Warning please seek medical support prior to going off any mental health medication. Withdrawal from medication/s is a very individual experience and my experience is mine alone. I do not encourage anyone from stopping any mental health medication without support of your GP, Psychiatrist and Psychologist. I worked as a mental health qualified Registered Nurse RPN and RN I did not mean to do my cessation like this this it was very much situational.
Day 15. I know some of my readers have been missing my ‘normal posts’. I have been thinking about this a lot; I woke up this morning I decided to share my garden as it is right now. Heading towards the end of summer here where I live in the Tasmania’s Southern most Council in Australia.
I can not explain how different I am to how I was just three weeks ago. I am one very lucky woman, I as any of you have been reading my withdrawal posts know am doing cold turkey of the medication. Not deliberately but through situational a comedy of errors so to speak. You can read about that here https://wordpress.com/post/echidna.home.blog/7015
My vegetable garden is a sad representation of its normal self. A combination of how I was feeling on my medication, Busby my larger dog having a Cruciate Ligament operation, and no rain since December/very early January has impacted a lot.
My deck garden has been cared for and I am learning so much what I can grow on it and the possibilities for next spring and summer. I am planning and have planted seeds with the aim to have beets, carrots, brassicas and a few other bits and pieces from my deck.
My front entrance garden is basically just dirt. I have watered and fed it, the fact that my garden is one of the very few now in my area that is accessible and provides the native and non natives food and greens along with seeds and my veggie waste sees the front of my home at times a bit like Dr Doolittle’s or at least how I imagine it.
What I am finding as such a positive change is that I am just doing it. I am just getting into clearing mess and dirt including much to my mortification mice droppings and the odd dead one. So far no more nests. Today I began in the kitchen. The floor was/is revolting. I am so please that I have removed so much dirt and mice mess. I went into one of my storage cupboards where I have tinned items. Discovering that mice love labels, I am thankful that they have left parts of at least one, and I know that I stored them in like with like. I will have a few exciting unknown tins. Most of these are beans or tomatoes. I have not done any preserving/bottling of any sort this year. Knowing I had quite a lot of tinned items I had purchased over the last few years on top of the things I had made last year and the year/s before. I am old enough to not care about dates on tinned or jar purchased items. Similar with dried beans. I was taught by my Gran what to look for in bad or suspect tins.
I am set for Autumn and Winter lovelies. I actually feel I could live on my pantry stores for the whole of winter and only have to purchase flour, fresh veggies I might need, meat and dog food. So incredible to have this. I feel so wealthy. I also have plenty of fresh herbs, spices, and if I can ever discover where my hens are laying their eggs, I imagine as last year the dogs and I had enough eggs for our own needs over winter.
It is so hard to attempt to explain to others, that I am beginning to feel like the memories I recall off before my breakdown and how I felt. I need to reassure you that I had ups and downs back then as any normal person. I also experienced bouts of depression over the years with the extremes that implies.
What I am incredibly aware of is the possibility is ever present that once off my medication and completed the withdrawal process, there is always a chance I will need to go on medication.
The difference for me now to previous is I have changed my thinking process. I have worked through and continue to work through the feelings and life issues that created what I have lived with for way too many years. No contact with those who abused and neglected me throughout my life was the biggest intentional change along with telling them they were not welcome in my home ever again.
I am also privileged and am very very aware of how fortunate I have been to be seeing at now cost to me ever the same psychologist for several years perhaps four. Someone I respect greatly because as anyone who has mental health illness is aware so often, especially when you are on low income or as I was and remain on Government support. Your psychologist/counsellor/psychiatrist seems to change regularly. Which for me in the past has been detrimental and to have to begin again sees me avoid the whole process. It was also the problem of not connecting with quite a few of the psychologists over the years. I am not one for lectures and homework, goal setting or those positive/mindful platitudes that so many folk have seemed to feel helpful for my mental illness and getting well. If they work for you great. Treatment for mental health illnesses are as varied as the individuals experience of the illness.
Under the Disabilty pension I am on now I have access to the National Disablity Insurance Scheme gives me a certain amount of financial access to support and service to enable me to live my life. I am able to continue to see my psychologist. I pay nothing for this and I am able to see her every 3 weeks. We have been Zooming since COVID. I am appreciative as I do not have to do a return trip to Hobart every 3 weeks a round trip of almost 200kms. We are also currently paying over $1.85AUD/1.34 USD/ 1GBP/1.19euro per liter/0.26th gallon(1 gallon is equal to 3.74 litres, so one gallon of petrol cheapes andlowest rated in Australia cost $6.92AUD/$5.00USD) so for the cheapest petrol pump your own. The petrol station in Cygnet(closest village to me) has a full service petrol station. I am not aware of the price there but is several cents a litre more expensive. Oops of on a tangent. I will have a face to face appointment in a few months probably.
For me I am delighted with how I am feeling, and doing things, even with the negative withdrawal symptoms of coming suddenly off Desvenalfaxine/Pristiq. There are some that continue such as joint and muscle pain, and short shape pains like a needle prick regularly. I am still a little dizzy at times and or light headed. I am no longer nauseous. I still feel cold often and no my iron levels and all other vitamin levels that impact your body feeling cold nor am I menopausal. We are having warm humid weather summertime here!. I put it down to withdrawing. I continue to not be hungry and eating simple but pretty healthily. I cooked a whole chicken and generally eating a chicken wrap with salad. Nuts and some apples from last year. (new seasons coming Yipee). Or as tonight I made a beef laska from my left over roast.
I have to really work at myself to get to bed at good time for me. Lights out no later than 10:30pm. Preferably earlier.
As the withdrawal symptoms play around with me, I know that considering I stopped cold turkey I have been very fortunate with how little they have really impacted me. For this I am so appreciative. I know that I am one of the lucky ones so far with my experience of sudden withdrawal.
blessings to You, Tazzie
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