I am Venlafaxine’s withdrawal

Vertigo turns the world into a clockwork of 3D moving parts. Walking is a calculated shuffle so nothing tilts. Getting behind the wheel of a car – dangerous. Reading, impossible. I know the shape of every crack in the bedroom ceiling as I lie, rendered useless and incapable. I am the imbalance of Venlafaxine’s Withdrawal.



Nausea is a game of roulette – some things stay down, some don’t. Getting sick is a relief. Eating is almost impossible. I am the starvation of Venlafaxine’s Withdrawal.

Diarrhea, intense, abundant and unforgiving, is its own feat of nature. The weight loss does not compensate for the humiliation, pain and cramps. I can’t leave the house for fear the world will drop out of my bottom. A clumsy stagger to the loo to make the deadline, the unceremonial sounds that reverberate from the poorly insulated bathroom are an undignified way to break in a new relationship. I am the detox of Venlaxafine Withdrawal.

Diarrhea/vomitting are the lethal combination. So sick I thoughtlessly stop eating and drinking because it just comes straight back up. My world is tilted and my mind is chaotic. I forget all about keeping lithium blood concentrations regulated, I forget about the danger of organ failure and the possibility of death. And then when lithium blood results return five times higher than the normal therapeutic range, you shit yourself….. literally…. and figuratively. Sitting cramping on the toilet, I write out a meagre will. I am the organ failure of Venlafaxine’s Withdrawal.

The impulse to cry is constant, and cause unknown. No valid reason other than I am immeasureably sad. The daily weeping endless and inconsolable. I am ashamed by my sorrow, I have failed as a functioning bipolar. I am the grief of Venlafaxine’s Withdrawal.



And then there’s The Fear. No self-respecting person would call it ‘anxiety’. It’s far, far bigger than that. Its a cold, hard entity that bubbles from the stomach and every marrow of your bones. It fills your lungs until you choke and cough and claw at your throat. It keeps you chained under the bed covers and locked inside the four walls of your home. It pursues you as you crawl into dark spaces to hide and sit, knees drawn to your chest, to cry, to scream. It accelarates your heartbeat and you gag and cannot exhale. Your heart pumps more and more dread and despair and you doubt your own suvival. I am the terrorism of Venlafaxine’s Withdrawal.

The isolation. Booked off from work for a substantial amount of time. Out of the loop, cut off, confidence waning, anxiety rising. Normally a happy recluse , I find no peace being shut in by vertigo, dictated to by diarrhea and having my hands tied by fear. That Fear, that icy cracking in my veins making everything mission impossible. I am the lonely confinement of Venlaxafine’s Withdrawal.

I am in pieces. I am the laughing stock of Venlaxafine’s Withdrawal.

But soon my time will come. I will patch my pieces together again. As I have done time and time again.  And I will be the success of Venlaxafine’s Withdrawal.

puzzle found on etsy

source: found on



How do you spell ’embicile’?

I was going to wait until I had something ‘intellegtual’ or ‘funny’ to post about. But let’s face it, this is bipolar. There is nohting nice to say about it. So here is my post today, spelling mistakes and all – since I appear to have adopted some type of hyprid dyslexia. Just another delightfully novel side effect from whatever, I forget.

I used to be an encglish fundi. I pride myself on good spelling and grammar. But since being medicated that’s all gone for a bucket of shit. I don’t just misspell words. I haven’t the faintest fucking clue how to spell the word. It’s not like me at all. I have to GOOOOOOGLE ‘how do you spell embicile’.

And today? Memory. Huhhhhh, my bad memory. I put me bihend at work by hours. HOURS I tell you! And I went in early this morning because we’re so buys AND I stayed late to catch up. I make notes. Reminders. But I forget to read my notes. I forget I’ve made notes to be read to remind me.

I googled it. It’s called cognitive something-or-other. I forget. But here’s the link if it interests you

The resullt of my confusion, memory fog, cognitive whats-it-whatever is I MAKE MISTAKES. When I make mistakes I get in trouble and if I get in touble enough times, what I fear the most………….. theln I possibly get fired. So for the most part at work, I feel useless, helpless and anxious. And I feel like:

Bipolar plays me for a fool

I had an unusal start to my day.

I was more than slightly bewildered by the lack of traffic on the road. And I got a fright as I pulled in to work to discover the parking area almost full. I was late. A quick glance at the clock in my car revealed I was very, very late indeed. An hour late. But my alarm on my phone had gone off at the right time this morning?

Confused, I parked and scratched around in my handbag, hauling my cell phone out. Hmmm…. That time was an hour earlier than the clock in my car. I didn’t have time to dwell on it. I had some missed calls and text messages from my father and my boss. They were concerned about me – is everything okay? That type of thing. They were probably worried I was hanging in my closet. I was touched by their concern but I needed to haul ass. It was a busy day. And I’d just lost an hour.

I came barrelling into the office talking about lost time and twilight zones amidst much laughter from everyone. Once I had calmed down, and scrolled through my phone, I discovered where I’d gone wrong. Miss Bipolar-can’t remember-anything-gets-all-confused-and-possibly-dyslexic (me) had set my phone to the wrong time zone. I live in Durban, South Africa. I’d set my phone to Dublin, Ireland. Durban, Dublin. Yes, similar. But really? Honestly? Dublin?

The joke was on me for the rest of the day. I played along to keep things light and funny. But the disturbing thing for me is, this time zone debacle is one of many, many confusions, errors and memory losses that befall me on a daily basis. And in a way, I can’t help but feel guilty that my ‘airhead’ behaviour today, although entirely unintentional, does reinforce some of the aspects of the stigma associated with mental illness.

Well, what’s done is done. Bipolar kicked my ass today. Let’s see how tomorrow goes.

How do they do it?

How do they do it? The ones with demanding and successful careers? The people with bipolar disorder who are surgeons and paediatricians, marketing managers and teachers, nurses and truck drivers. How do they manage their life? How do they juggle their illness plus the side effects of their medication plus their jobs that require a specific set of highly demanding skills, recollection and fine motor skills? How the bloody hell?

I could never be a surgeon, a welder or a make-up artist. My hands shake too much. You should see me in the bathroom in the mornings. I’m a nightmare drawing in my eyebrows. I’m a danger to myself wielding a mascara brush. And lipstick? No, we just won’t go there.

I could never be a pediatrician, a dentist or a mechanic. How do they remember the technicalities and details, so much information to be retained in order to do their job. How on earth could I be a bank teller or a hairdresser or the manager of an advertising agency when I can’t even remember what I did a half hour ago.

And a teacher? Forget it. I’d be so worried I’ll throw a rage in front of the students. And where do all of these professionals get their energy to be so industrious and accomplished? Granted I have a smidge of a demanding job, but by the end of Wednesday I’m exhausted. And I still have another 2 days to get through!

And please, where are all these accomplished bipolars with such successful work lives? Are they urban myths – I only hear about them secondhand from the boss of the accounts department whose uncle’s cousin’s friend’s father is a lawyer and he has bipolar disorder and he copes just fine. The only bipolars I personally know of are on disability and then there’s me, who claws and scrapes through each day like groundhog torture.

So I call bullshit to all these ‘well-informed’ ordinary folk who insult me by suggesting I could do better, work harder, smarter and that the world is my fucking oyster…. You’re a clever girl, you could do anything….. All I can say is, you don’t wanna KNOW what I think YOU can do.