There was this happily miserable girl. She was everything and it felt like nothing. She just wanted to be something. Something that wasn’t everything all the time. She couldn’t love herself.
She smiled a lot. No one was the wiser.
She had some babies. She loved them. They made her feel like someone else. It felt beautiful. It saved her, it made her understand, it gave her a reason to want to be something. She got stronger, but still felt like everything inside was broken. A lot of broken nothing.
She smiled a lot. Everyone smiled back.
She met a boy. She loved him. He made her feel wanted and under control. She got scared. How could he want someone who was nothing? He knew that she was something but he didn’t understand her. She felt as though she was too broken not to be thrown away. They loved and hated one another passionately.
She smiled a lot. No one was the wiser.
Someone called her on the phone. Years of madness spilled over. Splinters pushed through.
She finally cried. They took her to the Doctor.
She took the blue pill. She took the red pill. They strangled her. Dust settled on blank canvasses. They made her nothing. They took away the joy of her children. They took away her love for the boy. They took away her love and her hate. She could not live without either. She threw the pills away and that made her anything but something. Something worse. Much worse.
She hid a lot. Everyone pretended to worry.
Her children loved her in her sadness. They loved her in her darkness. They did not give up on her. The nothingness drifted slowly to the bottom. Silt and ashes. Forgiveness.
She wrote a lot because she hurt. She wrote because she had to.
Once upon a time there was a girl who tried to fix herself because she felt like nothing.
Then she realized that she was exactly where she was meant to be. She realized that all she had to do was trust God’s plan for her. She realized that she had only needed to accept.
Even if though she was broken, she was loved.
She was happier than she’d ever been in her life, because herself had dissolved in the fray. She was happier than she’d ever been because she’d quieted the storm. She was content for there was nothing left of her to whittle.
Meanwhile little broken spirits were the penance being paid to the sweetest smile she was sure she had ever seen.
I do not know what to say. So much. In fact I am afraid to begin. I suppose today I shall approach things in an “update” sort of way. Just to get it out so that I can start smearing brain garbage all over the place.
I honestly have to look and see what my last post was… I have no idea where I’ve even been.
I was sick. Like really sick. For ever. EVER. It’s all a blur and I yet I still feel deeply within my still-recovering innerds that I am a seriously huge dick for even calling myself “sick” at all. People have cancer. Since my last post, more people. Just now… more people. I found out a few weeks ago that my Paw Paw has it. Extensive Multiple Myeloma. Yeah… google it. I don’t even know.
Beep Beep Beep.
Finished my taper off of Seroquel for the SECOND horrible time in October-ish. The WD during that three month dwindle were horrendeous.
When you taper you think that the taper is it. You believe, because you have to, that the taper is the withdrawal. That your last day, your last half of a half of a pill is it. It feels like victory. I had never tapered back into myself entirely at any point over the past few years. I’d gone from one thing to another, mostly all related poisons, and never just been… well… naked. When I quit the Seroquel I also quit Abilify cold turkey. I went from “withdrawals” back to the pits of hell that are the Discontinuation Syndrome that I preach and preach about. CRACkK-FUkKiNG-HEAD. Twitching, itching, awake for weeks. Miserable. I ticked, I chewed my face to pieces, I paced, hyperventilated, cried in the dark. The whole nine yards. During this, my body, which was already caught in a downward spiral, gave up. I was depressed, sick, and totally over it.
Things I thought I knew how to manage: Bipolar, Schizo, ADHD… yada yada, Diabetic, Fibromyalgia, G.E.R.D., RLS, and just basically feeling like shit all day every day.
Chronic, seemingly incurable, Sinusitis and Bronchitis. Now going through withdrawal and not sleeping.
Needless to say, all of these things, and the attempt to tackle all of these things individually, were killing me. I gave up on my brain. Trying to fix my brain was killing my body. I’d like to think that my body keeps my soul within its fleshly confines and therefore might be important. It just might be. I figured we should forfeit the sanity and save the body, maybe at least it could be sent for groceries and asked to do a dance or two for someone’s entertainment and serve a purpose before it got struck by lightening. IDK. If nothing else, I like to think that I would make a mighty sexy chalk outline on a sidewalk someday and I may never survive long enough to get somewhere with sidewalks if I didn’t at least try to make it.
Funny how someone who so often ponders her own demise could even care about making it, but I have some pretty rad kids to chase around and it takes a pulse to do that. Nobody can chase my kids like me. Fact.
That all said, I fired my Doctor, middle finger in the air, when he offered me yet another round of antibiotics to “fix my wagon.” Really? “Chronic Sinusitis” is what he insisted. This was, of course, because my sinuses APPEARED to be draining, which was really just a result of my desperately weeping in his office begging him to figure out why I’d spent the past two years coughing until my ribs would break and in what I felt to be hell. Despite my asking him over and over to stop seeing me as a runny nose and a cough and acknowledge that my BODY is sick, that I, AMBER, am sick, that it is not JUST sinuses and to please, for the love of God, TRY to figure it out, the man sent me away with another “gorilla-cillin” shot in the ass, some prednisone, and another round of amoxicillin to throw on top of the six previous rounds of oral antibiotics, three rounds of steroids, and three other shots of penicillin. I could not take it anymore. I’d been in bed for two months. I was sick of being sick of being sick.
