Tuesday, August 18

It’s now day two of my two-week self-isolation from work, and I have to say, I’m feeling a lot better than I was yesterday. Like I said, I feel totally fine and healthy, and I’m going to get tested for COVID on Thursday or Friday anyway to give myself some piece of mind. I’m fully expecting a negative result, so once that (hopefully) comes through, I’m going to feel safe enough to go to the grocery store and such. Until then, however, it’s just going to be sleeping in and hanging out at home!

Although I do plan on sleeping in a little bit later than usual, I’m still going to set a goal to get up by 8:30 every day. I want to maintain some sense of normalcy and productivity while I’m home, and getting up at a decent time helps to keep my mood high. I’d like to get back into doing workouts since I literally have nothing else to do, and I should be able to catch up on blogging as well. Really, the most important thing for me this week is to just practice self care and look at the positives. I’m safe, healthy, and I have a great support system. Might as well look at it as a two-week paid vacation. 

Saturday, August 22

Hi everybody! How are you guys doing? Hopefully staying safe and happy during these times we are sharing together. Even though it feels like the end is nowhere in sight, I do think it’s important to remind ourselves that good things are still happening. For example, COVID cases in the US are actually steadily declining now, which is a great indication that our collective efforts may be working! And while I don’t think life is going to go back to normal any time soon, maybe, maybe we can start looking forward to things again. Maybe I’ll be able to have a semi-normal Thanksgiving or a semi-normal Christmas with my family and Nathaniel’s family. Maybe next year I’ll finally be able to celebrate my graduation from college. Who knows what will happen?

My little week of self-isolation is still going fine; I’ve been playing a LOT of the Sims 4 and working on my Etsy shop. Today I planned my grocery list for the week and decided on a recipe I’d like to make for dinner: one pot pasta with tomato & mascarpone sauce. What I’ve been doing lately is making a large, family-sized meal at the beginning of the week, usually on a Monday, and then slowing going through it for the rest of the week as leftovers. Last week I had burritos, and this week I’m going to try my hand at this recipe. I’d also like to bake a loaf of bread; getting into baking bread has been on my list of hobbies I’d like to explore in 2020. No better time to do it than now!

So nothing too exciting is going on, just gaming and sleeping and catching up on hobbies. Today I had some fun doing ∼fall crafts∼, such as making a pretty mason jar filled with fall-themed date ideas for me and Nathaniel. I also made a ∼fall scrapbook∼, so that Nathaniel and I can then document our ∼fall dates.∼ So cheesy, I know. 

I’m feeling really good emotionally, and I didn’t have a PMDD episode this month, which is amazing! I wonder if it has to do with skipping my placebo pills, as my doctor recommended I do to combat PMDD. Let’s hope that keeps up on a positive note.

In other good news, Nathaniel is going back to school in a couple of weeks for his last stretch of school, and since our school is so close to my apartment, he’ll be able to come see me all the time! I probably won’t be able to go out there to his dorm as much, seeing how schools are going to be very strict with social distancing and having guests. Nonetheless, I’m really looking forward to hosting him here and getting to see him more often. God, I can’t wait to marry that man and have babies someday. He really is my rock.

That’s it for now! Enjoy the week ahead, everybody!

Monday, July 27

I’ve always striven to be really transparent about how I’m doing, so I’m not gonna lie, the past couple of days have been tough. It would make a lot of sense if I was entering some sort of PMDD-related episode, but I’m also trying to avoid getting into the habit of blaming every bad mood on my period. I felt fine for most of the day yesterday, but around the evening is when I began to struggle with feeling irritable, agitated, angry, depressed, anxious, paranoid, fatigued, and crying inconsolably…so, sounds like some pretty severe PMDD to me! Poor Nathaniel, he’s such a saint staying on the phone with me and being kind and encouraging when I’m really struggling and crying and putting myself down. I know it hurts him to see me go through hard times, especially since he can’t be here in person, but I really appreciate how lovely and understanding he is. He stayed on the line with me for over an hour while my scream-crying slowly evolved to silent crying, which then evolved to sniffling, which then evolved to snoring. Someone give this man an award ASAP. 

I didn’t get a ton of sleep last night, as you could have probably assumed. I fell asleep around midnight and had to be up at 4am for work. I wasn’t crying or feeling angry like I had been the night before, but I still felt sort of cloudy and fatigued, like my brain was still swimming in tears inside of my head. And then at work, even though my trainer and my manager said I did a great job, I did not feel on my A-game. I was forgetful, I was slow, and I was really blanking on how to do basic things I had learned the week before. I managed to hold it together without bursting into tears, but there were a few moments where I thought, “Am I good enough to do this? Am I too stupid to learn? Should I quit so I stop wasting everyone’s time?”

The first thing I did when I got home was conk out for about two and a half hours (a bit longer than I wanted to sleep, admittedly,) and now it’s after 4pm and eating a late lunch while I chug water. I definitely feel like my head has cleared up a lot, and I promised Nathaniel I wouldn’t be “a weepy mess” on the phone tonight. I feel like I can hold myself together again. However, I am really stressed about my work performance and I wish I was learning things faster. I know if I had all the time in the world to practice, or a way to keep learning everything at home, I would be fine. But it’s because all my practice comes from a fast-paced, stressful environment, I feel easily flustered and I forget what I’m doing. That being said, I remembered something today while I was making my lunch that I haven’t actually had a discussion with my work: I have learning disabilities which affect my memory and my processing skills, and the reality is, my brain is probably working twice as hard as it should be to get by. (By the way, I haven’t really told any of the jobs I applied to because I was afraid I wouldn’t get hired for being neuroatypical.) Reminding myself of that made me feel a bit better about myself and my progress. Like, no, I’m not a wimp or a moron or a “bad person” for feeling the way I feel. I am a person who is honestly just trying her best to hold everything together, and even though I’m also a weepy, tired mess, I think I’m doing pretty okay. 

