post Sunday, you know that I am getting myself off of Celexa and that exercise has been really helpful managing the withdrawal symptoms. What I didn't mention was that even though my doctor said it was OK to stop, he didn't know that I was going to try quitting cold turkey.
You can Google "exercise and mental health", and the information you'll find in the countless articles essentially point to the same thing - exercise does wonders for mental health, with the leading theory being that the release of endorphins during exercise is what makes you "feel good". I now know this to be true, first hand.
Without getting into the chemistry, when a patient stops taking an anti-depressant, it's a huge shock to their system. In other words, with it's new found "freedom", the brain can very easily jump on the express train to Crazytown. And remember, I didn't step down my medication - I straight up stopped. So not only was I on the express train, the train had no brakes. But I didn't realize this until yesterday.
The side effects of withdrawal were completely manageable on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I think this was the case on Friday because it was the first day. Saturday and Sunday were work-out days including both high volume and intensity. But yesterday was a swim day, and a lazy one at that. In fact, it was essentially an active recovery day. So I didn't sweat it out, pound the pavement, grind the gears or do anything remotely as strenuous as I did over the weekend.
And mentally, I was a complete wreck. Ask Kovas and Chris K. Ask the empty half gallon carton of ice cream that was full yesterday but is now in the recycling bin. Ask the poor Expedia customer service rep I was berating at one o'clock this morning because there was a problem with a travel reservation for one of my employees. Since I couldn't sleep, I figured there was no better time than the present to call her.
But just because I'm temporarily crazier than usual doesn't mean I'm not realistic. It was time for a strategy shift. I briefly considered making sure I could either run 10 miles or cycle 50 miles every day for the next few weeks to guarantee a huge daily endorphin fix. But I quickly realized that wouldn't work. Instead, I called my doctor, explained the mess I had gotten myself into and asked him to help drag my ass out of it. I didn't get a lecture. He actually said that some people can just stop. But it looks like I'm not one of them.
So I'm back on the Celexa - half my old dose for 2 weeks, and then half of that for another 2 weeks. And then (in theory) I'll be done. In hindsight, I see the wisdom in this. Hopefully, I'll get some sleep tonight and not crazy dial any more toll free numbers.
By the way, I rode 42 miles today. I figured it was a good insurance policy.