I called a new doctor, an internal medicine doctor. Before I could make that appointment on Jan 9th, I officially, completely finished throwing my back out on New Years Eve by walking across a 20 foot lawn and got to make a few trips to a few ER’s and ride in an ambulance… by the way, ER will ignore the SHIT out of you until you are healed by Jesus in the waiting room. They will also completely ignore the fact that you are in more pain than natural childbirth and send you home with a prescription for Alieve and discharge papers stating “arthritis pain” in a 31 year old who was paralyzed from the waist down for seven hours and screaming in agony alone in the waiting room while the girl with the recurring UTI who knows all the security guards gets hooked up with free Dr. Pepper. By the time I made it to my previously scheduled appointment with the Internal Med. Dr. I was homicidal.
SO. The new Dr. is wonderful. He immediately referred me to a Sinus Specialist but said that he felt it was definitely not “only” a sinus/respiratory issue. He totally acknowledged that I have Fibromyalgia and that it was being aggravated by all of the infection that was showing up in my blood-work. The Sinus Specialist figured out by looking at my vocal chords that I was not being diagnosed with the type of Reflux that I really had and that it was the culprit for my sinus issues and the bronchitis that kept turning into pneumonia because of my not being properly treated for infection. A trip to a wonderful Gastroenterologist and an endoscopic surgery later and we find out I have both G.E.R.D. and L.P.R.D. as well as several ulcers. So… once those things are under control, guess what, it’s a miracle. Chiropractor three times a week, tons of omeprezole, lots of other fun stuff… anyway I freaking survived. I. AM. ALIVE.
Now… back to the other junk. The Discontinuation Whatever-it-is lasted until the first week of March. I have been off of Adderall for about a month as well, which was another fun time. I was taking 90mg a day. I am now officially only taking birth control (which may also be jacking with my little body) and Requip to help with my RLS. Back to not sleeping for days, hearing invisible wind-chimes, watching little gremlins dart around the house… but feeling better on the outside for a change.
Moral of the story is, the day I started trying to “fix” me is the day I started to kill myself. I have NO idea what advice to give in this matter other than to trust yourself. If you start taking medication and are hearing your doctor say “you have to weigh the benefits of the medication over the side effects and decide whether or not it’s worth it” and you feel like you are dying… don’t overlook it. Don’t be so desperate to “fix” yourself and let yourself fall apart because you are ignoring the obvious. If your body is sick, your mind will follow suit and all the Seroquel in the world will never fix the fact that you are simply killing yourself by accident and not on purpose. I don’t blame Seroquel… although when I began taking it the drug warnings about blood-sugar were not listed and I have to say that I would have rather lived an insomniac’s life than a diabetic insomniac’s life… in fact, I do blame it, but that’s a story for another day. More than anything, I don’t blame, I am just pissed in general. Don’t be pissed in general, kids. Don’t let someone that has spent 45 minutes watching a clock and barely listening to you give you something that can/will possibly change your life entirely and just put it in your mouth like a fucking sheep. I feel like psychiatry in general feeds off of desperation. Nobody goes to a psychiatrist because they aren’t feeling out of options. No one calls and makes an appointment and utters the words “something is wrong with me” that is not desperate. I can only beg of anyone who has a shred of hope in life, be so careful with yourself. Be so so careful.
I just wanted to say, I feel a little better today. Not so tired and run down feeling. Slept more last night than I have in weeks. This is the direction I was hoping to go. I know it’s only one day, too early to get excited, but just MAYBE I’m on the upswing? Please? Ha ha ha. Feeling better about life in general today. Maybe I’ll make it after all.
No Seroquel. No Abilify.
The crackheadedness is slowly fading. My “happy feet” are less and less as the days go by, but my feet and ankles are so horribly sprained and sore from the constant twisting, tapping, and grinding my feet into the ground. They just ache. My bones hurt. I feel like someone’s hit me with a bat every morning, and my hands are so stiff when I wake up I can’t make a fist. The teeth-grinding has died down and the twisting in my neck and back are reserved for later in the day when my exhaustion takes the wheel. Sea-sickness when I stop moving has pretty much gone away and I’ve gotten a little of my appetite back since I stopped dryheaving every 20 minutes. Still not sleeping. I get an hour or two in most nights, wake up all night sweating and freezing, needing to get up and walk around. The itching is still incredible. Especially my torso, legs and feet. I feel like I have poison ivy beneath my skin, like I need to scratch until I bleed. It’s not helping me to sleep either. Nothing helps with it. I am guessing it’ll fade eventually but in the meantime, sweet Lord it’s lame.
