Thursday, 23 August 2012

Side Effects

Nothing ever stays the same. Ever.

A sobering thought, yet a hopeful thought.

A thought I hold onto during challenging times.

Recently, I've felt caught in the snare of a rip tide, pulling me away from the certainty of the shore - sandy particles feet could burrow into, containing and stilling physical movement. Instead, I am afloat, rolling in conflicting currents, my limbs paddling aimlessly, searching hopelessly for a foothold, an anchor to safety. But there is nothing - no rope-like seaweed to cling onto, no fishing net to haul me to solid shelter...

...One week I felt fine. The next, I was depressed, again.


So over a week ago, I began a course of anti-depressants, 10 mgs of citalopram, and the side effects transformed me into a pair of old socks. I took the same medication nine weeks into my pregnancy, but because of acute antenatal depression combined with common pregnancy symptoms, it was difficult to decipher any side effects from the tablets the first few weeks of taking them. But I'm not pregnant this time, so the fallout has been clearly visible, and very tangible. I liken the side effects to a really, really bad hangover; tremors, nausea, fatigue, physical weakness, dry mouth, tense jaw, hot flushes, anxiety, loss of appetite and disturbed sleep. Not a pleasant cocktail I assure you.

Last Monday morning, the day after ingesting my first tablet, I sat on the sofa, my limbs trembling, feeling very sick indeed; I regretfully informed Little A that, today, all outdoor pursuits were off - thank heavens she's easily distracted, thank heavens for the indoor tent/den and tunnel I'd recently purchased as a well done for her recent emancipation from nappies.

Shopping, cooking, cleaning have proven almost insurmountable tasks as the citalopram took hold - it was hard to accomplish anything when my body and mind felt so unyielding, so leaden. Needless to say, Little A has been subjected to bowl after bowl of cheesy pesto pasta - fortunately, she hasn't complained.

As one day surely follows the next, I began to accept my fate, allowing my surrendered body to bob about freely in waves of medicinal symptoms lapping around my nervous system. I still feel nauseous and prickly during the morning, and my head feels stuffed to the skull with Younger Dad's boxer shorts.

BUT, something is afoot - I spy a phoenix ascending from the discarded left overs clogging the kitchen sink...

Yesterday I felt calmer, less reactive, more tolerant. Inside, I felt space - an inner relaxing. Even Younger Dad has noticed a change in my energy and bearing. I think I'm turning a corner. The sea is quelling and gently delivering me back to the stable security of land. I think I might be getting better...

The anti-depressants are showing signs of positive effect, flooding my neural pathways with much needed serotonin. Additionally, I've organised some short term counselling - being a therapist myself, and having already had plenty of therapy - I know how helpful this can be, and I've booked further acupuncture treatments.

So, thankfully, nothing ever really stays the same. Ever.

The emotional rapids of the past month or so have taken their toll though, and as you can imagine, I'm feeling rather run down. With this in mind I've decided to take a break from blogging for a couple of weeks - although, I might have a bonus post up my sleeve - to rest, do nothing, and to recuperate. It just so happens that I'm going on holiday to the beautiful Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall the first week of September which should provide the perfect setting to renew and reinvigorate.

Upon my return, the week beginning the 9th September, I will be launching a five-day seasonal linky, One Week. If you would like to join in, for all or part of it, you can read the details here.


I'll promise to send you a postcard! X.

Ps. Apologies if you were hoping to link up to Once Upon a Time this month - the linky will return in September.

34 comments:

  1. So beautifully put as always!
    I had a year of therapy because the world came crashing around me. It changed my life! I know you already know how gr8 it is, but sometimes you need someone else not to judge you, and just listen.

    Have a great break. Looking forward to reading your fab blog on your return.x

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    1. Thank you! Absolutely - I have some pressing issues that are fueling my state of mind, so talking to someone will help. I'm looking forward to putting my feet up!

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  2. I'm so pleased you're feeling some relief. I've now been on citalopram for three years and I'm just considering coming off - and blogging about it. The other end of the particular tunnel!
    Have a wonderful holiday. x

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    1. Hey Ellen - Thank you! - I will be watching out for your posts - the side effects have been pretty ropey to say the least!

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  3. Even when you're depressed you write brilliantly. So sorry you're still going through it, but glad things looking up. Hope you manage to breathe some wonderful healing Cornwall air and look forward to your return and recovery. Much love XXX

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    1. Thank you OSM - looking up but still feeling a bit shakey from the side effects - very much looking forward to Cornwall, and coming back ready to go! Love back X.

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  4. So sorry to hear you've been feeling so rubbish. I agree with Older Single Mum, you'd never be able to tell it from the quality of your writing. Glad to hear that you're starting to feel the upsides of the medication. Enjoy your blogging break, enjoy Cornwall. Will look forward to reading more on your return, and I love the sound of One Week. Big Hugs and Happy Holidays x

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    1. Thank you Mummy Plum! I may have a sneaky post up my sleeve before I go away - I can't help it :o). That aside, I'm starting to feel better, and Cornwall should kick it to the curb. Big hug to you! X

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  5. Sorry to hear of your anguish, sounds horrible, you describe it so eloquently. Not been through it myself but I know many others who have and I'm told that things get easier about 10 days in. Hope you begin to feel positive effects soon x

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    1. Thank you ... it hasn't been very pleasant, but I think its starting to ease off a little now. I just want my head to feel clear again so I can think straight! :o).

