WB: A Monthly Overview

So it’s nearly been a month on Wellbutrin. My housemate, K, asked last night about what I thought about WB, since he was considering going on it. I also had a commenter ask about my experience, which I didn’t notice until after the July 4th holiday week.

Thoughts:

  • WB makes tasks and other things seem less like a mountain to struggle up. This goes for both good things and bad things, hence the warnings about WB concerning suicidal ideation. I found this wasn’t as much of a problem after several weeks.
  • My anxiety/OCD went up to 11 for about a week or two, resulting in a bad period of turning the cuticles and the skin around my nails bloody. I refer to this as hyper-grooming, though the actual term isĀ dermatillomania. WB doesn’t seem to completely curb my desire to do this. Though after the initial period of extreme picking, my hands are mostly healed and I haven’t had a full relapse, just occasional lapses here and there. Though, this upturn in anxiety MAY have been due to pre-vacation jitters. When I perceive I have a lot of preparation to do I go straight for my nails.
  • My constant underlying sense of irritation has diminished significantly. Though I do have some here and there, it seems far more under control than before.
  • Motivation has improved somewhat. I still find myself turning away from responsibilities, but it’s harder to justify.
  • Reduced binge eating. I feel somewhat more averse to eating a lot.
  • Reduced smoking. When I haven’t skipped a day of WB I find myself bored with smoking, only smoking half at a time before going back inside.

I am on 150mg extended release. I am curious, with my high body weight, whether 300mg would have even more beneficial results. I have an appointment on Wednesday where I’ll discuss this with a nurse.

Hopefully as I spend more time taking this medication the benefits discussed above will increase.

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Banana Stickers

Day 8 taking Wellbutrin. The last two days have been weird. I do well during the day at work. Practically extroverted. But the second I get home, I check out mentally. Last night, I spent all night in bed reading after a productive day at work.

Today I slept in, the first time this week. I woke up naturally at 11:30 for about 8.5 hours of sleep, but chose to lay in bed in the warmth and comfort for another hour or so. I wonder if my mood problems have been exacerbated by lack of sleep. The WB is helping me immediately in some ways, but not helping me in others. Maybe that will be different in a few weeks.

I feel like I am never in the moment. I feel like I am just waiting for time to pass – what I’m waiting for, I don’t know.

The last few days I have been resolving to take a gym bag with me to work. I got as far as putting my athletic shoes on the floor in the bedroom, and I tried on a few pairs of workout pants to see if they still fit. But as for actually packing and taking it with me to work? Not yet. I think the reluctance stems from not wearing my hairpiece at work when I am in the gym. It will out me as wearing a hairpiece, if a coworker sees me in there without it. I am counting on working out when no one else is in there.. But maybe I should think about “coming out” with my short hair.

Today, it’s sunny finally. The storms of the last few days were nice, but I think the dimness affected me. Maybe tonight I will go home, take a VERY small amount of moda, and try to kick some a55.

WB makes it easier to complete tasks. Well, more like this: If I can push myself over the edge to START the task, WB insures that I complete it. It still doesn’t give me the kick of motivation I need to initiate, but the task seems overall less overwhelming.

I think I’m about ready to start being consistent. Or, at least trying. I need to develop a reward system, maybe a daily chart with stickers? I’m secretly a five year old who enjoys putting a smiley face or gold star sticker on something when I accomplish it. I searched in vain for affordable sheets of banana stickers ala Metalocalypse.

The first big thing to tackle: Sleep and showering.

I can get up at 9 or 9:30 for a while, but if I don’t go to bed at a proper time getting up early accomplishes nothing, as I spend the major portion of the day just waking up. I need to consistently go to bed at a regular time. It’s pressing that I do this, because in only a few weeks I will need to be getting up very early (6am or earlier) for vacation. There’s no way our friend who is hosting us on our trip will let my ass sleep in till 10 or 11 or 12 or 1.

The problem being that I facking love being up late. The dark, quiet coolness of the night is amazing. Less chance of being taken out of my head by interruptions. Well, suck it up.

Showering, now, that’s something I feel best doing every other day. As thin as my hair is, washing it every day wouldn’t be good. I make showering an ordeal, as I do everything else. My perfectionist ways make every task seem like an arduous event. I have to do it just right, my brain whispers, or don’t do it at all. So I don’t do it.

I think I can do this, though. I just need stickers. Lots and lots of stickers.

BANANA STICKERS.

bananastickersaretotallymetal

 

Terrible Pink Carpet

I’m having my first bad day since I started Wellbutrin.

