Adventures in Therapy: Is that Strawberry Alarm Clock I Hear?!?

As I mentioned, I went to the doctor yesterday to talk shop about changing/adding meds. She agreed with my assessment and we decided that I would keep the Zoloft going at its current dose and add the lowest dose of Wellbutrin to see if it can help counteract some of the side effects. I’m seeing her again in a month and we will continue to figure out the best course of action (will I be lowering the Zoloft dose? Is this the right additional med for me” etc).

So, it’s Day One of a new medication and that old familiar adjustment period is here. I was told that this stuff is activating. Somehow, I thought that it wouldn’t be too noticeable because of the Zoloft, but I was wrong about that. I took the pill around 7am and by 8am I was feeling pretty zippy. It reminded me of the first time I took Sudafed for congestion…but without the congestion and background illness. This extra energy felt a little like anxiety but not overwhelmingly or primarily so and so far that aspect has been nothing I can’t handle.

I had to hop into action doing various things and it was a little harder to concentrate than usual, but I managed. Then around 10am, I found that it was becoming increasingly difficult not to stare off into space or pass the time by poking myself in the face. By noon, I felt pretty stoned.

This is, at least for me, par for the course now when adjusting to meds like this. Granted, my only other experience has been with Zoloft, but seemingly my body/brain has a relatively predictable pattern when responding to chemical changes. I wasn’t feeling particularly hungry, so I went and wandered around Target for most of the hour. I was drawn to all sorts of things, and was enjoying inspecting the soft, fuzzy blankets for sale now that the weather is getting cold. I wandered all through the store, being fascinated by pretty much everything and laughing at myself for how aimless the entire trip was. In short, “stoned” is a good way to describe it. Slightly delirious is another good way to describe it.

At some point, I had an inkling of a thought that I was hungry and figured I should eat, so I grabbed a sandwich and went on with my day. I’m still out of it but I’m functioning.

It’s times like these that I am really glad I decided to get my education in chemistry. Sure, I hated school, like, a whole lot BUT I am grateful for the way focusing on chemistry wired my brain to think about the world and my body. It makes responses to medication like this not so scary. “Some of your subroutines are being rewritten. Your feelings are nothing but a bunch of molecules in various states of imbalance or equilibrium.” It’s quite calming and while wandering around like a jackass in Target I could rest assured that it was simply because of a reaction running its course and that everything would reach a baseline soon enough.

Whether that baseline will be the baseline I want still remains to be seen, but in the meantime, everything is A-OK. One of the things I really appreciate now is that I’m not stigmatizing myself for needing medications like these to be the best version of myself. I take other medications for other bodily needs and I don’t see these as anything different. I’m still doing all the other work to be my best, but in the end none of that work can shine through with all that chemical noise in the way.

Since it’s Day One, I can’t really say if it’s doing what I need it to yet, but I can say that I’m not experiencing anything nasty. I’ll take it. An easy day on the journey, ey?

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