Antidepressant Withdrawal

I knew it was coming, that it wouldn’t be plain sailing. Despite people thinking, and treating me like I am an idiot I went into cold turkey with my eyes wide open expecting the worse but hoping that it wouldn’t be that bad.

And in all honesty it has gone a lot better than I expected…but the last few days have given me a big reminder that the battle is a long way from over.

As everyone knows – because I have had so much expert opinion sent my way… it is not advisable to just give up antidepressants and I am not advocating it for anyone, but it was something that I needed to do and in the main I am feeling a lot better mentally as a result.

There are some symptoms of Antidepressant Withdrawal that I am dealing with, so thought it would be a good chance to share with you how things are.

The following comes from webmd.com the full article can be found here

Symptoms of Antidepressant Withdrawal

Symptoms of antidepressant withdrawal depend on the specific medication you have been taking. Studies have not revealed factors that predict the chances of developing antidepressant discontinuation symptoms – including how long someone has been taking an antidepressant – although some research has found that discontinuation symptoms may be more likely in people who have had a more complete initial response to their antidepressant.

Symptoms most often occur within three days of stopping the antidepressant. They are usually mild and go away within about two weeks. Symptoms can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Depression and mood swings
  • Light-headedness
  • Dizziness and balance problems
  • Electric shock sensations
  • Fatigue
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Headache
  • Loss of coordination
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea
  • Nightmares
  • Tremors
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Vomiting

Currently the biggest issue for me is the Electric shock sensations which is irritating to say the least, as someone who has had a fucked up sleep pattern for years the trouble sleeping is a pain in the arse but one that I am used to but 2 out of 16 symptoms is pretty good and I will take it!

According to the article these should last for a few weeks from stopping the medication so as we approach week 2 of “cold moose” I am hoping they will soon disappear.

I have not had a single “dark” thought since coming off the medication..

The mood swings are not an issue, but what I am finding is that I am getting pretty frustrated with people lately, the cause for this seems to be that my bullshit detector has returned! I am thinking so much more clearly in regards to the attitude of people towards me and this is leading me to frustration. A crossroad if you will between giving people the benefit of the doubt or simply walking away from them, however I have spent the past few years accepting shit because I felt that was what I was entitled to…

Wouldn’t it be lovely if people were honest all the time instead of this game playing, bullshitting, say what I think you want to hear, selfish, need you when it suits me, talk to you when it suits me attitude so many people seem to be afflicted with…and breath

I can tell I am on the right track when people get offended, rightly or wrongly, by what I say and I couldn’t care less. I am actually sick of apologising all the time just for a quiet life. Do I ever get an apology when they are in the wrong? Of course not..

I want to surround myself with more positive people, people who want to bring the best out of me again. I would rather have 2 friends who pick up the phone, or knock on my door than have 100s of people who are passengers on the moose train. I have been very lucky this year to have already seen around 20 people in real life, not just connecting via social media.

Sadly some of them have moved on without me and as much as I miss a certain person I will not be reaching out to them, dropping me was their choice and I respect them for that, even though I don’t agree and if you are reading this (and 100% they know who they are) I hope you are well.

So with that in over…. I do have some good news

Operation Fat Bastard is a go..

I have rejoined the gym and cannot wait to get my winter coat off! Getting out the flat and back into the swing of the treadmill and yoga was one of the things I wanted to achieve for 2014 – so that’s one tick on the “to do” list

All in all I can’t complain too much, I am ready for the fight and feel like coming of the meds has thus far been a success. I am not naive enough to think the storm has passed and the black clouds will not try returning but I am confident that the future is looking positive because I am back in control.

Like it or not the Garry that I used to be is becoming more and more vocal and breaking though the barriers that depression had put in front of him…

 

 

A Friends Role is..

How do you define a friend? what role should a friend play in helping you with a mental health illness?

Are you like me and have high expectations of people because you act in a certain way and believe that you should be treated the way you treat others?

I ask because I am starting to wonder what exactly some of my “friends” bring to the table these days.

