A Little Pill & A Little Sleep

So, yeah. I’ve been a little quiet lately.

Late last year I was driving to work when a random thought popped into my head: If I could have sex with anyone, who would I have sex with? On its head that’s a harmless thought but it set off alarm bells for me because, before I transitioned and was medicated for my depression and anxiety, I used to create elaborate sexual fantasies in my head as a way to distract my brain from its racing and intrusive thoughts. I hadn’t had that particular thought pop into my head in years and it meant one thing that worried me: my antidepressant wasn’t working as well as it had for the previous three years. I began to notice other intrusive thoughts and fixating on embarrassing things I had said or done in the past. I also started to doubt if people really liked me and I was convinced they were all annoyed by me and were just polite.

Since it wasn’t working like it was supposed to, I weaned off of Lexapro and my doctor prescribed Trintellix which didn’t do much for my depression but it did have the strange side effect of making me gag on almost everything. I couldn’t drink coffee for a couple of months because it smelled too much like an ashtray. I would gag as I tried to put the cup of coffee up to my mouth. And then I would gag as I told people about gagging on coffee.

After a couple of months I weaned off of Trintellix and, for the first time since 2018 I was trying to make it through life without an antidepressant. It wasn’t easy. I didn’t have the emotional energy to blog. I didn’t have the energy to pack for my move. I didn’t have the energy to cook. There were days I was so overwhelmed at work that I had to remind myself I needed insurance and couldn’t just walk out forever.

My girlfriend should be presented with some kind of medal for how much she did to support me. She packed for me when I didn’t have the strength to fill a box. She rubbed my back and held me when I cried. She listened to me vent. She let me lay on her sofa all day and not bathe or put on pants.

I finally got in to see a psychiatrist in July and he simply doubled my dose of Lexapro. He said that, since it worked so well for three years, we should just stay with it and crank up the dose to 11. Within a couple of days, I felt infinitely better. Within a week, I felt like myself for the first time this year.

I also recently applied for a demotion back to being a Wine Buyer because the fixed schedule would help with my sleep. I learned when I was in a mental health facility that sleep equals sanity. If you don’t sleep well, your crazy gets amplified. I had been waking up at three every night/morning and would lie awake for about an hour. If I had an opening shift, I would just get up and start my day. If I had a closing shift, I would lay in bed frustrated. If I had a midday shift I would sometimes get up at three and sometimes luck out and fall back asleep. Now that I’m working the same schedule every day, my sleep has improved and the drop in responsibility has lowered my stress.

It’s amazing what a little pill and a little extra sleep can do for a person.

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