Monthly Archives: February 2010

A Week Full of Mistakes and Tears

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So, I am going on Day 6 with no Cymbalta. Ya know, before I started taking it, I read that it was a difficult medication to discontinue. But I figured – hell, I’m tough…I’ve given up far greater addictions and been through much worse pain…how bad could it really be. HA. What a jerk ass I turned out to be. Now, if you do not know about Cymbalta…here are some facts:

 

What is Cymbalta?

 

Cymbalta is an antidepressant in a group of drugs called selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs). Cymbalta affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression.

Cymbalta is used to treat major depressive disorder and general anxiety disorder. It is also used to treat a chronic pain disorder called fibromyalgia, and to treat pain caused by nerve damage in people with diabetes (diabetic neuropathy).

 

Cymbalta may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

 

(from www.drugs.com)

 

 

 

Discontinuation syndrome?

 

Reports of adverse events occurring upon discontinuation of these drugs (SSRIs & SNRIs), particularly when abrupt, including the following: dysphoric mood, irritability, agitation, dizziness, sensory disturbances (paresthesias – such as electric shock sensations), anxiety, confusion, headache, lethargy, emotional lability, insomnia, hypomania, tinnitus, and seizures. Although these events are generally self-limiting, some have been reported to be severe. The withdrawal syndrome from duloxetine (Cymbalta) resembles the SSRI discontinuation syndrome.

 

 

 

I went on this medication about 4 years ago when I noticed my depression growing significantly worse. At first it worked well I think. But shortly after, it pooped out plus I could not lose the rest of my baby weight no matter what I did. I have come to find out that a large percentage of woman have gained at least 30 lbs while on this medication and all mostly belly weight. I stayed about the same, but again, I have been exercising and trying many weight loss ventures. Anyway, so I decided it was time to go off the med.

 

I tapered down slowly over a period of 4 weeks. As I was tapering down, I really wasn’t feeling too badly, not like I read about. Even the first 2 days of being off of it…it wasn’t all that horrid.  But day 3 hit and holy shit balls.

I have had about 80% of the above mentioned symptoms…and as long as I am awake, I am feeling them. It goes in waves…but there are lots of them. The worst is the anger, DEEP depression and lack of impulse control (which I have never had before unless I was uber drunk). That is probably the worst because it gets me into trouble – I can have a pretty sharp tongue when I’m pissed.  It also causes a lot of embarrassment. I put things out there into the atmosphere that really should have just stayed in my crazy ass mind. Emails, status updates, nasty things said to my husband, outbursts towards the kids (only verbal of course…but still)…I mean, WTF…I am going to end up alienating the people who actually might still like me a little and prove myself a weird ass crazy bitch to the ones who already think negatively of me. Of course the worst is what I am doing to my family. My husband clearly must hate me by now. Seems so anyway. My poor little girl is probably wondering why the hell I am suddenly crying and yelling all the time and why I absolutely REFUSED to put her socks on this morning. I am serious; this is some weird ass shit. Who knows the damage these chemicals could have done to my brain long term. Yet POT is illegal??? Yea, sure….THAT makes sense. 

 

I know many people think it is so weird and creepy that I share such personal information about my life. You know…like mental illness and all the lovely partying gifts it comes with. But I read and find help from other people’s blogs and writings. I find a sense of normalcy when I see I am not the “only one”. And believe you me….normalcy comes around once in a blue moon in these parts of Forrest Fucked Up. And I have received a number of emails and messages thanking me for helping THEM in that same way. So, to me, it is worth it.

 

I am tired, but I will write more this weekend. This is all just crazy and I really should just put a disclaimer on everything I say or type for a while. I am not sure if I should even have thoughts at this time.

 

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Information Please/Other Worlds to Sing In

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I always loved this story…and being the big sobby cry baby I have been the last couple days…I felt like reading it and sharing it once again…
 

When I was quite young, my family had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember well the polished oak case fastened to the wall on the lower stair landing. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I even remembered the number – 105. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked into it. Once she lifted me up to speak to my father, who was away on business. Magic! Then I discovered that somewhere inside that wonderful device lived an amazing person – her name was "Information Please" and there was nothing that she did not know. My mother could ask her for anybody’s number and when our clock ran down, Information Please immediately supplied the correct time.

