Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Story So Far

Of course, the thing about blogs is, that you read them backwards, unless you have been following all along.  So, to spare you going back to the beginning, a recap.

When I first heard about Truehope I had tried to go off my drugs many times, always unsuccessfully.  The slightest reduction in my medications would result in a return of the depression.  But the drugs were killing me, slowly but surely.  My blood sugar had just tested at the pre-diabetic level, a known side effect of the Risperdal I was taking.  My periods had stopped, also due to the Risperdal.  I was incredibly tired all the time.

My mood on my drugs wasn't really that bad, but things were trending down.  I would say I was mildly depressed most of the time.  I had no motivation.  I couldn't concentrate, hadn't read a book in years.  I had a growing social anxiety.  I couldn't handle the smallest stressors.  I spent most of my time on the sofa, not really thinking, just staring into space.  I hadn't worked for 9 years.

So I heard about Truehope and I read about the difficult time many people have with withdrawal from their medications, and I was very worried about facing months of serious depression, but I didn't want to spend the rest of my shortened life on the sofa, so I went for it.

The first four weeks, while I was taking Empowerplus and reducing my meds, were great.  I started this blog to show that it doesn't have to be all that hard to make the transition from drugs to Empowerplus.  Then I took my last dose of Wellbutrin and the withdrawal hit pretty hard.  The blog doesn't really reflect how hard it hit.  I was flattened.  I was asleep in bed all morning and on the sofa all afternoon, with a couple of good hours in the evening.  I was nauseous, hot and cold at the same time, and dizzy.  This lasted about a week and then slowly began to get better.

About a month after I stopped all my meds the protracted withdrawal set in.  Now, over three months into the program, I am still experiencing it.  For me it is mainly manifesting as very low energy and reduced stamina, reduced appetite, headaches which will grow into migraines if I don't take care of them, bizarreness in my sinuses and a constant post nasal drip.  And my sleep schedule is way off -- I fall asleep around 4 or 5 (or later) and sleep until 12 or 1.

But, I have to tell you that I don't mind all this at all.  I have not had one day when I felt depressed since I started Empowerplus.  Since I started the Holy Basil I have not had one day of anxiety.  I am incredibly lucky and grateful.  The physical symptoms I've had are a cakewalk compared to depression.

So, the Empowerplus is working, and I am looking forward to the future.  This blog is a sign of progress, and I am thinking of starting another one.  The dreadful hot and humid days of summer are over, and I always feel more optimistic as the fresh northern breezes start to blow away all the stale air.  It's time to turn my attention to new projects, but I will check in from time to time as new milestones are passed.  Best wishes on your journey of healing!