the end of a 9.5 year era (my life as a psychiatric medication addict)

To be honest, I thought that I was going to officially unofficially end this blog. I only have so many stories to tell, and rants to go on before people get fed up with my uncreative story telling and word usage, and to be perfectly honest, there’s some stuff about my mental health that I’m actually not okay with writing about on the internet. I know this is supposed to be completely uncensored, no bs, etc. etc., but some things are just best left to my own devices (one of them not being a computer). That’s why people have friends.

But there are still things, okay a lot of things. For example, why haven’t I posted jack squat in the past month or so? There are many answers to that question, but the main one being this: I’m officially on the klonopin wagon (I had to google “on the wagon” vs. “off the wagon” because I could have sworn that being “off the wagon” meant that you weren’t doing the addictive thing, but it’s the opposite and now I’m really confused about this phrase. Cause being “on the wagon” sounds like you’re back on the drug of choice, which totally makes more sense and not “yeah I’m on the wagon, I decided to stop drinking.” When you’re off a drug, you should be “off the wagon,” right?)

About a month and a half ago, after being fed up with psychiatrists telling me that I shouldn’t be taking Klonopin long term, that it leads to dementia and Alzheimers and it’s addicting and terrible for you, I finally went to my primary care doc and had him taper me off of it. I noticed my short-term memory going a bit. My anxiety wasn’t really under control anymore and unless I got a stronger dosage or switched to another medication that probably wouldn’t help, it was looking like I was going to be taking psychiatric medication for the rest of my life and eventually develop more brain damage than I’ve already inflicted upon myself and has been inflicted on me by medication.

I still remember when I first started taking Klonopin. It worked almost instantly and suddenly the things that normally scared me were just whatever everyday things. I lost a lot of weight because I was constantly nauseous and didn’t eat more than 500 calories a day and was still exercising daily. And for a while, I felt really great. My self-esteem soared because I finally had the mind and body I had been wanting for years. The nausea went away, but I still kept losing weight, which was okay with me. And I still felt better in general. I wasn’t scared to be around people or go out in public. After a while, I adjusted to it, but I just kept taking it because it was just a part of my daily routine and I didn’t think twice about it besides that it was still helping. And then I decided it was time to take away the safety blanket. No doctor could convince me to stop taking it, I made this decision myself.

After a month and a half of misery, days where I couldn’t walk straight, days I sat in my car before work having a panic attack, days where I couldn’t be around more than 1 person at a time, days where I’d stay in bed all day because my blood pressure dropped down to a borderline hypotension level of 90/58 and I thought I was dying..

I’m now happy to say I’m on my last week of tapering. For this last week of being a pill popper, I’m down to 1/4mg of Klonopin once a day, and then next week, I’ll be pill free. For 4.5 years, I’ve taken 1mg twice a day of Klonopin, always relying on it to keep me calm, cure my hangovers, blame anything that happened that day on the fact that I “forgot to take my meds.” For 9.5 years, I’ve exhausted the list of anti-anxiety, anti-depression, mood stabilizers, anti-psychotics, ADHD medications, benzos, and some others that I’m not entirely sure what category they fall into besides the “I feel like a sociopath” category. 9.5 years of side effects and reliance. 1 seizure, 1 overdose, several medication-induced manic episodes, days of withdrawal if I really did forget to take my morning Klonopin, weeks of not eating anything, my weight fluctuating between 100 and 135 lbs, nights fighting with my Dad because I legitimately forgot to take my meds, nights fighting with my mom because medications would make me a mess, days I had to be pulled out of school because I would start crying for no reason, 9.5 years of constant fluctuation of who I thought I was, what was wrong with me, going from on top of the world to begging the universe to let me die while I sleep.

I’ve haven’t been just me in 9.5 years.

And now it’s almost done. I’ve spent years jumping from medication to medication trying to find my cure, but really, I was just trying to find a band-aid. If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that medications will not cure you, they will not fix you, and ultimately, they will not help unless you are actively trying to help yourself.

It’s liberating, really. While medications are convenient, they also get in the way of everything. Way too many trips to the pharmacy, too many phone calls to get refills, time wasted in doctor’s offices every month, needles stuck in my arm to get monthly blood testing. And now I can say I never have to do this again.

So that is basically why I haven’t written in a month. I’ve been re-learning how to be human, how to feel emotions somewhat appropriately, and looking all my fears and suppressed memories in the face and saying to them,

“I’m over you. Congratulations.”

*Special thanks to D for sticking with me through this hurricane. And to my few Foco friends who I have put off seeing because I’ve been a mess and I really will try harder to hang.