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  6. So sorry to hear you've been feeling so bad. Hope you feel relaxed on your holiday and looking forward to your return.

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    1. I can't wait for my holiday, and feeling refreshed when I return!

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  7. wow, I feel like I'm with you when you write, very evocative! I know I've said before that I don't suffer with depression, I'm one of those annoying people who wakes up every morning with a fresh slate, but a few years ago I had an enormous tragedy which will never leave me but my therapy was my DH. He just listened to my ravings, he should be a therapist, he is a very good listener. I do understand the meds, I have not taken that route but at that time in my life if I had something to take the edge off the grief it would probably have helped me through. I'm so pleased things are starting to ease off and hope you have a wonderful holiday, can I come, I don't mind eating cheesy pesto pasta every day, sounds yummy! xxx

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment MLM - well I think its great you wake up bright and breezy - not annoying at all. The side effects are easing off a little, and thankfully, I'm starting to feel the benefits - calmer, and more positive. Your DH sounds fab with the support he gave you during a very difficult time! I'll send some chhey pesto pasta in the post to you! :o).

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  8. Oh love, I have only just read this. Sorry that it has been so rubbish. I hope that the drugs continue to work. Enjoy your holiday. I am looking forward to 'one week'. Take care. x

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    1. It has been a bit pants - but it could have been alot worse too - drugs are working - can't wait for my holiday!

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  9. What a rubbish time. So happy to read that you can see a glimmer of hope on the horizon and a return to calm and contentedness. A beautifully written post.

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    1. Thank you! No, it hasn't been pleasant, but I think I've turned a corner - hopefully .... now for a well eraned break, and then back to the blog!

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  10. Sweetie, glad to hear that after a shaky start the anti-d's are doing their work and helping you to turn a corner. You're right, nothing ever stays the same does it. In this case, I'm glad for you that it doesn't. Have a wonderful holiday x

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    1. They are starting to take effect but I have my on and off days - here's hoping the holiday gets me back on track!

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  11. So sorry you've been afloat. I hope you are feeling a little better by now and steering a safe course for home x

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    1. Getting there but I feel I may have to take a higher dose just to notch up to a slightly higher gear.

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  12. I've only just come across your blog and found this to be a compelling read. I hope it was helpful therapy for you to share as I'm sure it'll be helpful to fellow sufferers. I can imagine you chose that photo carefully, it seems a perfect depiction.

    Glad the medication is kicking in, good luck with your continued treatment and rest!

    xx Jazzy

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    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Getting there. Thankfully tomorrow I head off on holiday so should feel brighter by my return!

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  13. Hello Older Mum (waving to you!). I have just started back on my blog, for the reasons you have just stated. I too noticed the starts of feeling low and - having experienced it in the past - was able to recognise that I needed to get to the doctors and have a chat. I have been on Sertriline for a month now and I too am finding that enclosed and encapsulated feeling that had started to descend is lifting. I want to start doing things again. Thank god. I am also having some counselling, had my first session the other week and luckily felt very comfortable with my counsellor so am looking forward to the next. Reading your posts reminds me that I am not alone in feeling like this and there is nothing wrong with saying 'Hey at the moment I can't quite deal with everything on my own.' I hope you have a great holiday and can't wait to find out about One Week!xxx

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    1. So glad you are back - I've missed you! And sorry to hear that life has been getting on top of you as well. It just creeps up on you doesn't it? Good for you for recognising the signs straight away - and that you are starting to feel the beneficial effects. A combo of medication and counselling should help a treat. No you are not alone, as my doctor reminded me, depression is very common accessory of being a mum!

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  14. Have too just discovered your blog. I do hope that your road to recovery continues....and for the record , from an older mum of 3 , cheesy pasta night after night does no harm at all! Keep with it! Claire xxx

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    1. Hello! *smiles* I'm getting there - feeling a lot more relaxed after my holiday - I have no more guilt complexes of repetitive cheesy pasta :o).

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  15. Hope you are feeling relaxed and in a good spot after summer. I've found this period very strange. The blogosphere has been very quiet. I have been very quiet (kids DO have a knack of knowing when to scream 'mum!' as soon as your bum touches the chair, don't they? Feels good to be back, fresh and ready to give it some welly. Hope you feel the same!

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    1. Yes, its been so quiet, but when I returned from my holiday my inbox was stuffed full of new posts to read. At least next year I will know that August is a month I can kick back with (a bit) on blogging. Now back to the blog!

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  16. Just had a read of your post and so glad you appear to be turning the corner. This hits home and is such a common thread within many of us (more-so than we would care to admit even to ourselves sometimes)- how brave of you to share.
    Hope you have enjoyed your holiday! Jen x

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    1. Hello! Thank you for your lovely comment - I think I'm on the mend - and the holiday has certainly helped! :o).

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  17. welcome home lovely, I hope the break helped x

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    1. Hello *waves* Thank you! Yes, it defo helped - can't beat a bit of sea, air and sand! :o).

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