My first personal experience with this genie-in-the-receiver came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the toolbench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer. The pain was terrible, but there didn’t seem to be of much use crying because there was no one home to offer sympathy. I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver and held it to my ear. "Information Please," I said into the mouthpiece just above my head. A click or two, and a small clear voice spoke into my ear. "Information." "I hurt my fingerrr-" I wailed into the phone. The tears came readily enough now that I had an audience. "Isn’t your mother home?" came the question. "Nobody’s at home but me," I blubbered. "Are you bleeding?". "No", I replied. "I hit it with the hammer and it hurts". "Can you open your icebox?" she asked. I said I could. "Then chip off a little piece of ice and hold it on your finger. That will stop the hurt. Be careful when you use the ice pick," she admonished. "And don’t cry. You’ll be alright".

After that, I called Information Please for everything. I asked for help with my Geography and she told me where Philadelphia was, and the Orinco–the romantic river I was going to explore when I grew up. She helped me with my Arithmetic, and she told me that a pet chipmunk–I had caught him in the park just that day before–would eat fruits and nuts. And there was the time that Petey, our pet canary, died. I called Information Please and told her the sad story. She listened, then said the usual things grown-up say to soothe a child. But I was unconsoled. Why was it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to whole families, only to end as a heap of feathers feet up, on the bottom of a cage? She must have sensed my deep concern, for she quietly said, "Paul, always remember that there are other worlds to sing in." Somehow, I felt better.

Another day I was at the telephone. "Information," said the now familiar voice. "How do you spell fix?". F-I-X." At that instant my sister, who took unholy joy in scaring me, jumped off the stairs at me with a banshee shriek-"Yaaaaaaaaaa!" I fell off the stool, pulling the receiver out of the box by its roots. We were both terrified–Information Please was no longer there, and I was not at all sure that I hadn’t hurt her when I pulled the receiver out. Minutes later, there was a man on the porch. "I’m a telephone repairman. I was working down the street and the operator said there might be some trouble at this number." He reached for the receiver in my hand. "What happened?" I told him. "Well, we can fix that in a minute or two." He opened the telephone box exposing a maze of wires and coils, and fiddled for a while with the end of the receiver cord, tightened things with a small screwdriver. He jiggled the hook up and down a few times, then spoke into the phone. "Hi, this is Pete. Everything’s under control at 105. The kid’s sister scared him and he pulled the cord out of the box." He hung up, smiled, gave me a pat on the head and walked out the door.

All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. Then, when I was nine years old, we moved across he country to Boston-and I missed my mentor acutely. Information Please belonged in that old wooden box back at home, and I somehow never thought if trying the tall, skinny new phone that sat on the small table in the hall. Yet, as I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversation never really left me; often in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had when I know that I could call Information Please and get the right answer. I appreciated now how very patient, understanding and kind she was to have wasted her time on a little boy.

A few years later, on my way back to college, my plane put down in Seattle. I had about half an hour between plan connections, and I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister who lived there now, happily mellowed by marriage and motherhood. Then, really without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator and said, "Information Please." Miraculously, I heard again the small, clear voice that I know so well:"Information." I hadn’t planned this, but I heard myself saying, "Could you tell me, please, how to spell the word ‘fix’?" There was a long pause. Then came the softly spoken answer. "I guess," said Information Please, "that your finger must have healed by now." I laughed. "So it’s really still you. I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during all that time…." "I wonder," she replied, "if you know how much you meant to me? I never had any children, and I used to look forward to your calls. Silly, wasn’t it?" It didn’t seem silly, but I didn’t say so. Instead I told her how often I had thought of her over the years, and I asked if I could call her again when I come back to visit my sister when the semester was over. "Please do. Just ask for Sally." "Goodbye Sally." It sounded strange for Information Please to have a name. "If I run into any chipmunks, I’ll tell them to eat fruits and nuts." "Do that," she said. "And I expect one of these days you’ll be off for the Orinoco. Well, good-bye."

