Friday, March 7, 2014

I Almost Died

Today I spent some time in Charlotte with my dear friend Amy and her family.  It was such a great visit!

And then, on the way home, an 18 wheeler blew a tire.  The traffic around the tractor trailer swerved to avoid debris.  "Scattering traffic" is a really bad idea at 70 mph.  I careened into the median (wet mushy grass, no guard rails) to avoid hitting cars in front of me.

I was fish-tailing, turning into the skid each time like I was playing some kind of crazy driving video game.  There was an SUV in front of me pulling a trailer that was doing the same. How that small trailer didn't jack-knife during the skidding, I'll never know.

Here's what I know:

-My kids were in the car with me.
-I was positive we were going to hit another car or someone was going to hit us.  It was just a matter of who and how fast.
-I held my breath during the intensity of this.
-I hyperventilated afterwards, fogging up my windshield.
-I also teared up and prayed out loud thanking God for our safety.
-I didn't see anyone hit anyone during this event.  That was miraculous considering how it all went down.
-I didn't get a flat tire, or to my knowledge, any car damage even after barreling through (at a high rate of speed initially) the mushy median grass containing all kinds of road side garbage.

After I merged back into the left lane of traffic, knuckles white on the steering wheel, James piped up from his car seat, squealing with excitement, "Ohhhh drivin'!!"  I said shakily, "Yeah, buddy, momma's drivin."

And then I cried.

To quote some former coworkers, "That tore my nerves UP!" When I pried my fingers off of the steering wheel and held up my hand, it was visibly shaking.

I'm so thankful to be home safe and sound!  May your travels be safe and uneventful!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Quitting Zoloft

Last July, I wrote here about feeling blah and starting the medication Zoloft.  Then I wrote about how it helped me out.

Well, now I'm writing about how I quit.

I quit taking Zoloft a few weeks ago.

I had been warned to taper off of it slowly.  Apparently quitting cold turkey can make one feel horrible.  So taper I did.  I was routinely taking 25 mg (half a pill) every day.  For about two weeks I took 25 mg every other day.  For another two weeks, I took 25 mg twice a week.  And then I kept forgetting to take it, so I quit.

Originally I wanted to taper off in November, after Reese turned one.  But then we moved that month and I didn't think moving to a new state was the best time to rock the boat with altering my medication.  I waited until mid-January to start weaning down my dose.

So far so good!  I feel...good.  Like myself.  I'm trying to be ridiculously self-aware these days to make sure I'm not slipping off the edge of a depression cliff.  If you know me in real life, feel free to provide me feedback with your observations!!  Wow...that's a dangerous statement.  Don't all ten of you that know me and read this blog provide feedback at once.  Might be overwhelming... ;)

A wise, helpful family member pointed me in the direction of this self-assessment tool.  My plan is to take this quiz every few weeks to see how I'm doing.  So far, according to that quiz, I'm a HAPPINESS FREAKIN ROCK STAR.  That feels encouraging.  Obviously every day isn't like that, but that's okay.  My "average" is a lot higher than it used to be, for which I am grateful.

I'm interested in other people again.  I have a lot more energy day to day.  I don't dread time with my kids.  (I think) I'm handling this job transition more healthily than I would have six months ago.  Some days, even when I don't work, I STILL shower.  Wow.  If that's not a positive indication, I don't know what is.

So there ya have it.  I felt sad.  I feel better.

How about you?  Have you ever taken antidepressants?  Or anti-anxiety meds?  For how long?  How did it go if/when you tried to stop taking them?

Thanks for reading and helping an extrovert like myself to not feel alone!