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shadows of echoes of memories of songs
Still ill
I came off the Pill on Thursday. I'm now shaky, nauseous, and uncontrollably weepy (and my period won't stop). Every time I think it can't possibly get any worse while I'm putting so much effort into trying to make it better, it does. And after 10+ years of fighting depression I'm really tired of being shouted at for not being optimistic enough about getting better or finding a cure.

And yes, I cried, I'm sorry, I cried because I'm in pain and I'm frightened and I am worn down to scratchy backing-material and bent tacks from gritting my teeth and trying not to feel the wrong thing.

I feel like my life is just one big flat I'm-sorry-I'm-sorry-I'm-sorry with nowhere left to hide.

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k425 From: k425 Date: September 12th, 2005 09:25 am (UTC) (Link)
When did your period start - before or after you stopped taking the Pill? The average non-Pill period is about 5 days, I think, so you may be at the tail end. What are you taking for the pain? If it's not helping, I've just discovered that you can buy paracetamol and dihydrocodeine over the counter at Boots (even stronger than paracetamol and codeine) and it made a difference to my period-affected weekend!
j4 From: j4 Date: September 12th, 2005 09:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I stopped my Pill at the end of the last packet. Thursday was the first day I would have started taking the next packet if I was carrying on with it.

I take Feminax occasionally when it seems that there's period pain on top of the stomach pains. Painkillers don't seem to help the stomach pains, though.
lnr From: lnr Date: September 12th, 2005 09:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh dear. I don't think you need to apologise for it or for crying. I know I would. Hell I do over smaller things. I wish there was anything I could do.
From: taimatsu Date: September 12th, 2005 09:35 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm free at the moment - would a visit help? ('No' is a perfectly fine response which does not require explanation or apology.)
j4 From: j4 Date: September 12th, 2005 09:40 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't know. Probably not. :-(
From: taimatsu Date: September 12th, 2005 09:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Okay. I'll be thinking of you. Am also at your service should there be anything you *do* want of me (though I know such offers are generally not very helpful).

Lots of love.
perdita_fysh From: perdita_fysh Date: September 12th, 2005 11:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I came off the pill in june and went onto Implanon (the rod in your arm). They warned me my periods would be potentially 'irregular' thereafter, but I didn't realise this would mean anything from 3 days of the stomach ache with no bleed (first one) to two weeks of solid bleeding (out of 3 weeks of my recent holiday, natch). Someone definitely needs to Invent Better Stuff in this regard.

Regarding the depression I can't advise only offer sympathy and potentially Hot Tea (although possibly not from this distance). As a non-sufferer I can't imagine not being able to snap myself out of it with a stern talking to, so I'm useless at empathy for this kind of thing. Which is nice for me, but no use at all to you. Sorry!
j4 From: j4 Date: September 12th, 2005 11:44 am (UTC) (Link)
I can't imagine not being able to snap myself out of it with a stern talking to, so I'm useless at empathy for this kind of thing. Which is nice for me, but no use at all to you.

Gee, thanks so much for that. You really weren't kidding about the lack of empathy, were you.
perdita_fysh From: perdita_fysh Date: September 12th, 2005 02:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am sorry, I didn't mean to cause offence there. I wasn't suggesting that you can or should 'snap out of it'; rather that without any experience of how it can feel to be unable to do so I have no understanding of how it must feel. Nor was I suggesting that such feelings are in any way unreal or to be belittled - I am (as I hoped my last comment conveyed) grateful not to have ever had this experience.
j4 From: j4 Date: September 12th, 2005 02:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
So if you know nothing about it, why did you feel the need to comment on it at all?

Do you tell cancer sufferers "Wow, I can't imagine what it must be like to know that you're going to die soon. I know nothing about your illness, I'm just so glad I'm fit and healthy!"? If so, do you think they're grateful to you for rubbing it in?

(Don't bother answering -- I dread to think how tactless you could be if you were really trying.)
perdita_fysh From: perdita_fysh Date: September 14th, 2005 08:07 am (UTC) (Link)
I can understand death and pain, I have experience of them and I know how they work. Collectively we don't understand how functioning brains work yet. Brains not functioning quite right is so intangible therefore, that without direct personal experience it is very much 'here be dragons'. Especially as there isn't really a useful frame of reference to even describe such things and no means of comparison to discover what is 'normal' and which parts of any person's brain functioning is outside of 'normal'.

