I hate my fucking job.

I just hate it.

I have literally no energy to write in this blog (as you’ve likely noticed). But I need to just say this:

I have been at a ‘new’ job for six months and I bloody hate it.

Let’s just set the record straight: I have over a decade of (unusually vast) experience in my profession. Also, yes, profession. I’m university trained. I got perfect grades in school and have always had a good grasp on my jobs over the years, and have kept my head well above water when I have been thrown into the deep end.

But where I’m at now? I can’t even think about it without feeling sick to my stomach.

I was told that after about three months of learning the ropes (new office, new specialty), I’d have my own files (which is the norm) and be well on my way.

Fast forward six excruciating months, and I’m assisting three other people who share the same job title.

That’s right, I’m the minion assistant to people who have the same title as I have.

Imagine you’re a sports physiotherapist. And you have clients. And you see those athletes and help them and make qualified decisions to get them back on track, and they praise you for it, and you have an excellent track record.

Then one day, you start working at a new clinic. Now you’re going to try your hand at rehabilitation physiotherapy. This is all the same stuff on a basic level, but there’s a learning curve. Some aspects are new to you.

But let’s imagine than instead of gradually taking on clients of your own, you’re made to do nothing but assist the other physiotherapists you work with. You fill in their charts for them (which you’ve done for your own clients millions of times in the past). You make appointments for them (again, not rocket science). You clean off the equipment and sort through their emails and answer their phone.

1. You are learning absolutely nothing about the rehab physio you need to learn so you can do it on your own.

2. You want to gouge your own eyeballs out and throw your computer across the room in a fit of frustration and rage.

So that’s where I’m at. I’m not a physio – that’s just an analogy (apologies to any physical therapists out there who are shaking their heads saying “ummmm you’re totally off base”).

But I am losing my mind.

I work with a bunch of women who nitpick over bullshit that does not matter and who do not teach me anything that helps me become self-sufficient.

I’m drowning in a sea of bullshit monkey work and don’t have two spare minutes to try and read manuals on my own time to figure things out my own way.

I don’t even care that I am grossly overpaid as an “assistant” (literally, they could save half my salary and hire a junior fresh out of school). It’s just too insulting and mind-numbing.

Anyways, today I needed to vent. It’s essentially been exactly 6 months to the day, and I’m at the point where I daydream about walking out of there in response to the next passive aggressive email I get.

Fuck them. So hard.

UGH.

K love you bye.

I’m a Total Hypocrite.

I give, I think, very good advice.

I am not your typical “feeling” female (I know you don’t believe me). I’m going to get a bit stereotypical, but for the sake of my story, let’s say that generally, women are more emotional and men are more pragmatic.

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Hope my readership grows due to controversy!

As I meander through life, I tend to be very pragmatic about my decisions. Dude-like.

I noticed this especially when I was still dating, and going through scores of good, bad, and ugly suitors. I started to see patterns in the ways the men I dated treated me and acted, and stopped being a girl when it came to my reactions and expectations.

Perhaps this is why I had better friendships with men than women in my 20s. When I asked a dude pal for advice, he’d give me a couple of viable solutions. Boyfriend troubles? Dump him – find a new guy. Friend being silly about some gossip she heard about me? Confront her about it, or ignore it. Nervous about whether I’m getting a raise this year? Just tell them you’ll quit if you don’t get X percent.

I may not have followed the advice, but I liked it. A lot better than a friend automatically siding with me or not offering up anything helpful to add to my situation.

Because when I asked a female friend for advice? Lord. I don’t have enough space here. Boyfriend troubles? There are 1,246,339 different analyses for that one alone.

Of course, I’m being overly general. So don’t get on me about how I’m being sexist. I told you already, I’m just trying to illustrate a point.

So: When a friend comes to me for help, be that person male or female, I look for a way to solve the problem. I have never really been one to look at the problem backwards, from the solution someone wants to hear, trying to come up with every idea and plan that could help that friend get that result. I tend to work from the set of issues they’re working with, conceive the most probable cause for it all, and suggest a course of action that actually makes sense. Mind over heart.

