Thursday, October 17, 2013

♫ To die by your side, well the pleasure - the privilege is mine ♪

So, enough about you, let's talk more about ME.

I have a dark sense of humor.  I prefer my ghoulish humor on the macabre side, thanks very much.  Like this lovely alphabet book by Edward Gorey:
The first one is A is for Avery who fell down the stairs.  It's horrible and funny - as if you would read that to a child for sleepy-time?  Well, Mike would have liked it...
Gorey is gory.  And FUNNY.  I giggle.

The title of this post is from The Smiths, a sort of punk/new age band from the 80's.  The rest of that verse goes like this:

And if a double-decker bus
Crashes into us
To die by your side
Is such a heavenly way to die
And if a ten-ton truck
Kills the both of us
To die by your side
Well, the pleasure - the privilege is mine

That right there is funny.  Gloomy, yes, but funny.  I told Mike if he went all depressed and emo in High School the only way I could bear it is if he listened to The Smiths.  Then I played the CD for him and he stole it.  Hmph.

ANYWHOZLE.  All of that, to get to this:

Weaning off of Wellbutrin: <--ominous sounds of crashing Phantom of the Opera chords...

I know I've mentioned about my anti depressants before, but a quick run through - Wellbutrin is an NDRI, which means Norepinephrine-Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitor.  Most anti depressants are SSRIs.  So this is different.  I've explained about reuptake inhibitors, that is a chemical that allows my brain to use the drug.  It's like my brain couldn't find its (dopamine) ass with both hands and a flashlight all on its own, so I need this stuff.

I had thought (ominous warning) that since I A: lost 33 pounds *golf clap* and B: I exercise all the time, and C: I gave up all grains and sugar, that possibly this would be a good time to get off the Wellbutrin and let my brain do all the work on its own.  Surely (Shirley) I had moved mountains, fixed my poor broken brain?  Not to ruin the story for you, but NO.  No, I had not.

The day you write about imagining kicking a homeless person in the head MIGHT also be the day you realize things have slightly gotten off track.  Slipped a bit into the Pit Of Despair, if you will.  So, to sum up:  Thinking Edward Gorey is funny?  That's A-ok.  Actually wanting to watch the bears eat that child?  NOT OK. 

Yes, as everyone reassured me, we (us ULBs) (and our children maybe) have learned to get a kick out of the dark side of life.  If not, our morbid thoughts might turn us inside out.  But I am not a mean person.  I will rescue any animal, talk to any goopy toddler, smile at anybody in the veggie aisle...So while my giggling at Gary Larson comics is normal,

the rest was decidedly NOT normal.  But it felt familiar...

Depression, as I have said, is a hideous insidious beast.  It isn't sadness.  It's NOTHINGNESS.  Its colorless and tasteless (and odorless!  Iocaine powder anyone?).  It's the absence of all feeling.  except maybe irritation and unreasoning anger.  You know how motel rooms have those 2 layer curtains, first the filmy one that still lets light through, and then another one that blocks all light as if there was a reenactment of the London Blitz going on in the sky? Well, think of that bright window with several layers of only those gauzy curtains.  It felt daily as if one more layer was being closed.  I didn't notice the room was getting darker and darker until *blink* huh - I can't see.

After I wrote that last post and read all your wonderful replies (I love our community out here, I sort of feel ok to let my freak flag fly with all y'all) I started wondering why I felt so murderous.  Why the dogs, coming to me with cute eyes and paws
asking me to go outside and GO PEE, for chrissakes, was making me want to scream.  Why I didn't want to go outside or walk and the thought of taking a shower just seemed POINTLESS.  And then I said oh hey, I remember feeling like this FOR 5 YEARS and no.  NO, no no no. 

So yesterday I started taking the Wellbutrin again. 

Luckily, it is the kind of drug that you can stop and start without losing it's efficacy.  I'm bummed - I really wanted to 'cure' myself with nutrition and exercise and all that - but I'm also sanguine about the whole thing.  Taking this drug has CHANGED MY LIFE.  If I have to take it forever and ever, world without end - then whatever.  I will.

My brain IS broken.  I need, desperately it turns out, the help that this medication offers.  I'm certain that the healthy things I have accomplished in my life are making it easier for this drug to help me.  Absolutely.  But I can't be without it.