Just three months later, I was back again at the Seattle airport. A different voice answered, "Information," and I asked for Sally. "Are you a friend?" "Yes," I said. "An old friend." "Then I’m sorry to have to tell you. Sally had only been working part-time in the last few years because she was ill. She died five weeks ago." But before I could hung up, she said, "Wait a minute. Did you say your name was Villard?" "Yes." "Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down." "What was it?" I asked, almost knowing in advance what it would be. "Here it is, I’ll read it-‘Tell him I still say there are other worlds to sing in. He’ll know what I mean’"

I thanked her and hung up. I did know what Sally meant.

Paul Villard

Originally published June, 1966 Readers Digest; reprinted with permission in the December 1999 issue of the Singing Wires newsletter, TCI club.


“Ladies and Gentlemen…My Sister is a Whore”

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Today has been a really hard day. I am on day 3 with no Cymbalta. I thought I was doing okay withdrawal-wise…but the dizziness and emotional craziness hit me this morning like a ton of bricks. I feel like I am standing in a canoe in the middle of a very wavy, rocky river. And I have been crying at the drop of  hat. Besides that…I am ok. LOL.  I will be happy when this is over and I can start to feel normal (crossing fingers AND knocking on wood)….

Anyway, even being in such a poopy mood today, the following had me in tears laughing so hard. I have not laughed like that in a while. It is so wrong…but it is also SOOO funny (as long as they’re not your kids, right??!!). Anyway – kid had beer in his room…sister narked to his parents…he got grounded for 3 months…he found a way to get serious revenge by finding the paper below hidden in sis’s room…enjoy…

 

 

Wednesday February 17, 2010

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I was watching Rosie O’Donnell on Oprah a few weeks ago when Rosie said something that really made my ears perk up. They were talking about a conversation they had years ago which always had Rosie anxious and Oprah barely even thought about it after it happened.  Rosie, explaining, said something to this effect, “See, what you (Oprah) don’t realize – you’ve been cast as a central character in the movie of my life – you just don’t know it.”

 

I really had to laugh and think about that. And I had to admit it when I realized that I do that to people ALLLL the time. I always have. I think the combination of being highly sensitive and having a memory like an elephant with OCD has honestly contributed to this weird thing in my subconscious that makes me THINK certain relationships are more than they were, people were closer than they really were and also cursed me with this emotional memory that is so far beyond nostalgia. Am I making any sense at all?  I cannot tell you how many people I have met in my life whom I thought were almost spiritually connected with me and it turned out that was not only just MY perception…but that is was almost ALWAYS just my perception. So at some points in my life I had just decided to say fuck it and really not rely on my intuition anymore. I couldn’t trust my own instincts and judgments. Plus, they always led me to pain…especially with men….but with a few women too.

 

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This brings me to another topic. Girlfriends. I am SOOOOOO bad with the whole girlfriend thing and it is something that is not only lacking in my life, but I also think it is causing some weird sort of emptiness. Through my entire life thus far, I have 99% of the time gotten along far much better with boys/men. I am so much more relaxed with men. I like layin’ around, being myself, wearin’ jeans…I hate shopping, wearing heels and mundane conversation. But despite this, I have had a couple – just a few, seriously – a really close gal pals in my life. Up until about 8 years ago or so, I almost always had a “best” friend who was a chic. But life moved along, people moved away and relationships simply changed. So happens that in the last 7ish years, I have basically been at home. So that leaves out work friends. We really have no ‘couple’ friends that we know well. And our families are very small. So this leaves little in the way of opportunity for meeting people.

AND being so socially awkward, it makes it so hard for me to even imagine. But having friends is clearly so important in life and it is something I have really let slip away from my world. Besides my mother or my husband, there is truly NO one I would feel comfortable calling with a personal problem. So if the problem is with one of them…my cat, Bob, gets an earful!! I wouldn’t feel comfortable calling anyone up and suggest going to a movie. I cannot think of anyone who I feel I can call a good, close friend. Yes, I have lots of Facebook buddies…people I can shoot a question to here and there…people I love to joke with…people I would invite to a party…stuff like that. And I am not whining and feeling sorry for myself as I talk about this. I am realizing that one way or another it needs to change. I need to have close friends in my life. I just need to learn how. Is that weird?? Am I being really weird?? Weirder than usual I mean??

