Wednesday 7 November 2007

Behind the Scenes of a Shabby Girl's Blog

I'm going to tell you a story.

Its not a very nice story but it does have a happy ending as all stories should.

I'm telling this story because I really hope it might help someone out there who maybe going through a similar experience.

Once upon a time there was a girl named Rachael. She grew up and married a handsome prince called Babes.
Rachael and Babes decided to 'grow' a baby. Unfortunately Rachael was diagnosed as having a nasty disease called Endometriosis. This nasty disease gave her many years of chronic and debilitating pain.
Sadly because of this nasty disease Rachael was unable to grow her own baby.
Rachael became very depressed and her kind Doctor prescribed her an anti depressant drug called Aropax, Paxil or Paroxetine as it is known in other countries.

Rachael took varying doses of this prescription drug for six years. During this time she had three surgeries to clear her of Endometriosis, the last one being a hysterectomy.

Also during this time many happy things happened to Rachael and Babes, positive career changes, new houses and best of all they were blessed with a beautiful baby girl called The Princess. They were so lucky to have been chosen to be her Mummy and Daddy.

This year Rachael decided she didn't need the anti depressant anymore as deep down inside she knew she wasn't depressed and hadn't been for a long time.
In May, Rachael and her Doctor worked out a gradual withdrawal process from the drug, reducing it very slowly and carefully over a four month period.

Rachael took her very last dose, 5mg of Aropax in September, 3 days after opening her new shop. She went home and told Babes and her Mum that she might get a bit ratty because of it but nothing to worry about!

WRONG! Major understatement. Two days later Rachael was in the middle of a major drug withdrawal and for four weeks suffered the most terrible physical anguish such as a headaches, nausea, skin crawling, there were days when all she could stand on her skin was a cotton nightdress. Shakes, garbled speech, irrationality, tears, anger, fatigue, lightheadedness, diarrhea, agitation, muscle pain, heightened sense of smell and sound, vertigo and on and on it went!

Babes and her Mum tried to help her as much as they could but they both felt so helpless and never knew what was coming next.

Eight weeks later Rachael is physically well again but still finds it very hard to focus on things that need to be done and veers from being happy, to angry, to sad, to feeling overwhelmed, to happy again, all at the drop of the hat.

She has since read that this is all very normal and can last for up to 12 months before the effects of the drug finally go away.

Even though she is still on this emotional roller coaster she knows that in time it will pass and it does not need to be cured with prescription medication.

This is a very nasty and addictive prescription drug. Of all the different types of anti depressant out there, Aropax is the hardest to stop taking, with the worst withdrawal symptoms. In America lawsuits have been won against the company who manufactures this drug.

Please, please, if you are taking this drug, get your Doctor to switch you to another that is less addictive and easier to come off when you are ready. Also if you are withdrawing from this drug do it under full medical advice and with good support systems in place.

If you are the support person for someone withdrawing from this drug, all you can do is be there for them, giving them as much positive encouragement as you can.

If there is anything I can do to help anyone going through the same experience, just by talking, please email me at

Over the last few months this blog has been my lifeline, a lovely place to go to escape the yukky stuff that was going on in my real life. I started to call my blog my real life. Reading other blogs has helped me to remain creative and positive so I thank all of you so very much for that.


Anonymous said...

Hi Rachael, oh we have tears in eyes reading Your Story. You are so brave and also brave in sharing Your Story. You know where to come in Blogland for support and friendship :) Jenn and Jacqui xo

Natasha Burns said...

Hi Rachael,
Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. I have no idea about Aropax but will be sure to warn anyone I know who is taking medication now. I am so glad you find support and some happiness through the blogging community and do keep us posted on how you are going ox

Alison Gibbs said...

Rachael, thanks for being so open and sharing your life with us. Hopefully your experience and the fact that you have shared it with us all will then help us make others aware of what this drug can do. Endometriosis is a terrible thing. One of my daughters has it and luckily for her after the gyno. did his thing she went on and had 2 wonderful children.
How lucky you and Babes were the Chosen Ones for your sweet Princess.
Take care and we are all happy to have been a bit of support for you.

Unknown said...

Rachael. Thank you so much for sharing this. I have been on Paxil for 3 years. I have a sever chemical imbalance and could not even come closeto livinga normal life for 18 years. I cannot and will not be able to live without the Paxil. But if I even miss one day, I get what feels like shocks in my brain, fatique, dizziness an more. I would be terrified to go off it as I haveheard such terrible things about the side effects. Thank you so much for your warning and I am so glad you are feeling so much better.

Love ya,

Beth Leintz said...

Oh my goodness, I would never have guessed all that you've been going through- bless your heart. You're so brave to hang in there. Take good care!

bluemuf said...

Hi Rachael, You have been through a horrible ordeal and thankfully now starting to heal. We are all here for you and it took great strength to share your experience.

Hugs Karen

Anonymous said...

bless you for sharing

I never knew

Aimz said...

hey Rachael, so sorry you have gone through what you have. Some of my best friends have been diagnosed with the same thing. Lots of hugs and prayers for you here...

Lori said...

Rachael, I am so sorry that you are going through this very hard time...but SO happy that you DO have a good support system in place, yay for Babes and Mum!!! i will keep you close in my thoughts and prayers as you struggle with the lasting effects of being on this medication...*HUGS*

Barbara said...

