Monday, June 22, 2009

About the Blog...

Hello, Friends. I think that I am almost done with the blog, but am hanging on just until I get to the point where I can chronicle my going-off-meds experience. I had hoped to be able to do this many months ago, but the fates did not allow it. I had to stay medicated.

I feel it would be a fitting end to this blog if I successfully go off the meds and stay normal for awhile. It would be just as fitting if the experiment doesn't work and I, like millions of other depressives, need that daily chemical adjustment in the form of a pill. I am hoping for the former as an end to this public story.

I have prepared my body. With the guidance of my naturopath, past research and some supplemental reading, I am on a Program. I do a level II yoga class twice a week. I do an exercise class called Body Balancing twice a week (this involves a lot of balancing on balls and isometric actions. I think soon I'll be able to crack a nut between my thighs). I try to walk for at least 30 minutes three times a week. And I meditate three times a week.

I drink green tea daily, and no longer drink coffee, even the cheating half-decaf drip I was making at home for awhile. No black tea, neither, so no more chai latte indulgences.

Some other things that are off-limits: processed sugar, wheat, baking soda and powder, processed soy, food additives like preservatives and fake colors, alcohol, and cigarettes. For the cleanse I'm currently on I will also go off dairy and nightshades for a time, but I won't be making that a regular part of my life. The rest of it, except maybe the leavening, I intend to stick with. I feel so good.

All of this is in preparation to go off the meds. And to see if I have sensitivities to any of those foods.

I let go of these things by degrees over the last month. Dairy may be harder to transition away from than coffee or alcohol, which is why I'm putting it off for another week. I can't deal.

The amazing thing I'm discovering is how much there still is that I can eat. Now, I confess, I am one of those annoying people who really could eat brown rice and broccoli most nights of the week and be perfectly happy. As long as I can also eat my new favorite dessert: mascarpone cheese sweetened with honey, sprinkled with strawberries and slivered almonds. It's not a low-calorie food, but it is 100 times more healthful than a donut. Or a muffin. And I'm not in this to count calories.

How I feel: Light. Energetic. Clear-headed.

At first I felt confused and frustrated. The first week of the no sugar/no wheat part of the cleanse I nearly cried because I missed my favorite foods so much. What the hell kind of comfort does a salad give you? None! Giving up coffee again made me somewhat miserable for a couple of days. I felt sleepy and depressed. (It passed.) Giving up alcohol, though, has proved to be less difficult than I thought it would be. I miss the taste of wine, but I do not miss the way I felt and the thoughts I had after a couple of cocktails. Drinking always throws me into a somewhat dark tailspin, and I don't need that.

My blood-sugar is stable because I'm not eating sugar or a bunch of high-glycemic-index carbs to send it shooting up and plunging down. I eat a little bit of protein every three hours. And I eat protein with every meal. I always have hard-boiled eggs and a pot of quinoa in the fridge. And bags of almonds.

I must confess to you that I was hoping this would all result in me dropping a dress size. Hasn't happened. Which brings me back to one of the reasons I want to go off meds: weight gain. The weight gain was minor, about 7-10 pounds, and even though people tell me to get over myself, I really wish I was back to my pre-meds weight. (Some people gain a lot more. I am lucky.)

I hope you will stick with me as I embark on the journey forward. Tomorrow I see my naturopath. It's my hope that she will tell me I can start cutting my pills into tiny pieces.

I'll be reporting shortly.