I’ve got my Lamictal withdrawal, my crappy sleep, and my period (sorry, guys, it’s a fact of a female life). I’ve had one of my worst days in a long time and I’ve got a big decision I need to make soon so I’m a bit stressed out. I was pretty low today so my husband stayed home with me to help me out. I feel like I take him for granted sometimes. He’s just TOO good to me and FOR me. He’s so supportive in so many of my goals and dreams and sacrifices so much for me. Soon to be 4 years into our marriage and I’m happier than Day One.

He recognizes more than I do the withdrawal symptoms at work in my body. I feel as though this fatigue thing is all in my head and he’s convinced it’s real. (I just think I’ve gotten lazy and sluggish.) My sleep troubles still persist but I’m on my second day of Tryptophan so we’ll see if there’s any improvement.

I’m not sure why I’m blogging about this. I’m feeling extremely mopey and pessimistic and am still struggling with issues of self-worth (and self-loathing). I know people reading this care even though my feelings tell me otherwise. Maybe that’s why I’m blogging this right now. Maybe I just need some social support. Please forgive me for asking for your support and encouragement. I could use it. If you pray, utter a prayer for me. Thanks.


Joy can be real only if people look on their life as a service, and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness. –Leo Tolstoy

Comments: CAPCHA back on

I've been getting about one spam comment a day but I'm much too lazy to start deleting a comment a day. It'd especially be annoying to go without checking my email or looking at this blog for a period of time then have to delete a slew of spam comments. So CAPCHA's back on. Oh well. It was nice while it lasted.


After receiving many e-mails from people asking for me help, I feel obligated to put the standard note on this site: I am not a doctor.
Never have been, never will be. I only offer my personal insights and options. I cannot offer medical advice whatsoever — official or unofficial. Please consult your doctor for professional medical advice.

The Zoloft-rage connection

ZoloftI’ve received a lot of hits from people looking to find a connection between Zoloft and rage/violence/irritability. Here’s what I have so far:

Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) information


I'm opening comments without CAPCHA to see what happens. While email addresses will still be required (use a fake one if need be), this should make it easier for people to comment on posts. (A few people have told me they would comment if it weren't for that silly CAPCHA.) If I get hit with a slew of spam comments, CAPCHA will be turned back on. Banned words are still in effect.

Effexor (venlafaxine) Withdrawal

I’ve compiled a list of my posts on Effexor (venlafaxine) withdrawal in chronological order. Do NOT take any of the information from these posts as official medical advice. This is based on my own experience; experiences may vary.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light

A comment from Susan from If You're Going Through Hell Keep Going, brought to mind a poem from Dylan Thomas called Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night. It always somehow encourages me during times when I'm obsessed with my own death.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Atypical Antipsychotics: Patient Safety Information

100 Things About Me: Second Round

Has anything changed since I last wrote this back in July 2007? Here are some new, old (in bold), and updated (in red) facts about me.

1.     I am 26 years old.

2.     I was born and raised in Brooklyn until I was 5 years old then moved to Long Island where I remained until I married at 23. (With intervals of being away at college.)

3.     My parents were married til’ death did them part. (My father died in 2001.)

4.     I am an only child.

5.     My extended family is split between New York and Florida.

6.     I am Haitian: ½ African and ½ French. Perhaps Spanish as well.

NYU7.    I went to NYU for my freshman year, a strict Christian college in Florida for a year and a half afterward, then received my Bachelor’s degree after attending a private college on Long Island for 2 years.

8.     I lived in Kentucky for 7 months and hated it.

9.     I live in suburban Philadelphia and love it.

10.   I liked my first job out of college as a copy editor at a daily newspaper.

haitian meal11.   My favorite food includes fried plantains, rice and beans, okra, Jamaican beef patties, goat (cabrit), and fried pork (griot).

12.   I am (for whatever reason) addicted to coffee and lattés.

13.   I usually order French Vanilla or Hazelnut coffee and French Vanilla lattés unless there’s a seasonal flavor like Pumpkin Spice.

14.  I attend Christian counseling every other Tuesday at the Christian Counseling Education Foundation (CCEF) in Glenside, PA. (That’s an endorsement!)

15.  I’m married to a very loving and supportive husband.

16.  I am not athletic. At all.

17.  I have a degree in Print Journalism and a minor in English.

18.  I have kissed one girl several times when I was under the age of 10.

19.  I suffer from bipolar disorder with the pendulum swinging way in favor of depression.

20.  I struggle with suicidal ideation.

21.  I have stopped counting the number of times I’ve attempted suicide.

22.  My favorite font is Tahoma.

23.  I am a Bible-believing Christian who is saved by grace in Jesus Christ.

24.  I am a member of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).

25.  I want kids but am afraid that I will be a terrible mother who lacks the discipline to raise her children well and in the fear of the Lord.

