January 23, 2011

Hopefully I can retract how I feel in this post at a later date

Filed under: anxiety,austism,autism?,depression,eating,medication,my mental health,sad — jennifer @ 9:27 pm

This is a slightly modified version of an email I sent to my psychiatrist earlier this evening.  Yes, I have “real life” things going on – Mark left his job in mid December, Charlotte is back at her community school for one difficult week, after her 4 and a half months at the Rehabilitation school for well, rehabilitation and assessment.  Her official discharge and diagnosis is Next Friday, also her birthday.  We know they are going to tell us she has an Anxiety Disorder and exhibits many features of Autism, but they are unwilling to put her on the spectrum.  I believe they are wrong on the Autism diagnosis, but that is another post.

I am currently having withdrawal from my psychiatric medication.  The first time I have been on nothing in about eight years.  I weaned off Lamictal (for mood stabilization) and I am just off Pristiq.  I will be starting Parnate, a drug that requires a washout period, so for now, I am drugless, unless you count beer.  And fuck Mark is having to give Charlotte a time out for a tantrum during teeth brushing.  The “good news” is that the government has decided to give us support for Charlotte in the form of an Occupational Therapist, a Speech and Language Pathologist, a behavioural aide, a psychologist and she is seeing a psychiatrist. I never thought an Autism diagnosis could be so subjective.  It makes things a lot more difficult.  Sorry, another post.

Tonight, I despair and I am unpleasant and feel shitty and this is what I emailed by psychiatrist.

From: Jennui <jennui.ca@gmail.com>
23 January, 2011 5:51:33 PM MST
“Dr. Brian

I have a Barium swallow test tomorrow AM, no I am not starting the Parnate until tomorrow AM. Do you want to move our appointment for Thursday?

Also. In reading the information about tyramine restricted diet. (more food restriction information HERE) There are some foods I dont remember that surprised me. Yogurt, sour cream, aLL cheese, including processed, raspberries, pea pods, no antihistamines, commercial soup and broth, warnings about codeine. I’m getting a little freaked out. Partially because of the food restrictions and partially because holy shit is this really our last resort? What if this doesn’t work?  And I have to be super vigilant about checking my blood sugars. Am I setting myself up to fail?

This withdrawal is horrible. And the Parnate may not take effect for 2-5 weeks?  I have told Mark to eff off and I can barely tolerate Charlotte. I feel incredibly hopeless. Angry. Frustrated. Broken. My body and my brain are pieces if shit. My workout this week really aggravated my knee. I need to do more cardio based exercise, my only option in swimming. I feel fat and look bloated and disgusting. I hate eveything about myself. I can’t to anything properly. I don’t or can’t seem to take care of my diabetes or weight. I’m probably going to die of cancer. Since my bio mom and her other two sisters had cancer and my maternal grandmother died of heart disease.

I can’t even remember or get my shit together to register Charlotte in swim lessons. I keep “forgetting”. Not to mention getting myself into a swim program  I haven’t even checked my blood sugars ONCE since going on new meds and having that appointment with Dr Raff that “scared the shit out of me”.

Seriously. I have mentioned this before … what you do for me is great.  Best! Psychiatrist ever. But I still wonder about some other Counselling or life coaching. I’m 41 and I cannot see into the future. I cannot see me doing anything. Sticking to anything. I can’t bear to look in the mirror. It is hard to see anything but longing to lie in bed, stay up late watching tv, repeat.

I can’t work or even maintain a blog anymore. I’m useless. Sickly, stupid body and malfunctioning brain waiting to die. All I have been doing for almost 8 years is wasting space. I’m a pathetic excuse for a wife it mother. I feel very little hope that things can change for me. Drugs and talking to you isn’t enough. Would anything be enough or is this just it?  Waiting to die. I hate almost everything about who I am and don’t feel I have the skills or discipline to make any meaningful change to live a vaguely fulfilling life – for me or my husband or child. I lost rose coloured glasses a long time ago. Will I reach anything more than “getting by”?


* * * * *

I am dreading the Barium swallow test tomorrow.  The doctors are trying to figure out why I am anemic, acid reflux, excessively low level of Vitamin D, and I don’t know what else.  I have had one before.  They are yucky.

I feel I should sort of apologize for the gloom of this post.  I know, after all these years, if you have been reading me since 2002, that I should be getting better.  I SHOULD be getting better!  Alas, here I am, stuck in the mud.  Stuck in despair.  Dr. Brian tells me, this is partially the withdrawal talking, and I agree, but I didn’t say anything that wasn’t true.