I like to think I am supportive, and can be called upon to pick up the pieces for a friend in need.

I seem to have lots of toxic friendships, people who seem to think letting me down is okay but worse of all is the people who seem to be able to dish out verbal lashings in the name of “caring”

Sorry but I call bullshit on this! and I am fucking sick and tired of being called stupid, among other things, because I want to try something else to get better.

Firstly if you did care like you proclaim you would already know I have self esteem issues and really do not take kindly to being called names

Secondly telling me I cant do something is akin to waving a red flag at a bull

and more importantly

if you are a friend you would fucking support me not wait for the time to say “I told you so”

I seem to have too many friends who only need me when it suits them but now I am thinking and seeing a lot more clearly and toxicity has no place in my life at the moment.

So put simply, the days of me chasing after friends and being the only person who actually makes any effort to communicate are in the past.

If you think something I am doing is stupid support me anyway because I can guarantee you that there are stupid things you have done during our friendship that I have been there and picked you up afterwards!

The sad things about this rant is that it is not aimed at a single person but quite a few

So my message is as follows

Support me or fuck off!

and now i wait for the people who assume this is aimed at them to go on the defensive… funny how guilt makes people react isn’t it……

Quick Update

I am still here, still struggling to write and still dealing with more shit than I can currently handle – as always most of it self inflicted but moose is still fighting and just about clinging on.

Things have been improving in terms of how I am viewing myself, I am starting to get my confidence back again, helped by actually having a sex life again! yep moose has found his game again and rutting season is in full flow…

Hard enough (pun intended) to believe that one person finds me attractive but even better is when its a few people

BUT even better than having a few admirers is when they actually come over and visit! So besides being worn out by “moose meating” (I LOVE this phrase, thanks Mary for coining it) and an attack of the deadly man flu I do feel fairly positive again.

So much so that I am actually driving myself mad by a lack of activity! I have no plans currently, all the things I wanted to do have had to be held back until September/October time in terms of courses. Financially I am fucked and cant afford to implement any of my other goals until I get rid of this huge debt I am paying off – for someone who has such bad credit how the hell these companies keep giving me loans I do not know! but 3 out of 5 are paid off and slowly but surely I am getting the others down… I would say I am currently on the bread line but I cant afford bread… Money and Moose is not a good mix at the moment but I am proud that I have managed to clear nearly £800 of debt since the turn of the year although the struggle feels never ending!

I have had some amazing moments of clarity the last few days and can start to see a bright future, once I get this fucking debt cleared! I am very grateful to a few people who I wont name who have kindly donated via this blog to help me out – you have no idea how much this has meant to me. The friendships I have made since I started writing have been wonderful and I am honoured to have you in my life as friends and “mooseketeers”

My down moments are actually horrendous at present BUT with each one comes a new strength and peace of mind as I can process all the issues that are holding me back. Stepping back and being able to look at things as an outsider is a real positive and one that came from this blog.

At some stage who knows I may even take the advice I hand out to people and use it for myself! but I am taking Janes advice and working on a list of things I want to do and although I am two months behind schedule this year I am already doing things this year that I havent done for a long long time.

I want to get more involved with charities this year and get myself back out there again, these four walls in my home are starting to depress the hell out of me, once this poxy weather improves I intend to make the most of the sunshine again. I have places I want to visit, friends far away that I want to annoy in person and dare I say it…find a new Miss Moose.

Today is the first day in a long time that I have felt able to actually sit here and write a post,  this is a good sign because I have missed blogging! It has helped me so much, made me grow as a person and I want thedepressedmoose to be more famoose than ever! I am starting to realise that the only person who is hurt by my hiding away is me!

The penny is dropping again that I DO have a lot to offer and now I want to strike while the iron is hot.

It also helped seeing my face on Mind’s facebook page! who doesnt love a bit of fame now and again!

Moose in his first modelling shot for Mind!

Moose in his first modelling shot for Mind!