So yeah, that’s been my Monday. Nathaniel’s work schedule is a bit tough this week but I really, really hope I can see him because it’s been more than two weeks and the thing I need more than anything else in the world right now is a hug. I’m really hoping the rest of the week is not as dramatic and emotional as these past few days, so I’ll do my best to take care of myself. I am also going to try to practice everything I need to know at Starbucks as well as I can at home without having any equipment, aka I’m going to rely on memory to write out tasks. Thank you all so much for reading today and I’ll be sure to update you on how the rest of my week goes. 


Monday, August 3

Hey everybody! Hope you’re all having a great Monday. I’ve been really behind on posting here on my blog, but honestly, I didn’t have time to sit down in front of my computer at all this week! I really don’t like getting behind on my goals, so today and tomorrow are going to be all about playing catch-up.

The past week was rough with PMDD, but things are starting to look up a bit now that my emotions are getting back on track. I spent most of last week feeling irritated and sad, and to be totally honest, the weekend didn’t make me feel much better. But like I said, things are on the right track now and I’m trying to stay as positive as possible. I’ve also been feeling like I can’t tell the people I love how I feel and what I’m going through, because it seems like everyone else is going through their own mess right now and I don’t want to stress anyone out even further with my problems. So that’s been really frustrating, but I definitely think having a therapist and paying someone to listen to my problems will help. I’ve been trying to find one via Psychology Today, but so far nobody has returned my emails. I’ll be sure to let you guys know how the rest of my week goes and if skipping my sugar pill week does any good for my PMDD down the line! Sorry I was a bit of a downer and unproductive this week, I’m going to try to keep my mind busier and more positive in the next few days.

 

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Photo by Jaymantri on Pexels.com

Sometimes I look back and I’m amazed at some of the things I was able to accomplish through absolute exhaustion. I believe that, particularly as a student, it’s easy to assume constant fatigue is just a way of life. I know I sure was used to it by high school- getting up at 5:45am every day? I really don’t know how I did it.

But other times, particularly this past semester, I noticed I was alarmingly tired after getting up at 7am or even later. Even if I went to bed early and got up with 8 hours of sleep behind me, I would still find myself hit with a wave of exhaustion around an hour after waking up. It wouldn’t hit immediately in the morning- it would happen while I was waiting for the shuttle, sitting on the subway, or even at my internship itself. One time, I got so abruptly sleepy while riding the T, I missed my stop altogether. I would drag myself into the building and struggle to keep my eyes open until around noon or 1pm, when the sleepiness would finally start to subdue. It was annoying, but also concerning for me as it began to interfere with my life. 

When I realized that most of these sleepy spells lined up with my menstrual cycle, everything began to click together. Oh yeah, I reminded myself. You have PMDD. This is your reality. In fact, “severe fatigue” is listed as one of the top symptoms for PMDD on hopkinsmedicine.org

The thing is, my menstrual-related sleepiness had NEVER been as severe as it was this past spring semester. And now that I’m out of college, I almost never get hit with fatigue. So why did that happen?

Through doing a lot of thinking and researching, I’ve decided it probably had a lot to do with stress. Spring 2020 was an amazing semester, but it was also absolutely wild. For one thing, knowing this was my last semester of college and I had to do well to graduate was always pushing me in the back of my mind. And then, when the global health crisis emerged and my entire future went up in the air, well, I became exhausted. For me, numbing myself out rather than getting hysterical is just a normal coping mechanism. And so, I’m not surprised I spent a majority of January/February/March feeling absolutely fatigued. Especially when coupled with my hormonal disorder, which is notorious for causing sleepiness, it makes a lot of sense. I think I was truly just burnt out. Additionally, PMDD is associated with “non restorative sleep,” so even if I get my tight eight hours in, that doesn’t mean I’m getting good sleep.

There wasn’t really a cure for me during that time besides just trying to keep my mind busy, and through physically holding my eyelids open in the morning. I would also text my boyfriend during the early mornings, since he was an early riser as well and he could keep my mind occupied. Overall, however, it was a very bizarre experience. I tend to be a very energized, go-go-go kind of person, so not being able to feel alert or constructive for half the day really bothered me. However, like I said, my early-morning sleepiness has improved tremendously. For one, I’ve felt very in control of my life lately, and that definitely makes me feel motivated. Secondly, my physical PMDD symptoms have slightly subdued in the last couple of months. I’m pretty sure this is due to having better sleep hours, a healthier diet, and exercising more frequently, but it’s hard to know for sure. Nonetheless, I’m feeling great now! I do notice I do occasionally become fatigued while on my period, but it doesn’t drag on for hours and hours like it used to. 