26.  I am incredibly insecure.

27.  I am learning that life is “not all about me.” (It’s about God.)

28.  I am a big baseball fan.

Phillies vs Yankees29.  I am a Phillies and Yankees fan. (The two loyalties do not conflict unless both teams meet in the World Series or a special game is played.)

30.  I love shopping for handbags and shoes.

31.  My favorite time to shop for clothes is in the fall and winter.

32.  I hate summer “clothing.”

33.  I rarely watch TV.

34.  I rarely watch movies.

neat room35.  I love organization, organizing, and anything to do with the art of organizing.

36.  I enjoy going to Barnes & Noble. (Mainly because I can read a book and drink coffee at the same time, which I can’t do at a library.)

37.  I don’t like chocolate except for Betty Crocker Low-Fat Brownies and Hot Cocoa.

38.  I am a procrastinator.

39.  I am usually late for nearly everything except for a scheduled train.

40.  I don’t like receiving flowers. (I think it’s useless to give someone something that will die a day or two later.)

41.  I wish I could get paid for blogging. (Google Ads did not work out for me. You can donate, though, using the PayPal button at the top right-hand corner of the index page!)

42.  I prefer to buy black clothing because it matches everything.

43.  I do not like to wear flat shoes except for flip-flops.

44.  My dream job is to be an editor at a magazine that has content which interests me.

45.  I want to pursue freelance writing.

46.  I can easily feel overwhelmed.

47.  I’m not very good at delegating.

48.  I calorie-count.

49.  I love learning; I wish I could be a career student.

Gabrielle Union50.  I have black hair, dark brown “doo-doo” eyes, and cocoa skin.

51.  I am 5 foot and ¾ inches tall.

52.  I have severe eczema on my calves and shins.

53.  I enjoy making lists. (Can you tell?)

54.  I don’t pray or read the Bible as much as I would like.

55.  I prefer having long hair.

56.  I don’t like to get paid for sitting around and doing nothing.

57.  I enjoy naps.

58.  I am ambitious.

59.  I have a great desire to be in a position of authority and an expert on a specialized topic.

60.  I want to be consistent about attending church regularly.

61.  I obsess about my weight.

62.  I don’t enjoy exercising.

63.  I have high cholesterol.

64.  I am very bad about keeping in touch with people via telephone or email.

bichon65.  I love small dogs.

66.  I am terrible managing a group of kids.

67.  I worked for a political grassroots organization in New York back in 2000.

68.  I have interned at Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s office.

69.  I can type 60+ words per minute (wpm).

70.  I loathe receptionist/assistant jobs.

71.  I have never been “accepted” in a clique.

72.  I’ve been told “talk” and “act” white.

73.  I don’t read fiction often.

74.  I am addicted to McDonald’s Fruit n’ Yogurt Parfaits.

bad math75.  I am terrible with math but can (for the most part) manage and balance a budget effectively. (Go figure.)

76.  I have several blogs: mental health, 3 personal, thankfulness journal, church sermon summary, exercise, political, and a secret one. In fact, I think I’m forgetting a few.

77.  I never had a cavity until I was 25.

78.  I prefer Windows over Mac except when it comes to iTunes.

iPhone79.  I have an iTouch and want an iPhone.

80.  I drive 26 miles roundtrip to and from work.

81.  I am registered Democrat.

82.  I am a conservative socialist. (I am pro-life and pro-government funded programs.)

83.  I am often anti-trend.

84.  I am kind, generous, loving, and loyal.

85.  I don’t like washing dishes.

86.  I don’t care for dusting or vacuuming either.

87.  I am a “starter,” not a “finisher.” (I sometimes start projects but don’t finish them.)

88.  I lack discipline in the following areas:

  • prayer time
  • consistent Bible reading
  • exercise
  • getting up at the same time each morning
  • going to bed at the same time each night

89.  I have a hard time coming up with more than 50 “things about me.”

90.  I prefer to handwrite novels and stories rather than type them electronically.

looseleaf91.  I often use both sides of lined paper.

92.  I can surf the Internet or write blog entries for at least 4 hours straight without leaving my chair.

93.  I prefer editing over writing. (But I enjoy both.)

94.  I don’t like interviewing people.

95.  I urinate a lot. (At least 2-3 times an hour.)

96.  I love to collect well-designed journals and notebooks even if I’ll never use them.

97.  I read young adult (YA) novels to get a sense of how to write a YA novel of my own.

98.  I love Victoria’s Secret pants because they’re the only brand I’ve found that fits me well.

99.  I am bad about backing up my files on the two computers I own.

100.  I used to be addicted to soda.

100 Things About Me

Outdated info crossed out; updated info in bold/italics.

strawberry shortcake1. I have a weakness for baked goods.