If my girlfriend is having man issues, I’m not usually a shoulder to cry on. Yes, I’ll sympathize. But then I want to get into the nitty gritty and help her solve the damn problem. I ask questions, make suggestions. When my friend gives up a soft reason why my suggestions don’t work, I plunge deeper and find work-arounds. If I feel confident that something is hopeless, I’m not afraid to dish out tough love statements such as “look – it’s been 6 months. I think you need to dump him.” With me, it’s never “oh sweetie, I’m sure he’s just going through a phase. Just give him another chance!”
Boyfriend a jerk? Dump him.
Boss keeps passing you over for promotions? Find a new job.
Not meeting any girls in this city? Quit swiping left on everyone.
Hate your flabby arms? Let’s join a gym together.
Can’t decide between the hotty who’s kind of a jerk or the dork who treats you like gold? Whelp…

I was truly exasperated the other day when I was trying to help figure out a plan for a friend who’s going through a nasty divorce. I realized I couldn’t come up with a clear answer or solution for her. I ended up texting her, “I always feel like I need to help by coming up with a solution for my friends. It’s frustrating that I can’t.”

But overall, fuck man. Life can actually be a lot easier if you just make the decision that you know is right. Doing the thing that you know needs to be done. If you car engine is making a funny squeaking noise, you go and you fix it. Talking to your friends and crying over it and talk about how your car’s a really nice shade of red and the wheels are brand new. You don’t take it to the car wash and then revisit the squeaky noise problem with your friends again over a few bottles of wine, discussing how long you’ve had the car and how there aren’t other cars out there like it. No. You take the car to the damn shop and pay dollars and have it fixed. And if you find out that you can’t fix it, you get a new car.

Right?

I give all this great advice. Really, I do.

Sometimes I look at a text I’ve taken no time to craft, or think about words I’ve spewed out so easily, and marvel at how simple it can be.

But then I look at my own goddamn life.

Right now, it’s so simple.

Wake up. Get dressed. Go to your fucking job. Do your job. Come home. Love your man. Clean the house. Work out. Go for a walk. Talk to a friend. Have a coffee. Have wine. Go to bed.

Life isn’t hard right now.

I’m no longer dealing with a difficult work situation or people or the physchological brutality I was going through six months ago.

But do you think I can give myself a succinct tidbit of advice to follow right now?

No. Of course not.

All I want to do is talk about it. Whine about it. I don’t want to work on anything.

I don’t want to hear anyone’s advice or get any ideas. I don’t want someone to think up 10 Easy Steps to Walking Around Downtown in Your Own City Because You DO Belong! so that I can fix my issues of being seen in public.

I just want to be a GIRL about it.

I want to talk about my problems at length. I want to have a glass of wine with a friend, talk exclusively about my problems have that friend agree that my problems are hard and real and unsurmountable and the worst version of that particular problem ever. I want to be agreed with and have someone say “there, there, now” and rub my back as I complain and let myself be the victim with no options.

I want to just let it out and vent.

Vent vent vent.

Don’t give me any advice. Just be there for me and tell me I’m right.

I want to be the hypocrite I know I’m being.

It’s easier.

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No Butterfly Effect.

Life.

It can be pared down to something so incredibly simple.

It’s a series of movements. Nothing more.

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That’s all it is.

Quarks and leptons and electrons and protons and neutrons and atoms and molecules and cells and particles are all moving.

Our organs are moving. Moving cells throughout our bodies.

Our muscles move. We move our lungs, bringing air in and out of them.

We move our eyes and decide where to move our bodies.

We move our feet and legs and move to the kitchen, where we move food into our mouths, water into our stomachs.

We move clothing from the closet to our bodies. Shoes are moved onto our feet.

We move a key into an ignition and move our feet on and off some pedals that moves a car to our workplace.

We move our fingers up and down on keys, and create something on a computer screen.