  1. Oh, Jen, I’m so sorry for the pain you’re in. You are NOT just wasting space, though, and there are many who truly love you. Hope you find your way soon.

    Comment by Amanda Brown — January 23, 2011 @ 9:39 pm

  2. Hey there. I was listlessly reading twitter, and came to your blog. I can’t not comment …. just want you to know that a complete stranger – from Australia – read your words today and sends you love and warmth.


    Comment by edenland — January 23, 2011 @ 9:39 pm

  3. Another complete stranger checking in – from the U.S. – and also sending love and warmth. I’m sorry you’re feeling so low and hope the new meds will help.

    Comment by Jill — January 23, 2011 @ 9:49 pm

  4. I cannot imagine how you are feeling! I was one a medication once (ON one, not coming off it), and I felt like I wanted to peel my own face off. No other way to describe it. I hope this gets better for you. And pray.

    Comment by BethanyWD — January 23, 2011 @ 9:55 pm

  5. Oh sweetie, I’m sorry it’s so rough. You are one of the most empathetic and genuinely kind people I have ever met. I hate that you’re struggling so much and I wish that I could do something to help you or say something that would comfort you. Just know that you are loved and you are worth much more than you will ever realize. You are a good friend and a loving mother, even if you don’t feel like it sometimes. You will get though this. I know you will. xoxoxo

    Comment by Mrs. Wilson — January 23, 2011 @ 10:01 pm

  6. Oh, ugh!

    I have had Barium. It is NOT fun.
    Much love, sweet lady!


    Comment by Loralee — January 23, 2011 @ 10:02 pm

  7. I’m glad you told Dr. B everything. Mabye you can get some therapy to hash it all out-at least until the new meds kick in?

    Love ya-hang in there!

    Comment by Headless Mom — January 23, 2011 @ 10:43 pm

  8. I hope the tests are over quickly and your doctor replies quickly too. I don’t know what to say but I didn’t want to read this and not comment. Hang in! (man that felt like a lame thing to say)

    Comment by Sandi — January 23, 2011 @ 11:14 pm

  9. Oh dude. When I’m that down on myself, this here little video makes me feel a wee better. Maybe it’ll help you a smidge.
    (Also, I love you for putting yourself out there and I wish I could come up there and buy you a beer right now)

    Comment by AnEmilyB — January 23, 2011 @ 11:44 pm

  10. *hugs* I know sort of what you are dealing with. And you are more than welcome to email me, or send me a twitter msg anytime.

    For the record, I think you are an awesome person, and an amazing mother.

    Its just a rough patch hun.

    Comment by Emrys — January 23, 2011 @ 11:46 pm

  11. OMG my mom used to sing that to me when I was a mopey teenager! Thanks for the laugh!

    Comment by jennifer — January 23, 2011 @ 11:47 pm

  12. I actually don’t think they will find anything on the Barium swallow. I have had one before, seems like extra angst right now. I do know not being anemic would likely help my fatigue amongst other things.

    Comment by jennifer — January 23, 2011 @ 11:48 pm

  13. I would rather go to the other direction, I am very gaggy. Yes GAGGY! Love to you LL. xo

    Comment by jennifer — January 23, 2011 @ 11:49 pm

  14. I will be seeing Dr. B once a week for a good while. He is awesome. Thanks luv.

    Comment by jennifer — January 23, 2011 @ 11:50 pm

  15. Thank you for commenting. Times like this complete stranger kindness is golden. xo

    Comment by jennifer — January 23, 2011 @ 11:51 pm

  16. Oh, hon. Withdrawal can be awful. I’ve had some of the lowest points in my life due to withdrawal. I’m so glad that you have a psych you can reach out to. I know that nothing I can say will fix things, but I want you to know that I’m thinking of you. I’ll keep the faith for you during this shit storm.

    Comment by schmutzie — January 23, 2011 @ 11:51 pm

  17. Thanks for the offer. Having people to lean on or just listen, when I know LOGICALLY it could be wrong, helps. The kindness helps. Being around me in person is unpleasant right now. I feel sorry for my husband and child.

