Anxiety · Tampering Off of Medicine

Today is a Good Day

Today was a pretty good day. I’m not 100%, but I’m better than what I was yesterday. I was thinking about not posting, considering I don’t have much to say today, but I want to share both the good and the bad. This blog isn’t just for me to express my problems with anxiety, it’s to help others (with anxiety or someone that has someone in their lives with anxiety). Today, my stomach isn’t acting up and the tingling sensation in my legs isn’t as over powering as it was yesterday. It’s still there, but it’s going away a lot faster than it has in the past. I also had a good time interacting with my Twitter followers today,  by sharing their favorite Stana Katic photos (hence the feature image), which helped me take my mind off of the issue at hand.

Now today is the day that I’m not taking a pill, so I’m a little scared that tomorrow might be a set back. However, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to face whatever comes my way. The biggest issue I have with my anxiety is that I try to fight it instead of it just letting it do it’s thing. Whether it be the fact that I don’t want to have an attack in public and enjoy my time out or whether it be that I feel like I’ve tackled my anxiety that I should have the power to overcome it and let it vanish before it starts.

I still need to learn that I just have to let the attack happen and not to fight it. When I accept that, the tingling feeling in my legs go away (even if it’s just for a moment). It’s hard for me to do that though and that’s the biggest thing I have to remember. My therapist gave me a list of questions to ask myself when my anxiety is high or something is really on my mind. It’s hard to ask those questions to yourself though when you’re having a panic attack or you feel like your anxiety is taking over. I’m going to list these questions below, along with my answers, that way you can ask yourself them.

  • Am I falling into a thinking trap?

Most likely. I’m thinking that this tingling feeling will be with me forever again if I get off my meds. I’m thinking that I might have a fear of going out because I might have an episode if I’m without my medicine. I’m thinking these things. I do not know that these are facts. I know it’s a possibility, but I don’t know it’s a fact. Like my one friend said, it might be something you need and you shouldn’t be ashamed of it.

  • What is the evidence that this thought is true? What is the evidence that this thought is not true?

There is really no true evidence that this thought is true. There are just two incidents since tampering of of my medicine that this has happened. There is no true evidence that this will happen every time. The evidence that this is not true is that I went 22 years without this medicine and I have had anxiety for at least 5 years. So out of those 5 years, I was able to go out and I didn’t have this tingling sensation. The body changes obviously, but if I could do it back then I should be able to do it now….right?

  • Have I confused a thought with a fact?

Probably. Again, I really won’t know until I go out again a few times or completely get off of this drug.

  • What would I tell a friend if he/she had the same thought?

I would tell them to focus on the now and not the maybe. Think of the fact that you were doing well on the half of what you were taking, so that’s a big plus, and that the tingling in your legs is better than what it was yesterday. Even though you were on the medicine, you have handled this before and you’re strong enough to handle it now. Just remember what you’ve learned. Your therapist wouldn’t tell you things that wouldn’t help you even if you weren’t on this medicine.

  • What would a friend say about my thought?

I would hope that they would say what the above says and remind me of how far I’ve come since last year. A lot of people have been telling me how brave I am, to remember to breathe,  that it’s going to be okay, and that I’m strong to be doing this. They have also shared their experiences with me, which has made it easier for me to see that I’m not alone in this.

  • Am I 100% that because I’m going off this medicine, that my symptoms will reappear? (Insert your own issue after that)

I am not. I am dealing with the effects of tampering off of this drug and I am not 100% if it’s the effects of the tampering off or it’s the anxiety itself. I cannot know for sure until I am 100% off this medicine.

  • How many times has this happened before?

The tingling sensation has been present since last year, but I would say I got control of it in May or so. It sometimes shows up at night, when I’m trying to sleep, but I just say “Hi anxiety.” and that usually does the trick. This is my first time tampering off this medicine, so again I’m not sure what is to come and how many times the tingling feeling or the feeling that I can’t go out will reappear.

  • Is this so important that my future depends on it?

Well, kind of. I mean not the tomorrow future, but down the line. If I stay on this medicine, I will most likely run into some problems when it comes to having a child. If I fight to stay off the medicine and I feel like my anxiety is too much to handle, it will effect my tomorrow future. If I feel like I can’t go shopping tomorrow with my mom, that’s a problem for me.

  • What’s the worst that could happen?

The worst that could happen is that I have to go back on the 13.5 dose everyday and that we might be going “backwards” for a bit. The tingling might be present again for a few months (with or without the medicine) and I will have to relearn how to deal with that. I might have days where I have to cancel plans, due to my anxiety, and hopefully my friends will understand that.

  • If it did happen, what could I do to cope with or handle it?

I could go back to therapy. That did help me a lot and I felt very comfortable sharing with her what was on my mind or what I was feeling. I can try again, in say a year or so, to get off the medicine again if I find that I have to go back on the 13.5 dose. Hopefully that next time, I won’t have these symptoms. However, if it does, it does.

  • Is my judgement based on the way I feel instead of facts?

I would say a mixture of both. I do fear that this tingling feeling will be more than I can handle without this medicine or that I won’t be able to go outside without my anxiety tagging along. However, I don’t know that this is for sure. I just know based on my two experiences.

  • Am I confusing possibility with certainty? It may be possible, but is it likely?

I am. I do not know that this will happen for sure. Just because it’s happening yesterday and today, does not mean it will happen tomorrow or the next day.

  • Is it a hassle or a horror?

A little bit of both. The tingling is a hassle. I could live with this. I don’t want to, but I could. The not being able to go out anywhere without my anxiety tagging along is a horror. I don’t want to be one of those people that lets their anxiety take over their lives and prevent them from going out and enjoying it.

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