You might suggest, for example, that my perceived believe of looking at this in an objective scientific frame of reference is, instead, tactless and cruel; and not 'normal'...
From: ewtikins Date: September 12th, 2005 11:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Chamomile tea helps me a lot with period pains. YMMV.

It is okay to cry. It is okay to be sad or upset or scared. You don't have to apologise for your feelings. Learning to deal with them appropriately is a whole different matter but you are quite obviously working on that.
anat0010 From: anat0010 Date: September 12th, 2005 12:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

I know its no consolation, but at the Warneford I met an old chap who had been fighting depression for 50 years. It can be done, hang on in there.
If you're struggling, talk to your GP about anti-depressants, there are many different ones out there. If your brain is anything other than an 'off the shelf' model, years of juggling dosage are needed before finding a combination that works for you.
If you're on anti-depressants, get a review. You probably need an adjustment.
If you're not on anti-depressants, get some. They wont make you 'well' but they will take away the worst of the bad bits.

(currently surviving 21 years of depression, if only just)
anat0010 From: anat0010 Date: September 12th, 2005 12:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
and while I'm dispensing good advice ...

Dont keep your feelings inside. Dont be afraid to let it all out and tell people how utterly shit you feel.
It may make you feel better, at the very least it may keep some people off your back for a while.
j4 From: j4 Date: September 12th, 2005 12:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
It doesn't make me feel better, and it just makes the people who love me run away. Which really doesn't help. :-( But I don't know how to keep it all in.
vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: September 12th, 2005 12:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

Congratulations on going through with it!

Anyone shouts at you for not having the right level of optimism, you sic me on 'em, and I'll bite their legs off, I will.

It will take a while for your hormones to sort themselves out. This period won't last forever. You may have fibroids: go back to your GP and ask if they had considered that, and if so, what would they recommend? (I had a lumpectomy about ten years ago, which was scary as nobody knew at the time if the lump was benign or not, but it did wonders. No more three-week periods. Oh, yes, I had Child afterwards. I should also add that every type of Pill I had tried made the fibroids MUCH worse.)

If it's at all possible, try to treat the symptoms a few hours at a time: I can't tolerate ginger tea for tummy pains but small amounts of candied ginger, I can. It may be simple stress (even positive stress, like moving house and changing some major life plans such as who you are actually living with, is stressful). Talk to Himself. He won't be surprised, I'm sure, if you tell him it's wonderful and yet scary at the same time. Chocolate is good: I prefer plain for period pains. Toll House cookies are even better, and making them is a good way to place your attention elsewhere, even if you end up with no baked cookie dough because raw Toll House dough is so wonderful.

Being in pain and utterly worn out sounds like a perfectly rational cause for tears, and conversely, crying a totally rational response to those conditions. We're not in the middle of the Blitz, and stiff upper lips are not called for at this time...

but I'm not trying to criticise you for wanting a stiff upper lip, either.

Want a cookie recipe?
j4 From: j4 Date: September 12th, 2005 01:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Congratulations on going through with it!

No leg-biting required, he does everything a person could reasonably be expected to do and quite a lot of things that they couldn't. It's just that it hurts me so much more than it should when he quite reasonably gives up and gets cross.

I suspect this period is just the hormones resettling after the change in Pill, but if it hasn't gone away in a week or so I'll make another doctor's appointment (and while I'm about it ask him if the silence on his part means that all the last lot of blood tests came back normal). It's just on top of everything else it's, I dunno, a lead-covered straw on the back of a camel with rickets.

Crying may be a normal reaction to some things, but crying all the time? The fire alarm this morning made me jump and then burst into tears. It took me till midday to get to a point where I couldn't feel my eyes welling up every time I thought about anything at all. My stomach just keeps fluttering as if I'm terrified of something that's going to happen but I don't know what it is; and my brain tries to process it as specific fears, and it comes out as all sorts of stupid paranoia, and I can feel it happening, and I try to stop it, but.

Candied ginger and chocolate: now that's the kind of prescription I like.

