Radical Effexor Discontinuation (450mg to 0mg, beginning Sunday, Sept. 26, 2010)
T – 3.8 days: (4.37am)
– nausea increasing…don’t want to take powerful antinauseants I serendipidously found yet though, as who knows how horrible I might feel in a couple of days poisoning
– same fogginess I experienced when lowering dose from 450 – 432.5mg noticed ex/ feeling of crossing street being slightly dangerous
– some paranoia/anxiety about friendships – they are all I have
– want to sleep but canNOT…fell asleep for approx 1 hour, had some kind of terrible nightmare and was afraid to go back to sleep for some time…over the dream now, but awake and dreading tomorrow…I want to enjoy doing things all day but am afraid I won’t – it’s the fear itself that really gets ya – cheers F.D.R. – wonder how many people said that before one of your speech writers did.
then I apparently fall asleep 😆
awake at 8:00 am, “and I’m not sick, but I’m not well…” and we shall see how the doay goes!
T – 4 (11:19am)
And so it begins!
I wake up once more, and gasp as I sit straight up, right out of the movies, like. I had a “dream”, to call it that seems to be blasphemy, I awoke from this “thing” during which all traumatic experiences that have ever happened to me were replayed – a record skipping – again, again, again, walking down the street I grew up on, and around the bend there was my mother’s death, as I was raped again and again, while listening to my father and anyone else who has ever reprimanded me – professors, other kids, their parents, my sister, the bad neighbours and the slumlords that provide us (both, though some kind of difference is established and we are treated accordingly) – reminding me of all of my faults – taunting me, It’s your fault, with cries of laughter as big as New York or Texas, depending on how you like to see things.
I have woken up from dreams crying before, but never with a gasp for air. I have jumped from the prone position to consciousness immediately sitting up before, but only to vomit. An hour has psssed – I assumed the whole day had passed me over, but no, I had only been out for two hours, still morning – and I am still shaken to the bone, which feels damn rotten – or perhaps like my bones are rotting, if I want to get really disusting – as all of muscles just became exponentially sorer, and by the time I gained I gathered the wherewithal to grab cigarettes and cat food from the gas station. The “Petro-Can” is much closer to, from this suite – and involves hopping a fence which always just makes doing something a little more fun, the way shoplifting an item makes that pair of earrings mean a little more (to Winona Ryder, and only when they’re from a very unethical jeweler, I can imagine) – especially being a “girl”, I suppose (“Yeah, I was planning on hopping the fence, what were you gonna do?…”, so nonchalant and sixteen for a second). I felt foggy again, and kind of sore and just had this feeling over my skin that is hard to describe. Not feeling like crawling out or in, but perhaps the feeling one has right after they have been eletrocuted? Tingly all over, but in a way diametrically opposed to an orgasm. Sore all over, I accepted a lighter blend than I prefer, said, “Why not! I’ll get a matching blue lighter, then!”
I am overcompensating for feeling “off”. Then I got some unexpected, rathers strange, butdddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddfddddfdddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddfffffffff
Okay, so I seem to also be spacing out and holdoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiioooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooofooooooosiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiioooooiiiooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooioooooooo
do you see what I mean? I don’t think I need to finish sentence (okay orange huring my eyes and likely yours. Close your Eyes.
Other very common symtoms of Effexor Withdrawal are poking me in the ribs while I interact with the worker I see every da”””””o nnnnnnoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooobn nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn\ nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn o nnb
Alright, let’s keep it short and sweet. I must have looked kind of worried – worried ha llllllllcccccccccccllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll
I just fa m
Now it is 1:07 pm.
You can do this, scars. So mid-cigarette purchase, likely acting a little too gregarious in trade for feeling like keeping my mouth zipped and I fumbled with my cash and gave the cashier too much money. An extra twenty dollars stuck to another fresh twenty dollar bill, actually. When I worked as cashier, we were a tight group – interesting how this real sense of solidarity, even from management above dissipated to an, indeed, depressing level, by the time I left after working there for five years, spanning 2000-2005, the pre-, 9/11, and post-9/11 eras, as well as at our level, a take-over of the business from some slightly “nutty” (as they were known) owners (these guys weren’t even interested in turning a profit! They just wanted a cool big bookstore to exist where they spent the money they had or had been loaned on elaborate fountains and fishing tanks installed in the walls…incredibly comfortable sofas filled the store, as the idea was not necessarily to buy a book. I guess they envisioned a library with strange corporate art for once not signaling the need for someone to “BUY, BUY, BUY!”, as Jima and I often chanted after the takeover, but to buy if you really loved a book after checking it out while admiring the “Fractal Fountain” – where the same pattern never flowed down the rocks – thin, long, square rectangles, like out of 2001: A Space Odyssy, in all their phallic glory, of course. I wonder if when pieces started chipping off the $80,000 installment, staff largely responsible, if the tale is true, it still never flowed the same way twice. Wait, do you mean live a…
Now that is art.