 

what has also been fun is people actually interacting with me via my facebook page! I need to pay more attention to it and get people talking- after all its how I have turned many of you from readers to friends! drop by the page, like it and say hi! find it here

so much for a quick update! but was good to feel the writing bug come back again!

so tell me, how are you REALLY doing?

Rant of All Rants…

I don’t write as much as I would like these days, the crippling self esteem issues make me feel like I have nothing much of interest to say at the moment particularly as the days seem to be exactly the same.

That being said I was visited by a very close friend who came over from Ireland just to give me a kick up the arse, which was much needed and it has given me the strength back to voice a few things that are bugging me!

Hold on to your horses folks and you may need to cover your eyes as this is going to get a bit sweary.

I am sick to the back teeth of people being snide, abusive and down right wanky towards me!

So here is a list of things that I am not…

Firstly as much as I would like to, I am not well enough to work! so you sending me messages telling me how you have to go TO WORK etc etc do not help me feel any better about myself. If I could go out to work and not spend the whole day worrying about where the toilet is, how my anxiety will cope with change do you not think I would be doing that?

I am not a cunt! I do not treat you like one so dont treat me like one in return! Whilst I spend time taking your mental health into account please remember that I have my own illness to combat.

I am not here to boost egos, confidence or just be used when you need someone to talk to. I see the pattern whereby when I need someone to talk to the invisible cloak comes out and I have to deal with things myself. It’s great to talk to someone as well as offer someone an ear but it has to be equal!

If you dont like something I say, tweet or post just fucking delete me, unfollow me whatever but do not message me moaning about it because I am not here to please everybody. I tolerate a lot of shit because I have worked damn hard to have some sort of reputation via this blog but no more will I be told what I can and cannot say! Kindly fuck off and take your opinions with you.

Because I didnt make plans to go to the other end of the country and fuck you it doesnt mean that you can appear every now and again with snide comments designed to belittle me and drag me down.

I am soft and weak when it comes to certain people but this is not an open invitation to use me when it suits you, I am not a door mat and despite first impressions I can do without you in my life. Step up or fuck off!

And the biggest thing that pisses me off is the amount of people that expect me to contact them first – no more me just giving if you cannot be bothered to send me a message, pick up the phone etc then time to say farewell.

I have depression, I suffer a lot with self esteem but with the help of Mary, Gary, Cougar, Sarah, Maria, Amy, Cindy, Caro and Juliana in particular I can see now how I am letting others destroy me because I do not stand up for myself enough.

When I am bad it would be nice if someone reached out to me, alas if I dont contact 90% of the people I know I hear fuck all from them.

Naturally people will automatically assume that they are being targeted by this post, but that is a sign that they have something to feel guilty about – as far as I am concerned keep that opinion to yourself because I am not interested in anyone bringing me down anymore.

And if you dont like it…. you know what to do!

Operation Get My Arse In Gear Is All Systems Go

Despite the year starting as the last one finished I have now started the process of getting my shit together again and trying to move forwards, making up for lost time spent under a black cloud the past few weeks.

Today I went back to the Dr and finally told them how things REALLY are and what a struggle it has been, and still is to an extent. The great thing about doing this blog is that I can go back over the posts and spot the signs of when things are heading downhill so I am fully aware when the cycle changes from average to shit again. Okay maybe sometimes they are good too…

This week has been really positive in terms of shaping the future, short term at least because that is what needs concentrating on.

It is amazing how much the mood can turn when someone goes out of their way for you, my confidence has gone through the roof since miss cougar stayed. It was lovely to realise that I AM attractive and do have something to offer and that feeling of the shackles being snapped off in terms of the past few months was as much as a relief as knowing I do not have blue balls anymore…..

I have wallowed in low self esteem for too long, but in many ways I tend to force myself to rock bottom from time to time and I can be my own worst enemy when it comes to my depression. If I ever get of the fucking waiting list for therapy I will make sure this is explored further.

Speaking of therapy, surely almost 2 years of waiting is long enough? In that time I have had 2 “initial assessments” but the wait goes on.. something that I mentioned to my GP today.