2. Even though I don’t like chocolate, I can devour a tray of freshly baked brownies.

3. I hate store-made brownies except from Friendly’s.

4. I’m totally addicted to vanilla lattes right now.

5. I’m a music junkie and love everything from Gwen Stefani to The Beatles to Franz Ferdinand to Nat King Cole.

6. I don’t mind country, but HATE bluegrass.

7. I like Windows-based computers, but am loving my Mac right now.

8. I attempt to read different mental health blogs that I don’t normally read each day.

9. I miss working at a newspaper.

10. I miss getting paid to write articles.

11. The company I work for pays me well and provides really good benefits, but I don’t see myself advancing there.

12. Both my husband and counselor have told me that my current last job is was not the right job for me.

13. I suffer from bipolar disorder with mixed episodes.

14. Much of my depression and disorder stem from behavioral and cognitive flaws.

15. I’ve tried using 5-HTP to manage my serotonin levels; it didn’t work.

16. I used to commute at least 30 minutes each way by train to Philadelphia.

Starbucks17. I’m not a fan of Starbucks coffee.

18. I love the Northeast.

19. I’m a New York City fanatic.

20. I’m a NY Yankee fanatic.

Anti-Red Sox21. I hate on Red Sox fans.

22. I like the Phillies.

23. In my preteens, my favorite artist was Paula Abdul. (Let the jokes pour in.)

24. I’ve only had three boyfriends.

25. I became a born-again Christian in the hopes that Jesus would “save” me from suicide and depression.

26. I gained 40 lbs on Paxil and Lexapro despite being skinny my entire life.

27. Exercise did little to offset the problem for a while.

28. I lost 30 of the 40 lbs through the following, in order: cutting out regular soda, eating Healthy Choice/Lean Cuisine for lunch, cutting out diet soda, exercising, being hospitalized and not eating the hospital food, walking to work (30 minutes round-trip) and taking Effexor which effectively eliminated most of my appetite.

29. I’m addicted to celebrity news.

30. I have an incredible amount of respect for Mika Brzezkinski for not leading an MSNBC news program with the Paris Hilton story.

31. I only drink water, tea, vanilla lattes, and vanilla or hazelnut coffee, and apple juice. I’ll occasionally have diet lemonade from Chick-Fil-A (diet or Crystal Light).

32. I think most of today’s Top 40 hits are awful.

33. I knew about Paul McCartney before I knew about The Beatles.

Beatles poster34. I had a huge poster of The Beatles  (the one shown is an exact replica) in college and kissed John Lennon on the lips goodnight every night. (Creepy, I know. Can I use bipolar as an excuse?)

35. I used to handwrite many of my posts on the train then type them up to be published.

36. As a result of #35, I have a ton of backlogged and/or outdated posts.

37. Sometimes I wonder if this blog really means/amounts to anything.

38. I hated not having access to my personal e-mail at work my last job.

39. I’ve been typing this for the past I typed this for 15-20 minutes and I’m only at only reached No. 39.

40. I’m a big Madonna fan.

41. Apparently, I’m a “chubby chaser”; all of my boyfriends have been overweight.

42. Two out of my three boyfriends were white, including my current husband.

43. I hate summer for outdoor bugs.

44. I love summer because I don’t deal with the winter bugs that find a way into my apartment.

45. I wish I could be paid to be a career student.

46. I would love to live in France for a year or two.

47. I want to be an editor for a Christian magazine aimed at single women in their 20s and 30s.

Confessions Tour48. I don’t want kids. (Now.)

49. I paid a ridiculous amount of money to attend Madonna’s 2006 “Confessions” Tour concert; it was worth it.

50. I worked as an intern in Sen. Hillary Clinton’s New York City office. (To answer your question in advance, I only met her once.)

51. I don’t have any close friends my age living in a 20-mile radius.

52. I met some of my good friends – including my husband – through the Internet.

53. I’m horrible at math.

54. I’m near brilliant in history. (More so than English.)

55. My GPA from college was 3.71.

56. My GPA from high school was 3.85. I’ve gotten dumber as the years have gone by.

57. I’m shy around people I don’t know.

58. I’m a loudmouth around people I’m comfortable with.

59. I want to visit Seattle. (A totally unrelated reason to the cool people who live there.) 🙂

60. I’m terrible at checking and responding to e-mails. Don’t be offended if you don’t hear from me until 5 months from now.