Alas, no profit, mad shareholders I’m assuming, owner of Air Canada gives his wife the bookstore chain even though their relationship status is always is under question to some degree, and she turns it into McBooks, reducing the number of books on the shelves from 20,000 to 2,000. Her husband also owns a movie theatre, so our long awaited meetings with Heather herself, were held at one of the theatres, replete with free popcorn and soda. When she said, “What is not important is that a customer is satisfied when s/he walks out of the store, it is about whether or not that person is loyal, and will come back.” I was even more choked than some of my fellow “employerees” (you know, the ones you drink with now and then, but never too much :Yb ), and when the store was divided – this information not to be shared with the public – into “mens sides” and “womens sides”, respectively containing, on the men’s side: true crime, transportation, philosophy, history, culural studies, etc., and cooking and self-help/relationships/yoga et al., etc. – oh and “giftware” of course, taking up half of the space as well, items that go with the people women who would go to a bookstore I guess 😡 : overpriced candles, overpriced modern statuettes, overpriced candles…(I think the smell of really bad candles has diluted my memory of the bulk of the giftware section! Exactly how you eff up a candle, being a freak about them myself, I do not know, but after the takeover Heather Reisman brought a secret recipe.
I once walked towards the back shipping area that last summer of over-airconditioned, underpaid job to watch of the decline of the book, trying not to hit people over the head when they handed over a brand new hardcover ($40 back then, as the price of books has gone down) with Dr. Phil’s face staring back at me from it.
That was five years ago, though. And this little story was supposed to be about today. It is about a cashier though, and we will always share the same bizarre task of being required to take money from people in exchange for goods for eight straight hours, on foot, and then putting all that money away at the end of the day to give to someone else to someone else…a very important, but unfortunately, falling under the heading of all of those jobs society could not function without with, but which are underpaid, underappreciated, etc. Low-wage workers make the world go round. And I like to talk to them.
This morning I listened. He told me that I seemed paranoid. I told him – opening up to strangers as I always do, and am much scolded for! – that I was anxious, and had been on antidepressants. He seemed interested and gave me a talk. I don’t remember his exact words, but it was a “get rid of the policeman in your head”-type talk. It was exactly what I needed – he told me that you just have to live – you’re not dead, what’s the worst thing that could happen, and so forth. It was quite something to run into Sisyphus at the gas station in my fog – and this fog is much more apparent to you than others, and that’s what gets you! It makes you feel crazy, because you are imagining how ______ you come off…awkward? Vibrating? Cross-eyed? Stuttering? No!!! None you are not displaying such behaviour – and if you are, it’s to such a small extent that others do not not even realize you are doing whatever you think you’re doing!
Okay, I’ve gotten past the drifting to a different dimension stage, at least for today. And why take two extra strength tylenol when you can just take one Aleve for up to twelve hours of pain relief? It’s time to do something different. Plant some seeds in some strange containers I wasn’t planning on doing so in – and no, not pots and pans or the kitchen sink – I’m thinking more along the line of a mug and an IKEA lampbase from the “LUKÄS” design, which almost caused a small fire and was officially recalled, but I really like the glass base and found a great use for the red one, now let’s see what I can do with the black one. Yes, must keep moving and keep my mind off my own mind! Mission. Be a good soldier. For yourself. (I immediately think “rebellion” when i hear Militarese!”
T – 7 days: (4.29pm)
I cannot do this.
I would need to be under the constant supervision of a nurse (emphasis intended to differentiate with a doctor, who so very many of know nothing of taking care of a patient). Otherwise, I am most definitely a “danger” to many things…first and foremost, apparently, my own other medications and property!
Since last writing, I have been “sleeping” – missing days as if doing so were “normal”, following a short period of time I can barely remember during which I felt like I was under the influence of some kind of hallucinogen. I do not remember what I said/what went on during this short period.
During this “sleep”, from which I have finally awoken, feeling completely unrested (not to mention the unrest), I managed to hide the rest of my medications on myself. Why I would feel the need to do so I have no idea, but I suppose it made sense in “Effexor Redux Land”, a place of absolute torture, where “dreams” morph into “out-loud” conversations with Grade Two teachers and the guy from the bus stop three years ago. There are some clonazepam zipped into one of the couch cushions. Laara found codeine under a towel in the bathroom. I awoke and walked (flailed, as if drunk and on Goddess knows what other intoxicant) around the apartment, wanting to stab myself, but vomit my guts out first, figuratively, before literally disemboweling myself. I attempted to walk to buy cigarettes, but the tiny hill required to climb to get to the store was too much for me. I was falling down, over and across the sidewalk and my thoughts – a cloud of words and scenes on a stage that would not make coherent sense in any dimension.