    Comment by jennifer — January 23, 2011 @ 11:52 pm

  18. Complete stranger kindness makes us no longer strangers. Thank you. xo

    Comment by jennifer — January 23, 2011 @ 11:54 pm

  19. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by jenB, jenB. jenB said: First post of the New Year. Filled with gloom and despair. I know, you are enticed. http://www.jennui.com/?p=1377 Sorry. [...]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention Hopefully I can retract how I feel in this post at a later date « jennui.com -- Topsy.com — January 24, 2011 @ 12:18 am

  20. Hon, I know this is feeling like one helluva rough patch right now, for all the reasons you’ve outlined, and probably a few more that you haven’t. Just remember that you have people literally all over the world who care about you and your family. Really truly.

    Comment by sbf — January 24, 2011 @ 3:38 am

  21. Wow, I have to come back and think more on this but what a whole grab bag of shitty stuff to deal with. Man, you didn’t even mention the hellishness of winter.

    Jeez. I know that whole thing of being super hard on yourself–the ‘forgetting.’ Well, you forgot. I do this so much. I say it is OK for you but I know how I beat myself up about it.

    I don’t know what else to say right now except I relate to absolutely every damn thing here–absolutely every single thing.

    It is the withdrawal talking. Do you remember times when you were more stabilized and you look back and are like–HOLY CRAP. But how to get over this period? All I can think of right now is what everyone else is saying–try to remember what an amazing person you are and what a gift you are to the world–to me!

    The food thing–it sounds like you have to do it but it’s not your last resort. You aren’t setting yourself up to fail. You can do this. Pain in the ass but you can.

    I feel like that too–like I’m killing myself. I probably am. I’m going to die because I am nuts and trash my body in my nutso way. I have literally nothing to say about that except it’s probably not true and not going to happen to us. And we can have some hope because yeah, maybe you aren’t ALL better but you are SOME better sometimes. And that’s enough to hold off all the bad shit that could happen.

    I have no other advice but when I’m going batshit crazy I watch Kids In The Hall on Hulu. Also highly recommended: Peep Show. OMG it’s funny. That’s a gift you seem to have. I have that too. I could have a gun to my head and still laugh and I think you could too. I swear sometimes that’s the only thing I can do.

    Comment by ozma — January 24, 2011 @ 4:29 am

  22. Honey, I love you. And you’re NOT wasted space. This WILL get better, not fast enough, I’m sure, but it WILL.

    Comment by daysgoby — January 24, 2011 @ 8:23 am

  23. I hope the new meds work better. Withdrawl is so difficult. Hang in there. XO

    Comment by Sheryl — January 24, 2011 @ 12:12 pm

  24. P.S. You are made entirely of awesome!

    Comment by sbf — January 24, 2011 @ 1:55 pm

  25. Hang in there. Do you know that I think of you as one of the most gifted people I know? Hardly a waste of space. I admire how you can just let it all out, open a word vein and spill it. You do what I can’t do. For that, I lurve you. xoxo

    Comment by Glennia — January 24, 2011 @ 4:47 pm

  26. Also, we looked into the patch. It doesn’t deliver as much medicine as Parnate. So says my doctor.

    Comment by jennifer — January 24, 2011 @ 6:49 pm

  27. Friend– love– you’re not, not, not, any of these things that you’re feeling. You’re not, though damn you’re self-conscious enough and aware to say something to your psychiatrist and to reach out. You’re SO brave. So much. It is the withdrawal, I promise. I had to go off my topomax (have you tried that yet?) because I had a rash from my SSRI that was either from my SSRI or the intestinal bug I’ve had since CHRISTMAS and have been unmedicated since New Year’s– I know all the things you are feeling and am only feeling slightly human again this last week as I ramp back up on the meds this last week, sans the SSRI and accept– I’m refractive to meds and just need to know my baseline will be semi-depressed with the need for lots and lots of yoga and meditation to nudge up my baseline, since I can’t rely on the drugs beyond a very low dose of the atypical antipsychotics.

    You are loved. Life is fucking hard, even for the non crazies among us. We’re not just saying that, honey, we mean it.


    Comment by bipolarlawyercook — January 24, 2011 @ 8:10 pm

  28. Hang in. Hang on. I absolutely promise you that it will get better.
    One of the lowest points of my life was a meds withdrawal and I still hate it and how I was and what went on.
    But it’s over now. And you’ll get past it. You will.

    Comment by baltimoregal — January 24, 2011 @ 9:47 pm

  29. Oh, man, I wish I could carry you to 5 weeks from now. WIsh I could soften the edges and buffer the feelings you have at your own reflection and the tension…just all of it. For whatever tiny bit of something it might be worth, we are here. Click our names, shoot emails, we can talk back and forth.