For anyone else who struggles with PMDD, I’d love to know your experiences. Has fatigue ever interfered with the quality of your life? Do you notice that stress tends to exacerbate your symptoms as well? Let me know in the comments below! Feel free to drop your tips for preventing sleepiness in the comments as well, so that we can share tips and advice with other folks who may need it.

Monday, April 13

Hi folks, hope you’re all hanging in there and gearing up for another week of quarantine. I’m having a pretty good day thus far, and I had a lovely birthday yesterday as well. I’ve already had my only online class today, so now I’m going to designate the rest of my day to get homework done, write content, job hunt, continue packing, and then probably just watch movies. I also need to call the electric company and arrange for our power to be set up in preparation for moving in a couple of weeks, so I guess you could say adulting is going strong.

Now that I’m into the groove of online work and feeling much more motivated and upbeat than I was in the last couple of weeks, I don’t really have too much to update you all on! My life for the next couple of weeks is mostly just going to consist of homework, blogging, hanging out with my mom, and hopefully seeing my boyfriend soon. I’m also going to start getting into the groove of junk journaling, because I’d really like to start some sort of an online shop to make extra money. More updates to come on that!


Thursday, April 16

It’s about 7pm right now, and admittedly, I’ve had a pretty lazy day. I tend to be pretty easy on myself around the time of my period, because I can get really irritable and tired if not. Nonetheless, I’m in very good spirits, and I’m happy to be sitting down with my computer to get writing done.

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Tuesday and Wednesday were perfectly lovely. Nathaniel drove up to see me on a whim, and we went for a drive along the coast of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. We also found a little quiet, desolate beach across from a shipyard, so we settled down there for an hour or so and skimmed stones in the water. Afterwards, we got some beach pizza (a favorite of his,) and watched There’s Something About Mary with my mom. So overall, it was a really wonderful couple of days, and I already miss him so much and can’t wait to see him again. I’m so fortunate to have him by my side, especially during these crazy times. 

Anyway, I think I’m going to start re-watching Stranger Things tonight, have a margarita, and go to bed a bit earlier than usual. Like I said earlier, I’m feeling much more tired than usual, so I’m trying to be gentle with myself. I’m also going to be posting a guide to self-care and mental health awareness later this week, so keep your eyes out for that!


Friday, April 17

After my very relaxing ‘weekend’ day on a Thursday, I’m back to keeping up with my productivity. I’m currently having a salad and working on some marketing materials for my internship, which is especially pressing with the coronavirus. Right now I’m working on our social media posts, or resource lists, our response fund, etc. It’s interesting and eye opening to work for a non-profit during a pandemic. 

I was feeling a bit antisocial yesterday, but tonight I’m looking forward to hanging out with my mom and watching YouTube videos on the TV together (we’ve been really into Jenna Marbles lately.) I’m really trying to appreciate these last few weeks with her, because we’re both moving away in May and I’m probably not going to get to see her as much as I’m used to! That being said, I’m really looking forward to her coming to visit me at my apartment in Boston, and I can’t wait to cook meals for her and show her around my place. It’s going to be so exciting!

Tuesday, March 31

Hi folks, hope you’re all hanging in there. It’s about six thirty in the evening right now, and I just finished working on my ethics homework and some of my marketing paper. Classes are technically back in swing now (via Zoom,) but I actually have not had the privilege of attending a Zoom class yet. My first class is tomorrow at 8am- how lovely.

I’ve been feeling discouraged with myself lately, because my motivation is at an all-time low. If you’ve been keeping up with my blog for a while, you know that I’m normally very productive and eager to jump into projects. Nowadays, with the pandemic ripping through the world, I hate even getting out of bed in the morning! However, I am trying to remind myself that this is a totally normal response, and lots of people (especially young people) are feeling the same way I am. If anything, I tend to feel a bit more productive around the evening time, so that’s why I’m trying to get some work done now as the sun is setting. I’m pretty satisfied with the work I did today; like I said, I worked on my homework, and I even did a workout for the first time in months. So maybe I am stronger than I think! Additionally, I’m keeping my spirits up by trying to be grateful for the things I do have. No one in my family has the virus yet, though it’s likely that my mom may catch it because she is a nurse. I’m also very grateful to still have my friends (from afar), and Buck, who comes up north to see me every other weekend and self-quarantine in my house with me. He’s coming up this weekend, and I’m so, so excited to see him. 

Anyway, I think I’m going to try to get Thursday’s article done today, and then I’m going to dive into a stack of novels. Stay safe!

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Wednesday, April 1

New month, same social distancing and quarantining! I hope you’re all able to stay busy, fulfilled, and occupied during the month of April. I’m in the home stretch of college now, which is slightly terrifying and also very exciting. I also started my online classes today, courtesy of the very elusive Zoom

Today sort of went by in a blur. I woke up extremely early for my first online class, and then immediately went back to bed after it ended. I’ve been normally sleeping in until 11am-noon, so having an 8am class this morning really threw me off my rhythm! After catching another hour or so of sleep, I zoom’d in to my other class for the day, which actually went by pretty fast. Following that, the rest of my day mainly consisted of apartment hunting, emailing real estate agents, eating carbohydrates, and playing with my dog. Not a bad day. I also got some new film loaded into my camera, so I’m hoping to take some beautiful pictures this weekend with my lovely man. 

