I have a thing I do that I’m sure I picked up from somewhere else that involves calling everything Something Town. I don’t remember where this comes from, but I do it a lot.
This post is actually about why I’m living in Crazy Town, not how often I say Something Town.
You see, about six years ago, I started taking a medication. It was supposed to help with feelings of anxiety. It did its job, I got better, end of story. Except that it wasn’t the end.
After I got better, I continued to take the medication. For six years, as mentioned previously. I did this because I was terrified of returning to the place I was in pre-medication, so I figured it was safer to just continue taking it. What harm was there, right?
There wasn’t any, not really, until recently. And it wasn’t so much that the medication was causing problems as I just found out I had other problems that needed different meds so I might as well get off this other one that I don’t really need anymore.
Okay, no problem, I thought. I’ve been stable for six years! Nothing can possibly go wrong! In fact, I might even feel better!
The hilarious nonsense we tell ourselves, right?
As it turns out, it probably will be better for me in the long run to get off this particular medication. In the short term, though, I am FREAKING OUT.
For the last four weeks or so, I’ve been steadily decreasing my dose in an attempt to reduce the physical side effects that I know come with not taking this drug.
I knew about them because I would occasionally forget to take my daily dose and I would be sad about it later.
I couldn’t even begin to describe what this weirdness feels like. They call it “head zaps” and the best way I’ve seen it described is that it feels like you’re getting little electric shocks that start in your brain and shoot down your body. It’s bizarre. Pair that with dizziness, headaches, and a bit of nausea and you can see why I was doing what I could to keep these to a minimum.
This past Sunday, I took my last dose. I am on day three of no dosage. I get zapped pretty regularly throughout the day, with really intense zapping, dizziness, and headaches in the morning. The random zapping isn’t so bad. It feels weird as hell, but aside from when I first wake up in the morning, it doesn’t really hurt.
My emotions are a train wreck. As if getting zapped wasn’t bad enough, I’m experiencing the entire spectrum of human emotion within a twenty minute time period.
Most of the time, I’m irritable and pissed off, which is not my regular mode of operation. I’m generally a cheerful lil person who enjoys things like rainbows and chocolate sprinkles. I’m human, though, so of course I get cranky sometimes. This is more like every little thing just grates on my nerves. “Augh, the sky is blue and I’m just so irritated about it!”
The reality is that the irritation is caused by nothing, so my mind tries to ascribe it to something so it will make sense. At first, it was just every dang thing. But then I realized that this was probably a medication withdrawal side effect. Now I can feel irritated about nothing without freaking myself out because I know where it’s coming from.
There are two other such emotions that seem to come out of nowhere. One is anxiety, which makes sense since that’s the thing this medication is supposed to help with. But suddenly I’m anxious about… well, nothing.
I’ll be sitting there, freaking out in my own head, about nothing. I can’t explain it any better than that.
The other one is random crying. This isn’t an emotion so much as a weird physical reaction to any emotion, no matter what it is. As you probably know by now, I’m a cryer anyway, so at first I figured this was just more of that. But I think it’s actually increased because it’s my way of dealing with emotions that come from nowhere.
Though I did have a couple hours of random happiness in there, too. I’m not sure if that was just me being me or not, though. Mostly, I’m just in a state of perpetual peeviness.
The good news is that these symptoms will eventually go away. In the meantime, I’m renting a condo in Crazy Town where I probably work as a grouchy barista, drawing frowning skulls on people’s lattes and crying any time a Bob Marley song gets played on the coffee shop radio.