    Comment by Amanda — January 24, 2011 @ 9:52 pm


    Comment by Karianna — January 24, 2011 @ 9:55 pm

  31. One more stranger finding you through the twitterverse. Sorry this is being such a tough time. Try to remember that right now you’re looking at the world (& yourself) through shit colored glasses (due to the medication withdrawal) and thus it’s not an accurate representation of reality. Don’t listen to the voices when they get nasty & judgey, tell them to shut up.

    Also? I have a family member on the EMSAM patch so know something about MAOIs (though the patch has less side effects). Also? I’m a special needs parent (PDD & ADD/anxiety) so know a little of what you’re going through there. But mainly want to say: Hang in there, you are not alone.

    Comment by Varda (SquashedMom) — January 24, 2011 @ 10:25 pm

  32. No. You are. xo

    Comment by jennifer — January 24, 2011 @ 11:42 pm

  33. I’m trying to tell my self to shut up. It’s hard. Again. The kindness and gentle words of (no longer) really helps. I feel less crazy. Thanks for that.

    Comment by jennifer — January 24, 2011 @ 11:46 pm

  34. **HUGS***
    I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I think you’re lovely and fantastic. And I don’t think you should shut up. You pour out your feelings like not many people can and I admire your bravery. Many hugs to you, my friend.

    Comment by Erika — January 25, 2011 @ 9:31 am

  35. As with most of us with a penchant for self-loathing, I’m sure you are more and better than you give yourself credit for.

    It is fantastic that you have numerous healthcare professionals available to help. That doesn’t happen in the US. Here, unless you have a badass health insurance plan, treatment is very much “STFU you pussy”. I feel a little silly applauding the fact that a stranger is getting the care she nerds and deserves, but seriously, I am.

    Warmest wishes and hopes of swift betterness to you.

    Comment by Sara — January 25, 2011 @ 9:46 am

  36. Jen, I wish I had a really funny joke to tell you but I can never remember the punchlines (although chalky barium poo is kind of amusing!). I also wish I had a magic cure for how you’re feeling. Just know things will get better & you are loved. Here’s a crazy idea- go sit in a tanning bed for 5 minutes. I have gone tanning in the dead of winter to make myself at least feel warm for a bit. Maybe it will help?

    Comment by kim — January 25, 2011 @ 11:43 am

  37. Jen,

    I believe it’s no accident that I LOOKED for your blog today. I’m not here from Twitter or a blog roll, no, I typed “jennui” into my browser.

    (I used to read your old blog. Then it disappeared. Then, I somehow came across your new blog name. Then it went ‘poof’ from my blog roll.)

    I’ve struggled with depression and food for 20+ years, then diabetes reared its ugly head going on 7 years ago. I’ve lived a bit of where you are. It sucks. Completely sucks. Beyond suckage at times.

    I wish I could package up a hug and some CA sunshine and send it winging your way. Instead, I’m letting you know that another stranger cares about you.

    All I can offer is more kind words. You make a difference in this world.


    Please let all these words from strangers and not support you when life is hard.

    Lorrian in CA

    Comment by Lorrian — January 25, 2011 @ 7:12 pm

  38. I love you, darlin, and I hope you are feeling better today. xo

    Comment by jenijen — January 27, 2011 @ 12:44 pm

  39. Lady, I just saw this, and I hope things are a little brighter today. I’m thinking about you. XOXO.

    Comment by Meredith R. — February 6, 2011 @ 3:12 pm

  40. As someone very wise told me recently, “Chin up, tits out.” You *will* get through this. Try not to beat yourself up too much. xx

    Comment by Juli — February 7, 2011 @ 5:19 pm

  41. After breastfeeding, being over 40, and weight loss, my tits are usually pointed way down. Thankfully, a good bra and kind friends can help lift me up. xo

    Comment by jennifer — February 7, 2011 @ 10:12 pm

  42. Things are better. I should update. Thanks for the words and love. Back at you. xo

    Comment by jennifer — February 7, 2011 @ 10:12 pm

  43. I hope things get better for you and your family.
    So sorry about your really rough patch, it will get better.
    I’ve been reading you for years and really enjoy your blog. keep at it.

    tania in calgary

    Comment by tania — February 13, 2011 @ 7:49 pm

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