I’m feeling so sore after my workout yesterday! The good news is, I can sleep in late tomorrow and hopefully feel good enough for my second workout of the week. Fitness is one of my current quarantine goals. What goals have you guys set for yourself during quarantine to keep you motivated?


Sunday, April 5

April has already felt like a lifetime, and we’re only five days into it. It’s been an interesting week, and a magically lovely weekend as well. Buck came to visit this weekend, and he brought me flowers and little gifts in celebration of my upcoming birthday! It was such a surprise, and I appreciated it so much. He’s truly my soulmate and my best friend, and I feel so lucky to be with him. We went on a couple of nature walks and tried to get out of the house as much as possible (in a safe, socially distanced way), but we mostly spent the weekend cuddling on the couch and watching Tiger King. We also drove along the coast of the New Hampshire beaches, which was absolutely spectacular and gave us a beautiful sunset to watch. We finished off that beautiful day with some classic New England beach pizza, which he is now a very big fan of. Overall, an amazing time!

Besides that awesomeness, though, I’ve been totally stressing and going crazy about other things in my life. One huge stress for my right now is apartment hunting. We finally found a place, but we have to put down the deposit of $2,500 by tomorrow at noon. So that’s going to be very stressful and probably take up a huge chunk of my day tomorrow. I’m super bummed that this place does not allow pets, and additionally, the maximum occupancy is three people, so Buck can’t move in with me after he graduates like we planned for him to. However, it’s only a temporary housing situation for me and I’m not locked into it forever. After my rent is up in July of 2021, we’re quite certain we want to get a place together (and then have as many pets as we want.) And, of course, he’ll be able to visit me as much as he wants until then. 

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I’m also just super frustrated about college being essentially shut down due to the coronavirus. I miss my friends, I miss my dorm, and I even miss the gross dining hall food. I miss going to classes and walking around campus and breathing in fresh air. I’m bummed that graduation is being rescheduled, and senior week is almost definitely cancelled. 

While all of this is happening, my PMDD is really kicking my ass and making me more stressed and sensitive than I probably need to be. It sort of feels like I’m holding onto a runaway train for dear life, hoping everything doesn’t suddenly derail and crash and burn. But even though I feel crazy and stressed right now, I know it’s only temporary. Coronavirus will end, apartment stress will subside, and PMDD pain will slowly fade out as well. And through it all, I know I can rely on my friends, my family, and my amazing partner. And really, what more do I need?

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Tuesday, February 18

Good morning, everybody! I hope your week is off to a good start. The weather has been a bit nicer than usual lately, so I’m really appreciating that, especially since I do so much commuting throughout the week.

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I’m not going to lie, I feel (physically) like shit this morning. I’ve been able to sleep pretty well for the last couple of months, thank goodness, but last night I woke up around 3am and it really threw me off. I did fall back asleep after a little bit, but I’m still paranoid that my insomnia will come back. Nonetheless, I’m trying not to think about that so I don’t go down a total anxiety rabbit hole.

Besides that, I’m doing pretty well! My life has been very confusing and turbulent lately, but also extremely nice. I was thinking this morning on the train that I feel like I have the sun in me, because I’m so happy and bright lately. Although it’s been crazy, I feel like I’m really starting to come around to a sense of clarity, and that feels amazing. Maybe in the future I’ll be able to offer up more details, depending on how things pan out.

Anyway, I have my internship today, so hopefully I can stay energized despite my rough night of sleep. My PMDD is still lingering on a bit, but I should be feeling much better tomorrow now that I’m on my placebo pills. 


Thursday, February 20

Hi everyone, I hope you’re all having a great end to your week. I’m feeling really good today, and I’m finally not exhausted every morning now that my PMDD is subduing. I’ve had a pretty eventful week, I have to say, filled with a lot of ups and downs (but primarily ups.) I’m looking forward to tomorrow, as I’m going to be attending a MIRA volunteer event for a school project, and then, a very dear person and I are going to the MFA afterwards. I’ve been really big into art appreciation lately, as I’m sure you can tell. 

So, that’s all very good. I wish I could say more about the wonderful things happening in my life, but admittedly I’m scared to jinx it! So I’ll wait a little bit, and see how things are still going, and then maybe I’ll spill the tea to all of you.


Saturday, February 22

The weekend is here, and I’m enjoying sleeping in and drinking coffee today! I haven’t had much time to write lately, because the last couple of days have been quite busy. Like I said before, I went to the Museum of Fine Arts yesterday with a very special friend of mine. I happened to be in Boston anyway for a MIRA training (required for a class project), so it made sense that yesterday would be the day to go traveling. It was a really fantastic day, filled with calm energy and happiness and pure gratitude. I love looking at art, and it’s even better when you get to enjoy it with other people. We also had a lovely stroll around the city and got some food, so altogether, it was a really special day. Afterwards, I hung out with my friends for most of the night and saw a really interesting play called Vagina Monologues, which is all about girl love and embracing the female body. It was really inspirational; I’d be lying if I said I didn’t tear up a bit.

Anyway, I really need to get cranking on my ethics paper, so I’ll leave y’all with some pictures of my day. If you ever have the chance to visit the Museum of Fine Arts, I highly recommend it!