Sending my love and hugz and strength to you sweet angel! Am always here for you regardless of the distance...just a key touch away....


Britt- Sparkled Vintage Charm said...

big hug sweetie!! A good friend of mine had endometriosis.She and her hubby never had the child they wanted. She just had a hysterectomy. You are in my prayers!

Deborah aka Miss Bee said...

Your story gave me chills Rachael and brought tears to my eyes. I don't know anything about Aropax, but I'll keep my eyes open for anyone who might be using it. You are courageous and so sweet to offer your help to others.


Sugar Bear said...

I too was on Paxil and had withdrawal after coming off. Not as severe as your experience but enough to have some uncomfortable moments. I have since discovered positive thinking, Reiki (I even became a certified Reiki healer!), accupuncture, and homeopathic remedies. All of these have been a great source of healing for me. I'm happy you have come off this drug safely and big cheers to you for sharing and offering your support to others.

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

Thank you for sharing your story with us. We are all glad you are in the blog world with us. Blessinds mary

Lori said...

Racheal, So sad about the meds. Guess I was luck in a way. Was on Wellbutrin for many years and have been off since early summer, had no side effects. Stilll have some mini bouts of depression and have noticed a little more increase in anxiety/panic attacks but there not horrific ones thank goodness. it just amazes what some of this stuff does. I've had a knee replacement then 2 auto accidents after that this year and the pain meds literally make me sick, so why even bother. I think to some like myself just do not tolerate medication at all. Take care dear and am so enjoying all my goodies you sent!! that was a wonderful pink box of goods!! Love, Lori

Anonymous said...

How thoughtful to share this story so that others can benefit from your experience.

Miss Rhea said...

Thank you for sharing that. I am so sorry that you have been silently struggling with all of that, bless your heart. Hugs,

Unknown said...

Racheael, did you get my email through Etsy in response to yours? Just want to make sure you received it and know that I answered you. Thank you so much :)


Beverly said...

I feel for you, hope Effexor does not do that. I have been on something since being diagnosed with a clotting disorder. Anxiety over it all. I hope you do well off the med.
Very courageous of you to put such personal feelings down to get the word help others.

Anonymous said...


Bless you! Thanks for shating your story. I love beautiful blogs of beautiful, real people, with real life that breaks your heart and makes it burst with joy. I know many people have found community, here, with you.

Best wishes as you travel your course.

Anonymous said...

PS isn't it amazing the curves that come to bring us to our princesses? In my own life, I would not miss a thing, to now hold the ones I do!

Cape Cod Washashore said...

What a heartwrenching story! I have seen in my own family how getting off of antidepressant drugs can be overwhelming. I am glad you have a happy ending (and a Princess to boot)!

Linda said...

Dear Rachael,my heart goes out to you. I had no idea you were going through such a ruff patch..I'm glad you take joy in connecting with others through your blog, I know I look forward to visiting you. With each day may you feel better, know other are thinking of you and wishing only good things to come your way. Blessings to you and yours. Linda

Anonymous said...

love the bag....

Pineapple Villa said...

Thanks for sharing your story with us Rachael. I agree with you about the blogs, everyone is so positive and nice it really does help in lots of ways. I am so happy the story has a happy ending, your friend across the sea,
Mel xxx

Alicia ~ Time Worn Style said...

Hi Hon and thanks for sharing your story. Just to let you know that you are not alone in going through this type of thing but there is a huge bright light at the end of the tunnel, rest assured!

Southern Lady's Vintage said...

Oh my! What a terrible ordeal you have endured! Thank you for sharing your story! Thank goodness for the support that you have received. I hope you will continue to keep us all posted of how you are doing. And I have to tell you that IS one pretty princess! What a blessing!

Artifax said...

Oh Rachael! I'm so sorry you had such a terrible experience! Thank you so much for having the courage to share your story with us. It will help others out there who may be going through the same thing. If not someone you know, someone else who is searching the internet for help and answers.

So glad you are finding support, friendship and comfort in blogland. Please keep us posted on how you are doing. {{{{hugs}}}}}

12 Days of Christmas Swap said...

I have just returned to the world of Blogging , as I have been busy moving house.
You see I am Rachael's mother and am overwhelmed at the warmth, love and compassion that all her beautiful friends in Blogland have expressed.
At times the journey of her Arapax withdrawl has been horrific, and for us `at home' her escpae to The Rose Room has been her salvation.
I admire my daughter so much for her courage to share her story with `The World, and believe that this too is part of the healing.
She is doing OK, but we take each day as it comes.
Thank you all
Liz (Mum)

Anonymous said...

Hi Rachel,
I just read your story about the endometriosis & all of the things you have been through. I had endometriosis and had a hysterectomy when I was 29 after having tried for 8 years to have a child. I don't have any children & alot of times it was hard but now I have other things to fill my life. I also have a wonderful caring husband of 34 years who has been so supportive. I am glad you have your daughter & I am glad you are recovering from the side effects of that medication. That is great for you to share to let other women know who might be on the same journey with this medication. I lost my sister (8 years Jan. 09) from suicide while being on antidepressents. She was 44 & I still miss her very much. I wish you well & enjoy stopping by your blog when I can. Your shop is beautiful!