what once was numb, is starting to feel again.

a couple of years ago, i had this discussion with my doctor…

“dr, i am straight up evil, every month, right before aunt flo comes to visit.  i can’t stand anyone.  i can’t even stand myself.  i’m cranky, i’m mean, my road rage is at a 10, i have no patience.  i can’t live like this.  it affects my relationships, i feel like a bad mom…help!”

she offered that, like many women, it sounds like i have a bad case of pmdd.  she prescribed a very low dosage of “zoloft” (antidepressant), suggested that i take it the week before aunt flo comes a knockin’, then sent me on my skeptical merry way.  note – she also suggested that i could take it every day, all the time…but that it was up for me to decide.

originally, i went with her first suggestion, but i liked the way it made me feel…i slept better, i felt happier, i wasn’t as emotional, i even lost some weight.  not that i needed to, but it was almost as if it acted like an appetite supressant…so, i started taking it on a regular basis. 

throughout the last couple of years, i’ve taken the medication sporatically…sometimes because i had forgotten to fill the rx for a week or two, other times because i thought maybe i didn’t need it.  but then i’d start eating like a pig and gain 3 lbs (big deal, right?), or i’d get super emotional about the smallest thing.  so, i’d rush to the drug store, request a refill, and start all over again. 

whew.  i was back to normal.  or was i?

(mom, dad…if you’re reading…close your eyes for a minute…)

there were a few drawbacks…

1.  low libido.  while sex was still on the agenda, i wasn’t overly excited about it.  i certainly didn’t initiate and the thought of parading around in lingerie and “f” me heels seemed ridiculous.  not to mention…excuses, excuses…i’m too tired.  i’m not in the mood.  eh, later.  i mean…who was i?  that’s not the paige i know, but that’s who i’d become.

2.  i was more withdrawn.  i didn’t share as much, which isn’t like me either.  i’m usually opinionated, witty, outspoken…hell, i’ll tell my life story to anyone who will listen.  a bum on the street, strangers on the interwebs…my life is an open book.  i have nothing to hide.  yet i was keeping it all in, locked up tight.

3.  a lack of inspiration.  i had no desire to enjoy everything life has to offer…going for walks, appreciating people, life, nature, exploring, working out, going for runs…all things that i used to embrace before the medication took over.  instead, i found that i was bored, not interested.

looking back, i realize that i was kinda lazy and had taken on a very blase blah attitude.

it’s like i was numb.  unable to reply, unable to make sense of things.  not sure what to say or how to respond to issues that were outside of my little realm. 

i mean, isn’t an antidepressant supposed to do the opposite of all that?!

is it possible that it affected me in the reverse??

as of two weeks ago, i decided to stop taking it.  reconnecting with MP and getting to know him all over again, has made me realize just how lucky i am to have found such an amazing man.  for the first time, i feel 100% loved for who i am and i don’t want to take it for granted.  i don’t want to miss it, don’t want to be numb to it.  thing is, MP has always loved me like that.  the good, the bad, the ugly.  he’d rather have me in my “raw” form…sassy attitude, outspoken nature, often emotional, über sensitive, sometimes anxiety ridden…it doesn’t matter.  he can handle it.  he wants to handle it.

in fact, i gave him a choice…medicated, lackluster, low libido paige OR…paige.

he chose me.

(crazy bastard.  love him.)

in the last two weeks (since not taking it) i’ve noticed several things, differences in myself that i am loving!

my head feels clearer
i’m more motivated
words flow easier
i have more patience than ever
i’m calmer, more peaceful
i’m more organized
i’m working harder at the office
i feel a drive within me that i haven’t felt in a while
i’m more aware of others
i’ve been spending more time outdoors
sex sounds like fun (wink wink)
etc etc

look.  i am who i am.  yes i’m sensitive and over-emotional and worry too much, but that’s me.  i’m not willing to compromise or bury that person any longer. 

call me crazy for airing this very personal information publicly, but it feels good.  i don’t mind sharing my self-discoveries with you.  my blog isn’t just about my love of fashion and vintage…it’s about my life.  so the haters can hate and go look at inspirational pictures of runway models in the spring/summer 2011 collections…elsewhere. 

thank you.  for sticking around to read this…if you even did.  i may have lost you at zoloft.  if so, that’s okay. 

i have to remember that the important peeps in my life love me for me.  so i might as well give the people what they want.  haha! 

now let’s talk about my outfit.  it’s pretty simple, but the accessories make it fantastic!(in my humble opinion)

sweater & tights – nordstrom. skirt – bcbg. vintage, southwest print belt – thrifted.

kisses and have a lovely weekend.


