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The most weird/annoying thing about preparing to go back on an SSRI is that since I KNOW that I'm gonna go down for a week, I'm basically having to plan for being an invalid. So I'm stocking up favorite, easily digested food and Hidden Object games and trying to clear out my email.

Which is good! I have warning! I can do all these things, and the anti-anxiety meds made it possible, but still...it's like knowing I'm going to have the flu in advance. I feel weird planning it.

Obviously, given the choice between hitting the end of one's chain and stopping and going "Okay, need some meds, clearly this is Not Working," and hitting the end, tearing the anchor out of the wall, and sprinting over a cliff with chain clacking madly behind one, one would prefer to stop.

But as this is only my second experience, and I am (hopefully) standing well back from the cliff, I have no idea how much of my reaction to the first round was the depression and how much is just "Hi! You're rewiring your brain chemistry, Brain will be unavailable during this time."

Fortunately--thank you, past Me! You're the best!--I took EXCELLENT notes last time I did this. Day by day blog, no less. (Past Me, I owe you Red Vines.) If I follow the same pattern as last time, it'll take about a week for the side-effects to pass off, and three weeks before it takes solid hold and I stop needing the occasional anti-anxiety med to tide me over.

So, planning for the worst--essentially a week out of commission, starting as soon as I finish the last hamster drawing--and hoping it's not quite as bad as it was. Fortunately I have Kevin around (I had Deb the first time, who was marvelous, but it's still easier with a spouse.)

Also, because I have to finish this deadline first, I am in the uniquely bizarre situation of having to think of my return to rationality in terms of "Ten hamsters until sanity...nine hamsters until sanity..." Which is a sort of interesting mental framing to be using.

That last paragraph says that you are spending a week insane for professional reasons.

Oh. Kay.

Well, when you say it like that, it sounds WEIRD.

Speaking of sanity hamsters, I just finished the first chronicles of Crazy Princess Hamsterbone today, and I will be passing the book on to my niece. I suspect she will turn her nose up at the glittery cover, but after reading the back, will thoroughly sympathize with the heroine (she wanted to be a ninja for Halloween).

As far as I remember I had no issues going on meds but OMG coming OFF was another story!!

I phased it out and did every second day then down to half a pill and tried to wean off it but when I did, I had hallucinations, didnt sleep, craved ALL the protein and had an exceedingly unpleasant month.

Fortunately I had prepared, not believing my drs when they said no side effects of coming of meds I had been on for 2 years + and did it over the Xmas holidays.

GOOD LUCK and be kind to yourself!

Totally worth it to get your brain back, IMHO. At least you already know a cocktail that works and have an idea of what's coming - playing side effect roulette is everyone's least favorite part, I think. Also recommend loading up on B vitamins. Good luck!

...Okay, now I almost feel like I SHOULD learn to be a pinch-hitter for hamster art. Nobody should have to put off going on brain meds because art deadline. *hugs*

A+ for writing, AND mad props to Past You for detailed note-taking. (Also, henceforward, all sanity mileposts will be marked with hamster drawings.)

listening to the "something isnt right" part of our selves is important....

Love and Strength to you and Kevin.
May all things Be Well and come out on an even keel.

I hope that all of this goes as smoothly as such things possibly can, and that your keel returns to evenness within or sooner than the estimated time frame.

Okay - I *still* want to be Ursula Vernon when I grow up. I think you pay a steep price for being *the* Ursula Vernon, but your grace under pressure is amazing. Go you (past present and future).

I recommend Hidden Object games involving fantasy storylines. Those are my favorites.

still...it's like knowing I'm going to have the flu in advance. I feel weird planning it.

Heh, I hear you. But, if it were surgery, would you still feel weird planning for it? Because, bottom line, they're both medical interventions that require some convalescence.

I have no idea how much of my reaction to the first round was the depression and how much is just "Hi! You're rewiring your brain chemistry, Brain will be unavailable during this time."

Yeah, it's impossible to tell why it happened last time and whether it will happen next time. And there's a third player: your body may decide to respond to a new medication with "AUGH UNFAMILIAR SUBSTANCE WE'RE BEING POISONED FLUSH FLUSH FLUSH", and in a rush to get it out of you dehydrate you. So: facial headaches (sinus headaches), dizziness, wooziness, tiredness, impaired concentration, and thirst, all of which (if being caused by dehydration) can be addressed by just hydrating well.

I wish you an easy transition with minimal side effects, and quick efficacy!

I admire the bravery and honesty with which you're approaching this; I wish you the best of luck.

And I think you gotta do something with the "ten hamsters until sanity" jazz; that cries out for a weird little children's book. :-)

Okay, ten hamsters until sanity is an image that will follow me for a long time.

I'm sorry you are going through this but glad you have such a sense of humor (or such an ability to make pearls out of painful bits of sand.)

I hope it all goes smoothly.