Cold Turkey


cold-turkey It wasn’t perhaps the greatest idea to quit taking Zoloft cold-turkey. I had just gotten sick of the way it knocked me out by 7:00 p.m. at night, and of therefore never getting anything done. I tried taking it just before going to bed, instead of in the morning, and this did cut down on the next day’s tiredness. However, it was hard for me to remember to take it a night, and I would often forget, which was really the main reason I stopped it.

I honestly didn’t think it was working, but now it would appear that it probably was. I’m much more irritable, and I’m back to dwelling on things, and over-analyzing them to the point where it affects my self-esteem. Yesterday, for example, I had to deal with MM again because there were some questions I had to ask him about our tax returns even though we had both decided to file separately. I try to have as little contact with him as I can because no matter how civil and polite I try to be, any discussion always deteriorates into him blaming me for everything that went wrong in our relationship and telling me what an awful person I am.

When I was on Zoloft, stuff like that didn’t bother me as much. Rationally, I know that he’s clearly not over me yet, and that this is why he’s lashing out. A major problem in our marriage was that both of us lashed out in anger when the emotion under it was really sadness. But now I can’t help but dwell on all the comments he made about how I’m a bad person. I don’t think I’m a great person, but I would say that I’m not all that bad in the grand scheme of things.

[Note to readers: if any of you ever wanted to give me a compliment but never got around to doing so, now would be the time to do it! Hint! Hint! ]

I was verbally, emotionally and physically abusive in that relationship (something for which I feel very bad now) but this wasn’t something I premeditated. That doesn’t excuse it, but it’s not like I planned to cause him pain. That’s just how I learned to cope with stress, emotions and feelings when I was growing up. And, honestly, MM wasn’t exactly a paragon of virtue himself. He certainly wasn’t above a bit of verbal, emotional and physical abuse and, whenever I asked him about that, he would say that I had “forced” him to act that way. It was the same with his drinking; I got blamed for that, too. He had to drink to “cope” with me and our relationship.

I don’t like to claim that I was victimized in the marriage, but I do think it’s pretty fucking abusive to blame somebody for your own shortcomings. I could see how maybe the poor guy could have been so browbeaten by me that he turned to drink, but, well, that’s a choice. We all have choices.

So, now I”m tying myself up in knots trying to work out whether I’m just a good person who did bad things because that was how she learned to act as a kid, or whether I really am just rotten through and through. On Zoloft, questions like that didn’t seem so important anymore. I was more interested in focusing on the present and the future, than the past.

The one thing I do see clearly, though, is that I am very glad to be out of this marriage. I still care for MM, and before the conversation took a nasty turn last night, I found myself realizing how much I miss him. However, I was stuck in a rut in that relationship. I was the “identified patient”, the “abuser”, the “one with all the issues” and there was just no escaping that role. He needed to think of me as fucked-up because that made it easy for him to sweep his own issues (alcoholism, depression, fear of failure) under the carpet.

Life might not be great now, but at least I can change. I no longer have to be stuck in a role that somebody has given me and won’t allow me to escape from.

My psychiatrist has given me Prozac to try next, so I’ll see how that works out for me. It’s pretty clear that I do need something, though. Over the last few days, I have caught myself thinking about killing myself. By this, I don’t mean that I was actively planning to kill myself. Rather, I would be walking past a tree, for example, and I would realize that I was wondering what my body would look like swinging from the branches if I hung myself; or I’d imagine myself drawing a knife across my throat, or putting a gun to my temple. These almost weren’t even conscious thoughts at all.

At work today, I also felt very disconnected from everybody, and angry. The urge to isolate was strong whereas on Zoloft, I felt more inclined to be social, and look for reasons to like people.

We’ll see how the Prozac goes…

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8 thoughts on “Cold Turkey

  1. arekino April 16, 2013 at 2:08 pm Reply

    A compliment? Well, I think you’ve written some really nice blog posts the last couple of weeks. It sounded like you were quite busy making some real progress.

    I’ve read in other places that people often don’t miss the Zoloft until they stop using it. Going cold turkey is AFAIK not recommended with Zoloft. BTW maybe you can get yourself a watch with an alarm on it or an app for your phone to help you remember taking any medication?

    • petrichoric April 19, 2013 at 6:22 pm Reply

      I’m usually good at remembering to take medication. The problem is that I’m often so tired at night from working full-time, looking after ten pets, doing massage, working out etc etc that I fall asleep accidentally before I have a chance to take the medication.

  2. xul April 16, 2013 at 3:58 pm Reply

    Here’s your compliment: You’re my favorite CCL! 😛

    Maybe you could get one of those pill organizers like old people use so you don’t forget your daily dose? 😀

    • petrichoric April 19, 2013 at 6:25 pm Reply

      Hi, Xul. As I said to Arekino, the problem is not forgetting to take the pills; it’s a case of falling asleep accidentally before I have a chance to take them. And what the hell is a CCL? Ohhhhhh, wait. I just googled “CCL acronym” and Urban Dictionary tells me that it’s Crazy Cat Lady. Figures.

  3. williamx April 16, 2013 at 10:58 pm Reply

    I am positive you look better alive than dead. Additionally I am positive you are smart and witty and fun and open to new things. I feel very confident asserting your beauty, but that’s just hearsay.
    I do know that I enjoy reading your posts and probably identify with you more than I should. You are someone interesting, which seems sadly unusual in these starved times . . .

    • petrichoric April 19, 2013 at 6:27 pm Reply

      I think we usually all look better alive than dead although vampires manage to rock the dead look. I hope I am at least interesting! I have many flaws, but I really hope that being boring is not one of them.

  4. Pandora Viltis April 17, 2013 at 10:37 am Reply

    Ditto what williamx said. Lol, I’m lazy. But I love ya.

    Maybe you should set a alarm reminder to take the Zoloft at night? If it was helping, maybe it needs a little more attention.

  5. petrichoric April 19, 2013 at 6:27 pm Reply

    Well, I’m on Prozac now, and I’m liking that better than the Zoloft as it doesn’t seem to make me so tired at night, thank God.

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