 

 

Advertisements

there’s no passion in sobriety

Yeah, so I did give up drinking as my New Year’s Resolution. I finally figured it’s time to kick it to the curb and go American History X on it. Wow that got racist fast.

Anyway, it’s been 6 days so I finally just decided, hey, I can do just one glass of wine. I deserve it for reasons xyz (REASONS INCLUDING THAT I GOT A REAL JOB FINALLY). And for the record I’ve been nursing this one glass for the past hour. But as I’ve been drinking this, and really wanting another glass/the whole bottle, it made me realize something: I can’t find passion without altering my brain, whether that’s smoking or drinking or whatever.¬† Continue reading “there’s no passion in sobriety”

2016: The Unnecessarily Heated Debate

I really don’t like posting statuses on Facebook that are controversial. Mostly because I avoid arguments like the plague, and some people just get way too angry about it and then post unnecessary comments under it like “MY FAMILY WAS MURDERED BY HARAMBE.” Or, you know, something like that, because everyone has that one friend on Facebook with completely uncalled for and unfactual opinions that they post just to prove a point. I get it. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

But yesterday I finally got so fed up with everyone posting about 2016 and how they can’t wait for it to be over. And it got me thinking. I’m pretty sure everyone said the same thing about 2015 too. And 2014. So I posted this status:

img_2946

I mean, for real guys, if everyone in 1348 had Facebook, imagine those statuses at the end of the year. “Well, everyone, the black death has doth taken my entire family and most of my friends, leaving me alone in poverty. I resign myself from 1348 and will spend this New Years Eve in prayer that 1349 will bring us abundance and joy.” Or however they talked in 1348. I’m not really sure. But that year had to really suck. Continue reading “2016: The Unnecessarily Heated Debate”

dropping the soap in the shower and crying

I used to set my alarm for 7am every single day. Every morning, Taylor Swift would greet me with “CAUSE BABY NOW WE GOT BAD BLOOD” at 7am. If that doesn’t get you out of bed, I don’t know what will.

Then I moved it to 8am.

Then 9am.

Then 9am which would give me time to be up by 9:30 or 10.

Then I turned off my alarm. I have no reason to have an alarm. Every morning is silent. Continue reading “dropping the soap in the shower and crying”

that time I used a writing prompt: What’s behind that door?

Do you ever have those dreams where you’ve scrambled through a forest, or a pack of demons and you see a door? The door is glowing. You are meant to go through that door. That’s your door to something better. You reach for it, your hands firmly around the handle… and then you wake up. Happens every time doesn’t it? Kind of like those dreams where you’re falling and you wake up right before you hit the ground. Except I’d like to think the end of THAT dream would not be as happy as looking behind the door. Maybe. Continue reading “that time I used a writing prompt: What’s behind that door?”

that time I realized I was no longer allowed to be vulnerable

I never realized how much one person can break you so easily. In most relationships throughout my life, I’ve always been the one to end them and as time wore on, I was able to brush it off more easily. Until this one time.

Relationship abuse is a tricky subject because most people don’t even realize they’re being abused. But remember in health class when your jock gym teacher started talking about the difference between emotional and physical abuse and you probably still associated abuse with the physical type? Well, to be honest, the emotional abuse has left me more damaged than the physical abuse because at least I knew it was wrong. I could fight back or know instantly that I needed to leave. I was trapped in a cycle in which I was being pushed to be as vulnerable as I could be and being assured that I could be vulnerable, that they could be trusted. I was caught in a dream world where I was imagining things and putting this person up on a pedestal, thinking that they were someone they weren’t. As time passed, they slowly started pushing me away. They didn’t want to hear about how I was feeling or how my day went when they had pushed me so far to be vulnerable around them. In a way, I was betrayed. Suddenly, I felt like I was being punished for having emotions. They would shut down, they wouldn’t answer my texts or just sit in silence and do nothing while I’d be depressed, crying, and hiding in my bed while in the past they would tell me to let it out and that they would be there to comfort me. And they did for a while until they slowly started withdrawing from me. They didn’t understand or they didn’t care. I still don’t know which.

I should have known they stopped caring. One night, I hit rock bottom while I was with them. I started binge drinking to make myself feel better but it only made it worse. They shut down. In my drunken blur, I took a handful of Xanax. Realizing what I had done, I told them what I did and they did nothing. I remember lying on the couch wondering if I was dying and they sat beside me and said nothing. We sat in silence. It wasn’t until I texted a friend and told him what I had done that an ambulance was sent for me and I was hospitalized for 3 days because my blood pressure had dropped low enough that I was at risk of going into a coma. They visited me in the hospital. Brought me food and books and comforted me as I wallowed in my self pity. They played the boyfriend role for those few days. I told them I loved them and I thanked them for being there for me and they told me they loved me too. I later found out they only said that because they thought it was what I needed to hear. In those moments, I thought they actually cared. After I recovered, we went back to our normal routine as if nothing had ever happened.