A printer moves ink onto a piece of paper, and moves it out where we can grasp it. We take our hands and move the paper into some higher-up’s hands, and she moves a pen with her hand and signs the paper. The paper is moved into the hands of another higher-up who also moves a pen and puts ink on the paper. Suddenly that means some intangible business deal has been made. And then more people move computer keys with their fingers, which creates more stuff on computers, and when other people all over the place learn the information, they pick up telephones and move their lips, or touch more computer keys, or move to the other side of the office, and a man with a shovel moves dirt from one place to another and moves wood from one place to another and nails from one place to another until a huge skyscraper is built. And people move in and out of it. And more printers move ink onto paper. More keys are moved to create letters on a screen. More fingers move the “enter” key and send an email. People move their mouses and move more keys and move more phones and more lips and more paper and more ink.

We move a card into a slot and move food out of a grocery store and move it into our car and move our car and our bodies home.

We move our bodies back into our shelters. We move food into a pot and move the pot over a flame. The flame moves the molecules in the food and it is cooked. We move the food to our mouths and it moves through our systems.

We move to our beds to rest. To stop some of the movement. But all night long, we are still moving. We move from one position to another, our lungs expand and deflate, moving in and out. Our blood moves along our veins. Chemicals move about our bodies, in and out of organs, moving things along.

It’s just movement. It’s nothing. It’s everything.

Our lives, our health, our leisure, our jobs, our relationships. They’re all just some form of physical movement.

The simplest movement we can truly be aware of is breathing.

We lay still. Our muscles relax and stop moving. We are not aware of the small movements still happening inside our bodies.

We move our eyelids down, and our eyes are closed. Unmoving.

And now, it’s just the movement of air.

In and out. In and out. In and out.

Quietly.

still

Our torsos are moving up and down.

But the movement is too slight to evoke much more movement. Perhaps the hairs in our noses move momentarily. Perhaps a few specks of dust are displaced.

But otherwise, we can finally find stillness.

In stillness, we can find the quiet.

It’s peace.

It’s divinity.

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Perfect.

My life is perfect.

Did you know that? It’s perfect.

I have a good, well paying job. I have a house. A yard. A car. I have lots of clothing and shoes and makeup and books and a phone and a computer and TVs and pretty items. I’m engaged, and planning a wedding. I just went on vacation. I do not have debt. I am attractive. I am not hungry, or cold, or wet, or injured, or ill. I have two of the sweetest pets I could imagine. I have a loving family. I have loving friends. I have money in the bank. I have food in my cupboard. I am intelligent. I have no papers due. I have no upcoming tests. I have free time ahead of me.

I have everything I ever wanted.

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And yet, my anxiety and depression hover around my beautiful bubble constantly. Threatening to prick it and shatter everything I hold dear.

I don’t know how it would happen. When it could happen. Why it would happen. If it could happen.

But I still stay in my bed any time I can, huddled deep in my blankets.

My eyes gaze, dead, at nothing. Contemplating how I feel. Not focussed on the abundance in my life. Not of the love that surrounds me. But of the deadness inside of me.

How no matter what I experience, there is that shroud of darkness.

I’m trying to just plunge forward. My feet feel like they’re stuck in deep mud. But I’m still trying.

Sometimes I give up – But I don’t let myself give up for long these days.

I’ve been sick with a flu for a while, and it’s given me too much time to reflect on the darkness. The ugly, dark, heavy coat of anxiety and depression.

I’m trying to remind myself it isn’t real. It isn’t tangible.

But it’s present right now.

And as perfect as my life is, it’s heavy. It’s muddy.

No matter how nice I look, or how together things seem on the outside, there is still a struggle.

I’m not giving into it. Not fully.

But tonight, I am acknowledging it.

If only to tell it “you are next to me, and so, you are not me.”

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I’m Back.

I keep making promises that I cannot keep – and I apologize for that. I keep saying I’m “so busy but I’ll write soon!” but then I just don’t. My advice is not to have any real expectations when it comes to me and my writing. Sometimes I will write, sometimes I will not.