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Monday, February 10

I can definitely tell that my PMDD is starting to rise up again out of the woodwork, but at least I can be prepared and remind myself that this storm passes. I’m feeling pretty alright in general, but my motivational drive is at a low point and I’m definitely a bit edgier than usual. When my PMDD starts to act up, I tend to get ticked off by the littlest of things and overthink every aspect of my life. Oh well, all I can really do is continue to forgive myself and take care of my body the best I can!

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On a more upbeat note, I’m super excited to sell my Nikon d3500 so I can buy a new stylus for my surface book! I’ve been wanting to get back into digital art for a while now, but it’s essentially impossible without a new stylus. So hopefully that’s something I can get into in the future! I will say, even though I’m very moody and emotional this week, my art and creativity has been really interesting and fresh as of late. I think there’s something about being vulnerable and emotional that really improves the quality of art, what do you think?


Tuesday, February 11

The weather has been cold and gray here for a few days, but as long as I’m indoors, I don’t really mind. Right now, I’m gearing up to start work at my internship, so that will keep me busy enough for the next six hours. Once I get back to campus, I’m going to crack down on my ethics homework and my essay due for my sociology class. The best thing for me to do when I’m combating PMDD hell week is to keep as busy as possible, so that I can distract my mind from getting too anxious or self-critical. Also, sleep is a big one too! I’m definitely aiming for a full nine hours tonight, because the seven or so hours I got last night is barely cutting it. When I was sitting on the train this morning, I could barely keep my eyes open!

Anyway, I feel like I’m still in a pretty good place, given the circumstances. I facetimed my friend Lily last night, and she always cheers me up no matter what I’m dealing with. As I said last night to her on the phone, “We’ve reached the point in our friendship where we can silently sit on facetime at 11pm and text boys who don’t love us.”


Thursday, February 13

The last couple of days have been very positive for me emotionally, so I’m hoping this means I’m going to have a decent cycle of PMDD this month! In fact, the only negative side effects that I have noticed lately are increased appetite (I’ve been eating way more than usual), and I feel absolutely fatigued. No matter how many solid hours of sleep I get, I wake up feeling exhausted to the point that I wonder if I can even get out of bed. As of right now, I’m struggling to keep my eyes open, hence why I’ve decided to try writing to see if that gets my brain going. I’ve also drank most of my coffee, but it might be time for another one. It’s frustrating to be tired, because I do get decent sleep now and it makes me feel like I’m not trying hard enough when I spend the entire morning feeling sleepy. There is definitely a level of guilt that comes with hormonal-based fatigue, even if it’s not my fault and there’s nothing I can do about it. I would be terrified to call out of work due to fatigue, because I wouldn’t want to let anyone down or make people feel like I’m incapable of doing my job. Anywho, I’m not a big napper, but today may be a Nap Day after I finish up at my internship. We shall see how I’m feeling tomorrow. 


Friday, February 14

Happy Valentine’s Day! Or Galentine’s Day, I should say. It’s about ten in the morning right now, so I’ve been up for three hours. Even though I’ve already had my coffee, the PMDD fatigue is still hitting me hard. I’m hoping it lets up soon, because Lily and I are planning on going to the MFA for a friendship date. I’ll see if I can squeeze in a nap before I get ready, at least.

Besides the fatigue and constant sleepiness, I’m feeling pretty okay! My anxiety levels have been really low lately, so I’m grateful for that. I’ve also been trying to get out more and do more social things with my friends, so we went to Target last night and goofed off. I’m so lucky to have friends who not only appreciate my chaotic energy, but match it as well. 

Regardless of how you celebrate your Valentine’s Day, remember to practice self love first and recognize your worth! You are stronger than you know!


Saturday, February 15

This week has just flown by, and I’m so happy that the weekend is here! I hope you all had a wonderful, happy Valentine’s Day with your friends and partners. I had an absolutely lovely evening with my friend Lily; we started out our night by going to one of my favorite restaurants, which is a vegan Chinese place called Grasshopper. Everything on the menu is 100% vegan, even if it has a traditional “meat” name (for example, I ordered this amazing vegetarian lo mein with “chicken” in it). It was absolutely superb, and pretty affordable as well. I’m looking forward to visiting again.

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After that, we went to the MFA because we get in free with our student IDs. I was hoping to see some works by my favorite artist, Edward Hopper, but the museum unfortunately was not showcasing any of his paintings at that time. Nonetheless, we viewed some really interesting pieces and had an overall lovely time. Lily is also extremely funny and animated, and she made me laugh so hard I cried a few times. It was such a feel-good night, and it reminded me that I am actually totally okay with being single. Sure, it would be nice to have somebody, but I love myself and my friends enough that I don’t really worry about it/get hung up on it. After our museum trip, we got some cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory and hung out in my room (and I’m eating my leftovers as I write this).

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Tonight I think I’m going to hang out with my friends on campus, and then tomorrow is going to be homework day. I was thinking about going into Boston to see my friend at Berklee tonight, but I’m honestly not really comfortable with taking the light rail by myself at night. I’m also kind of tired from all the traveling I did yesterday, and I do have some work to catch up on, so I think I’m going to stay close to home tonight. Anyway, thank you all for reading! Be on the lookout for more upcoming Analog content 🙂

Since around the summer of 2016, I have been taking escitalopram (Lexapro) to manage my PMDD and anxiety. I’ve always been an open book about it; after all, it has definitely helped me tremendously and improved my quality of life overall. I know anxiety medication isn’t the best option for everyone, but for me, I tried everything else the “natural” way and this was the only thing that worked. So here I am, almost four years later, still taking 10mg of Lexapro per day. Sometimes people ask me if I ever plan on getting off it, or if I would recommend this medication to others struggling with anxiety. Today, I’m going to answer all those questions and tell you a little bit about my personal journey with this SSRI.