I was lead to believe so many things that turned out to be untrue. I was more alone with them than being by myself. They said that they still cared, but I couldn’t see any hint of that being true. And when it ended, they denied us ever being a thing despite that we were more than friends for over 7 months.

I’ve suddenly come to realize all the lies I put myself through. I trusted them and let myself be vulnerable only to have that backfire and be punished for being vulnerable in the first place. Is that why I took the pills and landed myself in the hospital? My drunk self must have¬†known something that I didn’t. The truth was right there in front of me and I refused to believe it because I have a bad habit of always trying to find the good in people. But sometimes, you have to realize that there are some truly awful people out there who maybe don’t mean to hurt you, but leave you with scars that won’t fade. You can’t even look them in the eye in passing or be around them without feeling like your throat is going to close up and you spend the rest of your work shift in the back hallway trying to not have a panic attack, pushing away all the PTSD-esque flashbacks and trying to keep yourself busy until you’re allowed to leave. I still have nightmares. I still have trouble being intimate with anyone.

All those times I spent trying to defend them was just a waste of time. I was lying to myself and to everyone else. And the worst part is that I’m more angry with myself than I am with them. Angry that I let myself be so vulnerable. Angry that I trusted them. Angry that I let myself push through it believing it was going to get better and they would come back to their old ways when they sent me surprise flowers and took me to the aquarium.

Because of all of this, I have to force myself to be vulnerable. And even then it still feels fake. I feel fake. After years of me breaking people apart, the universe decided it was my turn to be broken.

that time that my mother told me to go to AA

The worst thing about mental illness is that you don’t realize it’s happening until it’s too late. You see the train coming, but you know that you have the sense to move before it gets too close. But trains travel a lot faster than you think.

So I just spent an hour talking on the phone with my mother. That’s seriously a record considering I only call her when I need something and I usually put the phone down and walk away while she’s talking and she doesn’t notice. 10 minutes is usually my limit. But it’s true: she told me I should go to AA. She does this freaky thing where she can suddenly get me to tell her everything that’s going on in my life from who I’ve hooked up with to how much alcohol I consume on the daily. Things that you usually don’t want to tell your parents. I am way too hungover for this shit. And shaking with anxiety.

I transitioned last night. So that’s a thing. Thank god it didn’t last long but Alice did leave me high and dry with a shattered phone screen. So that’s another thing. Drunk Alice me is apparently extremely unattractive. I asked Blob what he found unattractive about her and I think the word he used was the most accurate description of her: explosive. After angrily telling him to just go home after work instead of coming over, I started driving away and started crying, then called him and begged him to come over. I felt better once we got home and I cracked open my bottle of wine. Alcoholism at its finest. I don’t understand how that man puts up with me on a day to day basis. Or really anyone. But those who do put up with me I guess are the ones who are worth keeping around. And the ones who get up early and make you awesome breakfast after the whole episode are definitely worth keeping around. Don’t let your ego get too high, Blob. You still annoy the fuck out of me. This is just an appreciation paragraph.

Why do I cry so much now after having a total dry spell for a year? I might have to call out of work because I can’t stop crying. I’ve skipped class a few times because I can’t get out of my house without my face being a total wreck. Why do I wear so much makeup? My eyes are always red and puffy to the point that only black eyeshadow can cover up this damage. I am a wreck. You know how on the internet you find those little inspirational quotes that say things like “those who suffer from mental illness are the strongest individuals” and shit like that? Man, I don’t know who came up with that because we are such a train wreck. But I guess those who don’t have any mental illnesses would not be able to deal with the kinds of things I go through on the daily. I guess I gotta give myself some credit here. This is just an appreciation paragraph for myself. Bipolar disorder/DID is a gift and a curse. I can feel things that no one else has the ability to feel, which sounds great sometimes. Mania is awesome, who can argue that? But with mania does come the depression that just drags you down like you’re tied to a 3 ton boulder. Days like this are difficult. I’m trying to find some silver linings.

I really don’t want to go to AA. I’m such a stubborn person. I know I have a problem but I just can’t stand the thought of being Marla Singer in a support group. I am Jack’s wasted life. No thank you. So here I am today sitting at my computer and trying to get the courage to get up and out and hopefully make it through the day without having to end it on a drunk note. My mom told me to try not to drink tonight. I’ll try. I’ll try to color or play with my new hula hoop that’s coming in the mail tonight. I’ll try to not disassociate from myself. I’ll try to not run away from everything.

I’m always running from something.

I just can’t outrun my brain.