27 thoughts on “what once was numb, is starting to feel again.

  1. You go lady! I’m all for making changes and taking chances that could result in the better. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t, but it sounds like you’re kicking life in the cojones, so yay!

    Laura :)

  2. This is why I love you! I took zoloft for awhile a few years ago. I also felt numb. I was relieved I was no longer this hyper sensitive person but I wasn’t feeling joy or happiness either. I couldn’t live like that. I’ve become more aware of when I’m spinning out and I can usually make some small adjustment to pull myself out of it. Having a man that loves me as I am is part of it so I totally understand that and lack of libido when you’re falling in love…sucks! Thanks for sharing this:)

    ps-you look rad!

  3. FA_BU_LOUS. purple is your color!
    I’ve said this before but I LOVE that skirt.
    I like this story. I found the pill once affected my libido and then when i mentioned it to the doctor… (embarassingly) he tells me that that doesn’t happen.
    I wanted to punch him in the face. im sorry are you a woman with a vagina who takes birth control pills? didnt think so.
    what a jerk.

    UMMMMMMM moving on, im happy you are off medication! Sounds like you were dependant on them and that’s never good! hope you (sex) life improves with this change!

  4. Hi sweetheart, remember what I said about the weather yesterday? Today I was under the rain for like 15 minutes and well, now I’m sick… Anyways… Years ago, after my father’s death, because of migraine, and this year because of my hernia pains, doctors gave me those too… I started the last section like 8 months ago, took 3 months and couldn’t stand myself, stopped taking. Besides, it didn’t help about the pain!!! It just made me a robot! No feeling at all, a brain in a fog, no energy, etc… Well, I do feel very very down now sometimes but, anything is better I guess, I like my brain to be accessible :) And libido :P I’m glad you shared this, I’m glad you have this blog, like this. I wish you become more more happier… Love you! (and liked the purple with your sweet red hair!!!)

  5. I think that’s a great step to take and thanks for actually sharing it with us. Where else will you get encouragement from complete strangers!! But I do want you to know that you truly have people rooting for you.

    I also love your sweater – fave color.

  6. Although I read your blog on a regular basis, I think this is the first time I am commenting. I think it is great that you shared your experiences. Like so many of the others that have commented, I agree that you look fantastic in that purple sweater!

  7. yep, i took the stuff too. thankfully haven’t needed to in about 8 years. it feels so much better to be me. i am so glad that you are at a place in your life and have a support system that allows you to be you. there’s just nothing like it. love ya, paige :)

  8. i loved this insight especially b/c i think so many of us go through these ups + downs + ups again and need to talk about it. with each other. with others. you are such a special person to share this with us. i admire your honesty + general awesomeness.


  9. I really admire your ability to share. I’m usually a pretty private person so this blogging about myself doesn’t come naturally to me. But, I’d really like to become more open, and I think I’m starting to be. Your sharing always inspires me. Just FYI. And I’m glad you’re feeling great and clear and yourself and apparently a little bit naughty too!

  10. Paige, I’m really glad that you are were able to see through the fog and realize that something wasn’t working for you. Beyond being in a rough time in your life you were able to see that this medicine that was supposed to be helping you was actually hurting you. I’m glad you feel like you’re getting back to your real self. I know you probably don’t want to hear advice, but I’m a huge fan of acupuncture and although I only did it a few times I could immediately feel the effects of it. I began to not only feel differently but also think differently, it felt like I was thinking the way I should have all along. Since I’ve stopped some of that has gone away (which I why I want to start going again now that my weekends have opened up, ehem) but sometimes it’s worth looking into alternative ways to keep things in check.
    I’m just throwing it out there. And maybe when I visit we can have a big acupuncture sleepover pow wow. Glorious.

  11. Our similarities just keep getting more and more crazy. I was on Paxil (also an antidepressant) for nearly three years after my daughter was born. I would turn into a crazy person if I wasn’t on it. This summer I couldn’t get an appointment for a physical to refill my prescription, and I started to freak out a little. Then I stopped, make a conscious choice to live my life as me, rather than as the ‘medicated’ me. It was hard but, like you, I realized that a lot of the things that I thought were ‘wrong’ with me (low libido, withdrawn, ect.) could be attributed to the medicine I was on. Having someone there to accept you good and bad is amazingly helpful. We both happen to be super lucky that the somebody is actually a child and a lover. ;)

    Thank you for sharing this. I don’t always talk about it but it is really comforting to know that you experienced the same bad effects I did. Have a great (clear headed!) weekend!

