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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

Some Books
I'm In...

Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

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Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

« I recover; Henry planders. | Main | I am SO FAMOUS NOW. »

One more about the drugs.

I have been completely Effexor-free for, oh, a little over a week now. My emotions are back to normal; I believe that my term as Crazy Crying Lady has ended. This would be good news were it not for the fact that I happen to be dying. I think there was a little heroin mixed in with the Effexor and no one told me. I’ve been enjoying a fascinating variety of physical sensations. Hot! Cold! Hot and cold at the same time! Queasy! Starving! Racked with stomach pain! Nauseated and starving and trembling like a damp Chihuahua! Today has been spent curled up in various locations around the apartment. Next to Henry’s train set. Abutting the Galaxy of Star Wars Guys. And, of course, on the couch.

I’m so tired that I fell asleep in mid-sentence while conversing with Henry, who did not appreciate this. He has told me, in no uncertain terms, that he is not pleased with my performance lately. The mother of yore, who would take him to the playground and/or build Jedi starfighters out of play dough, has been replaced by weird shaky mom who lifts her head from the pillow to ask him if he wouldn’t mind watching a little more TV. The answer to that question, incidentally, is “Normally I would relish the opportunity to watch television until my brain falls out through my slack mouth, but today I would rather force you to rise from your prone position and make you twirl around with me, so start twirling, queasy lady.”

On the other hand, Henry basically potty-trained himself last week. I brought up the topic, and he put his hand on my arm and all but said, “Why don’t you let me take care of that.” I wasn’t sure if I needed to provide a reward system, some stickers or M&Ms or maybe some Effexor capsules, but as it turned out, for Henry the reward was in the doing. All I had to do was rush to the toilet whenever he had done his thing and provide the appropriate accolades. Then Henry flushed and I returned to my lovely couch.

I’d like to feel better soon, but on the other hand if I keep this up he’s going to teach himself how to dress himself. And cook. And read. And start a blog called “My Deadbeat Mother.”


Reader Comments (54)

Aw, I hope you feel better soon. I'm glad Henry is there holding it all together.

December 8, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterEm
Your tales of coming down off effexor scare the crap out of me.
December 8, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterstatia
Maybe you have the flu? I hope you feel better soon either way.
December 8, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterTB
That's it,I'm going to stop taking my ALlegra-D and see if my little man will potty train himself,cause right now he has a violent opposition to the whole notion. I've even got a bowl of M & M's at the ready should he decide to give it a go. What kind of kid turns down M & M's?? Maybe he was switched at birth or something.
December 8, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterContrary
Did your child really say, "Why don't you let me take care of that?" or was that hyperbole? If he really said that, then, wow, you have the coolest kid ever. Go Henry.
December 8, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterVida
He didn't say that, no, but he is calling me "Mother Dear." I don't know what's up with that.
December 8, 2005 | Unregistered Commenteralice
I was wondering if you might be preggo also, but I guess Amanda helped get an answer to that question. Anyway, if a major case of narcolepsy is what it takes to get the kid to potty train himself, I'm definitely going to have to try it when my next kiddo is "ready." Feel better soon, and enjoy traveling with a smaller bag... with no diapers!!!
December 8, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterChristyD
This is coming from the woman who has no kids, but who did raise her baby brother from birth because: "You asked for a baby brother, now you feed him. Here's how you warm up formula." The pediatrician told us the best way to train boys is to basically let them figure it out themselves. Apparently forcing potty training on kids, especially boys, can lead to bed-wetting. I figured it'd be less embarassing for my brother to be 4 and still in diapers than 17 with rubber sheets. As it turns out, one day he said: "Can I get THOSE?", referring to the briefs with Superman printed on them. Then I explained what it entailed to be able to wear those particular undies, and son of a bitch if he didn't start doing it all himself. The lesson here is: lazy parenting pays off. Except when they have to learn how to do laundry themselves. This comment is too long. I'd delete some stuff, but screw it, didn't I already say that I was lazy?
December 8, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterB
I am sending you all my good thoughts and wishes to feel better soon.

December 8, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterSharon
So I'm down from 20mg a day of Paxil to 10 and holding while I recover from what my doctor now says is a case of adult whooping cough! I will go off the Paxil 100% after Christmas.

Even cutting down to half the regular dosage of Paxil was a trail. I can really feel for you when it comes to coming of a drug like Effexor 100%! Keep up the brave work.