I have a few ambitions for this year, money allowing and want to visit some places in the UK at some point. Once I get these poxy loans paid off I intend to start booking train tickets. I especially want to visit Newcastle as I have a HUGE thing for the geordie accent so would be in heaven up there. Bournemouth, Ireland and Liverpool (Irish and scouse accents are 2 and 3 on my list!) are also must see places this year for me. So any readers with a spare room and a love for jack daniels and cleaning up moose sick please get in touch!

As far as the loans go it is amazing how people with such bad credit get accepted in the first place but I have managed to clear 2 so far with 2 to go, I am touched at the people who sent me donations via this blog which were used to clear some of the payments off.  I am working my butt off to clear the others asap. Another example of being my own worst enemy. I am pleased that there is only one arsehole who tries to put me down via this blog, Asylum Heaven kindly fuck off with the comments they are trashed before approval anyway. Most people are not judgmental and understand  the issues I have are linked to my cycles of depression but for those who want to try and make me feel worse with your comments..I wouldnt waste your time because your comments wont be approved so you are wasting your time.

Things are improving day by day, I am in contact with more people and have had a few visitors to Moose Mansion already this year with a big one next weekend when a great friend from Ireland is coming to stay! It is important to have something to look forward to and I know she cannot wait to spend time with me :D

Being famoose does have it perks! I will be strolling into Macdonalds with her using the old “dont you know who I am?” line to get a free bigmac or 2, failing that I will be walking out with more straws than I will ever need, who doesn’t love a freebie!

While I remember I have a facebook page that you should like if you are on there – for no other reason than I am a numbers whore click here to find it and share with the world! I am also still looking for guest posts for this blog, on any subject about depression, how you deal with it, if you look after someone with depression, how you cope with a partner etc etc

I love being able to give people a voice and cannot recommend enough trying to write to release some shit from your chest, it has worked wonders for me time and time again so dont be shy get in touch and send me your words of magic!

As we leave January behind and enter February remember that the year has still only just begun, things can get better if we give ourselves a little time and not expect overnight change – hard as that can be at time.

Here is hoping that I can create plenty of memories this year to share with you, even involving some of you as well – what would be better than a mooseketeers get together in London at some point!  Imagine that we can all wear something moose related and take the big smoke by storm!

And if miss cougar is reading this….maybe you can work some magic on the antlers this weekend!

flaccid-moose

 

Things I have learnt recently

As I have been reflecting and taking time out I have also been learning some things about me that I thought I would share with you.

1) when the cats wont smell your feet it is time to change your socks – fairly self explanatory I think…

2) loud farts are funny – unless you are wearing your ipod and think its silent until you see the look of horror on the faces of the other people in the lift.

3) the washing up will not do itself no matter how many times you wiggle your nose, blink your eyes or sing to it.

4) same goes for the hoovering, laundry and general housework.

5) talking to an attractive lady on the bus AFTER you have just come out the dentist with half a numb mouth is more likely to get you arrested than a date..in my defence I did not realise I had a wonky smile and was dribbling…

6) if people are easily offended by the real you, then you are doing just fine..

7) masturbating with tennis elbow will not cure the condition but make it worse..(erm so a friend told me)

8) hiding all the mess from your front room in the bedroom does not make it go away, it just makes it harder to find your bed!

9) I am not a centipede and do not need 7 pairs of trainers and 3 pairs of shoes.

10) opening the door to a very good looking woman, in your boxers shorts with your cock pointing between the buttons only has success  in 1970′s porn and not 2014…

11) laughter can make you feel so much better about things

12) I dont need 100s of friends when I have a few amazing ones

13) hiding things in the back of your mind only means when someone brings up the subject it all comes flooding back :-(

14) my cats like to run around like lunatics when I am most tired…

15) my cats seem to think I need a bodyguard whenever I am sitting on the toilet as they have to surround me…

16) the dentist is not as scary as I thought!

17) online dating is not for me!

18) I can be by myself and survive, not crash, not do anything silly and be happy

20) I missed 19 and you didnt notice….

so what have you learnt recently?