Before I was put on Lexapro, I was previously taking Zoloft for about two weeks. I had to stop taking Zoloft because it essentially turned me into a zombie: numb, exhausted, unable to focus, basically just walking around as a shell of myself. I remember at one point, I was taking a walk with my friend and I had to call my mom to come get me, because I was so fatigued and dizzy, I couldn’t walk anymore. So the Zoloft didn’t last long, and I switched to Lexapro shortly after that. This time, the drug was a great match for me and I didn’t have any intense side effects. I don’t remember very much about that time, because it was almost four years ago, but I know my anxiety started to greatly improve from there. I would still have anxiety from time to time, but it was nothing like the intense panic and irritability I was experiencing before. 

Last summer, in 2019, I decided to try weaning off of Lexapro because I felt like I was getting too used to it. My anxiety was still very low, but I was almost too numbed out, if that makes sense. I was starting to have a difficult time feeling anything at all, so I assumed that I had simply been taking Lexapro for too long. I talked it over with my doctor, and told her about the other side effects that I was experiencing. She told me that I could either slowly wean off of the drug, or we could switch to something else. I decided to wean off the drug to see if it was possible that my brain had adjusted to making more serotonin without the aid of the drug (that would obviously be the best case scenario). She also switched me to a new combination-hormone birth control pill, which she said would further help me with my PMDD.

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Weaning off of Lexapro, or any other SSRI, can be an extremely difficult experience. Many people go through critical periods of irritability, anger, depression, suicidal thoughts, and upsetting physical effects as a result of being taken off the drug. In extreme situations, some people even have to be hospitalized until their bodies can adjust- even if you wean off slowly. I weaned off as slowly as I could over the course of 21 days, cutting my pills into smaller and smaller pieces. I didn’t experience depression or suicidal thoughts, thankfully, but I did have some really atrocious physical symptoms. One of the most common side effects of withdrawal is experiencing “brain zaps”, which are tiny, localized seizures that feel a bit like your brain is being zapped by electricity. For a few weeks, I was having up to hundreds of these brain zaps throughout the day, and I was so dizzy at some points, I would have to crawl around on the floor to get places. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through, and it was at that time I had a clear understanding of why people have such a hard time getting off Lexapro. Alas, my symptoms finally subdued and I decided that I had finally successfully weaned off Lexapro, and that would hopefully be the end of things.

But of course, it wasn’t. Around November or so, about three months after getting off Lexapro, I had an extremely severe spell of insomnia and anxiety, possibly caused by my PMDD. Regardless, my anxiety skyrocketed over the course of just a few days, and I couldn’t figure out why. It almost felt like somebody had flicked a panic switch in my body, and no matter what I did, my heart wouldn’t stop beating uncontrollably. I was constantly filled with a sense of edging dread and panic, and it severely took a toll on me during the last few weeks of my fall semester. Somehow, I managed to turn in all of my assignments and finish on the Dean’s List, but during that time I was only sleeping 1-2 hours per night and I was sobbing constantly. The only thing that could get me through the night without vomiting from anxiety was to constantly take Ativan (an oral sedative also prescribed by my doctor). My mom, obviously concerned about this downward spiral of anxiety, brought me a leftover bottle of Lexapro that I had kept from the summer. She assured me that my anxiety would probably improve, and if I ended up feeling better on the drug, we could talk to my doctor about getting back on it. 

Per usual, my mom was right, and my anxiety and edge gradually started to melt away over the course of the next two weeks. I also started to regain my normal sleeping pattern again, which was incredibly wonderful, and now I can average about 8-10 hours of sleep. I’m also constantly in a state of serene calmness, which I have a huge sense of gratitude for. I definitely needed to get back on the Lexapro, at least for the time being. I’m not sure what caused that bizarre spell last November, but I’m extremely grateful that it’s over and I feel “back to normal.” It’s so nice not to feel my heart pounding all the time. I feel more centered, alert, and of course, much more happy.

There’s still a chance I’ll try to wean off Lexapro again in the future, but honestly, that last experience was so traumatizing, it’s not even a possibility in my mind right now. At least, it’s not a possibility for 2020. It would be nice to feel perfectly happy and healthy without the aid of medication, but it’s also my responsibility to take care of my body and my mind. For now, I’m so happy with where I am, and I’m so grateful for having less anxiety. I’m also extremely proud of myself for getting through that difficult period. I don’t like writing about it and reliving that time in my life, but I think it’s important to share with other people. If I can aid or comfort even one person with my writing, that’s good enough for me.

Anyway, that pretty much wraps up my overview of Lexapro. As you can see, I’ve had a predominantly positive experience being on this medication, but it’s not the best choice for everyone, just as Zoloft happened to not be the best choice for me. Nonetheless, I hope you find this article helpful, and I’m happy to answer any more questions about my experience on Lexapro!

Monday, November 11

Today is Veteran’s Day, which means no classes. I am grateful for the three-day weekend, because my anxiety is still in rough shape and I’m in no condition to be in class as it is. I’ve talked about this odd panic spell I’m in a little bit, but I’ll give you the full story in case you’re confused/out of the loop.

