When the bullying started at work, I began a low-ish dose of anti-depressants (Citalopram) and they helped a lot. They got me through everything, including the legal case that followed and coming to terms with my diagnosis.
Two years down the line, I wanted to come off them as life is much, much better now, brilliant in fact, but was worried about how I’d feel. Would the pity-parties-for-one return with a vengeance? Would my Wotsit consumption multiply?
At the same time, the nerve pain in my legs and feet has increased and we discussed upping my Pregabalin dose. Luckily, Pregabalin can also be used for anxiety, so coming off the Citalopram could be a lot easier.
I then saw my GP who recommended decreasing the Citalopram gradually, i.e. moving to alternate days before cutting out completely. Sounded good?
Well, after a week I felt like death warmed up; inexplicably unmotivated, fed up, grumpy. I got worried.
Guess what? MS cog fog strikes again – I have a meds box I fill every week as I can’t be doing with faffing about with packets of pills every day. I diligently cut down the dose and popped one in the box every other day, completely forgetting I took two a day. So I basically reduced my dose by 75% overnight.
Anyway, I started the increased of Pregabalin yesterday and I don’t know if it’s psychological, but already the nerve pain has dropped dramatically. It is bliss. Unfortunately, they also made me float away quite alarmingly and lose track of where my feet where.
I went on a shopping trip with my mum. We wandered around, chatting, catching up until she said,
‘You ok dear? You seem a bit, um, odd. You’re walking funny.’
‘I’m floating! Floating. Feels kind of nice. Whoops. I meant to bump into that flower display you know. And the loo-roll pyramid.’
‘Quick, take my arm, there’s a small child in your way and you’re stumbling all over the place.’
The toddler, who was splayed on the floor, crying and drumming his feet was saved by my mum’s speedy actions. I waved at him and smiled, recalling The Teenager doing the exact same thing not so long ago.
When I got home with my shopping (a framed black-and-white picture of some empty park benches, a couple of books, a bowl and a fridge magnet), I gently bobbed on to the sofa and nodded off.
Cutting out the Citalopram is like severing the final link to a horrendous 2012 – it feels empowering. As for the floaty feeling, it’s still with me, but I’m sure it’ll settle down in the next couple of days, but for now, it’s a cushion, and it’s rather nice.