  12. good for you lady!! honestly, how is it that you become more awesome every single freaking post? clearly, having stopped taking the meds, you are back to being wonderfully and refreshingly open. it’s a tad inspiring actually, i tend to be quite reserved, and then have bursts where i just want to tell everyone i cross paths with everything about myself, and then go back to being shut off, but i do always feel much lighter in the open phases. ho hum. i think you’re fabulous and your new/old mister is SO lucky (sounds like he’s pretty swell too though)

  13. im so glad to hear your story!! ive been on birth control FOREVER and recently got off only to find that i now have crazy mood swings before my period….i wasnt sure what to do but now that ive read this im definitely NOT going to see a doctor for it. id rather just be me…my husband doesnt mind. i dont want to trade 1 problem thats once a month for a couple days for multiple problems EVERY DAY!!


  14. Your honestly always impresses and amazes me. I love that you are so able to just let it all hang out here, it’s honestly really inspiring that you can do that. I’m so glad that you’ve made such a brave choice for yourself and that it’s working out for you. I really admire your strength and I plan on sharing this with one of my brother’s who has been struggling with a lot of depression and prescription pill issues (among other things) recently. I think it might help him to read about how you came to accept yourself. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Pingback: fall. (in theory, in photos) «

  16. You are beautiful. Thank you for sharing this. I’d much rather read a blog where the writer is transparent and real than one where she simply posts pretty things and doesn’t relate to anyone else.

    I’m happy for you. :)

  17. First: love the belt, love the sweater, love the whole look.

    Second: I hear dat about anti-depressants! I took Lexapro following my divorce in my early 20s. At first, it was a Godsend, but, like you, all those amazing benefits wore off after a while and all that remained was a shadow of my former self. (And the low libido thing mos def happened to me and was a major frustration.) So, also like you, I stopped taking it…and I’ve never looked back. For me, it (Lexapro) was a necessary evil as I was clearing an enormous life hurdle (and crying on the couch all day is no way to get over a hurdle). Thanks for keeping it real.


  18. oh i know exactly what youre talking about, once a month i turn into a monster :( but on the bright side you look beautiful in these photos! youre hair looks golden and i think that i have the exact same belt that youre wearing here! funny!

  19. 1. I LOVE this outfit. Fantastic, YES.

    2. Thank you for posting this. I think so often people don’t consider the side effects of medication. Anything we put in our bodies effects us, and not always JUST in the INTENDED way.

    The way you describe feeling on Zoloft is the way I felt on a birth control…like half a person…no creativity…sex drive…self. Now I know that BC is for your hormones and not your “Feelings” but uh, does your brain really know the difference between:

    “Here you go, this chemical is for your feelings. And this one is for your hormones…don’t mix them upp!” NO. It’s just a mishmash of chemicals and hormones in there doing their jobs making us US. Only we mess with it.

    Since I’ve been of BC (years now) I have felt so much clearer! It’s like the world was dim on BC and off it it is BRIGHT.

    So funny that it is such a similar experience with a totally different medication!

    Thank you for sharing this. You are GREAT.

    heart: Kimberellie

  20. Such a great post! I am so sorry I missed it until now, playing catch up. I have so much more that i feel about this post, but am finding it very hard to formulate in to words at the moment. Please accept my “great Post” comment for now. and Please know that I mean it.

  21. paige, my dear! i saw this post last week but wanted to be sure i had the time to respond to let you know how PROUD i am of your for being so fucking BRAVE to share this with us.

    i’m so happy you’re finding what works for you. while there is definitely nothing wrong with taking medication, its even better that you’re finding your natural self to be the one you choose.

    and i totally back up morgan’s advice – i’ve done acupuncture (for carpel tunnel, so not the same thing) but i can definitely attest to its immediate, almost tangible difference. if you find a practitioner that’s really good, i would highly recommend giving it a shot.

    anyway, again – thank you for opening up and sharing your story. you are so lovely and wonderful, i’m glad you are feeling the *magic* in every way (haha!).

    much love,

  22. This is so sweet, honest, and touching. I think the hardest thing sometimes is changing the habit, and I admire you for taking that step. How wonderful to hear that one small change is affecting you, as Paige and as the lady of MP, in so many positive ways! :)

    And your accessories ARE fabulous. Especially the braid.. love.


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