Withdrawal sucks
Photo by  Sydney Sims  on  Unsplash

Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

I've been trying to get to the computer for almost 2 weeks and thankfully God blessed me with a reprieve today of no depression and less fatigue.

So here I am, 5 months into withdrawing from Lamictal, about a month into withdrawing from Geodon, and my world feels turned upside down. The mental anguish has been bad but I know it could be worse (ie the suicidal thought have not showed up this time). But, just feeling clouds of gloom over me, crying for no reason other than the weight of my soul feeling to heavy to bear, and intense periods of fatigue. The fatigue comes and goes and feels like torture of sleep deprivation. Kind of like being a first time parent but way worse because at least you have a beautiful baby as your reason for no sleep. 

This fatigue makes no sense other than my brain is going haywire. My body is sleeping a good 9 hours a night and yet it feels like it hasn't slept for days. Somehow I've continued to make it to the gym but I've lowered my expectations of my self waaaaaay down. So far down to like just getting to the gym and moving. No calorie goal, no minute of exercise goal, just getting there and moving my body. When I swim laps it feels like I'm swimming through mud. It's the craziest feeling to know your body is capable of so much more yet physically feeling so weak.

I've withdrawn from Geodon several times before and it is the nastiest withdrawal I've ever experienced. There are always horrible suicidal thoughts and one time before I got pregnant with Brayden I just about did take my life. I remember sobbing and texting some friends that I couldn't go on anymore. So, I'm not exactly looking forward to THAT part of the withdrawal.

Like I said in my title, withdrawal sucks. I hate it. It can be pure hell. You can feel like you'll never feel "normal" again or whatever that means. I often feel like my brain will never recover from the sadness. 

Luckily, this week the depression tapered off yesterday around 1 pm. But now its been 11 days and that is quite the length for just going down half of the smallest pill of Geodon. I'm doing the fun job of opening up the plastic pill, pouring out the granules of medicine onto a spoon, and using a knife to push half of the granules into the sink. Then I save the other half and try as hard as I can to push half of the powder back into the plastic pill and close it again. Just a neusense every night as I don't look forward to that process. It's not an exact science. I could be getting more medicine one night then another. But I try not to worry about every tiny piece of powder that I might miss. So what, right?

So where is God in all of this? He's allowing for me to be in anguish mentally and exhausted physically. Should I be mad at him for this? I can say that I have been in the past withdrawal's. But no, this time, I am not shaking my fist at God. Not yet anyway, and hopefully not ever again.

I've been through enough suffering in my life to know getting mad at God get's me nowhere. He has taught me time and time again that he is my rescuer and that I am depend on him for my daily bread, most of the time that daily bread being my sanity, joy, mental health for the day, physical energy for the day.

I have to tell you that I am reeeaaalllly dreading this time around withdrawing from Geodon but my DR said new research came out that this class of drugs is causing major health ramifications that are irreversible like tar-dive dyskenesia and metabolic syndrome where your mentabolism just flat out stops working. Lovely... right? So now I have to get off the Geodon for good. And the lamictal is icing on the cake. I've got that down to a science or so I think, no withdrawal symptoms (supposedly) from the Lamictal if I cut the smallest pill in half (25mg) and decrease it every 2 weeks. Trying even a few days earlier I start getting panicky with anxiety.

I started out at 180 mg of Geodon this time and Im scared to say I am struggling big time only decreasing down to 150 mg. 

How the heck are the next 150 mg gonna go? I sure pray that I can get some relief in there like I've had today. I thank God for the sunshine I got today, for the fellowship I had with other friends this morning, for pool time for my son that LOVES the water (both beach and pool). 

I will say it is hard sometimes feeling so alone in this season of life. I know that's not really true I have a community of friends and believers at church and family fairly close by but I can't expect people to truly understand what I'm going through if they've never lived it themselves. I have to give grace to my community when they try to offer kind words or a bible verse even if it doesn't seem to help and of the emotional pain. Because, after all, God is listening to their prayers and I must not forget that. 

My counseling pastor suggested I read 1 Peter this week and I though the verses were very applicable to my situation. 1 Pter 5:12-19 states:

12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 

13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 

14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory[a] and of God rests upon you. 

15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 

16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 

17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And

“If the righteous is scarcely saved,
    what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”[b]

19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.

And also, 1 Peter 5:10: 

10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

I wrote in my journal after reading these verses that I should not be surprised by my suffering. That I should rejoice in Christ that God will deliver me either here on earth or in heaven as in my Mother in Laws case who lost her battle with cancer very quickly earlier this year.

I wrote that God will strengthen me from this trial. I appreciate the days more when I can actually experience joy. My suffering often feels like it will never end but God has always delivered me since I started getting bouts of depression as a child.

If your reading this and are in the depths of sadness or know someone who is please remind them there is hope. Hope in Jesus. He died on the cross for us and he will deliver us.

A friend sent me an article from the Gospel Coalition called When Christian Love Matters in Depression that described depression like this: We force a smile, while our regard for life erodes away. As Charles Spurgeon described, “The flesh can bear only a certain number of wounds and no more, but the soul can bleed in ten thousand ways, and die over and over again each hour.”

I pray for you now that if you are reading this and your a friend of one who struggles with mental health, that you can encourage your friend through listening, weeping with them, and continuing to serve them in their time of need. Please remember that depression is a silent killer and you may not even know your friends struggling to the depth that they are. Ask God for wisdom in the words you speak and how to serve. The biggest thing you can do is to show love and kindness and empathy.