OLDER MUMMA IS BACK!
I would like to start by apologising to all my followers for my sudden disappearance and reassure you i am back and hopefully better than ever. I have missed you all and the blogging community over the last month.
The reason for my absence in one word is ANXIETY but of course there is a lot more to it. So my first blog back is the story of my absence.
The History Of My Anxiety
I was diagnosed as suffering mild Social Anxiety back in 2014. The stress of a relationship break up turned me into a mess. I was tense 24hrs a day, grinding my teeth and constantly in an agitated state. I would randomly burst into tears when in private and had gained a serious drinking problem. After 2 months of this i finally cracked and went to see my GP where he then diagnosed my social anxiety and started me on a mental health plan. Yes i went on medication. The medication (Escitalopram) was instantly amazing for me. The best way i can explain it was that it put all my emotions back where they should of been. It was amazing to feel normal again. I took this medication for 12 to 18mths and then went off it as i had learnt to manage my anxiety and at that time had no stressors.
I had thought when i got pregnant that my anxiety would go through the roof with all the unknowns. I was lucky enough that it was the exact opposite. Being pregnant made me the calmest person and the least anxious that i had been in many many years. This lasted throughout my whole pregnancy, bless those pregnancy hormones.
DD was born on the 4th of December. Just before her 1st birthday, November 2017 my anxiety returned. It had been 2 years since i had let it get a hold of me like this. DD’s 1st Birthday, having house guests along with financial worries and possibly the massive changes in the past 12 months, the stress finally got to me. I went straight back to my GP and was placed back on Escitalopram. It took longer to kick in this time and soon enough my dose was up to 20mg.
The Roller Coaster Of 2018
I started the year thinking i was doing ok but boy was i wrong!
February – I had a brain snap of the very bad variety that resulted in me causing more stress on myself and that then peeked 3 months later and sent my anxiety into overdrive. Immediately after the brain snap i went back to GP and my medication was doubled to 40mg. April – I had a health issue that played on my mind for a very long time. All this on top of our financial issues that were starting to really affect our lives. Money always causes stress. June we placed our property on the market, yep thats more stress. By the end of July my anxiety was out of control so i went back to my GP. He then decided to give me the next level of medication – Venlafaxine.
Transitioning from Escitalopram to Venlafaxine was not a problem. I had 4 days of no medication at all and was lucky enough to breeze through that time with no major side effects. I went 8 days on a half dose of Venlafaxine and then increased to the standard dose of 75mg. After 2 weeks of taking this dose i knew this medication was not for me.
I could no longer Blog.
This medication left me feeling numb, void of any emotions. I no longer had any motivation. Everything started to go downhill in a different way. I didn’t want to leave the house, i was not doing housework, i felt like a complete vegetable. Worst of all I was not being the great mumma i should be. So you guessed it i went back to GP. New plan – Go 4 days again of no medication and then we will try Sertraline.
Going Off Venlafaxine
My last dose of Venlafaxine was Wednesday the 29th of August at approximately 8pm. I was ok on the Thursday. Friday i was headachey and by 6pm i was feeling down right terrible and just wanted to go to bed.
Here comes Saturday and along with it comes dizziness, lightheaded and the feeling of the earth spinning. You are probably thinking these are all the same thing, i would of if i hadn’t have gone through it. The dizzy sensation i had can be best explained as a BRAIN ZAP. The lightheaded was a sensation i would feel if i suddenly looked up and the earth spinning was a different sensation i felt every time i would sit up from lying down. I would get sudden aches or sharp pains in any and every part of my body, these would go as suddenly as they arrived. My head was cloudy, i could not think or focus on anything. Reading messages on my phone was something i just couldn’t do. I love playing games on my phone but even those made every inch of my brain hurt.
By Sunday i realised all this nastiness was withdrawal symptoms. I felt like a druggo! How could i possibly be having the worst experience of my life after only taking a standard dose of a medication for just over 3 weeks. There is no way i am going to try another medication.
Back to GP on Monday the 3rd
I explained to GP that i did not want to try the next medication as these withdrawal symptoms have turned me off all medications and that i wanted to see how i would go with no anxiety medication. You can imagine my GP’s reaction considering i had gone to him needing stronger medication. He was concerned and asked why and how i would deal with my anxiety. He also asked Mr Wonderful if he thought this was a good idea.
Firstly a lot of the stressors from this year have been resolved. The repercussions of my brain snap have all been dealt with. I have got my head around my health issue that happened in April. We sold our property resolving our financial issues.
Next how i plan to deal with the anxiety. Get back to blogging. Blogging has been fantastic for my mental health. It gives me focus and gives me an outlet. I have learnt so much from blogging. Particularly from the gratitude challenge, it taught me to look at others differently and that by smiling at people i can alleviate my anxiety. I know what i need to do to get on top of my demon called anxiety.
My doctor agreed but with the stipulation that i must visit him weekly for at the least a month.
With all the withdrawal symptoms i was experiencing, i could not drive and definitely could not trust myself to look after DD. Mr Wonderful really stepped up and was fantastic through all this especially considering it put a big dampener on Father’s Day (i will make up for this somehow).
Time to Bring Older Mumma Back
After 11 days of being Venlafaxine free my withdrawal symptoms are now very minimal. Just the odd brain zap when i have stimulants like caffeine and sugar.
My motivation is back, i have barely sat down all day. I started a compost bin and tidying up the backyard. I have caught up on the laundry and started to attack the rest of the housework that has been untouched for over a week. Best of all my brain is back in Older Mumma mode . . . . . . . . . what will my next blog be? I need to read my last blog and put my plans back into action.
Look out world i am back!