So apparently there is a name for what I am experiencing. It’s called “Discontinuation Syndrome.” And apparently, emotional rawness and crying a lot are very common after stopping a SSRI, particularly after the initial, more physical symptoms subside. On the one hand, it’s reassuring to know that is a normal part of my brain readjusting. On the other hand, this fucking sucks!
I am a MESS. The worst part is the uncontrollable crying spells. I cry ALL THE TIME. Almost any sad or negative thought can trigger it. And I am having SO many negative and sad thoughts. If I can get through a handful hours without crying, it feels like a huge accomplishment.
The truth is that I have never been all that comfortable with negative emotions or crying. In fact, I remember stating at the beginning of the Advanced course that one of my goals was to get more comfortable feeling my feelings. For someone for whom even muted emotions have often felt overwhelming, my feelings lately have been intense and difficult to endure.
I am hyper-aware of not taking on the victim role here. I am using every skill I have to manage during this time. I am meditating, exercising, and seeking support. I am practicing a lot of gratitude. I’m even trying to be grateful for all the crying, though it’s definitely a stretch. I GET to feel!!! (Oy)
Alright, enough about my emotions. On to my goals.
I am still in action on the job front. I applied to a few more jobs this week. (Shout out to Colin for reviewing my cover letter during our job search time this week and to Mara who has been reviewing my cover letters for months now!) I also reached out to a contact who works in staffing who is going to put me in touch with some recruiters. And I am in the process of figuring out how to access my alumni network. So all good things on that front.
My big challenge is to stay positive and not get down on myself. I have been struggling to maintain my sense of self, my optimism, and my confidence. I know this is very much related to what I am going through right now so I keep coming back to being kind, gentle, and patient with myself.
As for creating play, it hasn’t happened much this week. Maybe it’s because I’ve been too busy crying. I get to remember that it’s an option that I can choose and that I have the power to change how I feel based on my actions.
I am really living one day at a time right now, and reminding myself that even in the dark places, I am strong, kind, and worthy.