Friday, July 27, 2012

Life with Cipralex

So my hands and creativity have been VERY busy this month. If you want to know why, this post on my digital scrapbooking blog will tell you. LOL.

Keeping my mind and hands busy has always been an important aspect of keeping the most severe symptoms of anxiety and depression at bay. When I first started digi-scrapping, it was the latter half of 2009 and I was stuck in Virginia, 800 miles away from my husband and everything I had so quickly come to love in Canada. My father was very ill all the way up until we lost him that December. I'm pretty sure that digi-scrapping and the wonderful girls at DSP and STS were the only things keeping me sane.

Cipralex is still working quite well. I don't think I had realized how great 15mg was at the time because there was just too much environmental stress and depression going on with both Trevor and I not having jobs. My GP increased my dosage to 20mg last month, but for five days straight I was experiencing such severe mood swings and suicidal thoughts that I dropped back to 15. And then I was fine.

I saw my GP on Monday and told him about it, and he said I definitely did the right thing. He said I really should have dropped to 10mg, my original dosage, but he was glad that I was feeling a lot better and that the environmental stressors had all but disappeared since Trevor acquired a full-time job.

I'm still doing things that I had found utterly impossible to do at this time last year, a month before I was put on Cipralex. Last summer I was still nervous, awkward, and kept to myself at get-togethers. I couldn't pick up the phone. I could hardly look anyone in the eye. The thought of going anywhere alone or taking public transit alone freaked me out so bad that I would launch myself right into a panic attack. I remember Kent once remarking at how surprised he was at how social and comfortable I became at gatherings when I had a drink or two in me.

This year? Well. I don't need alcohol to be comfortable and social. I jump on the bus whenever I feel like it. I'll even be taking the subway alone to the Eaton Centre or to the new Michael's that's opened up by the North York Centre. I can go up to a counter and order a double double with complete ease. I go on my own to my doctor appointments, another trigger for severe anxiety for me, and not feel a smidgen of fear.

I'm feeling... well... somewhat normal.

Of course, it's not the medication by itself. I feel that one has to mentally and emotionally work WITH the meds to make them work to their optimum, and boy have I been working hard this past year. To feel that I can now go just about anywhere on public transit or on foot and not panic about it is a very liberating thing. I think I'm finally breaking away from my codependency issues with my husband.

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