Inside My Withdrawal Brain

Cymbalta withdrawal has been really rough this week. Sometimes I will feel better for a little while–I actually slept last night, which was a gift–but then a few hours later, I’ll be a mess again. Here’s a peek into my brain this afternoon:

Primitive Brain: Must harm self. Want to harm self now!

Wisest Part: No, no, we’re not doing that anymore…

Primitive Brain: Feel bad! Must self-harm.

Wisest Part: I see you are feeling awful. I’m so sorry.

Primitive Brain: Fuck sorry!

Wisest Part: Yeah, validation is really cutting it, is it? How can I help? What do you need?

Primitive Brain: [grunts]

Wisest Brain: Ah, right, of course. Pain relief. Some settling of the nervous system that is blowing fuses right and left. That’s what self-harm offers. It’s worked before. Maybe it’s not the worst option…

Primitive Brain: [grunts with a note of optimism]

Wisest Part: Wait, let’s try that other thing, with the ice to the back of the neck first.

Primitive Brain: [slaps forehead] So dumb!

Wisest Part: I know, honey. I know.

I did try the ice to the back of the neck, which has helped before. Today, however, it was a disappointment. I just rattled around and complained to a friend for a bit. Then I went over and played with the neighbor’s three-year-old son in his wading pool. Distraction can sometimes get me through a difficult hour; I know that from experience.

A few hours later, the worst had passed. But who knows what tomorrow will feel like?


  1. This is incredible! Your ability to hold space and tend to all parts of you is remarkable. After I read this post I clicked on one of your older posts that came up as a suggestion at the end (as WordPress does). It was a post from 2016 addressing your teen part and her beliefs of “I am bad”. It was so striking to read and connect these two pieces which highlight the incredible journey you have been on.
    Do you ever go back and revisit old posts? It seems with all of the transitions you are experiencing and approaching that it could help reinforce just how far you have come and the incredible strength you possess within. 💗


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.