Lots of blogs have sprung to mind over the last week or so. Since writing the last one, I’ve started on anti-depressants and been away on holiday. I’ve also had a conversation with my boss about changing my job, so for me, really a lot has happened. I’ve also surprised myself by not leaping at the doctor’s suggestion of signing me off work for a week or two…
So, to capture a few of the thoughts which have been running around my head of late, as I’ve been trying to make sense of the way I’m feeling….to start with, about to head off on hols, I wasn’t at all sure whether to start the tablets before I went, or wait until I got back. The pharmacist had dropped the bombshell that I wouldn’t be able to drink with the antidepressants. (Not to mention the long, long, long list of possible side-effects – is it just me who remembers the initial hype around prozac which made it sound like some recreational, fun, happy pill? I couldn’t help noticing that an increase in sex drive was a lot less likely as a side effect than loss of libido. In fact the chances were similar to that of feeling as though I was having an out of body experience).
As those of you who know me will appreciate, it has been quite a while since I last spent a whole week without imbibing any alcohol. Some weeks I don’t even quite get around to the recommended two alcohol-free days. Some days/weeks I do drink rather a lot. Even now that I no longer work in the City.
So, the idea of giving up wine for a few weeks (I hadn’t yet got to the bit in the instruction leaflet about needing to take the tablets for a good 4-6 months) and in particular giving up for my holiday – my skiing holiday – really did give me something to think about. But an even stronger driving force was the need not to keep feeling so desperately low for longer than absolutely necessary. I really was feeling totally defeated by the effort of keeping going, not to mention trying to pretend to the world at large that everything was OK.
High five to you if you noticed the significance of the word ‘was’ in that last sentence….today, apart from a few brief low moments, I have indeed started feeling a lot better. I am definitely feeling as though that black cloud is a bit further away. This might be the tablets, or more likely it’s a result of finishing work early yesterday and spending time with some gorgeous, lovely people (you know who you are).
So, a skiing holiday without any vin chaud, or schnapps, or hot chocolate with rum, nor lunchtime beers in the sunshine….I missed it rather less than I thought I would. I’m not sure my skiing was a great deal better for my sobriety though. Luckily it was a lovely resort with lots of nice, easy blue runs.
In other ways, the first week on antidepressants was not quite what I expected, each day I woke up wondering how I was going to feel. Symptoms which may have been side-effects included:
- a weird, floating feeling
- relentless yawning
- feeling incredibly sleepy (possibly psychologically induced from all the yawning)
- incessant forgetfulness, losing my train of thought
- occasional inability to put a sentence together coherently
- an inability to feel happy, excited or particularly sad, just rather numb
Of course, any number of those could have been caused by a combination of altitude and an unaccustomed level of exercise, but I don’t recall anything remotely similar from previous skiing trips.
Most of those symptoms have abated over the last couple of days, although I am left with a feeling of detachment from everything going on around me, I constantly feel as though I’m not quite there. And I’m constantly losing both my train of thought and the ability to put the right sentence together to express what I’m thinking. The forgetfulness today resulted in me going to completely the wrong venue for a networking event this evening. I decided to quit right there and headed home in a bit of a daze. Hopefully I will find my way to Taunton tomorrow….
This is a bit of a ramble, so I will resist continuing for now, except to say thank you and to send a huge virtual hug to all of you who’ve been there for me since I admitted I was struggling. It means a hell of a lot. Who knows, if you hang on in there, there might even be something more interesting to read before too long 😉