I started walking in the other directions. Thank Goddess, my roommates. My rage is accentuated, I’m sure, by the lack of “venlafaxine” running through my veins, but we are all enraged.
In whose Universe is it okay to put people on this drug, en masse – a vulnerable portion of the population – people who feel emotions profoundly?
How can I not have found a doctor who, although they have all been eager to agree that the 450 mg dose I am on is “insane” and higher than any dose they have encountered a doctor having prescribed a patient, (“And for six years?…”)
T – 7.6 days (4:02 am – yes, this scares me right now. The Fear has set in.)
-F.A. – this is kind of how I feel about my week without Effexor, and its end in a plant-derived, dopamine raising substance that wasn’t paid for by the government, as the Effexor tablets, that would cost about $400 a month are. I made a “mistake”, more an accident, by destroying my supply of Effexor for the week. Then I tried something I basically knew would be impossible – of course with some hope in mind that this would magically be the end of popping three very large red gelcaps every morning to keep my head together, just as I have that spark of hope each time I walk into the office of a new psychopharmacologist (let’s call them what they are) that usually leads me on for a few hour-long appointment, about helping me get off this drug, but soon grows annoyed at talking about life and tries to convince me that I can achieve this goal by taking a new handful of gelcaps or packed pills or the ones you can peel a layer off of…just like Anne says – blue, yellow, green; “I’ve become quite the addict” – to to learn how much of an addict they made me, to learn how deep Effexor is in control of my brain. I sure got my answer. I was expecting it would be sickening, and expected the second after second after half-second brainzaps and light-sensitivity and walking into doorways I got this morning, when I finally got off the couch, the brown couch :), wanting desperately to get something done – Indian Summer, the smell of sweet decay in the air and smoke lingering from bonfires from the night before, all the while feeling heat on your October-skin. Zap zap zapzapzap zap zapzap zap, as I sat on the toilet, light on like nails on a chalkboard in my brain. MUST. DO. SOMETHING. I cannot lie on that couch, nor can I vacuum and hide pills for some night-terror induced reason involving relatives I haven’t seen since I was a small child (indeed, red alert, in the Ashcroft-model sense), for a sixth day. Well, the first two were not so bad, although I do have a very difficult time remembering them, interacting with people? It doesn’t seem reasonable after the past days of constant nausea and terror/sleep. The horror of Apocalypse Effexor is making it difficult to enjoy any kind of “relief”, whether it be from zaps (other symptoms still present – read the pamphlet, I’m in Effexorlessness) or lack of energy. Well, that’s not really true – I remembered and discovered some really interesting things about brains on music and my own – playing all evening would have been wonderful but I have to keep in mind the possibility that figuring out how to access that skill I was starting to master might not always be pretty and enjoyed by my roommates, who have put up with my couch-ridden delirium for the past three days. I didn’t want to have to inflict myself upon others 24/7 again in my short life, but that was, financially-speaking, a complete pipe-dream, at age almost-26, living in Vancouver, where rent in the “ghetto” is now almost as high as rent in the West End. The odd much bigger pipe loft thrown in there, millions upon millions, the rest of us. Who do not perform “perfectly”, who show emotion, who have vices, who feel really damn lazy sometimes, who feel the pleasure and the deep pain of being strapped to this body. So, an experiment, and the results yielded were interesting. They bring tears of terror to think about, but they were very interesting and revealing of what I am facing here. There has to be a doctor out there willing to help people get off this poison without the pain that we, uneducated consumers socializaed from birth, very literally – is it not a doctor we look in the eyes before those of our mothers’, no? – to take his (for those of us that were searching for “father figures”, men and women/and her orders and prescriptions strictly – finish all of these antibiotics, take two pills every six hours, one in the morning and one and a half at night. Are these to be our fathers? Washed down at the demanded time. Mornings are long. Hours are longer. Tears without water, cutting scenes out of paper for dear life, running around the building and collecting power cords from the old apartment now – I am thankful to be freed of our – it was mine the whole time, my little mess, intentions good, nature uncontrollable, the pain of now not being sure if he thought I was malingering around his only intellectual equal on the planet!’s survey contemporary theory class. No, life has been painful, I would not seek (the tears have turned towards a belly full of silent laughter) to pretend to make it more so, so much that doctors had to dig through my guts. Heads need shaking. Some stream of consiousness, good girl, mention Ophelia, gossamer in water, I picture green with pink embroidery, personally. Mistakes paid forward. All meant in ‘good faith’. This is my body and my mind and I shall do with it what I wish and I’m sorry if you have a problem with that but your status does not trump my right to stop taking my Flinstone’s Vitamins for a short while to see if I can live without hoping I’ll get a red one. Red mistake. I will dust myself off good and proper on Monday, I will be over homesickness for a place I hoped would