Back to a familiar space – here, and in my head.

I am excited to be writing here on OpenDiary again, though the impetus is somewhat unfocused.
I do miss the solidarity of the OD community (circa the early 2000s), but the writing and the reflection that journaling requires is sometimes an emotional terrain that is hard to wade through. I have been thinking that I need it though — the mental exercise of having to express myself and think through my feelings. It brings a sense of mindfulness that I feel I don’t get a chance to work through in my daily life.

Where have all the colorful fonts gone, though? I used to love the personalization one could bring to their OD. Silly me.

Well, fast forward X number of years and I am back on OD. I don’t know anyone who still writes on here but hopefully I will make some new connections. I am now married (sometimes happily – sometimes unhappily), living in New York, and teaching high school in the Bronx. I have adopted a one-eyed cat, and as of a few months ago, a sweet fluffy dog. I have struggled with anxiety and depression for the better part of my life, but only recognized it and took action on it in the past few years.

I have cycled through a number of antidepressant medications. Maybe four years ago, I got on Citalopram, which worked beyond my wildest dreams. It energized me emotionally – I felt uplifted, stable, clear. Of course, shit still happened but I was able to identify and cope with my obstacles in an objective way – without the burgeoning cloud of depression that often made things out to be more than they were. Most importantly, the Citalopram made me like the truest version of myself and who I wanted to be. I felt so lucky, and so grateful, like it was a magic fix for a problem I had assumed was just what I had to live with. I can’t overstate how much it felt like I had come home, like I had finally found a solution. I was so happy.

Then, maybe over a year in, the Citalopram lost its magic. I even went to a different psychiatrist for a second opinion, and was told that sometimes, medications just stop working.

I was panicked, but hopeful in a small way, and wanted to keep trying. I’ve had a taste of what Normal is like, maybe even Good. I know it exists, and I want it back.

I’ve been on about three other medications since, and am currently on 30 mg of Lexapro, which I am told is the closest thing to Citalopram. I’m hoping someone out there has experiences to share, though I know these work very differently for everyone. Lexapro is, well, okay. It’s sort of stabilizing – I’m not plunging into random bouts of depression or crying spells – but I also find it difficult to be motivated or to look forward to anything. My doctor has recommended pairing with Wellbutrin – which is supposed to energize and uplift.

I’m just feeling defeated that it is one more pill I will have to take and why can’t I climb back to where I was before? I’m the Captain of the damn Sunshine Club at my school. Nobody who meets me would even begin to suspect I feel so miserable and defeated on the inside. I would love for my internal existence to match my external one. I feel like the anxiety builds even more anxiety – I woke up last night and randomly yelled, “FUCK YOU!” into the darkness. My husband stirred but did not wake up. My dog trotted over to my pillow and my cat ignored me.

Honestly, even if I don’t find the kind of community here that I did in the early 2000’s, writing this entry alone has helped me clear my head. No doubt there are lots of other things that fill up my headspace on the daily, but at the moment, my mental health journey is at the forefront of my worries. It’s just hard not to feel discouraged. I know what I could be like, I’ve seen it, and I want to find a way back.

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1 week ago

I’m also glad OD is back. I don’t write as much as I use to in the past, but try

1 week ago

@serenadeoliver I think so much of it depends on the crowd, for me at least. Having people whose lives I cared about and who cared back was an added bonus to the writing, such a great community. 🙂

1 week ago

*waves back*

The struggle to find the right  medication is ongoing. I’m on Effexor and have completely lost my sex drive- which is frustrating. Honestly, marijuana has been keeping me more sane than the medication sometimes.

In solidarity!

1 week ago

@meghanwithanh Thank you so much! It really does comfort me to know that I’m not alone in the crazy sea of medications out there. I guess I should be thankful this one isn’t THAT bad.

1 week ago

OD is definitely a smaller community than it was back in the day, but I like it better. Good folks here! Welcome home 🙂

1 week ago

@dancingthrough Thank you so much! 🙂 We’re OD dinosaurs! I’m overwhelmed by the kindness already on my first day.

1 week ago

Ellie,

 

I too miss the old OD and all the fun with the backgrounds and fonts…the sense of community isn’t quite the same mainly because of the smaller community…also I think the survivors are more careful,  there was also many toxic people on OD…

There is still an enormous amount of support and caring here…I am sorry for your suffering, especially the idea of being one thing on the inside and another on the outside…

As an aside my son was on Wellbutrin  and it seemed to really help him…

I myself am going through a period of extreme stress and I am taking a Xanax (sp?) about 2-3 a week..it does help, at least makes sleeping easier..

All our thoughts are with you!

-Beauty for Ashes

1 week ago

@beautyforashes Thank you so much! The colorful OD backgrounds and such were where I learned simple HTML codes as a teenager. I myself had never encountered toxic folk on OD but I guess that comes with any large population of people. Overwhelmed by the kind welcome back on here from you all. 🙂 And thanks for the Wellbutrin comment – it actually spurred me to get started on it today, despite having picked up my prescription a week ago. I hope your stressful times pass too! I will check in on your diary later and hopefully be a good audience.

1 week ago

Welcome back to OD! I also struggle with depression and anxiety. I tried Lexapro many years ago, but I don’t think it worked for me. The one I had the most success with was Zoloft, but that stopped working. It’s a challenge trying to figure out medication. It’s a really frustrating process. I hope you can get that figured out, so that you feel your best again

1 week ago

@heffay Thanks for your note! I am so touched by the warm welcome back to OD. I was on Zoloft for a brief month but it was terrible for me – I just find it so crazy the different effects these medications have on different people. It’s truly a soul-sucking process to stay on track and keep finding the right one. Are you on anything now that works for you? x

7 days ago

@ellietakara I’m currently on no medication, which is not going well. I’m about to try and find something new though. Just have to work up to schedule the appointment.

Welcome back. I’m nostalgic for the OD of old but have met super amazing people this time around, too.

Good luck on the medication front. It’s great when things are clicking, but, good god, when they’re not? Poop City.

Anyway…Welcome back! Hope you find things to love here.

1 week ago

@thecriticsdarling Thank you so much! I’ve gotten some notes from fellow OD dinosaurs and it’s nice to know there’s so many of you still around. It was such a big part of my  teenhood/young adulthood and I miss that aspect of self-reflection combined with friendship.