Life Post Lexapro

I wanted to get back to writing on a more “positive” note. I wanted to get back to writing by creating all the old race reports and backdating them. Then I realized I couldn’t lie or deceive that way. Not without an explanation. Soon the exercise stuff, first more emotional stuff.

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Many of you know I made the choice to come off my antidepressant (Lexapro) last month and completed the taper in early July. This was the end result of a lot of discussion with my doctor, my counselor and my close friends and family. It was not an easy choice and it is also not a reflection on my stance of medication in general. It is simply the choice I made for me at this point in time.

The largest contributing factors were my mood and weight. Since January I’ve been struggling with blunted affect. This is normal for being on SSRIs, but I didn’t like it.  During the whole process of buying my house I never felt overly stressed (good) I also never felt overly joyed (not so good). I kept waiting for the joy to set in, I kept waiting to be overcome with happiness and it never happened. I WANTED to feel something, but I felt nothing. I was middle of the road, even-keel the whole time.

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After this I sat down and thought about things. Sure it’d great to be protected from breaking down into tears at tragedy, but guess what? It still happens. It’s not so great to be pulled away from bliss and excitement. Sure it’s nice to be able to sit in a large crowd and blankly stare as they all speak, it’s great to be “chill” and “cool” and “part of the group” it also isn’t true. That is a medicated version of me and while in the beginning I needed it because I lost all sense of self, in the end it became an intruder.

Life has been interesting the last 6-7 months. As I changed…the way my mind and body used the meds changed. I’m not a doctor.  I’m simply sharing my interpretation of how it felt. Last fall the meds kept me stable, they allowed me to think and focus and plan. They allowed me to think before speaking and acting. Since January they have held me back. I developed skills and built a better network of support, and it was time to use it. In the fall it seemed only the meds could keep me stable and everything was spinning out of control. This spring I looked around and I had an amazing life, but lost all passion to be a part of it. Meds pulling me up from depression to stabilize was life changing. Meds pulling me down from happiness was frustrating.

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I stopped working out because I gained no sense of pleasure or achievement. I stopped blogging because I felt no sense of connection. This allowed me to connect better with close friends and family. Allowed me to partner with the man of my dreams, but then when it was time to return to it all, I had zero motivation. Each day was a lazy stroll by the sea. I went to work and came home. On weekends I had lunch with my Mom and read or watched TV. On the rare occasion dishes and laundry were completed. I wasn’t sad and I wasn’t happy and no one rocked the ocean….and I gained 50 pounds.

200 pounds places me at my heaviest adult weight. 200 pounds places me at almost TWICE the weight I should be for my height. Attacks on BMI and medical charts aside….I am overweight…I am fat. I do not like the way I look. I do not like the way I feel. For the last several months food was one of my only sources of happiness spikes though. I came off the meds with the thought they alone caused the weight gain. Once I was off and the TWO WEEKS, yes TWO WEEKS of withdrawals stopped I realized I was comfort eating this whole time.

Life after Lexapro is work. Issues with coworkers is work, I can no longer just tune it out. Social anxiety is work, I can no longer sit there and stare off into space.  Balancing life, love, career and health is all work. It’s all worth it though. After all if it wasn’t all worth it then why did I go through the trouble of starting meds and therapy to save it all?

My dreams have come true and I took the steps make that happen. Now it’s time to take the steps to feel like myself in the middle of it all. Nine months for demolition and foundation, maybe another nine for the framework? A lifetime to fill it all in, but I think I’m up for the challenge,

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Race Report : Savage Race Ohio

Two weeks ago my lovely sister was kind enough to make the drive down toward Columbus to meet up with two of our other friends (Liz and Aaron) to tackle the Savage Race!

We knew it was going to be better weather than Spartan Beast and we knew it was going to be shorter than Spartan Beast so we were very happy campers (more on that in another post).

