In other words, I’m off my meds!
I was on 40mg of Citalopram which I halved at the beginning of January. Other than a couple of days of constant scratching everywhere there were no side effects. I didn’t feel quite as exuberant as I had been feeling but I had no low mood either. I was quite prepared to go back up if I did.
Having moved to 20mg successfully I wondered about the next step. A few weeks ago I halved the dosage again, to 10mg which was half a tablet. After ten days I really hadn’t noticed any difference. I was thinking of waiting until the Easter holidays until trying to come off completely but I’m not very patient. So I stopped.
On the second day after I stopped I had to go to school for a meeting with 3son. On the way there I realised I was experiencing side effects. It was as if, for a split second, my body shut down and rebooted. I’d have to stop walking and wait for my body to come back to me. It was weird and disconcerting. When that feeling continued the next day, when I had a really busy Friday, I decided to be sensible and take a half tablet. If withdrawal had to be more gradual in order to be sensible then that was fine. It’s all progress. I thought I would wait until the side effects came back and then take another half and carry on that way.
However, any plans I had went totally to pot. Literally.
I had a lovely Saturday when I didn’t lay in bed for as long as I have been doing, did morning exercise and rushed round with domestic chores and then had a fantastic afternoon and evening out. Perfect. I woke up on the Sunday to sunshine streaming in as promised, read a quick book over morning tea and settled into the garden with a second book, more tea and a sun hat. I’m so sensible.
Eventually, I finished my book and got up to walk indoors and promptly tripped over a plant pot. I could say it jumped up and attacked me but it didn’t. Ten hours later I’m back from A&E with a souvenir pebble (that was embedded) and five stitches in my knee.
My struggle for last week was to eat enough to help the antibiotics go down while being bedridden. On Thursday I hobbled downstairs to cook real food as I was drooling at the idea of vegetables. The state of the kitchen couldn’t put me off. The boys were fairly good although by Friday they’d had enough of being helpful.
I lay in my bed on Friday thinking that I had learned something valuable. I had done no work that week. I had read emails as they came in and filed them, sending the odd one saying leave me alone but not lifting a finger. 4son kept offering to bring my laptop upstairs and I kept refusing knowing that I would be able to work from bed if he did. I read lots and watched streaming films and TV for hours. The boys had a freezer full of food and managed on pasta and pizza for the week with only two take-aways.
With all that I didn’t have a moment of feeling miserable or low. Lots of frustration (and intense anger when my father more or less suggested that it was my fault for falling badly; I called him on that) but no misery.
I slept through the first few days and don’t know if I experienced any more withdrawal symptoms from the citalopram as I was asleep. It’s been two weeks now and I’m clean.
It was over two years ago that I went on anti-depressants and it’s been a long road. After my mother’s brief encounter with depression she said she fought to come off her medication. I fought to get better. It’s not over as I need to become more mindful to make sure I don’t slip down again. I have the mind tools and it’s up to me to use them. But for now, I’m going to be happy that I’m happy.