Monday, July 04, 2011

An aside on going off meds

One of the big decisions I've made recently in regards to my health is to eliminate some of my medications and see how things go without them. One of them is a med I take for arthritis pain and the other is the one I find it MOST INTIMIDATING AND SCARY to go off of, Cymbalta. In case you don't know me or haven't read my blog before I have some significant health problems. What you may also not know is that I am of the crazy and have OCD and anxiety. For reals. I have spent lots of time in therapy and learned lots of good coping techniques and behavioral changes and along with meds here I am finally as fairly well-managed crazy person. The Cymbalta has also been immeasurably good for the considerable pain I've had over the years.

But. Cymbalta has some side effects I'm not so excited about. I've figured the benefits have outweighed the risks but I'm really feeling as if I've plateaued with it. Not only have I learned how to handle myself as a person with OCD and anxiety, I've also grown immensely in my faith and responding IN faith to things in my life. I'd like to think I've come far enough to be able to do this without meds, which is what I am attempting to do now.

I'm oddly excited about this. And MOST DEFINITELY YES I am doing all of this with my doctor, who has me on schedule to decrease and is managing my care. And the other caveat is that I know people with these issues often need medication to close the gap and do the job my brain doesn't do correctly. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being on medication for mental health issues, in fact there is everything right about it.

I'm just in a place where I am trying a new approach to my health. I am choosing to live a healthier lifestyle, a more natural lifestyle and this feels like the right decision for me now.

In the meantime as I wean off the Cymbalta I am finding myself in these edgy moments, crawl out of my skin kind of moments and the pain is coming through more and more. Thankfully I'm not having a lot of the brain zappiness which comes with weaning from Cymbalta. I'm apologizing more to my family and afraid that all those old horrible things like raginess and anger may come back. That maybe the anxiety will become so horrible again, that the OCD will rear its ugly head and I will become consumed by it. These are my fears. I have plans in place in case of this, but it still isn't a fun thing to contemplate.

On the flip side my hope is that while the road will be bumpy as I do this, I will see improvements in other areas. Maybe I won't sweat so much. Maybe the tremors will be better. Maybe I will actually be able to lose weight which will lead to better health and ease of the arthritis. Maybe I'll be able to do things I've written off because of the current state of my body. And maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to handle my craziness without meds.

In the meantime I'm finding ways to contain myself as I go through this. I'm thankful for my family and their patience. I'm hopeful for the future. I'm still crazy, but maybe a little bit saner or more managed kind of crazy.

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