Pardon my mental illness, but it’s all part of it.

I’m overwhelmed with life. There’s nothing more I can say than that.

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This is how I nap: beautifully: topless with my hair strewn gracefully across the pillow on my clean, crisp white sheets, a faint smile on my lips….

When I started my blog, I was on sick leave. I had nothing but time on my hands, and reflection was a big part of my healing. Writing helped that.

Now, I do have enough time to write. I still spend a lot of time napping, watching hours of Netflix and make terrible television program choices, and I read a lot, and I bet I spend more time than anything scrolling through Pinterest, not looking for anything in particular. Not even pinning anything. Just kind of looking at things.

My point is that I have not added anything significant to my life aside from a regular old 9-5 job, which we all have, and which I have had in the past as well without incident.

But after the humiliation I experienced this fall (I can’t believe it was like 6 months ago now…), life has changed a lot for me. I feel like talking about it today because I am home sick, but I am actually well enough to sit up and feel boredom.

You can tell you’re really sick when feelings of boredom don’t arise. You can tell when you’re (hopefully) getting better when you are bored.

I have technically – on paper – put my old job behind me. I made my arguments and made my peace as far as anyone on the outside is concerned, but things have not settled for me in my mind.

It’s something I’m working on ignoring. Not in an unhealthy “swallow it all down and deny” kind of way. Just in a “these feelings will pass, don’t focus on them, don’t think about last year’s incidents constantly” kind of way.

But it is still very present in my mind, and therefore, in my life.

I have some severe scars following my dismissal from my job (read about it here if you have no clue what I’m talking about). The very short version: I was on medical leave for 6 weeks for my anxiety and depression, and on what I was told would be my first day back at work, I was fired instead. This multiplied my anxiety and depression in ways I’d never experienced, but I did find the courage to hire a lawyer, settle out of court, and move on.

The scars have two main branches, I’ve noticed. One involves my new work persona. The other involves being in public.

Don’t Talk To Me

I’ve been at my new job for almost three months now, and despite a couple of very unfortunately-timed bouts of illness (it is nerve-racking to have to call in sick when you’ve only been there a month; aka PLEASEDON’TFIREME), things are going well there. The job is a breeze so far, the people are nice, and my boss is really great too. There’s nothing I can complain about – so why am I so unhappy with it?

I go to work, do my work, actually take my lunch break, and then clock out at precisely 4:00 and head home. I used to work through every single lunch hour, and I never left when I was scheduled to be. There used to be (and still is, I hear) a dust cloud of gossip and stories hovering in the office at all times – I can’t recall a day I went in and didn’t hear some story about someone. Now? I really haven’t even overheard anything. People exchange recipes, ask about vacations, and update one another on their spouses’ medical issues. People certainly aren’t gossiping about me (although right now? I’ve been away sick for more than a week so they may be wondering if I have Ebola or something).

I’ve noticed, though, that I am reserved. I am not funny at work anymore. I am not trying to make friends, and I don’t start conversations. If a few people are sitting in the lunch room, I quickly go in, get my food, and hurry back to my cubical to eat alone. I never ask my group about their home lives or families. I never go out of my way to compliment anyone. I smile when I enter a room, but I don’t say anything or make eye contact. When group events arise, I opt out.

I don’t want to make friends when I don’t actually have control over whether I will ever see them again. I lost nearly everyone (except Work BFF) at my old job – poof, gone. No one reached out, myself included. I know they must know I was fired, and they’re not going to compromise their own jobs by befriending an employee who was fired.

I have thought about connecting with a few of them, but I can’t handle the potential for being ignored. Being ghosted. Being rejected. And now, so much time has passed that it would just be straight up weird to contact someone.

Those people, who I felt were my family, are just lost now. Just a memory. I am trying to come to grips with that, and I am discovering that I am certainly not cultivating friendships at work the way I used to, in all of my past working career.

Now, my job is just a place where I work.