500…

followed-blog-500-1x

 

500 followers of this blog is quite an achievement and I am extremely proud that so many of you want to read my moaning, depressing stories :D

I hope (okay I KNOW), that I have helped some people with my experiences and I am so grateful to all the new friends that have come into my life as a result of this blog. People from all over the world, even some in my home town of London have become firm friends and without this blog I would never have met them.

So thank you for putting up with me, supporting me and reading my story without judging me. There has only been one person who has “trolled” me in the whole period of this blog so I know I am fortunate to have so many good visitors to this site. Keep the comments coming I enjoy reading them, and wish I got more to be honest.

It is heartwarming to be at the end of such support and long may it continue. The more people (especially men) we can get talking about depression the less stigma we will face and we can continue to educate the ignorant…

Thank you!

My Return…

You may have noticed a huge lack of blogging from me these last few months, even hiding this blog from you for a while.

That is because I have been busy doing a huge amount of thinking about what 2014 holds for me both personally and blogging wise. The last 18 months of this blog has been a huge part in my recovery but what I started to notice was that people were coming to me more and more for help with issues, then once I had offered an ear/advice etc I would not hear from them again and it was starting to drain me mentally and emotionally, so I took some time out.

Now I am ready to return to doing something that I enjoy albeit with a slight twist..

I want to step back slightly from the whole depressed moose thing, although keeping the moose alive and well in the process. Moose is a nickname I have had for over 5 years so it’s a part of me that I enjoy but I want to show there is more to me than depression.

I want you to see more of Garry and the person I used to be, the fun loving guy who enjoys a good drink, some karaoke and the company of people.

some call it bad singing - I call it entertaining.

some call it bad singing – I call it entertaining.

I have made some resolutions since the turn of the year and have stuck to them, all about increasing my positive thinking and focusing on the things I do have, the people in my life and not looking at who is not around anymore, who has let me down etc and thus far it is really working!

I feel positive and excited about what this year may bring and have plenty of plans to put into action. To the point that if plan A, B or C do not come through I have X,Y and Z to move forward with.

So while the domain name stays the same I hope that as well as posts on depression there will be a lot more to interest you, more humour, more positive posts and more experiences to be shared with you all.

Garry is all about the here and now and not dwelling on the past and it is really working well for me…

 

 

Broken Tooth, No Broken Spirit

Nine days till Christmas and I have no intention of putting up a tree this year, as Brandon will be spending the holidays at his mum’s I will be alone for most of the Christmas period, so I really don’t want to look at a tree which is meant to celebrate a time for family.

It was my choice for him to spend most of the time away as I know I will be a miserable bastard and did not want it to impact on him, as my childhood memories of Christmas heavily influence my hatred for this time of year. Better he is with his mum who does a great job with Christmas than to be here with me impersonating the grinch.

Things are good apart from the fact that I broke a tooth at the weekend eating maltesers and as someone who has not seen a dentist for about 7 years I can tell you what great news this was! However being a good boy I was on the phone to them at 8 am this morning and have an appointment for tomorrow where I can look forward to an extraction, I assume, and a lecture (wohooo, I really love those)

On top of this I really have to let some steam off and moan about people. I am really sick of people using me for when it suits them, as an example I have spoken to three suicidal people in the past month and offered them support and an ear, yet do I hear from them again? Seems the majority people are only interested in me when it suits them not when I need someone.

I am getting to the stage where I am not sure that continuing with this blog, and being readily available for people, is such a good option for me. As much as I have enjoyed helping people it pisses me off that these people then avoid me, especially at times when I have asked for help myself. I am happy to give but there are times when it is needed to reciprocated and all too often that is not forthcoming and I am (finally) learning that the only person I can really rely on is myself.

I have “friends” abusing me because I wont give them what they want and do things the way they want them and the selfishness nature of people is grinding me down, more and more I am letting people walk away from me because I just cannot be arsed with arguing and defending myself.