About two weeks ago, I started to have some problems sleeping. I didn’t particularly feel super anxious at the time, but I was restless and frustrated with the insomnia. Then, throughout the rest of the week (probably due to sleep deprivation) I started to feel really…wonky. Crying, panicky, nervous, irritated, generally just “off” and “disconnected.” These are all very common symptoms of PMDD and GAD, so I was familiar with the feeling and tried to remind myself I’d be feeling back to normal soon.

I felt briefly fine when I went home for four days so I could completely recuperate, but it was basically hell again when I got back to school that weekend. Slowly, day by day, my anxiety would just sink worse and worse, my crying would intensify, and my overall feeling of “offness” and dread was seriously starting to interfere. These past few nights, I’ve been running on 4-5 hours of sleep, usually interrupted by horrific anxiety attacks, nausea, and even painful legs. It’s hard to get rest when your legs are killing you every night and you’re throwing up into your trashcan, all because of anxiety.

I’d like to make a very resounding note that this is anxiety, NOT depression. I’m not feeling emotionally distraught or hopeless or anything dangerous- I’m just extremely anxious and, as a result, unstabilized. With that being said, I’m not in any kind of danger (or a danger to anyone else), and I am trying my very best to take constructive steps in the right direction. This particular weekend has been a bit rough in particular- I was essentially bedbound today- but now I’m feeling a bit stronger and willing myself to set healthy goals for myself.

The first thing I did was reach out to my college’s counseling program to set up a therapy appointment. Even though my body seems to be having a physical panic reaction that a therapist likely can’t fix, I still think it will be helpful to talk to one and learn some insight. So I’m looking forward to that. 

I’ve also resumed taking escitalopram, or Lexapro, at 10mg per day. The medication may take a while to kick in, but I should be feeling at least a little less edgy by the end of the week. I also have my Ativan prescription, which I am utilizing in the absolute most panic emergencies.

Furthermore, I’ve been spending a lot of time with my friends and loved ones to have an extra source of support and reassurance. My mom has been an absolute angel, bringing my medicines and listening to me vent and cry. Eli and Lily, my good friends, have given me so much comfort and great advice! One thing in particular I love Eli said was along the lines of this: “You should not feel guilty about reaching out for help, so don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself.”

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By the way, I dyed my hair blonde!

Eli is absolutely right. I have to advocate for myself and my health, because no one else will. I am going to set a concrete goal to go to all of my classes this week, register for my spring courses, and meeting all of my important academic commitments. Right now, that’s my biggest goal- just to get through the week academically.

I’ve already broadcasted to my friends via social media that my anxiety and panic is basically holding me hostage this week, and I’m going to need some extra space and distance to keep myself in check (unless I reach out to them first, such as Eli or Lily). I’m usually happy to help people with their problems and listen to them vent, but right now, I need to detach from that and spend some time taking care of me.

The past two weeks have been some of the hardest of my life, purely because of my anxiety. Like I said, I am not depressed or in a dangerous place- I’m just literally hinged and bedbound by my extremely intense panic. I don’t know why my anxiety has suddenly sparked to badly, but I’m going to do my very best to be strong. With any hurdle in life, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, and I know this anxiety spell will pass soon!

 


Tuesday, November 12

It’s currently mid afternoon, and all of my classes are finished for the day. I wanted to jot down some quick updates about my anxiety, and how I’m holding up now that classes have resumed.

In general, I’m doing pretty okay right now. My anxiety is still higher than usual, but it’s not bad enough that I’m crying, bedbound, and throwing up. So I’d say that’s definitely an improvement. I can also go a few minutes without thinking about my anxiety, so I’m proud of that. 

In regards to sleep patterns, I’m still in a pretty tedious place. I felt pretty calm when I fell asleep last night, because I called my mom and I had Ativan in my system. I had some severe anxiety around 2am, but it wasn’t bad enough that I threw up or had to call someone. I sort of just waited it out, and distracted myself for a couple hours, and I was asleep around 4pm. So I’m not sure if that’s progress, but it’s definitely not a degression!

I’m hoping I’ll start to notice some positive effects from the Lexapro within the next couple of weeks. I know it takes a while to work, but I should start to feel relief from the edge soon. Tonight I’m going to work on a class project with a friend, then I’m going to take the rest of the afternoon to relax, light a candle, and focus on keeping my panic down. Updates to come.


Wednesday, November 13

I’m in relatively good spirits, albeit my insomnia was awful last night and I didn’t sleep at all. That being said, my anxiety is pretty high so I’m running on pure adrenaline, and I’m not sleepy at all. So, that’s good I guess?

Last night was actually very lovely, and I even made some new friends! (And my existing friends took very good care of me). I decided to go to my university’s pride club, and I had a really lovely time partaking in the discussions and meeting new people. I’ll definitely be attending more meetings in the future!

Anywho, today is going to be a bit busier than usual. I have three classes today, then a study group, then a house meeting. After that, I’m hoping I can find some anxiety relief and get a few hours of sleep. I’m looking forward to this weekend, because I’m going home to spend some time with my mom and stepfather. They take such amazing care of me, especially in hard times such as now.