 

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I have been doing a bunch of reading online about Cymbalta and its possible link to weight gain. The stories are staggering, yet doctors do not seem to want to admit that it is an even possible correlation. Well, I know that with everything I have tried over the years – I should have lost this weight. So, I decided to wean myself off of the Cymbalta. No, I did not discuss this with my Doc first. I have been in this world (the psych world I mean) for a LONG time. I am pretty certain I can make this decision for myself. I had been taking 60mg caps for about 4 years or so. For the last couple weeks, I have been empting out ¼ of the pellets in the capsules each week. I am now at 20mgs and I am going to try 0 next week. If it is too hard, I may do about 10 for a week. Please note that I do NOT advise ANYone to do this without their Dr’s okay. I am simply explaining what I am doing (basically the reverse of how I weaned on).  The first couple weeks were ok. This week –  HELL. Have many of the withdrawal symptoms and just cannot wait for this to be over. I quit smoking a couple weeks ago, but I still have moments of REALLY needing one. These two stresses together have really made for a chaotic household (husband also quit smoking) and a really tearful, cranky ass Heather. But I do feel it will be worth it. I think once I get rid of this weight, at least a portion of it, I will feel a TON better. I know that it is a real root of my depression. One of them anyway.

 

Alrighty, gotta go. Talk at ya soon. Take care.

Stephen Lynch – Craig Christ

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  This guy is just cracking me up tonight

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YouTube – Stephen Lynch: Craig
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Stephen Lynch – My Name is Satan

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YouTube – Stephen Lynch – Beelz
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“F****** Retarded”

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This week, White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, got himself into a pot of politically incorrect stew.  In a private meeting, Emanuel referred to a suggested Democratic strategy as “fucking retarded”.  The full story can be seen HERE.  Republican Sarah Palin, along with many others, are now calling for Emanuel’s termination.

 

Okay. Now, I have to admit some things here.  Growing up, we always used the word ‘retarded’ as a term to insult someone or something.  I never have used that word to describe a disabled person.  I think by the time I was old enough to realize what disabilities were, that word was no longer being used in reference to developmentally disabled people.  Therefore, that connection was never really made for me.  As I got older and political correctness became more and more expected, it became clear that the word ‘retard’ was not really acceptable.  I became good friends with a woman who I have always known to be the most open, diversified, socially sensitive person I can remember knowing. She used the term ‘ree-ree’ in place of ‘retard’.  I picked that up and said it for years.  Then as I started to become an ‘internet participant’…I quickly learned that ree-ree was also quite infuriating to many.  Since then, I have made great efforts to abolish this word from my vocabulary. However, it does slip out from time to time. 

 

Does this make me an awful person? If I had a job…would it be appropriate for me to lose it because of an insensitive word? Does this make me an individual who does not care about the disabled and disadvantaged? I would never even THINK…”That kid must be retarded.”  To me, it doesn’t even make sense in that context. It never has. I typically recognize individual disorders and conditions, and when I do not, I would use the term developmentally disabled whether out loud or in my mind. On the other hand…when I see a person doing or saying something really toolish…I may think, “What a retard.” For example: I see Sarah Palin’s youngest son as an adorable little boy who happens to have Down syndrome.  But at the same time, I see Sarah Palin, herself, as a retard. Is this good or positive in any way?? No. That is not at all what I am saying.  It is a bad word. An insensitive word. And I think this story has brought attention to an issue that many, many people have never even considered.  I bet there are millions who never even thought about how the R-Word could be hurtful and insensitive.  Emanuel apologized for his sharp tongue several times.  I will take this opportunity to also apologize for having used this term in the past and, at times, in the present.  

 

Rahm Emanuel should certainly NOT lose his position over a slip of the tongue during a private meeting.  I am surprised that no one is offended by his use of the F-word.  Does swearing not impact some people’s sensibilities? Anyway, the issue should now be laid to rest in hopes that other Americans can learn from his faux pas. And perhaps Palin can help her party get their heads out of their asses and stop playing these school yard games.  And perhaps Emanuel can help his party WAKE THE FUCK UP and get shit done already.  Wow. Now that could be pretty offensive. (so sorry)