Don’t Look At Me

I now work in the same downtown district as my old work’s offices. We are only about two blocks away from one another. Every time I am near their offices, I can’t ignore the heavy feeling that there is an invisible dome surrounding it that signifies it is Their territory. Not mine.

Now, this is our busy downtown core – the business district, the shopping district, the tourist district. It is an area that belongs not only to this city, but to everyone.

But not me. I walk swiftly, hunched, eyes darting from side to side, head down, just trying to get to my destination as quickly as possible without being seen. I feel like someone in exile, someone who isn’t allowed to be there, and that I’m doing something wrong or dangerous. Like the police could arrest me at any moment and humiliate me for thinking I had any right to come anywhere near this area of downtown. I don’t belong here, it’s Their territory.

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All I see is Them. Somewhere, probably. 

Every time I enter an downtown establishment, I search the room – not for my companion, but for Them. Are They here already? Had They had the same idea for lunch today? Is that Them, also here for the movie? Are They also picking up bread at this bakery?

A couple of times, I’ve met up with Work BFF for a coffee or to drop something off. She knows the drill now – I can’t come onto Their property. I can’t meet at a Starbucks on the same block. We have to meet at a spot well out of Their Zone. She asks me where I’d like to meet, and makes sure “it’s okay” with me before we meet up. She knows I can’t be seen, and I love her for understanding.

One time, as we were walking to a coffee house, we saw Them walking ahead of us about a block ahead. I felt like the blood had drained from my body and couldn’t figure out what to do. I stopped momentarily, my eyes wild, and Work BFF calmly told me it was okay, and that we could still go. That They weren’t going to the same shop as we were.

In my mind, I couldn’t take that chance. I wanted to call the whole thing off – not go for coffee after all. It was freezing cold out, but I thought perhaps we should take off in a different direction, add 10 minutes to our walk, and go to a Blenz in a totally opposite direction. BFF gets me, but she also knows how to handle me. She didn’t give me a hard time as we kept our distance, ensured one full block separated us from Them, and let me be sure they were indeed headed into a different shop.

As we sat and drank our coffees, I ensured I could see the entrance to the coffeehouse so I could monitor each person who entered, always watching for Them.

“They don’t ever go to Starbucks – don’t worry. I promise,” Work BFF told me, and she was right. After a while I did see Them – they passed by, just on their way back to their office.

Disaster averted. But panic attack, although low-grade, not averted. It has the best of me. And it’s constant.

What would happen if I ran face to face into Them? Would I die? Would I be injured? Would everyone stop, stare, and listen intently as He yelled at me, telling me what a horrible employee he thought I was? Would everyone agree? Would He shove me aside? Would He give me a dirty look? Would He stare at me? Would He nudge his friend, point, and whisper something about me?

No, probably not.

In fact, he’s a pussy and would likely pretend he didn’t see me, leave if possible, or just get his shit and leave.

But I react as those all those things are possible. I still can’t face Him. Not after what he did to me. What he took from me – what I’ve given up, what I’ve lost, what’s changed.

I am missing a large part of my confidence, my sense of belonging, and my sense of security. I haven’t taught myself how to regain any of that yet.

I am not whole. Despite things turning out in my best interest, all things considered, I still feel like I am the loser in the game I played with Them.

It’s really, really hard.

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…But the Drugs Like Me.

I have an on-again off-again relationship with anti-anxiety meds.

And it’s never been because I am against them, or because they hadn’t worked.

I know anti-anxiety or antidepressant medication (same thing, as far as my Dr. says) is a majorly contentious topic. Even when I was looking up memes to put on this post, I kept seeing a picture of a forest that said “this is an antidepressant” with a picture of a pill beneath it that says “this is shit.” That bothers me a lot, because every person is different, and every person will experience something different when on a drug. They will work for some of us, and they will not work for others. Let’s just respect each other on that one, k?

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But I just wanted to discuss the topic. It’s my blog and I’ll do what I want!