I knew this would be the case, but I have to say I wasn’t emotionally prepared for it. In fact, despite my long drawn out taper, and the deliberate choice that was quitting these medications, I didn’t really brace myself. It kind of snuck up on me. It was like one day I’d gotten down to my last pill, put it in my mouth, and thought “oh good, I’m done.” I had been going through all kinds of aches, pains, and bouts of anxiety already. The taper was eternal, exhausting, and not without its own torment. I felt like I’d had the flu for months, aches & pains, insomnia, sweats and chills, and just general misery. I really had it in my head that once I was free from the drugs, I was free. Now here I am at my desk, having heart palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, and shooting pain in the right side of my head and I’m wondering, how much longer? How much longer do I have to feel this way? WHY do I have to feel this way? You’d think the choice to quit alone, knowing that in a few months, once my brain is unsaturated, completely chemically imbalanced, and I am physically exhausted from all of this, that I am going to be walking on the edge of a true breakdown, would be scary in itself. Knowing how unstable I will likely be when this all comes crashing down on me, how it will affect my friends and family, how it will affect my marriage, it’s pretty devastating. That alone is plenty of reason not to do this, but to be in physical pain, feeling like a freak, on TOP of the psychological aspects of this decision, is just making it feel more and more like punishment. I can’t breathe, my body hurts, and I’m scared. I know it’ll get better. I know time will take this off of me and I have to be brave, but I’m totally afraid of how long this is going to last. I don’t want to freak out. I’m trying to be the strong one, who did this, and who wasn’t afraid to take her health and her ability to enjoy life back. I’m trying not to act like I feel. I’m trying not to let everyone around me see what an exhausted wreck I’ve become. It’s just getting harder and harder not to throw my hands in the air and shut down entirely. I would rather be locked in my house, in my pajamas, completely shut off from the world. I’d rather turn my phone off and hide. I just want to be somewhere cold and dark and quiet. Where no one can see me. Instead, I’ll get up every morning, get my kids to school, go to work and come home, cook and clean, take care of my family, and go on about my business as though it were any other day. What choice do I have? What choice does ANYONE have? I can’t feel sorry for myself at all, but I am a little pissed off. Pissed off and ready for this to end. I guess we’ll see.
Before anyone spouts off about my discouraging people from taking medications that they may need, let me say this. If you are reading this right now, I’m guessing that you have the ability to make choices, like how you chose to read this blog. Since that’s the case, you are fully capable of deciding whether or not to take the little pills for yourself. I’m not your Mom, I’m not a Dr., and I don’t really care if you agree. If you want to know factual information about the side effects that you may not be aware of, please feel free to check this out. If you are going to leave some shitty comment about not influencing people to disregard medical advice, it’s probably best you go and google puppies or recipes or something because I’m pretty pissed off about being pressured to take medication right now and I don’t really have anything nice to say. I’m an asshole… but it’s ok, it’s a side effect.
*ANYTHING IN RED (AND THEN SOME) IS ON MY LIST OF “STUFF I HAVE BEEN LUCKY ENOUGH TO EXPERIENCE.”
ANTIDEPRESSANTS: (TRAZODONE, WHILE DOWN-PLAYED AS A SLEEP AID, IS AN ANTIDEPRESSANT)
Antidepressants can make some people feel immediately worse—more depressed than before. Or they can suffer from sudden anxiety, aggressiveness, or become suicidal. In some cases antidepressants can induce a complete swing from depression to wild mania.
Antidepressant drugs are, in their own way, as dangerous as cocaine, heroin and other street drugs:
- Antidepressants can lead to dependence
- Antidepressants can be difficult and even dangerous to stop taking
- Antidepressants can cause side effects that ruin lives, or even kill you
- Antidepressants can lead to suicide, especially in the young
- Antidepressants have been linked to extreme mania, including violent acts against others.
- Pyromania: A compulsion to start fires
- Kleptomania: A compulsion to embezzle, shoplift, commit robberies
- Dipsomania: An uncontrollable urge to drink alcohol
- Nymphomania and erotomania: Sexual compulsions—a pathologic preoccupation with sexual fantasies or activities.
*THE GREAT NEWS? IF YOU TRY AND STOP TAKING THEM, EVEN IF YOU TAPER, YOU RUN THE RISK OF GOING THROUGH DISCONTINUATION SYNDROME LIKE ME! http://donotshakethebaby.wordpress.com/2011/04/28/lets-talk-about-trazodone/
ANTIPSYCHOTICS: (ABILIFY, SEROQUEL)
(This is straight off of www.drugdetox.org, by the way) Antipsychotics deaden a person’s perceptions of pleasure, severely reducing feelings of desire, thoughtfulness, motivation, and the ability to be surprised or amazed. At one time, some of the earlier antipsychotics were described as causing a ‘chemical lobotomy’ or were used as ‘chemical straightjackets’. Seriously, I feel like a functioning human body, shit to do, places to go, bills to pay, but not an ounce of emotion. Nothing makes me happy, sad, I have no rhythm, no desire to paint anymore. Just breathe and buy groceries. The word ‘zombie’ is often used to describe this side effect of many antipsychotics.
