I’ve started and stopped this blog post about 1867 times. I’ve debated even posting it at all, more times than I can count. I’m a pretty open book, but some things are hard to talk about. Even for me… and while I’ve eluded to the fact that I suffer from anxiety and depression, I’ve never actually delved into the extent of that pit of darkness in my life. The last 3 and a half weeks have been some of the worst days of my life, and I thought maybe sharing my experience, as scary as it is, might relate to some of you.
I’ve been on a drug called Effexor off and on (mostly on) for the last 4ish years. I started it at the recommendation of a psychiatrist to help with my anxiety and depression. Did it help? I honestly have no idea. You just sort of become numb and the days all mesh together and you don’t really know how you feel on them vs. off of them anymore. I decided I wanted to come off of them to reset my body and see how I felt drug free… Establish a base line for myself, gauge how I was doing. and reassess from there. I weaned off the drug slowly and after a few months, I finally thought I was ready to get off of them completely. I read the stories about the withdrawals, I even have friends who couldn’t get off the drug because the withdrawals were so horrific. But I was strong. I could do this. Mind over matter right?? Well, I was wrong.

The last three weeks have been absolute torture. The withdrawals are like nothing I have ever experienced in my life. I’m crying all the time.  I can barely get out of bed. ALL I WANT TO DO IS SLEEP. If I even have a shower or brush my teeth in a day, it’s a Christmas miracle! I’m irritable and angry and sad and confused and distraught and nauseous all at once. It’s like being hungover but it never goes away. I read about the “brain zaps” or “brain shivers” and let me tell you, they are no joke. It’s like when a video glitches and jumps scenes or jolts back and forth and the screen is all fuzzy… THAT’S WHAT MY BRAIN FEELS LIKE! I want to be strong and brave and keep fighting the withdrawals but honestly I think I’m just ready to go back on the drugs. I just can’t handle feeling like this anymore. So does this mean I actually need the drug to function or does the drug just have such a strong hold on me, my body can’t be without it?? I’ve been putting on a brave face and hiding behind the fake smile and the bright happy pictures… pretending life is grand… But life isn’t always what it seems to be…

22 thoughts on “All I want to do is sleep…”

  1. It’s very brave of you to post. I’ve been playing with the idea of starting my own blog on my struggles with anxiety and depression. I’ve felt many of the same things as you …. without meds. I’m on two antidepressants at the moment – I think they’re working. Keep up the fight hun. One day at a time… and sometimes one moment ❤️

  2. I’m glad you share your struggles & your successes! It’s a tough decision for sure, but you’re body is a resilient being. I I felt antidepressants made my emotions so much larger than I felt, so I did wean myself off ( with the help of my dr.) She put me on a much lower dose of a different kind. Truly grateful for that! I also did a career change with no more shift work. Regularity of sleep function truly helped.
    You’re a tough & vibrant chicky Kyla, stay strong!?

  3. I struggle with the same thing!! I take Effexor as well and I’ve also tried to stop taking it. In my honest opinion is that it’s altered all of out brain chemicals to a point where we have to have it to function.. I hate that thought it’s truly miserable! But you are definitely not alone. I’m on the struggle bus right there with you!!

  4. Kyla l, as a Holistic Health practitioner I wouldn’t tell you stop medication or keep taking it as it is a drug that needs to be taken or withdrawing from under medical supervision. With that being said, what I can tell you is that you are amazing, your body is amazing, and although you have embarked on a difficult task you can do it, whatever your decision is, am sure you will make the right one for you in that particular moment. Have you considered alternative and/or integrative medicine and therapies? Their purpose is not to replace your medication or your medical doctors but they can help you and support you through the journey. I especially love Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine. I send you love, strength, and my thoughts. You are not alone! Love u darling!

  5. You are amazing girl! I think I speak for everyone when I say you are #goals. I am a very insecure woman after 14 surgeries and 4 kids. I’m 28 and feel like I’m 88. I have suffered with anxiety and depression since I was 9 yrs old. It has been a debilitating issue to handle. On my good days people think I am so happy and pretty and nice, but inside it is taking everything I have and then some to just exist. On my bad days the fight can be horrifying. It drags me to pits I can’t overcome and it affects my family which is the worst part for me to hate myself for doing this to them. They deserve better. I’ve been off meds for about a year now and I’m glad. The fight is so much harder on my own but the meds made me feel awful. So cloudy and numb and yes the brain zaps were frustrating and scary! Your are so beautiful Kyla! And you are so kind and funny and you can do this! Your posts always brighten my day. Even when you make me feel insecure because I will never have your body or hair or whatever. I still like to see the positivity in your posts. Thanks for them. And thanks for being honest and brave and sharing this very personal struggle! For showing that even perfect women have to fight the daily fight.

  6. Thank you for sharing your struggles. It can’t be easy to share something so personal. Hopefully your honesty will help other people out there.

  7. I’m so sorry to hear this, my love. I hope things get better soon 🙁 I was on adderall up until a few years ago but I got off of it since I was trying to get pregnant. It was rough but definitely nothing compared to your experience

  8. I know how that feels… had my struggles too. Just know that it does get better as long as you’re doing things to make it get better. One day you wake up and realize you’re having a great day., and then you know it’s possible to have more.

    Thank you for sharing.

  9. I hear you babe. I went through this too. See it through. Maybe tmi, but I know a cleared a major hurdle when I woke up horny one morning lol. It had been a long time since that had happened. After years of everything being numb at least I had that back lol. Hoping for the best for you.

  10. Thanks for being so open and sharing your struggles, that alone shows your strength. Wishing you the best on your recovery journey, it can only get better from here!

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