Keep On Keeping On

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What a year 2016 has been so far.  It’s been a year of change for me — Big scary emotionally charged changes.

  1. Return to university (part-time online) (Still in progress)
  2. End contact with emotionally abusive ex-boyfriend
  3. Close my side fitness (personal training) business
  4. Start a blog (Still in progress)
  5. Change anxiety medication
  6. Renovate bedroom
  7. Quit taking anxiety medication
  8. Attempt dates to find love (Still in progress)
  9. Quit my 8 year nicorette (nicotine gum) habit (3 weeks and counting)

My 42nd birthday is coming up in 2 weeks, and it’s just dawned on me that I might be going through a mid-life crisis.

” They say it’s your birthday
It’s my birthday too, yeah
They say it’s your birthday
We’re gonna have a good time
I’m glad it’s your birthday
Happy birthday to you” – The Beatles

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Check each and every one on this list.

If we look closely at my list of changes, It seems pretty clear that I’m on a mission to find love: sweet sweet love.  Check it…

#2 – End contact with ex (obviously this needed to be done to move forward).  There was no need to be holding on to a three year supposed friendship that did nothing but make me sad.  Sad and broke.

# 3 –  Close my business down.  Between a full-time job, my own fitness routine, and school, I left myself with little to no time to date.  Plus I was always tired, so dating always seemed like a chore.  I now teach one class at the YMCA, which is strictly volunteer.

#5 & 7 – My medication eliminated my sex-drive.  It’s hard to date when you have no sexual desire.  I also felt that the meds were not working the way they used to.  Depression set in, which was never really my issue before.  I’m still working through this but I’m on my way to learning to cope with life medication free.

#8 – No explanation needed.

Five out of nine changes made to find love, so what do I want for my birthday?

Cheesecake

Oh and I wouldn’t mind falling in love, or at least to find someone to start falling in love with.

There are three months left in the year 2016, and I have two things I need to focus on.

First — Finish this boring-ass course I’m doing (Management Information Systems) Seriously, this course sucks.Image result for boring course

 

 

Second – FIND THE ONE.

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The extreme emotions that went along with unmedicating myself have eased up, and I’m ready to move onward and upward.

“Wise men say… only fools rush in, but I can’t help falling in love with ________________”  – Elvis Presley

Here’s hoping I can fill in the blank.  CHEERS!

 

Welcome To My Crazy

The follow-up visit to my doctor yesterday resulted in a change to my anxiety medication.  Walking out of his office with prescription in hand, I felt excited about some possible change.  My current meds work just fine for treating my anxiety; however, my non-existent libido is ready to move on.  My excitement soon turned to anxiety this morning sortly after taking the new drug.  I’d forgotten what it was like to introduce something new into my system.

It was eight years ago that I was put on my previous meds.  After several failed attempts with other anti-depressants, I was happy with my stabilized moods.  I’m concerned now that I will be trading my “normal-self” in for my “crazy-self” all for the sake of sex.  I have no idea how these meds are going to affect me, but I do know that the first symptoms were pretty nerve-wracking.  Within the first hour of taking them, I experienced rapid heart-rate, disorientation, confusion, and then just plain spaciness.  Most of the symptoms have calmed down throughout the day, so I’m hoping for the best.

I’ve had some pretty bad reactions to certain drugs in the past: increased anxiety, agitation, aggression, depression, just to name a few.  I’m praying for a good reaction to my new drug; however, I’m nervous.  I have that “What have I done” feeling, and I can’t shake it.  I know this is only day one, so I’m trying hard to relax and wait and see.  I’m heading into a three-day long weekend, which gives me some sense of relief.  Being at work while my body adjusts to the new medication feels torturous.  It’s pretty hard to focus on anything for more than 30 seconds right now — fish brain.  I’m not even sure if what I’m writing makes any sense.  Usually there are thousands of thoughts running through my brain at one time, but right now there seems to be nothing.  Nothing that I can hold onto anyway.  A thought will come to me, and then it’s gone before I can compute it — super frustrating.

Maybe a good long work-out will shake my brain back into working order.  ______________________________________________________right there, I spent 5 minutes staring at my screen with absolutely nothing going on in my head…………and there I go again.

I’m going to cross my fingers and hope for the best.  At least I get to spend the next three days doing whatever I want.