Because of the seriousness of these and many other side effects, many people stop taking them — two-thirds of people in controlled drug trials — due at least in part to the adverse effects. Some side effects have even been seen to appear long after a person has stopped taking the drug, effects that last for years, or for life. This suggests that some antipsychotics cause permanent, irreversible brain damage. DID YOU FREAKING HEAR THAT?
- Tachycardia — accelerated heart rates
(My resting heartrate is around 155bpm)
- Hypotension — dangerously low blood pressure
- Dysphoria—sadness and depression
- Tooth decay—primarily from the ‘dry mouth’ effect of antipsychotics
- Intense dreams or nightmares
- Sudden dangerous rise in body temperature
(Risking heat stroke with nearly any activity, would go into early phases of heat stroke from pushing a grocery cart.)
- Sudden death in Alzheimer’s patients
- Central nervous system damage— associated with irreversible tardive akathisia and/or tardive dysphrenia (Oh boy, I can’t wait to see what’s permanent!)
The following information is taken from the Abilify label:
The following information is taken from the Seroquel label:
The bottom line is this: it is completely between you and your Dr. what you decide is worth putting into your body. I am someone who digs around, reads the pamphlets, and does my homework as a general rule. Even so, I placed a considerable amount of blind faith in that “2%” I kept hearing when it came to side effects. Also, the pamphlets that come with your meds don’t list everything you are putting yourself at risk for, only the side effects with a higher frequency of occurence. What this means, or at least in my case, is that I very eagerly put something into my body with the impression that my best interest was at heart and not considering the possibility of there being financial motivation behind keeping me in search of stability. My plight through the dark dwellings of psychiatric drugs was embarked on with sleep in mind. I ended up taking the above mentioned and several more prescriptions looking for “normal” because it was the achievement of “normal” and “level” that would then beget the sleep, or so I was told. Here I am, years later, bitter and exhausted, still not sleeping, and having experienced or am still experiencing (possibly permanently) so many side effects that I am afraid to count. I highlighted everything that I am aware of, there are certainly many things that I can’t even know. On top of the discomforts, the pain, the emotional roller-coaster ride, and the toll it has taken on my relationships, I also developed Diabetes as a result of these medications and will spend the rest of my life managing it. I am but one bitter little soul, sick of the bullshit, the “handling” to make a quick buck, being treated like a number, and mostly mad at myself for being naive and hopeful that there was some easy solution to my problems. I might not be the best messenger for mental health, but I am honest, and I honestly suggest, before you fill that script, that you consider all of the things that you may be putting your body through and decide if it is worth it to you. Do not let someone convince you that you need medication when they do not even know you. If you visit a psychiatrist, and in one session they are already whipping out the triplicate, I beg you, be patient, ask them to come back a few times, forge a relationship, make sure you feel that they understand you more than they could possibly have assumed in the 45 minutes that they spent with you. It is a cycle that is not easily broken, I am going through hell getting off of these medications and doing so at the risk of my sanity, but for the sake of my health. It’s a tough call, but I’m betting I’m not nearly as crazy as I paid them to tell me I am.
For the past three months I’ve committed myself slowly, cautiously, and with great determination, to weaning myself off of antipsychotics. Many reasons compiled to inspire this decision. Yes, I’ve “gone off meds” before, but never ever all of them. I’ve always maintained some level of medication, even in a small dose, to keep from completely going off the deep end, as my Dr. would warn. This has been a rough few years. Searching for the answers to questions that don’t have any. I’ve been at the mercy of my Psychiatrist, my pharmacy, my insurance company, and the deep-seated fear that I am doomed to spend the rest of my life choosing between medication and sleep.
That’s how this all started. Sleep. I have never slept. My entire life, I can never remember being able to quiet my mind and just sleep. I would lay awake all night, even as a child, and think or wait until the wee hours of the morning. A lot of this stemmed from childhood abuse, late night callings from my lonesome step-father, the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that followed the suicide of my Dad and watching my Mom be electrocuted at my feet at age nine, and a complete inability to feel safe enough to close my eyes. Needless to say, my childhood bred the insomnia that would plague my entire life. I was in my late twenties when an incident with my step-father, an unexpected phone call intended to clear his own conscience and explain away his choices as acts of love, would trigger a complete breakdown. Years of insomnia, paired with the stresses of managing my own large family, a job, and my second rocky marriage, all while silently boxing away my issues and successfully hiding my schizophrenia from the world, would eventually catch up to me. I went to therapy for the first time. I just needed to unload. I needed to hear that I wasn’t insane, simply dealing with my cards and looking for the same happiness that we all are. I set my mind on honesty. I would just tell this stranger about it all. I would tell her how I am afraid that I am not a good enough mother, a good enough wife, not really capable of doing all of the things that I pretend to be able to do. I wouldn’t mention the dark things, the noises, the darkness I saw around me, only the daily stresses of being a wife and mother of five who couldn’t sleep. I’d do this, and maybe they’d give me some Ambien and life would get better. That was my plan.