For me, prescription drugs have, overall, been a positive and life-changing experience for me. I don’t care if it was a placebo effect, or if the drug actually does prevent serotonin from being reabsorbed by nerve cells in the brain. Because for me, those little pills do their job. And I don’t care how.

I was hesitant about disclosing what drug I am on, but I figure it probably isn’t a big deal to tell you that I am on Paxil. Those little pink pills have saved me. It’s been the one drug I have been on the most throughout my life, and I don’t intend to stop taking it any time soon. I am stable (ish) on it, and have way more control over how I go about my life.

I first started taking them in my late teens (see this post). I know a lot of people have experienced too many side effects to bother with them – but for me, they have been worth it. Now, at the age of 33, I am on them again, and still, they are worth the cost (minimal, thanks to my work’s benefits program) and side effects (also very minimal).

Sometimes it can be a real bitch when you’re trying out a new medication. That goes for a lot of meds out there: Even when my doctor prescribed sleeping pills for me, there were a couple that basically made me feel like I had injected caffeine directly into my aorta. Not exactly helpful. Drugs can be finicky. But under the guidance of your medical practitioner, you might be able to find something that works for you.

I can’t remember for sure if the first medication I tried was Paxil. It might be that I tried a couple. I might not have seen any results, or maybe I had too many side effects and tried a couple until I found one that worked well in my system. It’s been a really long time. The thing is, I have tried several different types later on as an adult, so it’s possible that I’m mixed up. It probably doesn’t really matter. All the same, it’s been a bit of a rocky road.

When I was young, I wasn’t that great at taking my medicine. I would forget half of the time, and one time I took six of them in one day because I mistook them for Tylenol 3s. They look nothing alike so to this day I do not know how I made that mistake – I just kept popping them because I still wasn’t getting the pain relief I so desperately needed! Don’t worry, I did call poison control and they said I would be fine, but would probably get pretty sleepy. I ended up napping for like 9 hours straight that day. (Coincidentally, I also have a story about how I took 6 Tylenol 3s – on purpose – since they weren’t kicking in as fast as I needed them to. I would not recommend it unless you like having a hot, itchy head, a frightened coworker, and a very, very deep sleep).

The only major side effect I can remember was that if I did forget to take it, especially for more than one day in a row, I would feel very nauseated. I remember that it would often be so bad that I needed to take them at the exact same time every morning. If it took them even an hour later, I’d feel sick enough to want to vomit. I’d struggle through work, and would even stay home. I was also struggling to take my birth control in a timely manner around that time, so it’s possible that that was the reason for the nausea too. I was very not good at the complexities of timing in those days.

I’m currently on Paxil today, and find that I definitely do not notice that I feel as sick as I used to. I’ve totally forgotten them many times, but never was it so bad that I ever needed to take a sick day because of it. I don’t know if they’ve altered the ingredients over time (I have no clue how things go in the pharmaceutical world), or if my own body chemistry just meshes better with it now. Either way, I don’t care. I’m on them, they work well enough, and I am not sick.

A few years ago, when I had re-started my prescription (after a breakdown – that post is for another day), I was going through a particularly rough patch and wasn’t convinced the drug was doing as good of a job as I’d expected. My doctor had me try a couple of other prescription antidepressants, and fuck. It was horrific.

First, I tried Prozac. Not only did I just plain not feel any better (emotionally), but I was always feeling kind of sick and anxious. Not the combo I was looking for. Plus, the goddamn things were gel-caps – those, to me, are horrible. I can’t handle those things for some reason – I feel like they stick to my tongue and they taste disgusting. But since I felt sick for more than a couple of weeks, my doctor said it was unlikely that that feeling would subside, so he wanted to try something else.

I tried Cymbalta.

Cymbalta and I are no longer on speaking terms.

