Friends and the continued withdrawal process

I believe I’ve mentioned how I’ve shrunk back from most of my friends in the last couple of months since the heaviness of my brothers predicament has struck me like no other time over the course of his illness.

I find that spending time with friends, in general, is a downer because I can’t shake the misery and I just end up feeling bad about not being pleasant or appropriately social.

There are some exceptions to this. In California I have a several very long time friends who I very much enjoyed spending time with while there who lifted my spirits and made me forget about my pain. And I only saw three of them–there are others too that I did not have the opportunity to spend time with as my brother was the priority.

I have not successfully made very close bonded friendships since I moved out of state. I’ve been here five years but can’t seem to find the same kind of friends I made in California over the course of my lifetime. I know one could respond to that with, “of course you’re not going to make deep bonded friendships in a short time.” And while that is to a certain degree true, all those close friends I made years ago were sealed relatively quickly upon meeting kindred spirits. The deep bonding took years of course, but the process of “recognizing” each other was almost immediate.

I recently made a friend like that here. I met her about a year ago and though we haven’t had the chance to deeply bond, I did “recognize” her as one of those special people. She’s moving away in a couple of weeks. I’m sad. I’m also sad because one of my favorite bloggers has decided to block her blog. It had become too painful for her it seems. Little losses feeling bigger because I’m already dealing with a soon to be major loss.

On a brighter note I’ve made a new friend in the blogosphere. Someone I’ve been corresponding with lately with whom I’ve now contacted by phone. I think we spent four hours on the phone yesterday in two different phone calls. That’s nice. Really nice. But she lives far away.

Also I had a great day yesterday talking on the phone, then going to a music festival with my husband and friend and then again another good phone call. Even though I’m seemingly gloomy here today, I’m not really feeling that way. I’m optimistic. I can still have fun under the right circumstances.

Because I have so little structure to my day with no job and few regular commitments my time with special friends and with my husband, as yesterday was spent, is what makes my life feel like it is worth living.

I really shouldn’t complain. Regardless of where my friends are I have several people I can call and talk to and the distance never takes anything away from the connection. I see them a couple of times a year. But I will complain anyway, because there is something different about having them close by and being able to be in their presence.

Again, I also shouldn’t complain because I have several very good decent people in my life right here and so many people don’t even have that.

I suppose I often sound morose here on the blog, but I’m really not all the time. It’s just when I’m quiet and thinking about blogging lately that is often what comes up for me. I have lately found it difficult to do all the reading I’d like to do that generally has inspired me to write about greater issues in mental health and the process of withdrawal. I’m lagging behind in the collecting of information to write educational pieces for my blog and while I think there is value in simply writing journal-like entries, I feel most happy about the pieces I write that go beyond simply journaling. I simply don’t have the energy to read. I have all sorts of stuff saved to read in order to learn more and I just can’t seem to find the umph to read it. My outrage at the injustices of the mental health system is muted by my exhaustion, my intellect quelled. I’m tired. I hope this is temporary and not a thing that will last throughout this period of grief.

Since I mentioned it I will speak of the continuing withdrawal. I have not stopped tapering as I don’t think it would make anything easier and knowing that I am still making progress is important to me. I don’t want to drag this on more than absolutely necessary. So I’m still actively tapering my Lamictal at this time. It’s going smoothly with little interruption in sleep and no increased mood instability. I will taper again tonight. To recap–I was on 400 mg of Lamictal when I started the withdrawal–tonight I will be down to 250 mg. My goal right now is to get to 200 mg and then go back to the Risperdal taper, which I find more difficult.

I intend to stick with the Risperdal taper until it’s over this time. I’ve cut out 9 3/4 mg so far. I have 1 1/4 mg to go. It gets harder at the end. I have to now taper in increments smaller than 1/8 mg which has been half of a 1/4 mg tablet. I have to now switch to liquid and I’ll go at 1/16 mg for a while. I’m terrible at math, but the general rule is to do no more than 10% of current dose, as it gets harder the smaller you go and since it’s been rough lately I think smaller tapers are wise.

I really don’t have terrible symptoms even now. Just interrupted sleep for a couple of days–then stabilization. As I’ve said before–the hardest part is the chronic fatigue. I don’t really understand why that is a side effect as I’m cutting out sedating meds, but it seems to be common among many of us coming out the harder stuff.

2 thoughts on “Friends and the continued withdrawal process

  1. Hi Gianna!It was lovely reading your post.It is good to know that you have so many nice friends, some even online. That is great!The more you have friends, the better.As it says, one has to be real lucky to have one true friend.Enjoy and have fun!


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