Needless to say, the hour spent sitting on a couch, spilling my guts haphazardly to someone I’d only just met, would quickly turn from “I feel inadequate as a parent” and describing my anxiety and how I rarely got more than two hours of sleep a night, sometimes none at all, into a tear-filled rant about my step-father and a childhood full of death, torment, and sexuality. None of these things had I meant to reveal. I attempted to justify most of it and keep moving, tried to focus on the bigger issue, that whatever’s happened had happened, but that all I wanted was to sleep. I still kept tucked away the parts that would likely land me in an institution, the things I’d never reveal in fear of being found out, to be called crazy. A few dirty words were mentioned. Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, OCD… things of this nature. None of them came as a shock, but weren’t the point in my eyes. I didn’t want to hear what it was called; I just wanted to fix it. I just wanted to sleep.
Within days I found myself on another couch, before another stranger. This time was spent quickly asking questions, writing things down, nodding and making assumptions. Not asking IF certain things were happening, but for how long. Not asking if I had mood swings, or if I was suicidal, but for how long could I remember feeling that way. I stuck to the phrase “walking on sunshine with a broken heart” and did not deviate from that being my self-diagnosis. I insisted that I never “get” depressed, that I am just always sad, and happy, all at once. Which is true. There are times when I break, but they are brief, momentary, and usually immediately followed with elation that I’ve got tears to cry at all. I’ve never been submerged in any one state, just thousands of them all at once. A frothy sea of constant emotion, never touching shore. I’d never give up on myself. Why was that so hard to believe? Therapy was so different from psychiatry. I kept hearing “what do you want to do?” and “what should we try?” Looking back that feels like putting a lot of responsibility on someone’s shoulders to make a call in terms of prescriptions that she doesn’t understand. My focus, above all things, was sleep. Just help the noise to die down, help the anxiety to wane long enough that I can just dream once in awhile and defragment. It’s all I wanted. I never thought, not for a second, that I would put my health, my body, and my “self” on the backburner, it never occurred to me that anyone would put something in my hand, after knowing me for 45 minutes, that would destroy 2 1/2 years of my life and leave me permanently damaged.
I’ve pretty much concluded, pill after pill, that there is an underlying motive in keeping me convinced that I need fixing. All I asked for was sleep, what I got was treated for Mixed Bipolar Disorder, OCD, & Schizophrenia before it was all said and done. Apparently if you are manic and psychotic, Ambien and Lunesta can not save you. You must first get yourself under control before mere sleep aids will be of any assistance. Rather than mess around with that sissy stuff at all, let’s kill two birds with twelve stones, let’s get you SO saturated with antipsychotics, antidepressants, and sleeping pills that not only does your brain slow down enough to sleep, you’ll feel lobotomized and completely devoid of emotion! That should fix everything. Oh yeah, and since you can’t STOP taking these medications without severe consequences, we’ll only fill you one month’s worth at a time so that you have no choice but to come back every four weeks or you’ll run out and you are caught up in a good old fashioned hostage situation. Sound good? Oh wait, they don’t say it like that. “Let’s get you evened out.” “Let’s get this depression (wait I said I WASN’T depressed, remember?) under control.” and my favorite “Let’s help you to be a little more normal.”
I blogged away about all of my meds. It’s all there; feel free to take a tour back down memory lane. I thought they helped, I hated them, I quit them, I started them again, but never at any point did I completely detox from these types of medications. I’ve been on everything under the sun, allegedly in the name of sleep, but at the expense of what? My sanity. Yep. I am not only convinced that I’m bananas, incapable of sleeping on my own at all, and trapped perpetually in “the middle,” but I CAN’T REMEMBER ME.
I suffered through discontinuation syndrome when I cut out Trazodone. In doing so, I started back on Seroquel and Abilify. These two are the culprits for my developing Diabetes. Did anyone warn me of this? What do you think? My Endocrinologist immediately made the connection and told me to get off of Seroquel. He said Abilify was ok, but I am not taking any more chances. I’m done. If I was meant to be bat-shit-crazy, then so be it. I am not going to be miserable anymore so that I can be “normal.” I am not sacrificing the quality of my life, my health, and possibly the amount of time I get to stick around before the crows get me, in the name of pharmaceutical commissions and psychiatric propaganda. Soft Science, they call it. I’m putting my life in the hands of SOFT Science? I did what I was told, I tapered, I took four months total to get off of Seroquel. I’ve felt like I’ve had the flu, been an emotional wreck, and haven’t slept in three weeks. Five days at a time without sleeping, cool shit like that. It’s been ugly, but I thought, four days ago, when I took my last 50 mg and put the bottle away for good, that it was over. I was relieved. Boy was I wrong.
DETOX. This all started two days ago and gets worse by the second. I feel like clawing my skin off of my body.
