Anxiety

Today, my anxiety is showing. It started off small, but then while dealing with something else, it was worse.  What I was dealing with today was something simple that I had to be assertive with. Being assertive was what brought the anxiety out more. This surprised me, because usually when I take something back to a shop that I am not happy with, I usually manage. But then it has been some years in taking something back to a shop and I don’t think I would have had the anxiety then. I don’t think it would have shown to the person serving me, but I felt it.
I am now calming myself down, having lunch and a pot of tea. Maybe when I have finished this pot of tea, my anxiety will gone, or hardly there.

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Coming off my antidepressants

As I said in this post; “Chit-chat April,” I would talk separately a little further, about me coming off my antidepressants. I have been on Sertraline 50mg for over 2 years. During that time, there have been occasions with support of my doctor to lower them, so I would eventually come off them.
From November 2016, I started to take one every other day, but in June 2017, I was back to one a day, after my review with my doctor. (I was at the dose of one every other day at that point still.) My doctor was hoping originally at this point for me to come off them, but when I explained about work, (the old place that I have finally left,) and how it was making me feel, which made me concerned because I was also learning to drive and I did not want to have my ‘wobble,’ he let me stay on them, but back at one a day. When I was ready to, I could go back to one every other day and keep lowering when I felt right to.
At the time I was deciding to start one every other day again, I received the devastating news about my cousin and her husband, so I knew this would not be a wise time to start. I then days after the funeral, find out about the disgusting truth of an ex, so as much as reducing was on my mind, I knew this was still not the right time.

After the first week of my new job, I decided now was the time to go one every other day. I stayed at this dosage for the rest of the first month of the new year and I felt great, so I decided to take one every two days, after that. Again, I felt great and so it went to every three days.
Near the end of March, I started to take my tablet every four days which then the withdrawal side effects were showing, after first week of doing this. I knew I was stable, but I did not quite feel right and my balance mainly felt really off. I looked it up and apparently other people have felt off-balance when coming off them.
Later, which at this stage I had been on this dosage now for just over a week with same symptoms but not feeling any worser I decided at this point, I wasn’t going to continue at this dosage. So I stopped and just let my symptoms ride out. My last antidepressant taken  was on 4th April 2018. The side effects that I could not describe went on for another week and sometimes I found it was best to just be by myself at the odd times, as I was a touch sensitive I noticed at times. In total, the worst of it was gone in two weeks, so not as long as I thought it would last. This left only my balance issue, which is now easing off I have noticed this past week. I am feeling good, I am happy and feeling positive, which I know from my readers, that this has shown already in my past posts. 🙂

As I have mentioned before in another post, do not come off any of your medication without first seeking advice from your doctor. My medication was only for short-term use, which I ended up being on it longer, due to my personal mental health issues.

Some of the withdrawal effects include:

  • dizziness or headaches
  • tingling feelings like pins and needles or numbness
  • sleep disturbances (vivid dreams, nightmares, not being able to sleep)
  • feeling anxious or agitated
  • feeling sick or being sick
  • shaking

These symptoms should go after 2-3 weeks for most people, but a few people can get 2-3 months or more.
Most people get mild symptoms, but for a very few people they can be very intense.

I would like to add that coming off medication is not for everyone and not everyone can do this. As much as my mum would like to come off hers, she can’t, because she has been on them all her life. This is why you must always speak to your doctor, who can advise, help and support you. Do not do anything rash, as this can make you ill.

Day 20 of the #blurtselfcareathon – Letter

Writing letters have been part of my self-care, while having counselling 2 years ago. It was a new way of trying things for me, which at first, I thought this would not work. But I gave it a go and realised just how helpful it was to me.  So without explaining further in this post, I thought I would share some old posts instead.

The post, “Continuing forward in my wellbeing journey” and “Continuing forward in my wellbeing journey – the next part,” were in the early days of blogging, so these posts comes with a content warning. The posts do not show my actual letters I written to my dad, or my dog Brin, as these were very personal to me and the start of my healing journey. But it explains my process with this. Since then, I have used the letter writing technique and those I have shared on my blog. These I share below, as a reminder:

 

#blurtselfcareathon #theblurtfoundation #mentalhealth #selfcare 

Day 18 of the #blurtselfcareathon – Social

When you feel bad with depression and anxiety, being social may be the last thing on your mind. We have to do what is comfortable, but if our bad days are going on for several days and we don’t give ourselves a little push, it can get harder to socialise.
Start socialising on a small-scale that is comfortable for you, as you possibly can. You may have a very close friend, or a partner that understands, which can be very helpful. Mix with this close friend, or partner. Maybe first, just have fun together in your familiar surroundings at home, then later either visit a small coffee shop, or just go for a walk in the park.
If you have no one, which can be really hard, still try one of these steps. When you are a cafe and start to maybe go to this cafe regular, then starting a very small conversation on something with the person serving you, can start things off. Or when you are at the table drinking your coffee, etc… you may find there is someone else sitting on their own. Just say hello and see what happens from there. I did this at two cafes I regularly visited, (one which is sadly now closed) and this helped to gain my confidence in speaking to other people. It will feel out of your comfort zone, but it does get better. I personally found it easier saying hello to the people who were older than me. Now, when we ever pass, we say hello to one another and if we are not far from one another, we chat from our tables at times. My mum even sat with her once, prior to us meeting up.

#blurtselfcareathon #theblurtfoundation #mentalhealth #selfcare 

My other two colouring books

So here are my other two colouring books I said I would mention, since this post, “Adult colouring books.”

“Enchanted Forest” and “Secret Garden,” are both by Johanna Basford.

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The pages are so detailed inside and these two are going to last me for some time. They are worth the money. As well as colouring, there are things to find, or do. I’m doing the colouring first and will go back to the puzzles after, except for the pages that involve adding more detail them, which those I will do as I go along.

This photo below, is a couple of pages out of the “Enchanted Forest” colouring book.

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The photo below, is a couple of pages out of the “Secret Garden” colouring book.

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I have mostly used felt tips when colouring these pages, but at times I have used pencil crayons. Although the paper is good quality, I would not recommend Sharpies felt tips, as these will bleed through to next page. Felt tips I have been using that are really good and do not bleed through are Staedtler and Stabilo.

 

Adult colouring books

Adult colouring books have been out a few years and they are still popular. They can help towards better mental health, because they give you something to focus on. I have been using colouring books for a couple of years, or slightly longer and towards end of last year, I was relying on them heavily after tragic events, to get through the day. (The last picture certainly reflects that very dark period in my life.)
These pages out of my colouring books were single-sided, so I used mainly sharpie pens for colouring in, but at times I used pencil crayons too.
I said last year that I would share some of my colourings one day. Although later than planned, here they are.

In a later post, I will share two colouring books I am now currently using.