Well, that didn’t work*.
Often things don’t work out the way we hope or expect. I’m pretty sure this is the life lesson that the universe is trying to teach me – Pick Yourself Up And Try Something Else. See, I have a theory that the stuff that you keep getting wrong or keeps going wrong in your life represents the world’s way of trying to teach you a lesson. Recent ones on my list have been The Only Way Out Is Through (I’m getting better at this one), Do The Important Things And Everything Else Is Gravy (er…I’m working on it?), and Who The Hell Cares What Everyone Else Thinks? (Success!)
Anyway, this is the one I keep getting stuck on, I think. Actually, once identified, it’s much easier to get a handle on.
For example: I’m pretty sure the problem I’ve been having is that I keep trying to Pick Myself Up And Try Again. Which doesn’t often work terribly well, because trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results is probably the definition of stupidity**
So what did I do? I tried citalopram again, my old anxiety medication. In fairness, part of the reason for that was that I was, indeed, too gung-ho about going med-free before I was ready, but I had totally forgotten the other reason – er. It doesn’t actually work all that well for me. Okay, but not great.
It turns out that my actually-a-bit-better self responds even more badly to citalopram than my horribly-close-to-a-nervous-breakdown self. For the past week it’s really been clear that my anxiety wasn’t being taken away, just covered with a blanket of apathy. Which led to me having only slightly less basic anxiety, and just doing less stuff – and not doing stuff is what causes a large proportion of my anxiety.
Also my anxiety leads me to have difficulty doing stuff in an icky vicious cycle. Hopefully you can see why a pill that makes it even harder to do stuff is really unhelpful.
I discovered this actually when I forgot to take my pill one evening, and woke up in the morning feeling still anxious, but much better able to, um, get out of bed. Win! So I’ve repeated the experiment today, and I’m better still. Actually able to summon the will to brush my hair and wash my face, for example***. Self-care is actually happening again.
I might start talking about that actually – self-care on the vanity end (I’m still utterly rubbish at Caring About Your Appearance Does Not Make You A Bad Person) – but not on this blog I think, for it is not the place. Yeah, I like to talk****.
But that’s sort of just life. Good weeks, bad weeks. Pick yourself up, try something else. The pick yourself up bit is, in actuality, the hard bit – the try something else just requires a bit of thinking. What I’m going to do now is make do as I was before without the pills (not great, but not bad) while I get a doctor’s appointment, and then ask to try some different pills. There are a few different SSRIs that are commonly prescribed for anxiety, and I feel like it’s okay to try one or two more before I decide pills are not for me. And to end on a cheerful note (because I am feeling pretty cheerful today, actually):
Things That Were Pretty Good about This Week:
I did lots of my Chi kung, and I’m getting really good at my routine. It makes me feel (physically) a lot better, and does help me mentally at least a bit.
I kept making healthy, tasty food for myself and Kaitie (who now lives at cupcakesandanguish.wordpress.com) even though it was hard.
Though I was sad and anxious about not being able to do stuff, I didn’t get mad at myself for it, or push myself too hard. I just did what I could and relaxed when I couldn’t. (I’m *really* proud of this one. Beating myself up all the time for, um, everything ever that goes wrong is one of my worst habits.)
I developed some constructive ideas about expanding my self-care routine (both appearance-wise and things like including a short yoga session in the morning).
I packed really well for this weekend which we’ve spent at Kaitie’s parents’ house, which is important because if I don’t pack the right stuff then we can’t follow our diet while we’re there and we both feel dreadful.
I cuddled my girlfriend a lot and let her cuddle me and make me feel better (sometimes I can be a bit like But I Should Be Taking Care Of You, which is silly because Kaitie likes and is good at giving me cuddles and calming me down).
I allowed myself to just sit and do stuff that would cheer me up as well as keep my brain occupied, like play the old Harry Potter PC games which I haven’t played in ages.
I took my emergency benzodiazepines whenever I felt the need, and didn’t worry about it or tell myself I was just being pathetic or anything.
There. Yay! And I feel like there’s a few more. This is a good exercise to do, actually: write good things and bad things about a particular week. I always surprise myself with how many positive things I did, and writing about the negative things too helps me feel like I’m still being realistic.
I’ll do a more indepth post on chi kung soon so you can see my routine and whatnot, and update in a day or two how I’m doing off my citalopram. Till then,
*yes, this is going to be a little bit a post about why I didn’t post for a few days. Short answer: bad anxiety. Long answer: read post.
**actually, the quote says that it’s the definition of insanity, but I think “stupidity” fits better. It’s probably not insane; almost everyone does it from what I can tell (see: dating the same sorts of incompatible people, trying the same sorts of unhelpful coping strategies, etc).
***I kid you not, I would do things like sit for an hour before I could summon the will to get up to pee. And I wasn’t drinking enough water either because it was so much effort to force myself up to fill up my water bottle. Yeah, it’s ridiculous. Thanks, meds!
****to the internet. Real people are scary and loud and tire me out a lot, with some delightful exceptions/in small doses.