Nostalgic for a place where my pain belonged

In the past few weeks, I’ve felt like each time the spring sunshine warmed me, it also drenched me in nostalgia. Fewer words more aptly describe a feeling than this one. Nostalgia is about more than recollection; it is about the bittersweet nature of specific memories. I’m nerdy about language, so out of curiosity I…

Some good news

I think I am possibly the only person who can be given a pay rise and not feel good about it. Today I got a salary increase, and my annual bonus was decent enough. It’s not that I’m greedy and was hoping for a whole lot more. I just didn’t feel happy about it. At…

Choices: Any advice on Vortioxetine / Brintellix?

Quick question; does anyone have any experience with Vortioxetine? It’s also known as Brintellix, and Trintellix. God knows why they give antidepressants such ridiculous names. I almost want to avoid it purely for the fact that they’ve tried to make it sound bright and shiny… I saw my psychiatrist yesterday and he seems to be…

Being unmedicated: The lesser of two evils

It’s been almost eight weeks since I stopped taking my antidepressants. I didn’t go cold turkey, I tapered them off gradually over a period of several months. A year ago, I was taking a ton of medication: Sertraline and Mirtazipine, two kinds of antidepressants. Pregabalin, an anti-epileptic drug that has a heavy sedating effect Quetiapine,…

Today I learned how good it can feel to cry

This morning I experienced a powerful and moving CoDA meeting. I cried, without shame, in front of a group of people. That has literally never happened to me before. Particularly with this specific sadness, a sadness I have never been able to openly and comfortably share with anybody. Working the CoDA (Codependents Anonymous – more…

Should I give up on therapy?

How do you know when you’ve reached the end of the line in therapy? I’m not referring to being ‘cured’, just to a sense that I am not making progress anymore. Maybe the progress has always been so incremental that I only notice it retrospectively, but lately there has been an air of futility about…

Songwriting breakthrough: Don’t be a stranger

It’s been eight years since I wrote a song I thought was any good. But a couple of weeks ago I sat down at the piano one evening and this one almost wrote itself. You can hear a recording of it here.  Don’t be a stranger I’m haunted by these echoes Shadows of a history The…

We’ve reached the other side

Christmas has been and gone and I am relieved. All that horrendous, over-hyped build up came to its usual disappointing crescendo and instantly faded in the customary anti-climax by the afternoon of the 25th. I had thoroughly de-Christmassed my house by lunchtime on Boxing Day. That’s all very cynical, but I think being a grinch…

The gifts of recovery

I don’t want to get all evangelical, but lately I’m feeling a lot of love for the programme of Co-Dependents Anonymous. I run my local meeting every weekend. Sometimes it feels like a chore, but even on those days I do get something out of it. It’s hard to explain CoDA (if you’re interested, I…

Contentment in Copenhagen

Work travel again. This time I’ve actually been having fun. Normally being on my own all day would put me in a dreadful mood, but I’d forgotten what a great city Copenhagen is. And it’s even better in the festive season. I walked miles and miles tonight; just people watching, taking photos, smoking and drinking hot…

A few days in snowy Sweden

I like my job. It means a I get to travel a little. I see new places and get paid for doing it. That’s a great privilege. Don’t get me wrong, business travel can be boring, tiring and lonely, but I’m lucky enough that it’s usually short trips and not too often. It is important…

Coming off antidepressants

Last week I saw my psychiatrist and finally won the argument on antidepressants. I’ve wanted to reduce them for quite some months now, but have always been talked out of it by the people who supposedly know better. While I am confident they understand how the drugs work and their interactions, I’m not so sure…