Cookie recipe would be great.
vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: September 12th, 2005 01:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Congratulations on going through with it!

Cream together:
1/2 cup butter (you can use marg but butter really is better)
1/2 cup each of white sugar and medium brown sugar, the latter well-packed;

Beat in:

1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Sift, and then stir in:

1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Stir in:

1/2 cup (or more) of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nutmeats (if liked; walnut or pecan rather than peanuts, which are too strong a taste in this recipe).

Bake at 375 degrees (I'll have to look up the gas mark on this one; about 5, IIRC) for about ten minutes.

Yeah, crying all the time is normal for this much upset. You sound classically stressed and hormonal, which is not surprising under the circumstances. Moving house is hard, you have a new FT partner in your life, you're stopping the Pill with all that implies, you're trying like mad to make your life more sorted and straightforward, and it all happens at once, all the time. What's not to cry about? It's not stupid paranoia, though, the fluttery stomach and the incipient terror; it's mostly biology, and transient biology at that. It's a wave; ride it when you can, fall off if you have to, get back on, and ride it some more. It's nothing to do with you, yourself, at all; it's electrochemistry acting up in your body until your body re-learns what to do with those signals.

Sometimes I go for days feeling timorous, wide-eyed, angry, and vulnerable as hell; can't bear it when the people I love are cross with me. It's Not Fair.
j4 From: j4 Date: September 12th, 2005 03:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Congratulations on going through with it!

It's not stupid paranoia, though, the fluttery stomach and the incipient terror; it's mostly biology, and transient biology at that.

I keep trying to tell myself that, but mostly it just so doesn't help. :-( I wish my body would have physical symptoms for physical things. I'd rather be throwing up every 5 minutes than feeling like that.

It's Not Fair.

First bit of life-guidance (can't think of a word for it, not exactly "moral" guidance) I ever remember getting from my parents was my dad telling me "nobody ever said life had to be fair" -- the context was computer games that I was upset at losing. (Owen says it's stupid advice, and it causes Learned Helplessness.)

I can't bear it when he's cross with me, though, even if he's just snappish because I'm interrupting his breakfast with boring admin about supermarket shopping; and it makes it even worse to know that most normal people would have probably killed me by now -- it's unfair that I get upset with him even when he's being nicer than I have a right to expect. And of course once I've got upset, even if it's just the upsetness equivalent of an involuntary "ow!" when stubbing a toe, it's an instant endless downward spiral of "Don't be so touchy" and "but in an argument four months ago you said" and guilt and anger and accusations. :-(
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 12th, 2005 06:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Congratulations on going through with it!

(Too hurried to log in.) {{{{{ aw }}}}}}. Ow.

Bodies can be feckwitted, always mixing stuff up when we've categorised everything so neatly....

All I can say is that your arguments and elements of t'other's crossness and your devastation are terribly familiar, and that isn't meant to minimise what you're going through, just saying that it's familiar. YOu have invested a great deal in your relationship with Owen and it's new and it's bloody important. (I think one of my Dad's most wounding maxims was "You're TOO SENSITIVE." and 'II also upbraids me for being touchy and having the memory of an elephant about words not spoken or if spoken then never meant. Therefore one is an idiot for not recognising what's meant and what isn't. PEOPLE!!!!)

The cookies will help. Try them, try them, you will see.
juggzy From: juggzy Date: September 12th, 2005 07:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
When I came off the pill, at the age of 24, having been on it for five years, I had a similar reaction. It settled down eventually. The painful periods restarted later, and I am now sure are fairly linked to weak muscle tone and lack of excercise - so a different cause, because you don't have either of those. It hurts like hell. I recall it being a grit my teeth and get through it, eventually. Although I did end up making all of my housemates and my boyfriend at the time run around after me like mad mayflies.

I never went back on the pill because of this one reaction from coming off it.

All I want to do is reassure that, however horrible it feels right now:

a. It will get better
b. It's perfectly normal. If I can be presented as an example of perfectly normal.
From: rmc28 Date: September 12th, 2005 09:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Don't apologise for crying; don't feel you should hide how you feel. I know I would be crying and furious if my body was putting me through what yours is.

If I think of something more useful than tea and sympathy (or you do) I'll do it.
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