People tend to forget that I have issues that need working on, but the moment I have a bad time I am the bad guy.

All I ask from people is effort, and nothing less than I would put in, but for plenty of people it appears to be an unacceptable request. Give and take is all well and good when it is shared equally, all too often this is not happening.

I am in a pretty good place currently though, despite the broken tooth and I can see things so much better now in terms of how people act around me. I feel stronger than I have felt in a long time, and I am preparing myself to get through the next few weeks when I will feel particularly vulnerable and lonely. I feel able to drop people without it causing me pangs of guilt, even more so when I am not in the wrong! The days of me chasing after people because I want attention all gone, the days of me reaching out to people because I am needy and alone are gone. If people don’t want to talk to me for whatever reason that is fine with me.

I have survived because I am stronger than I give myself credit for. I am a better person than I give myself credit for and its time I gave the people who go out of their way for me more attention because it is those people who deserve it.

When I say I don’t give a fuck anymore I honestly mean it. I will not allow people to affect my mood anymore.

And for those who don’t like it – please do not let the door hit you on the way out..

And for the people I know will stand by me just remember…

keep_calm_and_love_moose_print_or_poster-rcaa925f4af0e4ba5b4ef03a9e7a73d07_wvc_8byvr_512

 

 

I Forgot…Now I Remember

So in between the worst week in memory I suddenly was hit by a thunderbolt.

Oprah Winfrey was on the Jonathan Ross show last night here in the UK and said something that hit me right between the eyes.

She told about how she was sexually abused at 14 and ended up pregnant, she lost that baby and her father told her

“You have been given a second chance, DON’T WASTE IT”

She said it was there and then that she knew that she wanted to help others using her experience.

This was the reason that I started blogging, to help other people by sharing my daily battles.

It took a kind message from someone on Facebook (you can add me here to remind me that people DO care about what I have to say and that it DOES help others.

For those regular and long-term readers you may have noticed every now and again that I have a degree in wallowing and self loathing.  It stems from years of rejection by various people and sometimes the walls we have had built for 20+ years need to be pulled down and rebuilt. Rebuilt with better materials, modernised to allow people in…

The problem I have is that I take every little rejection personal. Someone who I thought was a good friend has just dropped me like a stone which hit me hard, where I go wrong is that I forget that it is the other party that has issues and not me (all the time!)

I like to go that extra mile for people and forget to look after myself properly, although being concerned for other people is a good thing in my eyes. I need to remember to be kinder to myself, and when people do send praise my way to accept it. Dismissing praise is a bad habit and one I need to work on – so keep the praise coming, all in the name of research of course.

The point though is that this blog has had nearly 80,00 views with an average of 100 views a day. This means people look up to me, sometimes this idea blows me away that I have so much interest in little old moosey. I do have a sense of purpose, I WANT to be viewed as someone who people can look at as an example of how depression can ruin your life but still somehow we survive, even if at times the dark can be overwhelming.

I focus on what I want not what I need. What I want is often not obtainable because it is out of my control, what I need is what I allow to come to me. The world has a way of bringing things/people into your life when you least expect it. I am now working on allowing nature to take its course, or God’s plan to show rather than forcing everything.

When people are struggling yet take the time out to message me with ideas, advice, the offer of an ear it shows that I do actually have more than I admit at times. While I expect too much from people I know that this is an unrealistic approach to life, there are lots of people who message me via social media to offer warmth, sincerity or a swift boot up the backside!

I focus on those who DON’T contact me….. from this moment on that will change.

If I am so forgettable to them then surely that means they are forgettable to me right?

I need to fill my days again, the worst thing that happened to me and my recovery was having to quit the gym because it helped me so much, enhanced confidence at the weight loss but more importantly I was leaving the flat and doing things everyday.

The question again today is WHEN will I get better and no longer WHY wont I get better.

And who would’ve thought that Oprah Winfrey would be my inspiration…

One final thing, I want to extend a huge thank you to the person who donated to me today via the paypal option on the home page. It humbled me that you would be so generous and means the world to me!