Sixteen days ago I decided to try to wean down my citalopram (Celexa). At one time I took as much as 60 mgs, synergized with clomipramine (Anafranil). For about 2 years I've taken 30 mgs, which is a pill and a half. Twice in the past, I had tried to wean down to 20 mgs. But, I would start having powerful and disturbing obsessions. I didn't want to tolerate them, so I went back up to 30 mgs, and they went away. Yesterday, was day #1 of symptom "pop thru". I've been worried about accidentally contaminating my food. I have felt "not clean enough" after washing. Last night I felt bloated and my mind brought me to ovarian cancer, stage IV, of course. I was already planning my goodbyes.
Here's the gift, the fruits of doggedly trudging my cobblestoned paths of recovery. I told myself
1. It is probably your OCD and not cancer. 2. There are many reasons to be bloated, and all are more likely than ovarian cancer. 2. I am late with my gyn annual exam and mammogram, and cholesterol screening. Perhaps it is me telling myself to get on the ball with that and stop procrastinating. 3 - and here's the real change in me, the spiritual recovery - Even if I do have ovarian cancer, i will make the most of it. If this is the place my higher power has put me, then it where the gifts are for me. I will suck the marrow out of whatever life I have been given.
With my head on my pillow and my arms wrapped around my sleeping beloved, I felt at peace, despite my concern. I know I am loved by my partner, my parents, my children, and the Great Spirit. I know that everyday people face, accept, and shine under conditions of great duress. Somehow, somewhere, deep within me is a peaceful core. Last night I tapped into it and drifted off to sleep.
This morning I know in a "non-OCD way" that I need to make those appointments to take care of my health. I know that I probably don't have ovarian cancer. I also know that one day I will face a health crisis, I will face my mortality, and I will pass on, leaving loved ones behind me. It is not something I need to ward off with rituals. It is a reality I can accept and live with.
For someone like me, with a history of years of ferocious hypochondriasis and an intense fear of death, it shocks me that this is my reaction. I think I may make it through this med change.