61. I’m socially liberal and… fiscally liberal. However, I have some definite conservative views (that I don’t care to discuss here) that would make me as a moderate.

62. I am an only child.

63. I was embarrassed about my father’s mental illness growing up. I now talk about his illness more readily.

64. I attended NYU for one year.

65. I am my biggest critic and probably dislike myself more than anyone else.

66. I’m afraid that all my coworkers don’t like me.

67. I’d like to write articles by freelancing but I’m not sure how to get into the business.

68. I calorie count obsessively.

69. I watch my weight closely.

70. I participated in AIDS Walk back in high school.

71. As a result of having an uncle who died of AIDS, I am somewhat of a gay activist. (I don’t feel that my beliefs contradict my activist approach.)

72. My initial majors in college were international politics and French; my minor was computer science.

73. I dropped out of international politics when I realized it involved mathematical statistics I could not understand.

74. My worst grade ever was a D+ in Economics.

75. My best grades have always been in History, English, or any foreign language.

76. I was close to being hired by the New York paper Newsday, but dropped my plans with them after deciding to marry my Kentucky-based boyfriend. (I basically had to choose between him or my dream job.)

77. I want the iPhone.

78. I don’t care for watching TV and could pretty much live the rest of my life without one.

79. If I had kids, I probably wouldn’t let them watch TV, but instead, encourage reading.

80. I’d also allow my kids to play video games. (That’s what I get for having a gamer husband.)

81. I’d try to influence my kids’ taste in music like my father influenced me.

82. I hope that if I ever had two kids, one would clearly look Caucasian and the other look African American in the hopes that I could confuse strangers about whether my kids are biological or adopted.

83. If I accidentally became pregnant, I wouldn’t terminate my pregnancy despite my aversion to raising children.

84. I’d become paranoid about my mental state postpartum.

85. I’ve grown apart from my childhood friends to the point where the only thing that ties us together is our history of growing up together.

86. I like fashion.

87. I’m not a fashionista.

88. I love shoes.

89. I have more than 30 pairs of shoes.

90. I almost always carry a pen with me everywhere I go.

91. I’d love to work for a major publication in New York.

92. I’m extremely dependent upon others.

93. I’m a sincere person.

94. Technology gadgets amuse me.

95. I’ve fallen in love with Guitar Hero II.

96. I dazzle interviewers on interviews.

97. I miss living within 20 minutes of the beach.

98. I walk 15 minutes to and from work many days.

99. I rarely think about the fact that I work in the city with the highest murder rate in the country.

100. I think I learned more about myself by completing this.


I’ve allowed HTML in the comments section. For now.

Blog design

I’ll be messing with the blog design on and off so don’t be surprised if it looks kind of funky every now and then when you visit the site.

I'm posting this on the 5th

Hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July.

IMPORTANT: Banned words result in deleted comments

I’ve had several spammers over the weekend now (for some reason, they’ve been posting in Italian), so in addition to banning IP addresses, I’m also banning some words. General cuss words have been banned (damn is allowed). "Nude" and "incest" have also been banned so please find a more verbose way to express that. If I get a lot of "naked," that will be banned too. Comments with those words are automatically deleted. (My posts [not comments] can get around it, haha.) Unfortunately, I’ve allowed the word "sex," because it’s pretty frustrating to have a legit comment deleted with that word. Or I may just have you start writing "gender" or "copulation" or that sort of thing. 🙂 "Gay," "lesbo," and "lesbian" are banned as well. Use "homosexual male/female" or "woman who likes women" instead. I know it’s a pain, but this would really help me out. This list is likely to be updated.

I am no longer allowing limited HTML. If you have a URL, just paste the URL without the HTML tags. Limited HTML is temporarily allowed.

I doubt you’ll have to use this process often, but it’s here as a reminder. I’ll place a link to this post in the right-hand corner of the site for easy reference.

I also am no longer accepting trackbacks. We’ll see what happens with that.

Sorry for the inconvenience, folks.


Despite the fact that a top spammer has been nabbed, somehow spammers have figured out a way around the capcha code and I’m getting a spammer comment per day. One a day isn’t a problem. However, if the frequence of spammers increase to an unmanageable point, I will have to require commenters to sign up for Typekey, a free service that allows users to comment on Typepad sites and all other Six Apart-owned sites. It’s not necessary now, but there’s no harm in doing it. For more information about Typekey, click here. Here’s an incentive if you need one:

TypeKey is a completely pseudonymous system meaning that no personally identifying information is required to use it. However, if you wish to tell the world a little bit more about yourself, you can put whatever information you choose to share on your TypeKey profile page. A link to that page is displayed next to every comment your make when you authenticate through TypeKey.