If anybody has gotten to this post researching 'Withdrawal from Wellbutrin" please know - as far as I can tell there are no serious psychotic side effects, and the drug doesn't become less effective for you.  But RESEARCH THAT.  What I want to tell you, keep track of how you're feeling.  Journal what you did each day.  Get a trusted someone to tell you if you're slipping back into your black hoodie and dark eyeliner phase.  Just be aware of YOU. 

I want to go back to feeling like I did in this post:  And that is where I'm going to stay.  No more experiments - jeebus I'm like Dr. Frankenstein using my own body.  no more.

Sorry for that last morose post everyone.  Welcome to my brain.  Pay as you exit.


  1. Glad you're feeling better! I see you as a bright and happy person who always makes others laugh and I'm glad you're enjoying your life again! (p.s. I love the Smiths!).

    Q's Sis

    1. Thank you Sis - man, it took like 2 weeks of slowly fading out for me to see it. I AM usually happy! I swear! Should I take that last post down? I dunno. If the NSA reads it I may be in trouble...

    2. hahaha, the NSA are too busy reading my emails. I wonder if depression is always like that for people? I think I'm the same way with stuff like that, I go down and down and then like a bone at La Brea Tar Pits I bubble up to the top again later, lol. It maybe a good post for people to read because it's so honest? Your choice of course.

      take care,
      Q's Sis

  2. Don't take the last post down. It wasn't as creepy as you may feel it was. We've all been there (ok, I've been there) too. I think those dark posts help people. I HATE that I have to write about being suicidal on my blog. Hate it. Hate that people worry I'm still like that. I'm not. But I was. And offering up the truth of that, that it can be shitty too some days, is very validating and helpful to people. Blogs that only point out how they are "moving on" and past the narcs and all that blah,blah can sure make some one feel down if they HAVEN'T figured out how to move past it.
    Beyond that, just because you still need the Wellbutrin now, doesn't mean you'll need it forever. But you've done A TON of work. It's OK if it isn't 'all' fixed. It takes a long time for those dopamine receptors to re-balance themselves. A long time. And you've only just begun to get your body and your soul on track. So, just be patient.
    I can't remember, but you did titrate off the anti-depressants slowly didn't you? You can quit anti-depressants, but it's best to do it slowly. Just an FYI for the future, if you didn't.
    Hang in there! Read your old posts! See how much progress you've made.
    By the way, did you ever see that children's book "Go the Fuck to Sleep" (be careful how you google this. I just did, and the first time wasn't pretty ;) ). It was, while not morbid, SO not child appropriate. But funny as hell. I actually had tears running down my face. It's the story (told in children's rhyme style) about a father putting his kid to bed. Anyway, check it out if you can find it in Barnes and Noble. You might find it funny. I did!

    1. My son/daughter-in-law got that for their baby shower last fall! It's hilarious and very fitting since the baby doesn't sleep much. By the time you understand why the book exists it's too late. : O

      Q's Sis

  3. Gladys, I agree that you might need the NDRI now, but may not need it forever. Be kind to yourself--I repeat that you've just ton a TON of good stuff for yourself, made so many changes for the better, so bask in that for awhile. And take that cute doggie out for a walk! How can you say "later" to those ADORABLE begging eyes! --LuLoo

  4. I wish antidepressants worked for me. I get a big zero from them. But no side effects either. Good thing running seems to help balance me out fairly well. There's some things that adjusting my brain chemistry, whether through booze or endorphins, will never be fixed.

    1. I wish antidepressants worked for me, too. The SSRIs all made me uber-jittery, Wellbutrin gave me insomnia, and the others I tried didn't seem to give me any results at all. I didn't want to rely on them if I didn't have to, but I don't have the willpower (yet) to rely on other things that would probably work just as well (exercise, better diet, yoga/meditation...)

  5. WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME ABOUT THIS ALPHABET BOOK? Time for throat punching. And if you happen to recall (cause I do) you found me one day laying on my bed listening to some CD and reading your Gary Larson book, speaking of which where is that big 2 volume Larson book you bought me?

    Remember though that Depression has many facets to it, me and dad react the same way every time anger and drinking unhealthy but it is mitigated by exercise. Keep at it because my dog will get fat without you. Go walk by the ocean it’s your calm place. I react that way all the time though so my experience is different all of ours are but its all in the end about what you learn from it. As Luloo said you might not need it forever but until you get completely settled keep on it. Also will you get that do groomed she looks mucky.