BTW Finslippy readers, YOU may in danger of getting whooping cough! trust me, you DON'T want to get it! You can read all about my experince with it in my blog entry on the subject at
December 8, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterCharles R. Kaiser
"My Deadbeat Mother?" I'd read that. Especially written by the inimitable Henry. But I do agree that you should stay on the couch a bit longer, at least until he learns to fix you a drink: put some ingredients in a shaker and have him play a game of shaking it as hard as he can while you recline in comfort. Then give him a sticker.Voila!
December 8, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterAlexa
KEEP IT UP! Or, at least fake it. You could ride this train right through adolesence and never have to lift a finger. He'll love you all the more for the independence you taught him inadvertently through your neglect. It's genius! Genius, I tell you.
December 8, 2005 | Unregistered Commentermadge
Effexor is evil...EVIL, I tell you! When I stopped taking it, I got so ill that I ended up in the ER on an IV for dehydration. Nasty, nasty drug!
December 8, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterjane
jenB: you're always so wonderfully giving when i comes to the pharmaceuticals. i should know. [snort]

a-to-the-lice: alrighty then. i'll be sure to get myself pumped fulla SSRIs prior to kicking. but i'm saying this here and now: if i start on some sort of psychotic death spiral of withdrawl i'm gonna, umm, send you bad emails. written in ALL CAPS. whining, plus bad typos and grammar and stuff.

are you trembling yet?
December 8, 2005 | Unregistered Commentersweetney
ps: feel better, sweetness.

pps: "Dear Mother"?? is your boy from 19th Century England or something?
December 8, 2005 | Unregistered Commentersweetney
I'm with Sweetney, and incidentally, the route by which I got to Effexor began with the fact that PROZAC MADE ME CRAZY. So the proposition of withdrawal is pretty frightening to me, too. What shall be my nepenthe as I ease off the happy-capsules?

Complicate this further with the fact that I am "ttc", and if I succeed, must come off the junk FAST. Ugh. Oh, and the breaking news today that Paxil is implicated in fetal heart-defects if taken during the first trimester. Niiiiiice. What else is just waiting to be discovered?
December 8, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda
And with JenB--Yes, yes! to the benzos. Can you get some? I have some, too, if you don't wanna wait for Canadian post! And I forgot to say, I hope it ends soon, this wild ride. You've done a great service sharing it with us, you know.
December 8, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda
I'm sorry you have so many symptoms! That is really annoying. Maybe a lower-key activity would be something like making paper airplanes (with Star Wars logos on them that Henry could draw) and then flying them off a balcony or something and having him go get them for you? Should be minimal movement for you but also give him a chance to run around.

December 9, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterEmily G.
Ugh. You sound like me, and I don't even have withdrawal from a drug to blame. I think the cumulative effect of no-more-than-two-and-a-half-hours'-sleep-in-weeks is starting to break me. The good news is, I've gotten my four-year-old to pretty much take over raising his seventeen-month-old brother (except he won't do diapers--I have told him and told him that he's not pulling his weight around here but he's all "Mommy I need to find myself before I can consider finding a job." Whatever).
December 9, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMFA Mama
I thought I was pregnant last week, I was all dizzy and nauseated. Flu again! Thank you! I love living with a preschool-age petri dish.
December 9, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Kennedy
Well kudos on two great achievements, the potty training and the banishment of crzy crying lady!
December 9, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterCandice
junkie mommies are hot. if you become a hooker junkie mommy i'll marry you i swear.
December 9, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterla_depressionada
Effexor is an evil drug. We had to watch our son come down off Effexor while locked up in detention for something he did. The forensic psychiatrist said he was in diminished capacity because of the abrupt discontinuation of Paxil and a significant dose of Effexor. He had hallucinations, depersonalization and thank goodness Amnesia. He still has no memory of what he did. We learned how to wean him off by getting Dr. Tracy's book at
December 9, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJay Baadsgaard
I just wanted to tell you that you have inspired me in ways you will never know. I am currently taking medication and have been for 2 years. No one knows - well except the INTERNET now that I have commented on your site. Anyway, it is a relief to read your entries everyday and to know that there is someone out there just like me (except now your drug free and me? Not so much.) I have a blog but I am a coward, so there for I do not speak of the depression that I face everyday. So Alice, I basically live through you and I am slowly gaining courage. Thank you for that.
December 9, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterCrazyForHer
Bless your heart. My Effexor experience was horrific, and I hate it when I hear other people going through a similiar experience. Hope all is well soon.
December 9, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda B.

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