what happened was. . .

Yet another unsolicited admission of human frailty that will probably make life insurance out of reach:

More than a week ago, I started an SSRI. I've been on them before and will maybe, some day, try them again.

One week ago, I went batshit crazy insane--quietly. I didn't wake anyone up as I lay on the floor counting off half hours until I called 911 to save me from my own brain. "if it's worse in a half hour, I'll call"

I didn't call, but I did go off that SSRI cold turkey. Yowza--turns out I don't mind standard depression and panic so much after all.

I've never had an experience like that before and I have no interest in having another, ever again. Despair and fear is familiar territory (I imagine it is for almost anyone who makes it to adolescence) this was quite another place and I'd rather not visit again.

It's taking a while to recover from the utter lunatic batshirtiness. But today I went to a school event, and I wrote a page that won't be deleted probably. And I got new shoes.

These are very comfy running shoes from a not-at-all glitzy store where you run on a treadmill and they videotape you and tell you what's wrong with your feet. Pronating! PRONATING!

So I'm back to embracing life and I'm spending money--same thing in some wealthier corners of the world.


  1. Tracy MacNish11:51 AM

    Hang in there, chica.

  2. SSRI, be gone with ya, ya devil pill. Glad to hear you feeling better and buying new shoes. New shoes help a lot.

    I tangled with a bad epilepsy drug and spent some time strapped to gurney with my clothes MIA. They should pen on these drugs as aberrant side effects: bat shit crazy.

  3. (((((((Kate))))))))) Bad Medicine is nothing to fool with! I've taken some that made me feel worse. I dont need any help slitting my wrists thank you!!! (kidding, I'm no longer medicated and haven't been in years)

  4. Nothing worse than the wrong medicine for what ails you. Been there, done that, have the missing eight months of my life to prove it. But it does help to put things into perspective once the lights come back on, doesn't it?

    VERY glad you're better.

  5. It seems like docs these days are handing those things out like they were expensive M+Ms, and I have my doubts that this is wise.

  6. I'm going to clog up your comments with a silly story.

    Last year I had to give up knitting because I can't hold both needles anymore. It was just a little thing, one more joy my arthritis has stolen from me, but it seemed so unfair. I loved to knit; it was really soothing and a good work out for my hands. And what was I going to do with all the beautiful wool I had?

    One day I began gathering up all the skeins I hadn't used in a bag to donate to Goodwill. In one old work basket I found a set of crochet hooks I used to make booties when the kids were babies (all the really cute bootie patterns are crochet.) To further torture myself, I grabbed a ball of this gorgeous Tibetan reclaimed silk I'd never had the chance to use, and chained a foundation row. I discovered I could still work the hook with my right hand, and wound the foundation row around my uncooperative left.

    The first row of stitches I crochet were laughable, so I pulled them out and tried again. And then I pulled the second attempt out and tried a third time. I kept doing that one row for a week, and eventually I got the hang of controlling the silk thread and the work I'd already crocheted while hooking new stitches.

    It wasn't a miracle. It was slow, and awkward, and I couldn't work on it for more than an hour without my fingers going on strike. I constantly dropped stitches and made mistakes. And I never thought it would take eight months to crochet a throw that a few years ago I could have knitted in two weeks. But I kept at it, and I finished the damn thing.

    I hung it in my office, right next to the work computer, like a victory flag. Or a prize for not giving up. As soon as my daughter saw it, she said, "Oh, cool, Mom, this is so pretty. Can you make me one?"

    I started laughing. To me every stitch of that piece shrieked of all that heartache and anger and work that went into it. To her it was just a pretty throw.

    I'm about ten rows into the second throw now, and if all goes well I should have it done by her birthday in December. :)

  7. I've been prescribing a lot of Zoloft for tinnitus. It's used at a low dose, but even still, weird shit happens. So I always tell the patient (and the spouse, if I get the chance) if you notice ANYTHING weird about your thought processes, stop. "If you feel weird, or even if you just don't like the way it makes you feel" -- I think that's how I word it. "Because this stuff acts on your BRAIN, okay?"

    I've probably scared off more than a few patients.

  8. Oh Kate HUGS and more HUGS!!!
    I once had a bad reaction to some medicine and wound up lying on the floor with No memory of how I got there or how long I'd been lying there. It was doubly scary because I was home alone with my tiny newborn daughter.

  9. Kate -

    I hope your doctor didn't recommend your going cold turkey. Please don't try that again - it's really dangerous. Take care.


  10. wow.

    I love the stories (and the afghan) and the support and the lurve and wow.

    Thank you, again, guys.

    It was pretty hideous, on the other hand it made me grateful for my usual lower-key insanity.

    Panic attacks and the strange unpleasant thinking that goes on with and after them is no fun but it doesn't entirely run my life. It doesn't define me (Until I try to leave my maze). This Stuff took charge and there was nothing but This Stuff, forever and ever--or a couple of days anyway.

    Oh good golly though.
    Naked on a gurney? Days missing? MONTHs missing? Knocked out? Oh, my.

    This being human thing can be pretty tough shit.

    Laurie you're absolutely right about cold turkey, (but I'd only been on the stuff for four days).

  11. Scary! I'm afraid of drugs. The medical community is too quick to dispense them IMO. Better to face the natural demons that are your own than to have manufactured chemical ones take you over.

    Glad you're doing better.

  12. "This being human thing can be pretty tough shit."

    I think things will be better when I am free of this physical body and can soar. Then I think about that a while and almost cry because they're be no chocolate cake. CAKE I SAY.

  13. I've had my rounds with the anti-anxiety drugs too and I find stomping out the frustrations into the pavement with my new running shoes works far better - as does the fresh air. So long as you don't allow yourself to become a recluse, you'll be fine.

    So where's the charity page? Where I can I go to support you - seeing as the exchange rate is in my favor *wink*

  14. Anonymous9:25 AM

    I know this is almost two months after your post, but I must say, you struck a chord with me!

    I was hospitalized a few years ago after about two weeks of having weird thoughts which I finally couldn't bear (NON-medicated). These thoughts included creative ways of using my scissors and knives and other pointy objects on my own skin...NOT something I'd ever experienced before. They seemed to come from outside of myself (though not like voices, if that makes sense).

    In the hospital, they gave me medications in combination that caused me to watch my face "melt" in the mirror.

    Um...no more of that, thank you.

    After about a year of trying and finding the correct ONE pill for me, I finally stopped taking them all together...those weird little thoughts no longer haunt me, so why should I continue to take the pills?

    I have no clue what it was all about...but the doc theorized that my menopause could have thrown ALL of my brain chemistry off....


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