Stress, writer’s block, and Wellbutrin, oh, my!

12 Aug

11:58 pm

On a positive note, first: tonight I had both pizza AND cake. Yay! Yay, cake! With homemade buttercream frosting! (Nope, it never gets old.)

So, that dip? The one that started about 10 days ago? Welp, it’s still here. I’m still dippin’.

I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but I think this community can handle my sad, sorry rants by now! And, I DID have fun tonight, and I DO sort of just take this all in stride. But man, the days have felt long, hard, and…extremely agitating.

After some pondering lately of my past, I think I may have had an at least notable chemical imbalance for most of my life, which was exacerbated by abusing wine. These days, I just can’t seem to shake the foggy brain, and I’m wondering if this was basically my base state and I used wine all along–about 15 years–to “fix” it. I feel like sobriety has sort of killed my fire. I NEED that fire, you know? It’s not that I want to drink wine; it’s more like I want to inject it directly into my brain.

I don’t feel very motivated. At the very least, I feel (much?) less motivated than I used to, before I quit drinking. Days like today, when the brain fog takes hold, it’s hard to find any motivation at all! The things I do do, I find myself doing more out of necessity than any true sense of pleasure or reward. Maybe this sense of authentic pleasure or reward is so unfamiliar to me that I don’t recognize it when I see it? Keep your eye on the prize, I keep telling myself. Yet, I’ve been waiting, and waiting, and waiting…for the other shoe to drop–where the hell are my pink clouds? Sobriety just feels flat. Worse is, *I* feel flat.

I’ve been figuring, I can either go on an antidepressant (Wellbutrin sounds exactly like what my brain needs, a “dopaminergic” jump start), or I can go back to drinking. (Or, of course, I can wait it out and muscle through, which is 99.5 percent likely what I will do. Why the black-and-white thinking, I’m not sure; it just seems like after all, there’s not that many more choices in terms of immediate solutions…) It’s more bitter than sweet to realize that I probably drank (and did a lot of other self-soothing behavior) not just to self-medicate normal negative feelings but to self-medicate abnormal brain chemistry.

It’s no secret that a LOT of people self-medicate trauma with drugs and alcohol. For some reason, I tend to dismiss my past as irrelevant to my current place, as if it was totally my fault. My past, I’ve come to see, definitely predisposed me to addiction: recurrent stress in the form of childhood emotional trauma. I don’t remember a time when my parents weren’t angry or sad or upset; I remember the yelling, and crying. I remember trying so hard to please, putting my introverted self out there in plays, musical competitions, dance recitals; succeeding in all of it but being so emotionally taxed in the process. (I hated performing so much that after almost a decade of playing piano, and performing, it took me almost another decade to pick it up again. Sadly, I never play musical instruments in front of people, and I think my past has something to do with it!) Onto college, with more overachieving and ridiculous striving. (Who gives themselves a literal semester of recurrent heart palpitations? Someone taking a heavy pre-med courseload and getting 4 hours of sleep a night, that’s who!) I probably messed things up way more than I can understand by being a binge eater for several years during my late teens and early 20s, too.

Stress (especially as a kid) causes your body to make all sorts of adjustments, and you end up both more sensitive to it (lower amounts of stress can now cause a greater response) as well as being unable to produce normal amounts of dopamine (and probably others, like noradrenaline, which is what Wellbutrin works on improving). You–well, I–end up being always in deficit, feeling a lack.

I drank to feel better, plain and simple. Could it be as easy as finally getting the meds I need to fix my dopamine depletion, let’s just call it? And, even if I didn’t start out this way, and drinking caused me to mess up those circuits, wouldn’t I be justified even more in getting a prescription for meds?

I must admit, I fear the side effects. Every time I’ve taken a pill, I’ve gone crazy. Xanax is not my friend. Vicodin is not my friend. Chloroquine is DEFINITELY not my friend. All the side effects of Wellbutrin sound…horrifying. And, believe me, those “rare” ones DO occur, and it’s not a fun trip.

Has it really come to this? Wellbutrin versus red wine? I’ve had ONE bottle of wine on ONE night in almost a year. I don’t know if this is going to “right” itself. How much longer should I wait? In sobriety, I feel less motivated and less able to find motivation to work the way I once did. I can’t focus, and this is a problem. I’m at the point where I really need to find that mental oomph, otherwise I’m going to have to change professions and call it a fucking day.

That’s what’s been up over here. It’s not a fun post, but I know that I won’t drink. Maybe it’s just a gnarly case of writer’s block?

Have a great night, all. Tomorrow is another day…to hope it gets better and a firework goes off inside my head. (A girl can dream, right?)

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6 Responses to “Stress, writer’s block, and Wellbutrin, oh, my!”

  1. Katherine August 13, 2013 at 12:50 am #

    Uh…I feel for you! Flat days are hard and suck. Be patient and good to yourself! hugs

  2. Paula August 14, 2013 at 9:07 am #

    DDG,
    I’ve been following your blog for a couple of months. I can relate to a lot of what you write about. I’d love to sit down and have a cup of coffee with you.

    As far as the antidepressants go Ive been on several so here’s my 2 cents worth. Sometimes they increase the brain fog. They can dull your feelings. For me, at the times when I was severely depressed, this helped me function. I feel a commonality with you in what you are describing during your childhood.

    Paxil helps with anxiety, this came in handy during times of extreme stress. Bad marriage, abuse, death, etc. These are some of the extremes I was trying to live with and function. Go to work, bring up 4 kids alone….you know, that kind of stuff. I went off of it about a year ago because I was no longer depressed and it was making me feel numb. I was very hard to wean off of. Took at least 6 months of discomfort. Why they don’t considered these drugs addictive is beyond me.

    Wellbutrin caused a lot of anxiety. Cymbalta was excellent for dealing with rage and the physical pain of fibromyalgia. There have been some others that I cant think of right now.

    Believe it or not. St Johns Wort helped with racing thoughts. Its worked well for me but is not for major depression. Took about 3 weeks to take effect.

    Antidepressants have had their place at times in my life. They truly helped when I had problems functioning. Of course I thought wine was helping also but now realize that It made everything worse. But Ive taken them sober also.

    Got to run.

    Paula

    • Drunky Drunk Girl August 14, 2013 at 11:02 am #

      Hi, Paula!
      Wow. Thank you for this, from the bottom of my heart. I really appreciate hearing about how it works. Both my parents have been on meds, and they both have experienced negative things; my dad so much that he went off. I’ve heard weaning off is difficult–yes, yes, yes, they affect your brain such that it changes. I studied, believe it or not, physiology in college, and one of the questions that I’ve always had was, well, if antidepressants alter your neurotransmitter levels and synaptic receptor levels, what happens when you go off of them? Your brain has to adjust to a new level, which it does, b/c it is flexible, but… My mother tried going off Paxil on her own when I was visiting one holiday, and seriously, I have never seen someone SO sad. I’m afraid of my own brain, which is very sensitive to chemicals; and, I fear it might actually make me feel worse. Thank you for this… HUGS. Hope all is going OK now for you. xx

  3. Former Escape Artist August 14, 2013 at 11:26 pm #

    Remember to be open with your psychiatrist! I have tried several anti-depressants before finding one that worked with me the best. Just for example, Wellbutrin made me too jittery (there’s a non-abusable synthetic amphetamine in it), Paxil made me gain too much weight plus sexual side effects, and now I’ve been on Lexapro for a year. Lexapro has worked the best for me!

    Just remember not to give up because the medicine seriously helps me!

  4. 激安レインブーツ September 10, 2013 at 3:59 am #

    メンズラッシュガード

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