Okay. So first, you taper the dose of Effexor you’re taking. You do this slowly, because there are physical side effects that occur, among them the “brain zap,” as it’s called. Jennette has a very good explanation of why that is here.
You begin to experience the withdrawal effects, but you’re also experiencing a lessening of the actual benefits of being on an antidepressant. You’re remembering why you went on antidepressants in the first place. You’re remembering that the world is a difficult place, and you are the WORST.
But! Once you’re on a low-enough dose of effexor to not cause Dangerous Side Effects like Trypo-trippin’ or Sera-WHOA-nin Zoomies or whatever the fuck it is you’re supposed to be afraid of (I wrote it down; I simply cannot remember any more. Is it too much effort to remember or does my brain now have tiny pinholes where smart things used to be? I am going to forget I wondered about that), you add in the antidepressant you’re switching over to. It is, in my case, Celexa.
So you’re going off one, but you’re going right on another! That’s super-great! You’ll be fine! But before you get there to that promised land, you reach a sweet spot where you’re totally off the Effexor but you still have not begun to experience the helpful antidepressant effects of your new drug.
I call this The Killing Time. At least now I do, and I think I’m allowed to. This is the time when you may have once thought you had it all together but honey, you are about to get torn apart. This is the time of wanting to kill everyone around you and since you’re not feeling very logical you’re thinking about starting with yourself. This is the time where everything goes to hell, including your basic handle on hygiene and your ability to not cry a lot at the drop of the hat or avoid cliches.
This is when I cry while I’m proofreading. Just steady, quiet crying and steady, salty proofreading. Work has to get done. Cry and proof, honey, cry and proof. This is when I try to hang up some new curtains and I scream when I drill the hole wrong and throw the drill on the floor and lose my shit because my life is over and I am worthless. This is when I need to be encased in carbonite and left alone until my brain chemistry straightens the fuck out, because no one needs to deal with this—the cat, the dogs, E, me. Nobody needs to see this. It is unnecessary! I am writing a strongly worded letter.
It’s chemical, pure, awful, 100 percent chemical misery. That doesn’t help a lot. I have so much good stuff going on in my life. I have so much to be happy and grateful and thrilled about.
I WANT TO BE HAPPY AND GRATEFUL AND THRILLED, DO YOU HEAR ME, BRAIN?
And that is this week’s Effexoreport. Stay tuned for next week, when someone with my blog admin password logs in to shut the place down and post the explanatory police report.