Managing withdrawal

So far, I think I've gotten off pretty lightly in terms of withdrawal symptoms. I had a few giggly moments Friday evening/Saturday morning, and then kind of levelled out. I was very aware of a need to take things slowly. I had a quiet and altogether lovely weekend, and having made the decision to do as little as possible, ironically found myself to be remarkably productive. I think the trick was to take away the pressure of having to get stuff done. I spent a lot of time messing about with the kids, and had some gorgeous quality time with my girl when her big brother went off to a friend's house. I walked my dogs. I made cake. I ate lots of said cake. And that was pretty much it.

Best carrot cake recipe, ever. Seriously. 
Yesterday things felt different, although it's not entirely unexpected. I'm now 5 days in, and am starting to feel some physical effects of withdrawal. I'm more distracted, and following a very full on meeting with my boss in the morning, had little memory apart from my notes of what we spoke about (thankfully I had the foresight to expect this and took very thorough notes). During the afternoon, I felt as though a panic attack was imminent, and then yesterday evening, while walking the dogs, I could feel the edge of the dreaded brain zaps. The best way I can think to explain it is that if I move my head quickly, it's like my mind is lagging a fraction of a second behind and then jumps to catch up, which understandably feels quite strange and leaves me momentarily dizzy. When this happened before, it was actually accompanied by a sound in my head (I remember describing it as hearing my eyes moving) and a physical sensation. I'm not there yet, and hopefully it won't happen, but I won't be surprised if it does. Thankfully, for the most part it's only physical withdrawal symptoms I've noticed. I'm definitely more jumpy, and Hubby would probably gently suggest more irritable, but no melt downs, no floods of tears.

I think what's different this time is I know what I'm dealing with. When we tried this before, I had no clue what to expect, and when things started to get difficult, I just wasn't equipped to handle it. Also, I'm now in a very different place mentally. I have good support, both in person and online (thank you!!) I'm writing a lot. I'm walking as regularly as I can. I also know that for the next few weeks, until this all settles, I really need to ramp up the levels of self care and try and keep myself as balanced as possible, because the chemicals that are currently floating around my system are doing their best to knock me off course. I'll be seeing Therapist twice a week, and as she is off next week, will be putting something else in place as next week is quite likely to be the toughest week - I'll be alternating day on/day off.

At home, we're making sure to talk a lot. Hubby is understandably on edge about this, and we've had a good chat about it. Last time, he went to extremes to make sure that I had as little to do as possible, and also pushed to get me to do things for myself that he felt (and rightly so) would be helpful. His heart was in the right place, but I was too far gone. The end result was that he fell over from exhaustion, I felt guilty for not doing more and I ended up in hospital anyway. This time, that's not going to happen. He needs to put himself first, and we both know that. He can certainly make things easier for me, but only up to a point. We both need to lower our standards, batten down the hatches, and just help each other through this.

So last night? I kicked myself out into a miserably damp evening for a walk with my dogs. I didn't want to, but I needed to and I'm glad I did. Hubby put the kids to bed. I cosied up in front of the fire to do some writing,

and then put myself into a lovely restorative yoga pose while listening to a guided meditation.

This isn't me, but this is the pose. It's incredibly comfortable, especially as I was in front of the fire with a blanket over me
It helped. By the time I went to bed I was calm, and the jittery feeling had passed. This morning so far so good. I got up for a walk and my head felt much clearer. I'm hopeful that with the lower dose at least, the worst of the brain zaps will happen during the night, because I get to top up again in the morning. Next week might be different but I'll figure that out once I get there. 

Overall, I'm happy with how this is going so far. I feel good. I feel (reasonably!!) stable. I hope I'm not telling you a completely different story next time I post!!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,