That stuff was the most wicked stuff I’ve ever taken. When you first start taking an antidepressant, you will normally feel a little out of sorts for the first few days, or even for a week or two. That’s normal; your body is adjusting and the symptoms don’t usually last too long. That was somewhat the case with Prozac and me – except the nausea never truly went away. Same goes for Paxil. Sometimes you’ll feel a little loopy – maybe in a bit of a haze. That’s what Cymbalta was for me. But it never went away. And it was intense.

I felt very alert, and very, very woozy on Cymbalta. The whole time.

One thing with prescription drugs is that you should never stop taking them abruptly, or even try to wean yourself off without talking to your doctor first.

Even when you do switch up prescriptions under the direction of a doctor, things can be shitty.

Cymbalta and me were not getting along. Since I felt super loopy and spaced out, after a couple of weeks, I was done. I went into a walk-in clinic (my doctor works there, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to see him that day), and begged to go back to my safe, predictable Paxil. The doctor said “sure” and said I could simply switch that same day. I had run out of Cymbalta anyway, but still had lots of Paxil at home, so it would be no big deal.

Except it was such a big fucking deal.

The next day, I started experiencing what I can only describe as hard-core withdrawal. As someone who has never taken recreational drugs to the extent that I have been addicted and, uh, jonesin’ (…what’s the lingo here? Sorry, I am not cool.), I figured my ailment was akin to Joaquin Phoenix’s rehab scenes in Walk the Line.

I was now taking my Paxil, as directed, but simply stopped taking my (rather high) dose of Cymbalta. I felt so sick, so spaced out, and incredibly dizzy. I felt like the entire world moved every time I moved my head an inch. I was sitting at my desk at work, unable to focus on anything. I went into the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror after holding my head in my hands for a good 10 minutes. I was sweating and my pupils were totally dilated. Very pretty.

I then did what any reasonable person would do: I had someone pick me up and take me to the doctor I Googled my symptoms, convinced I could find myself a cure. As it would turn out, a lot of my symptoms were pretty consistent with symptoms of vertigo. I texted a friend who legitimately has vertigo, and further confirmed my self-diagnosis. Now I was on all fours, moving my head around like a weirdo, trying to mimic the Foster Maneuver.

It didn’t work.

I texted my mom and she was horrified that my doctor hadn’t stepped me down off of my medication, and suggested that I visit a pharmacy to see if they could give me 2-3 pills so I could ease myself off the drug slowly. Clearly I needed some of the drug back in my system so I wouldn’t be so dopesick (thanks, Urban Thesaurus). Luckily for me, there was a pharmacy directly below my office. Off I went. Staggered.

I recall feeling very dazed and confused as I waited in line to speak with the pharmacist. I question whether there was even a line to be standing in. I was studying the label of some Cold FX and trying to figure out how to get myself and my car back home in one piece, since I could barely look at the wall without spinning out. I felt like I had to look at that Cold FX package – I was experiencing some tunnel vision and if I lost focus, I would probably pass out. When I finally got to speak with someone, they (surprisingly) would not hand over random prescription drugs to a random girl who looked incredibly strung out and could not form a cohesive sentence.

Dejected, I went back upstairs and proceeded to [who knows? I was way too high and messed up to even remember. Maybe I worked? Or maybe I napped George Costanza-style under my desk. It’s impossible to know].

I never did talk to my doctor about the withdrawal episode I encountered. It did wear off after a couple of days, and a social-anxiety fiend such as myself was more than happy to take a couple of days off in lieu of dealing with my issue in a reasonable manner.

As I mentioned, I did continue to take my tried-and-true Paxil, and do to this day. There have been a couple of times when my doctor suggested trying other drugs (since my panic attacks do not seem to be willing to chill out, even on Paxil), but for me, it’s been better to stop toying with things and just pop an Ativan when things get tough.

You know, coping at its finest.

Paxil isn’t a cure-all. If it was, I would not be in the midst of a 6-week work hiatus as we speak. But it keeps me level enough to make real life decisions and face most days without too many issues. Paxil ain’t broke (well, not overly), so I don’t try to fix it.

And as Marilyn Manson said, “I don’t like the drugs, but the drugs like me” … kind of.

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