Saturday, November 16

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I admittedly forgot to write Thursday, and yesterday I was busy travelling home, but now I have (finally) found the time to sit down and get some work done! I’m happy to report that I’m in very good spirits, and since I’ve been home, I’ve hardly had any anxiety. I’m even starting to feel sleepy, which is something I haven’t felt in a long time due to ongoing adrenaline.

Today I visited Mount Agamenticus in Maine with my family, with was really lovely. I’m not really a big hiker, but the fresh air felt good and I had a great time. It’s much later in the evening now, and like I said, I’m starting to feel veeery sleepy, so I hope I can get a good night’s sleep. I’m glad I decided to come home for a short break; it’s been so rejuvenating and rewarding to spend time with the people I love. I hope you all had a fun weekend, too!

 

Monday, November 4

Good afternoon, everybody!

I’m feeling much better now that Hell Week™ is over and done with. I’ve also been sleeping normally again for the past few days, so I’m hopeful things will stay that way. This week is going to be a bit busy for me, because it’s my academic planning week (and the last one I’ll ever have to do)! Basically, this is the week I plan out all of my spring semester classes and meet with my advisor to discuss my plan. It’s really crucial that I get all of the classes I need, because I’m graduating in May and I need to fit in all of my requirements. Even if it’s stressful along the way, it somehow always works out in the end, so I’m trying to not focus too much anxiety on it.

Right now I have a salad and my favorite coffee order, a hot caramel macchiato with soy milk, with me while I get some blogging done before class. I’m feeling really good today because my first class isn’t until 2pm, so I had a lot of time this morning to get ready and make myself look nice. I’ve always been somebody who loves getting ready in the morning and doing my makeup, even if I’m not going anywhere special. It’s a relaxing way for me to practice self care and spend some time with myself and my face, which I’m finally starting to see the beauty in after feeling self-conscious about myself for so long.


Wednesday, November 6

I was hoping I’d be completely back to normal by now, but unfortunately, my anxiety is a little wonky and I’m still feeling very high-alert. I also had another rough night sleeping, and didn’t really fall asleep until 5am. The good news is, my first class isn’t until 11am, so I was still able to get (somewhat) decent rest until then. 

I guess the best way to describe how I’m feeling is “unfamiliar.” I feel out of touch with myself and my surroundings, which is frustrating, but I’m trying to remind myself that all of these symptoms are temporary and I’ll feel back to normal soon. This disconnected feeling does sometimes happen to me, but it never lasts for long and I’m usually back to feeling normal within a few days.  My “therapy” right now consists of extra-self care, emotional support from my friends, and trying to focus on happy thoughts, such as upcoming Thanksgiving recession and winter break next month! And, of course, writing has also been my savior and a way for me to feel “in touch” with myself again.

While I do enjoy being at school this semester and I feel comfortable with my friends and classes, I feel like the room where I live is somehow contributing to my problems. I don’t know what it is about my dorm room, but I sometimes feel very isolated and anxious to spend time there. I’m also a very associative person, so once I have one negative experience with a place or thing, there is usually a permanent negative connotation. This is basically the long, complicated way of me saying that the two bad nights I had last week are permanently tainting my feelings about my dorm.

I’m thinking about trying CBD, as I have been contemplating for a year or so now. I’ve tried pretty much everything else: therapy, essential oils, meditation, antidepressants, you name it. My anxiety just always finds a way to prevail and throw me off my rhythm. At this point, it’s not about curing anxiety, it’s just about managing it.

Anyway, I don’t mean to sound like such a downer! In general, I’m doing pretty alright, though a bit tired. I am so excited for Blogmas next month, because all of my articles will be winter holiday based to some capacity. I’m also looking forward to making my spring schedule, because I’m such a planner and I like to organize academic things. Hopefully everything goes smoothly and I’m able to get in all of the classes I need!


Friday, November 8

The days have been flying by lately, and I’m looking forward to the fast-approaching Thanksgiving break and then winter recession! The holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year, and I’m especially looking forward to spending the holidays with my mom’s side of the family. 

I have to say, I’m still in a bit of a weird funk and my sleep schedule is still really messed up. I’m trying not to analyze it too much so I can just let myself feel my feelings and move on, because I find that’s the best way to get out of feeling out of it. Occasionally, without reason, I’ll feel “off” or “disconnected” for a few days or weeks at a time. I’m wondering if it has to do with the recent daylight saving time clock changes, because the shorter days are definitely putting a damper on my mood. The best way I can describe it is like I feel as though I’m in a dream, and everything just feels a little…unfamiliar. It’s a very tricky feeling to describe, but it’s putting me on edge and making my anxiety worse. 

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Makeup is one of my favorite ways to keep myself happy and “grounded”

Anyway, I’m currently at the campus center with my good friend, Lily, who has been an absolute angel this week. She’s been really helping me to get out of my shell and socialize more, which is something I really appreciate while going through this odd funk. We also got ihop tonight, which was absolutely delicious, and burritos yesterday. Needless to say, my wallet would really appreciate it if I calmed down the food spending.

Moving on, I’m all cleared to register for my spring classes next week, so that’s an exciting update. I’m also going to have to take an internship next semester, which is required for me to graduate, and I’m *possibly* going to take an additional direct study course. I’m not entirely sure what a direct study is, but I think it basically means I’m going to do additional independent work for credit. So basically, it’s going to be a really busy spring semester, and I’m really looking forward to it!