I really did intend to stay on top of writing, but...
The fatigue issue is still terrible. It took nearly 3 weeks to wean off of my medication which was causing the fatigue, and I have officially been off of it for 4 days now. Which means I'm still fatigued and I'm a hot mess emotionally and am waiting (desperately) for my brain to decide if it has the ability to make that chemical pathway work without help.
In a very short non-medical explanation, basically there is a chemical--Seratonin--in your brain that is produced at point A and proceeds to point B and when you feel happy it is because that chemical is flowing correctly, just like when you feel excited it's because adrenaline is pumping through your system. So yay for that chemical! However, for some people it seems that point A will crank out just as much of that chemical as the next person, but instead of flowing to point B it sort of pools up and get re-absorbed at point A. No! Bad! My brain can crank out the happy juice all dang day but if it never flows to point B I can't actually experience it. Or I only get 1/2 of it. A "meh" instead of a "woo-hoo!". Basically, life becomes very flat. And so everything sort of adjusts down: average is average, and good is now average, and awesome is still, oh, average. Except I'm frustrated and annoyed that I can't seem to get happy or excited about happy and exciting things. And things that stink still stink just as much as ever so basically the average experienced emotion is knocked down about 50 pegs on the "life is good"-o-meter. Boo.
If this is the case--which it seems to be in mine--then an SSRI may help, and for me it did. A ton. SSRI stands for Selective Seratonin Re-Uptake Inhibitor. In other words, it selectively blocks point A from re-uptaking (i.e. reabsorbing) the seratonin so it can flow over to point B as intended. Ooooooh, suddenly the kids laughing and being silly causes me to smile instead of just thinking I know this is cute. Hearing great news causes such a surge of excitement that I grin and laugh and maybe dance around a bit instead of just thinking That's nice. Man, you'd think I'd be more excited. Sorry, I really am happy. Really. I think.
So I'm off the medication and still not feeling much more energetic and worse, I can feel my emotional range flattening. Irritated? Registers at 100%. Scared? 100%. Angry? Covered. Happy? I force a smile and hope it hits my eyes and that the kids can't tell I'm yelling at myself in my head. It's not totally flat, but what used to be hilarious now generally registers as a "blow air through my nose in a laugh-y way" and anything more than that is basically me faking it and being angry at myself for being broken.
If the last two years of medication helped enough, my brain may now be able to find the right balance on its own and I'm all set, although it may take a few weeks for it to kick in on its own. Or I may just need a different type of SSRI with a different bag of side-effects instead of crushing fatigue and weight-gain. But my doctor wanted me to try being off of it completely for 2-3 weeks and then come back so we're just getting started on this stage.
And if today's emotional state is any indication, we're in for a very ugly two weeks.