ABILIFY WITHDRAWEL SYMPTOMS:
SEROQUEL WITHDRAWEL SYMPTOMS:
I can not stop moving. I feel like I need to be twisted up somehow constantly, can’t sit up straight, keep my head straight, and stop moving my hands or feet or face. I itch as though my skin were going to fall off. Palms, soles of feet, legs, and face are itching UNDER my skin, nothing eases this, and it comes in waves. I am stuttering, twitching, and my muscles are constantly cramping and contorting. I am overcome with intense fatigue randomly, suddenly can’t lift my arms or take another step. My mind is racing; I can’t focus, to the point that when people speak to me I find myself squinting and grimacing trying to process what is being said. Dry heaving, constantly thirsty, and can’t eat. I’ve lost 10lbs in the past week. (Hey, at least something good is happening, ha ha ha.) I feel like a freaking CRACKHEAD. Upon investigation, detox/withdrawel from Seroquel will take AT LEAST 4 weeks. Fuck.Me.Running.
So… as I tap my feet, chew my lips off of my face, sweat, squirm, claw at my palms and the bottoms of my shoeless feet, twist around in my chair, and periodically hyperventilate for no apparent reason, I would like to say that I am proud of myself. I’ve danced around this decision before. I’ve justified my little journey as trying to make myself a better parent, friend, and spouse and be a more stable person for my kids, and I’ve done everything I was told to do with a trusting spirit in the pursuit of “normal.” I read the books, I took the pills, and I told the truth. I did it all with only slight consideration that I am exactly what God made me to be, and with little regard to His plan for me, although looking back I really felt as though I were keeping that in mind. It’s not my intention to be a bad influence. If someone’s struggling with things of this nature, and medications help them function, and make them happy, then who in the hell am I to criticize ANYONE for seeking a better life. All I know is that mine was far from improved. Yes, we rearranged my brain, yes it changed things, which felt like relief but was really just change. Sometimes that’s what we need. Change. Something to stand on and see a little better. That’s why I’ve done this, that’s why I did it for the World (and by “the World” I mean “the Googlers of craziness”) to see and judge and decide on their own if they hated who I was becoming more than who I used to be. I blogged my way through this so that anyone who cared enough to look would at least understand that this isn’t some self-absorbed crusade but rather an ongoing battle with self-acceptance. It’s not over yet, I’ve got plenty of shit left to sift through, withdrawals, detox, and then most likely a few months of meltdowns ahead. Your brain doesn’t go back to normal after you’ve done this to yourself. In fact, it may never EVER go back. The odds of being who you were before are slim, and I wish more people knew that before they washed “the answers” down with water and waited to fit in. This may be news to you, but you never will. You will never be normal. Ever. If you aren’t hurting anyone else, and you can keep your hands off of yourself, then you are doing a better job than most of us anyway. How secretly fragile we all are, how intricately composed and easily broken. Take good care of your mind; look for ways to heal the spirit first. Don’t put into another’s hands a creation so exclusive and intentional with expectations to be molded into “normal” with some mass-produced generic assumption and not expect consequences. You might be surprised who’ll miss the “you” that you felt needed fixing.
Things have been, well, I don’t really know what they’ve been. Things are suddenly better, things are good at home, everyone seems much happier and all fighting, bickering, tormenting has ceased. I’ve been sleeping better, still trying to kick Seroquel per Dr.’s orders, and down to 200 mg so I feel confident that if I can just get another script for ambien or lunesta I’ll be able to drop that last little bit and sleep without it. My Dr. is pretty certain that the trazodone and the seroquel were the culprits in kick starting my otherwise unlikely diabetes. If I don’t get off of it, it’ll only continue to sabotage me and keep me overweight which will definitely hinder my shaking this disease nice and early like we are hoping. All of my blood work from my last visit was great, major improvement, and I’d lost 5 more lbs. All’s well I suppose but I can’t help but feel uneasy. I don’t know if it’s my inability to trust “good” or what. Yesterday I made a stop on my way to run errands after work. The convenient store that I drive past every day, usually it is packed with cars. Not today. Only a few scattered the lot and I should have known something bad was going to happen when I pulled in. I had this feeling, but in I went and who did I nearly walk right into the back of? Daddy. Yeah. I spun on my heels and walked right back out. I don’t know if he saw me. The last time he did he followed me for 13 miles tailgating me down the highway. I was sick to my stomach. Not only had my complete and total fear of my step-father and confrontation sent me reeling into a gut-wrenching anxiety attack, driving as quickly as I could down the highway envisioning him in my rearview, but I also didn’t get my damned energy drink. Double suck. I guess I can’t run from the man forever, but I don’t see why not. I have nothing to say to him, the last thing I want is to come face to face with him in public so that there can be a scene. Quite frankly he scares the shit out of me. I wish it weren’t true but it is. I have nightmares about the man. It’s inevitable that I’ll run into him, he works where my husband works, he lives in the same area that I work, and that store is like the apex of likelihood to come across the man. The sickest part, he looked skinny and I worried about him. What in the hell is wrong with me?