Savage was located at a ski resort, so those lovely slopes people LOVE to fly down when freshly covered in white? We were running UP and down those suckers. Well the idea was to be running up and down, we more of less ambulated in some fashion in the generally intended direction. This is a pic Liz posted from her 2014 Savage experience.

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And here is an event photo from this year’s race (we are not in it, but I thought it gave a good perspective). All those white swirls in the background? That’s where we started.

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The four of us went down the night before and stayed in a hotel (THANKS AARON!) because we hate to run late and we are all anxiety ridden fools about finding other people the day of the event. Dave and his crew came down the day of the event. We were both signed up MONTHS before meeting each other and had very different goals in mind so we opted to run our events with our original groups. We did all meet before for a quick hug and I love you.

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Getting into the event was fun (IMO) we crawled over or under a series of metal planks and bars and at one point went under the tented net obstacle while people racing were climbing over our heads. We listened to the loud and unable to be understood announcer and we were off! The VERY first thing you do is run up the GIANT ski slope noted above. I thought I was doing OK until Dave showed me some of his GoPro and I was all “WTF am I doing with my legs? Oh well, at least I don’t look fat!” Yep #Priorities

I won’t do a play by play, but I will tell you the highlights. The entire course was about 6 miles and there were 30 obstacles. By far the most obstacle heavy or highest obstacle per mile ratio of event I have done. Honestly, I liked it this way. As someone who isn’t back to running yet, I didn’t have time to worry or feel sorry for myself when we were constantly twisting our bodies into new positions. This also helped tremendously with pain as I wasn’t using too much of the same muscle group too many times in a row.

Savage race was a not a race where you can plan to stay dry. A good mix of water and mud, I wouldn’t want to wear anything “nice” and I wouldn’t risk wearing anything that might chafe. Also, make sure your shoes are securely fastened! They have a great mix of obstacles too. Things for upper body, lower body, all over body. Ha. Things where if you’re afraid of heights you can skip and things were you could do it on your own or it totally required the help of friends or course-mates. I like the idea of encouraging teamwork over competition.

Obstacles I skipped included Davey Jones’ Locker (jumping off a 15 foot platform into the water). Not sure but my fear of heights caught up to me. Same with the 40 foot Colossus slip-n-slide. Although that one was also scary because I hate going down a slope FAST. I’m weird I know it. I also skipped one or two of the walls at the end because they were muddy and people were not being safe. OH yeah and the giant ice bucket thing. It just didn’t seam safe with my heart health history.

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Obstacles I failed included anything where I had to pull my body using just my arms AKA any of the monkey bar version obstacles.

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Obstacles I loved were anything close to the ground or relied on leg power. I love all the army crawls and versions there of. I loved the balance beam even though I fell off into the water.Jumping over fire at the end is always a blast. Over under logs (especially when I do it by myself) dragging or hoisting bricks of cement or other heavy objects and all the shoulder carries.

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I’ve decided with the mud runs I would give as much of an honest review as I could. Yes, I struggle. Yes I hate the heat. Yes I am out of shape (in a way). This isn’t a reflection on the event though and I don’t want to say anything negative which is out of their control.

Other pros of this race: I think they did a great job with the waves. I didn’t wait long and it didn’t ever feel crowded. The lines at obstacles generally went quickly. Pictures are free and very well done. The shower and changing area was spacious and effective (ish) I mean how effective can you be unless you’re at home with a power hose and bleach? Plenty of water stations and each station gave full sized bottles of COLD water. Great use of their given section of land. Very nice event shirts and even though I couldn’t drink it, I liked the option of water of sports drink at the end.

Over all I would consider doing this event again and my sister is already texting me about taking advantage of early discounts and codes. ( ;   I did have a few mini and moderate break downs in the heat and over my lack of “ability”. I decided I need to get more weight off before doing more of these events and I”m glad I deferred my July Spartans to August.

Any feedback from the peanut gallery?  Have you done a Savage Race? What did you think compared to other mud runs?