exist before I got here but never did, after an hour or so the tears will never be wet and I can not sleep through an appointment – why is there always an appointment – some obligatory time sacfricied for “the man” – more tears turn to belly laughs, no sounds of sobbing from my eyes or my guts – literally – reading over your credit card bill twice and figuring a way to pay it and the psychological aftermath of economic instability – the fallout. I don’t think I’ll open my Simon Fraser University inbox ever again, and I should have done so a month ago. I do not care. I do not care if a professor is going to take the words of a white, blue-eyed, Texan businessman who employs underage women and exploits the sacred tradition of Shamanism and sells it as drug-induced psychotherapy to wealthy westerners, charging them a fortune that seems like a good deal to North Americans and Australians, white haired, blue-eyed, to look into the beautiful dark eyes filled with anxiety at fetching you the right drink even though she has no clue what you are saying, whose pubescent buttocks are seen for a few seconds as she hurriedly goes inside to the bar to decipher these foreign requests for ice and liquor and coca leaves – something with coca leaves because they’re not legal in the ex-pat’s home and native land – over the word of a young, feminist scholar who is known for radically exposing the truth, no matter how sick it is, and in addition, never done a qualitative project where such raw research, if it must be ethnographic, gets the “publishable” stamp without a chart of outdated subculture theory and consists mainly on argot and hierarchies – so it’s okay to talk about “tramp stamps” in L.A. – if one of the participants in that project contacted the professor of the same class she was subject to participating in a qualitative study – M.A., maybe Ph.D., lumped together, same thing, different stage of cash grab – a young woman and gang member who called out the researcher for calling her a “hood rat” because her stamp was not on her lower back but across her neck – falsified data, the need for another member of this category later to be charted, made public, created…social change?? :confused: – In this scenario, which could have happened – who would be believed? The woman with “publishable” data that is already out there but used different terminology, and comes to class, every class, on time and wearing much perfectly applied make-up – no dark circles – asks questions that threw us off, and my temperature rose as I left the “hot seat” and realized she had mixed me up with big words but I had a perfect defense…but I was not fast enough and she looked so utterly “professional” in a suit at times, something I will never adorn…, or the straggler who unearthed an illegal business that is likely common to certain cities/towns in the Amazon where “culture” can be experienced by the slightly off the traveled off-road, maybe adorning dreads or a dirty pair of runners and muddy socks – corruption of the highest degree in the name of tourism – government grants, I bet, for Americans to bring a taste of cannibalism to a new place, wow, true Freudian slip, I meant to write capitalism and am actually quite shaken. Whoa. Tourism in Peru, G.D.P, money, hands. Academic dishonesty! Holy crap what has it come to…
SSHRC out of undergrad drop-out. Statistical anomaly as usual. Graduate student taking electives and classes in different departments and making the bureaucracy difficult to navigate – I guess this was easier for students when you were in my shoes? Do you not know that you have to do your job without picking a young woman to act as a scapegoat, drawing attention away from the internal discord, the external review, students like me who paid attention and agreed and spoke out about it. Made it loudly known that even when quiet, our peer-group is completely in agreement and feels like they were ripped off. Well, if it weren’t for one’s fabulous scholar of a supervisor, providing that they do not retire and move four hours away from campus halfway through your degree, which you have been progressing on more than most students, collecting material for over a year while they have yet to start – not because you want a good grade or a publication but because you care and want to help people, want to practice sociology in its context of revealing social insanity and exposing it – and in addition, choosing to attend Simon Fraser because this would-have-been supervisor, who will always remain a soft of mystery, her softspoken voice supposedly that of a former “hell-cat”, though I noticed no difference between her expression when I arrived, all decorated in gold and promise, bells coming later to make noise, and her expression when I left in tears that were obviously attached to suppressed sobs, after reading the e-mail where I explained the incredibly difficult reasons why Simon Fraser University had violated my rights as a student five times over, added stress to my life that had a great impact on my health, and I had to leave this place she had promised me to be right, just for me!, it is pretty in the summer, because I would be ashamed to give them any more money in tuition and fees, never mind hold a degree from the place, not caring whether or not it would be “tarnished” by the good ol’ boys team – stir up some media attention on their sparkling “ethics” abilities to spot a young woman criminally revealing possibly “made-up” information about the exploitation of Peruvian women for an expendable methods class – what, the fourth advanced methods class I’ve taken? I think I understand now, sir!
Cry, cry, cry. Don’t want it to be asleep. It can’t be tonight – I can’t go through another night of that. I will go through
that moment when the birds come out.