 

 

 

 

Let’s Talk About Sex

If an open discussion about sex makes you uncomfortable, you probably want to stop reading now.  OK, if you’re still with me, let’s get down to it.  SEX — I love talking about sex.  I can be down right dirty, and I have no problem admitting it.  Throughout my early adult years, I not only enjoyed talking about sex, I also loved doing it.   Morning, noon, and night: it didn’t matter the time of day —  if I wanted it, I did it.  However, this all changed for me around six years ago, and I am now on a mission to find out why.

Here are a list of possible reasons for my lame libido:

Possible Reason #1:

Medication.  Most anti-anxiety/depression medications come with a list of possible side-effects. Here is the list related to my meds:

  • changes in heart rate
  • congested or runny nose
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty sleeping
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • fatigue
  • fever
  • heartburn
  • increased sweating
  • insomnia
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • sexual dysfunction including:
    • decreased libido (sex drive)
    • erectile dysfunction (difficulty getting or keeping an erection)
    • inability to have an orgasm
  • stomach upset
  • yawning

I have bolded some of the side-effects I experience.  Just my luck I don’t suffer from a”loss of appetite.”  😦

Sexual dysfunction (decreased libido); there it is.  This has to be the reason right?  According to my doctor, maybe not.  On a visit to my doctor last week to discuss my “sex” issue, a change in hormone levels could also lower my sex drive.  I’m skeptical, but I’ll play along.

Possible Reason #2:

Perimenopause.  41 is a pretty early age to be experiencing perimenopause, but it’s not impossible.  Hormonal changes would explain the irritating breakouts and random facial hairs I’ve had over the past few years.  Let’s look at the list of symptoms that correspond with perimenopause shall we:

There it is again — Lower sex drive.  I also have fatigue, dryness, discomfort during sex, mood swings, urinary urgency, and trouble sleeping.  My friendly doctor thought it would be best to test my hormone levels before we made any changes to my anxiety meds.  Lucky for me, I was sent to the blood lab to have a needle shoved into my veins, and my samples are being read as I speak.  However, there are still two more possible reasons for to consider.

Possible Reason #3 

A Bad sexual experience.  This one is only a theory, as I’m not a therapist.  However, the timing of my reduced desires coincide with when I met my ex-boyfriend.  For the first six months of our relationship there was no sex, but not for a lack of trying on my part.  I tried everything to seduce him, but he didn’t make a move.  When I finally confronted him, he told me it was because he was passing kidney stones and getting hard hurt.   Regardless of his reassurance, I couldn’t help but feel he didn’t find me sexy.

This next bit is difficult for me to talk about, so I will only give a brief recount of the years that followed.  

Unbeknownst to me, my ex had a long history of drug use.  This did not come out until  a year into our relationship.  I hate admitting this, but I allowed him to persuade me into trying both extasy and cocaine. I was 35 when I had my first experience with both of these drugs.  I used on an off for about two years, and I feel the only reason I didn’t become addicted was because of my anxiety.  I completely regret those years, but there’s nothing I can do to change the fact that I did it.

The saddest part was that my ex only seemed interested in sex when he was high.  He also had feddishes that I was not comfortable with, yet I played along to make him happy.  In the last year of our relationship, I had stopped using drugs, and we never had sex.  That was over three years ago, but I think it’s possible the experience changed me.   I don’t regret much in life, but meeting my ex is something I regret everyday.

Possible Reason #4

Generalized Anxiety Disorder.  It’s possible, but unlikely that my GAD could be causing my low sex drive.  I say unlikely, because I have had GAD since I was a teen, and it wasn’t until I turned 35 that my sex drive took a nose dive.  That said, here’s what Health Line has to say about anxiety disorders:

“Anxiety disorder may cause loss of appetite and lack of interest in sex. Other symptoms include muscle tension, headaches, and insomnia. Frequent panic attacks can cause you to fear the anxiety attacks themselves, thereby increasing overall anxiety. The constant state of stress can lead to clinical depression. You are also at increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. If you already have heart disease, anxiety disorders may raise the risk of coronary events.” – See more at:  http://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/effects-on-body

Conclusion

I have identified four potential causes for my low sex drive, with high hopes that I can fix it. I’m working with my doctor to find a solution, and with any luck I’ll be on the prowl again.  Sexual dysfunction hurts, and this girl is ready to fight.  I’m ready to take back the piece of myself that’s been lost for too long.

For more information about the topics discussed in this post, check out the links listed below.

http://www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/Cipralex

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/perimenopause/basics/symptoms/con-20029473

http://www.timberlineknolls.com/mood-personality/anxiety/signs-effects/

http://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/effects-on-body