Not to be dramatic, don’t panic, but I got my blood work back yesterday. Everything is good in terms of Cholesterol, my Thyroid was great, B-12 levels were good. My Vitamin D levels were super-low. Guess that isn’t a surprise since I spend my days at a desk or in the house cleaning. Need to go soak up some sunshine. I need to do a lot of things, who am I kidding? Most importantly, though, was the “why have I gained 50lbs when I don’t eat garbage and try to stay as active as someone with a desk job can stay?” The answer? Side-effects. Anyone privy to my world is well aware that Me + ANYTHING IN THE UNIVERSE = Side Effects. That’s just all there is to it. If it’s a side effect? It’s something I’m dealing with. Well those of you familiar with SSRI’s and Antidepressants on a personal level are aware that High Blood Sugar and the onset of Diabetes when predisposed are not so uncommon side effects to taking these kinds of medications. They make you want to eat. A lot. Having overcome that aspect of the medication, and having dropped the “hungrier” meds, I was shocked to keep gaining weight. To date, I’ve gotten up to 164 from 114lbs. I am currently taking Seroquel and Abilify, both of which are notorious for weight gain and claim high blood sugar as a side-effect. Basically, I haven’t escaped the cycle, but luckily Abilify curbs my appetite.
So I go to my Personal Care Physician and I tell him I am gaining immense amounts of weight and it may or may not be a side effect to my medication but my Psychiatrist is convinced it’s my eating habits but I exercise good eating habits and can’t seem to convince her of it. Well, to my surprise, he listened. While I was convinced it may be Thyroid related, we ran blood work for everything under the sun and it came back that my Thyroid was “happy.” I know, scientific, right? I’ve been having HELLACIOUS hot flashes on top of my other issues and so exercise has been an uphill, or should I say UPPER hill battle. I get overheated constantly as another fun side effect to the Seroquel.
*Now as I rattle on about these meds making me miserable, you must understand, any good psychiatrist makes the statement, “We have to decide if the benefit of this drug outweighs the side effects you will experience because of it.” In my case, it does. I sleep. Not great, but I sleep at all and that, my friends, is priceless.
So, my Cholesterol looked good, all kinds, and everything besides the Vitamin D deficiency (oh, so many jokes) everything looked great. EXCEPT, my glucose and my insulin levels. The glucose was just above average @ 108. The good level for that is 65-100. My Insulin was at 26, when it should be around 4. Needless to say, not good. However, a relief. Nothing has beeen rougher than the beating up of myself over being a hog and not knowing why. You can say all you want about negative self-talk. Save it for the birds. No really, I know this bird? He’s really an asshole. Save that for him.
In the meantime, I am making peace with an actual medical condition. I was told I was borderline Type 2 Diabetic. Yep, the fat one. That’s fine, because I didn’t GET that way by not taking care of myself. That’s something I can honestly say. It feels good to say it. I’m hard enough on myself, my self-esteem has really taken a hit on this one. I know beauty is only skin deep but so are stretch marks. Tell that to the girl on the inside. I’m not superficial, but I am miserable. I sweat. I SWEAT! I’ve never been the gal to sweat. Even in the heat, I glistened. Not so much carrying around an extra 50#. So many other things, just being exhausted, not being able to work out, my ankles and knees are killing me. I’m just not built for this! Now that I can stop blaming myself and get to the bottom of it, I’m on this. I’ve got this.
They put me on Metaformin HCL. 1000mg twice a day. It makes me sick as hell. I was told it would do that for about a week and then I’ll be ok. Let’s hope the week flies by. Among all of the other fun drugs I’m on, maybe it will do the trick. I am told not to touch carbs. That eating something bad is like eating 10X whatever it is that I am really putting in my mouth. Good to know. I’m going to have to be even more hardcore than I already have been, but I can handle this, like everything else on my plate. I have got this. I’m going to make insulin my bitch.
Before I forget, since I am such a forgiving soul…
I want to put this out there, for those of you who have had the pleasure of being prescribed Trazodone as either a sleep aid or to treat other bipolar or depression related symptoms. It was a part of my daily diet for the past year. 15omg each evening before bed, to aid in my plight for just a little tiny bit of sleep. It never so much as made me drowsy but I took it religiously thinking certainly, if even for only five extra minutes of sleep, it had to be worth it. As the year passed and I went from Seroquel to Abilify to Lunesta to Ambien to Lithium to… well you get the picture, the constant through all of it was that I took my Trazodone without fail each and every night. I have, whilst on this journey, gained 40lbs and lost about 1/3 or more of my hair. I’ve become irritable and my sleeplessness has not been harnessed until very recently when my regimen did not, in fact, include Trazodone. There is little mention of the extreme weight gain, or the hair loss, or the just downright crappy feeling I have had all of this time when one investigates this particular medication. That being the case, I blamed everything else and I switched and switched over and over again every other med I have been on in search of the side-effect-less answer to my woes. It wasn’t until I was ONLY taking Trazodone that I realized it was the culprit. I am not saying everyone suffers the same extreme side effects to this medication. In fact I have a friend that swears by it and only takes it when she’s having trouble sleeping and has no complaints. Whenever I put 2 and 40 together I realized that this was my problem. So, like any normal person, I decided to stop taking it. Not all at once, I tapered off, and I thought I had it all figured out. WRONG. Lucky me. Anyone ever heard of Discontinuation Syndrome?