As always, I’m in my own head, ruminating. Thinking about everything wrong about myself, questioning every relationship I have.

Disgust at the state of my fingers, which have been chewed bloody.

Bitterness towards the Couple, two friends I considered family only a year or two ago. Who I stopped speaking to.

The lack of connection with anyone. My husband wants me, I’m sure.. But does he only want the image of me that’s in his head, or the whole of me? Who would ever want the whole of me?

Anger and misery that I was unwanted by my father and despised by my stepmother.

Frustration that my sister seems to walk on eggshells around me, like I ever have or ever will explode at her or treat her badly.

Despair that I always assumed I was close to people, yet was left out of many things important to their lives that they shared with others.

Feeling like it’s too late to start writing and drawing again. That everyone else wants me to support their dreams, but no one wants to support mine.

All of these things, all at the same time.

I want to paint a picture of how my stepmother looked, the many times we stood in that hallway with the horrible pink carpet. I stared at that carpet, came to memorize the strands and the patterns as she screamed and screamed. Occasionally she’d demand I stop being a coward and look at her. Not content to allow me to endure her in some way. Her blue eyes were black beads tiny with hate and frustration. Though her hair was blonde and nicely styled, and her makeup immaculate, in those moments she was the ugliest person I’d ever seen, and have seen, since.

I wonder if that carpet is still there, in that little three bedroom ranch. Pink and terrible looking. My father refused to replace it. We had plastic runners going up and down the hallway, meeting with the strip from the front door that stretched to the kitchen. Made it hard to move quietly through the house, to avoid the wrath that came from merely being seen. Even now I move silently through my own house, to the point I startle my Husband and housemate when I suddenly appear in their midst. Habits die hard.

I wonder if I’m still in that ranch, in my mind. Cowering and afraid in my “rented” room. Eating stolen cookies and escaping into comic books I hid as well as I could.

Sadly, arson is a crime.

A Believing Heart is Your Magic

Day 5 of Wellbutrin. I’ve become an extroverted magical Japanese girl.

Sorry. I’ve just been watching too much Little Witch Academia.

The appointment last week went very well. The nurse practitioner suggested WB without my even having to ask.

So I’ve been taking it for five days. The NP said it would take up to 4-6 weeks to really hit a stride. I’m noticing a difference already. Before I started taking it, I feel like I gave preferential treatment to my depressive thoughts. On WB, I feel like I am standing at a distance to both my depressive thoughts (overeat, smoke, ignore Husband) and my functional thoughts (brush teeth, shower, clean, draw, write). Each group of thoughts has equal weight now, and if I turn towards the depressive thoughts it’s out of habit. Maybe as time goes by, I can train myself to turn more and more towards the functional thoughts. Break the habit.

One other thing I’ve noticed is that my constant irritation at being interrupted is nearly gone. When I came home on Friday, I was bombarded with the needs of others the second I stepped in the door. But the irritation wasn’t there. And it wasn’t there over the weekend too. I still overate and self-isolate, but that feels more like a choice than before. The desire to destroy the cuticles of my nails and leave them bloodied hasn’t gone, and in fact they are in an extremely poor state right now. But as the meds build up in my system, maybe I won’t give in to that compulsion as easily.

The punches are becoming easier to take. Just now, I went outside to have a smoke. Almost immediately, my smoker “buddies” gave each other looks, stubbed out their smokes and just went inside. At first I was like.. Well. What did I say? What did I do? Maybe they saw the state of my fingers. Maybe they just didn’t want to deal with my weird ass at that time. But it wasn’t a big deal. It didn’t send me spiraling into a self-loathing malaise like it might have. I just let it go.

I am waiting on a referral for therapy. I still need it. I find myself dealing with these realizations that sit heavy inside me, that ring true. I need help dealing with the physical and emotional neglect and abuse I suffered throughout childhood. I need help with the overwhelming need for approval that resulted from it. I need help working through the bitterness and unhealthy self-loathing that results from knowing I will never gain that approval. That being who I am, as a person, means the likelihood of approval is slim to none. I need help to stop perceiving other people as the enemy. To stop pushing others away when I think I won’t meet their expectations or if I perceive I’ve facked up socially.

I’ve been coming closer to a state of peace, over the last few months, but I have a ways to go still, and that will be hopefully sped up by a good therapist.

One day, maybe I’ll be someone who is naturally cheerful and lighthearted despite their shortcomings. That’s what I want to believe.