Road Trip and Withdrawal

Road Trip!!

I was actually looking forward to the change in scenery. I got up early enough to get in a workout before hitting the road at 8am. The drive from Montreal to Toronto isn’t that exciting. You go straight…for about 5 hours. At least there is no chance of getting lost. The major highlight making this trip as a kid was the giant apple on the side of the highway just outside of Toronto. They call it The Big Apple and sell all sorts of apple items, pies in particular. I’ve never stopped there, but who knows, maybe I will this time.

So I was enjoying my road trip with the husband until we got to Cornwall. Cornwall is about half an hour outside Montreal. I realized I had forgotten all my medication. When you are on anti-depressants and they tell you not to go cold turkey, it’s not something to be taken lightly. So much for my little getaway. I’ll be okay today and tomorrow, but after that the flood gates will open, my negative feelings and self-loathing will return. My brain just wont work right anymore. The way I think and what makes sense completely changes when I’m off medication. I’ve left my meds behind often enough to know that this is what happens. I know my thoughts are distorted and I shouldn’t take them seriously, but its still no comfort, I still have to fight the demons. It gets harder to concentrate on things, to smile, to make conversation and normal routine tasks like brushing my teeth or taking a shower suddenly become insurmountable. Forget going to work or out with friends. That’s what I was planning to do on Saturday, go out with friends from elementary school. I hope I’ll still be able to handle that by Saturday.

Going cold turkey on some meds is easier than on others. It also depends on your brain chemistry. What I’ll be going through in the next few days will be rough, but I’ll manage. I wont be wishing I could slam my car into a tree or anything. It is like that sometimes when you suddenly stop. When I was on Effexor and I ran out it, was scary! I couldn’t stop crying, I couldn’t leave the house and I was wishing that I could go to sleep and never wake up. I also got a really strange withdrawal symptom…..shocks. You know when you shut the car door in the summer, sometimes you get shocked. It was like that, but happening in my head. It was really disruptive and uncomfortable. It’s hard to carry on a conversation with that going on in your head. So weird.

I ran out of medication a few times while I was on Effexor. I didn’t have a regular doctor and prescription refills aren’t exactly top priority at the walk-ins. Because of the horrible withdrawal and all the other uncomfortable side effects (stomach upsets, dry mouth, loss of libido, tremors and excessive sweating) I ended up switching medications. Effexor was both the best and the worst medication I have been on. It gave me a lot more energy, I even lost weight, but the side effects and withdrawal were too steep a price to pay.

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