manage my anxiety. I’m having to fight a big fight to get there. My body is so angry at me and throwing every symptom in the book my way. I feel half alive after two weeks down. Hopefully not more than a couple weeks left.
And I keep thinking … all I have to do to make all of this go away is take one pill.
But I won’t.
Because … 13 days.