    Love you mom

    1. Love you back. Thank you. From one bat-crap-crazy loon to another.

  6. Glad you're back, Gladys! Self-pity is not your style but sometimes it's OK to feel sorry for ourselves then slap ourselves upside the head and get on with life. Now and then I allow myself 24 hours to wallow then tell my brain to shut the fuck up and move on.

    My daughter has been on anti-depressants for 8 years and her shrink is beginning to wean her off. She's excited because she still thinks it's a sign of weakness that she needs them. I like to remind her, even if she does roll her eyes, that a diabetic needs their insulin and there's no shame in that. Not sure why the general public has to look at anti-depressants any other way.

    I made a Facebook Group called "Tough Broads" for people like us who've been through shit and made it out the other side. A few bits of poop might remain but on average we smell pretty damn good.

    Hugs and a high five!

  7. Gladys, Wellbutrin works for you so work it, woman! There's a whole bunch of stuff we don't control and our neurobiology is one of them. I agree with mulder: Since when did meds become some kind of moral issue? ANY meds? A source of failure/shame?<Sound/feel familiar?!
    Dysthymia doesn't mean "broken brain"-in my world, FWIW. We're all wired uniquely-how cool is that? DNA is so beautifully complex in it's simplicity: Guanine pairs with Cytosine, Adenine pairs with Thymine. And out of these four base pairs comes every single cell in our bodies from skin cells to gray matter, eyeballs to, ahh, scrotums. As various forms of scans (PET/CT etc.) came into wide-spread use, all kinds of "stuff" suddenly became visible and my-oh-my, the realization of how unique each of us truly are became yet more manifest a la "WTF is THAT doing THERE?!" Just hangin' out, probably since the time that particular sperm torpedoed that particular ovum and created, well, each one of us. Surgeons learned long ago their training in med school taught them, "Gallbladder is HERE" translates into, "That thing is somewhere in this vicinity, so dig around a bit and it'll show up-eventually!" Aspirin is another miracle we still don't understand, but it works: That's all we need to know if we have a headache, thus improving our quality of life-and likely, those in our immediate circle as well ;)
    I can exercise, eat healthy etc. but I can't remediate my post-stroke(s) brain. Or figure out, "Why did that happen?" (at least, initially) and no one else could either. I told you all about my very sincere suicide plan that failed primarily because of the one variable I didn't control to make it successful. It's no tee-hee when I came within a day or two of killing myself over what was finally correctly dxd. as a screwed up thyroid. I've always been a glass-is-half-full kinda person so as normally neurotic as I am, I could not "happy thoughts," humor, exercise or eat my way out of this mess.
    Gladys, can you talk a bit more about what appears to be some sort of shameful or somehow unacceptable "failure" on your part-if I'm reading this correctly? Thanks!

    1. When I was still dumb enough to speak to him, my NF tried his best to make me feel ashamed about being deaf and full of arthritis. HE'S deaf but too stupid to get a hearing aid and HIS father was confined to a wheelchair with arthritis. So, I pointed at that HE was essentially responsible for both of my "embarrassing" problems. I gotta admit, I deliberately triggered that rage!

      Who the fuck would expect a person to feel ashamed about health issues (physical or mental) that they had absolutely no control over? Someone who delights in beating you down and making you feel like shit, that's who!

      It's just another facet of the conditioning we have to overcome and they should be ashamed, not us.

      Fuck 'em!!!

    2. TW - I think I gave the wrong impression. I'm not ashamed or anything about taking an antidepressant - I shout it from the rooftops actually, because it makes me feel so much better. Nobody should suffer like that when there is science available to help.

      My feeling of failure is actually more from thinking I was "well" - as if I had somehow CURED myself and my borked brain. I mean, it was worth the experiment to go off the Wellbutrin, in that I saw just how much different life is WITH it than without it.

      I say my brain is broken because it's the easiest and most humorous way to explain to someone who has never suffered from depression or general anxiety. Trying to explain why I cannot be in a crowd of people for very long or why I MUST exercise, it isn't always fun but my brain needs it - most people don't get it, cannot understand it. So I just say my 'brain is broken' and move along.

      BTW - I cannot tell you how glad I am that your suicide plan didn't work out. Your stories, your insight and advice and clarity on all of these narc subjects is incomparable. You're a hero to me.

      My suicide plan was brilliant in its simplicity. "I'm going to sleep now. I hope I don't wake up, that would be A-OK with me". I kept on waking up. It was frustrating, lol - I never had the chutzpa to actually be proactive about it. And that's a good thing nowadays.