By all means, check it out.
Discontinuation Syndrome, didn’t even see it coming. Mostly because I wasn’t entirely acknowledging this particular medication as being an antidepressant. I was told it was to aid in my insomnia, I just never looked it up. Please be educated about what you put into your body. Your psychiatrist will tell you time and time again that the decision must be yours as to whether you value the benefits of the medication over the side effects that it could cause. It is your call to make. Read up on consumer reviews. Don’t let them terrify you as they very easily can cause anxiety over the “what if’s” that we have to look forward to, but do not completely ignore what people have to say. They are telling their stories and you might be surprised to find yourself in one of their shoes. It was not until I read the reviews on WebMD of the med that I was able to put my finger on what was causing my misery. I have been off of it for a few months now and not been able to lose a pound of the weight. My hair is growing back and I feel a lot less irritable but stopping the med was pure unadulterated hell. I mean just hell. I tapered. It was still hell. I went through every withdrawal symptom known to freaking man. Like a junkie kicking. It was horrible.
Discontinuation Syndrome Symptoms include:
|“Electric shock” sensations|
…. Guess who got EVERY FRIGGIN ONE of these symptoms. Like every one. (hint, she’s bitching about Trazodone right now)
I mean it was like nothing I can even describe. If I did not stay upright, I would start having a panic attack. Lay down on the couch? Panic attack. Lay in bed? Panic attack. If I were able to doze off at all, the second I did, I would wake up screaming and hyperventilating. I would sweat and be on fire, my RLS was happening in my entire body, I itched all over and felt like ants were biting me and all the while I was on fire, I had goosebumps and chattering teeth. I was awake for six days straight. I threw up every time I tried to take any other medication. I would walk and start leaning to one side with no control over my gate and eventually fall over, I had to use walls to support myself to get to a restroom. I would black out completely, pass out, in mid sentence. I could not drive. I could not work. I could not take care of my children. The first week was by far the worst but the brain zaps (yeah, lightening bolt through your freaking BRAIN) and jacked up thermostat went on for over a month. During this I made the call to go back on Seroquel so that I could fall asleep and rest. It was a good call. I have continued to take it and I have been sleeping like a baby and able to get up in the morning and care for the kids and get to work with no issues. However if I so much as take it an hour or so later than normal? The Discontinuation starts all over again.
Please know what you are deciding to do when you go off of any antidepressant, psychotropic medications. Speak with your doctor BEFORE you stop and have them give you a game plan as to how you will taper correctly from the med. It might be that you need to get onto another medication during the taper so that these symptoms do not become an issue. I thought I was tough and did it the hard way. It was pure hell. Trazodone may not be a bad drug for you as it was for me, but if you decide at any point that ANY of your meds are not your cup of tea, be responsible and take care of yourself and do not put yourself through what I just did. I am so pissed at myself for putting my body and mind through such hell when it didn’t have to be that way.
Ok enough seriousness. I’m off of it. I feel better. It’s over. Good luck to the rest of you.
On this purple brick road I stumble down, a human experiment, driving those closest to me further and further away with each new prescription, I feel like I am on a narrowing bridge over brackish water full of hungry puffer fish. “Me” isn’t a self centered notion as I once felt it was. “Me” is raising my children. “Me” is dedicated to my husband. Lately? “Me” sucks so bad I can’t stand myself. Thought is scattered. All I can think about is getting through this day and into that bed. Partly because the novelty of sleep has yet to fade and I am deeply in love with the very idea of sleep. That said, I deserve and am totally allowed to feel that way. To have discovered the key to sleep, even if before long I may build tollerance and this, too, may fail me at some point, I hold fast to the naive fantasy that I have the rest of my life getting more than an hour of sleep at night ahead of me. I pretend the damage done is melting back off of my face and that my ass looks better because it is so rested. Truth is, I just feel better. NOW, when I say I feel better….. I’m feeling like a turkey-shit-sandwich on a tin roof, but it’s better than I used to feel. I have to step back and look at things now. Is it worth it. Is it worth the experiments, worth losing my job, worth my childrens’ resentment and my friends’ distance. Is it worth not wanting anything, not caring, not getting excited or broken hearted, just more or less agittated and combattive in my attempts to mantain control in my home. I stopped yesterday and took a long hard look in the mirror and said “You, ma’am, are a total bitch.” A little rough? No. Some evil forces have brewed here and I have turned into a distant bitch, my days are punctual but without attention to detail, I “handle” the interaction that does take place but in my mind I cringe at the idea of speaking to someone at all, especially pretending to be “myself” and act friendly. I am not friendly. I am driving people away. I am not mean, I am cold, calculated, without the ability to feel. Why? I have been doing some investigating. More importantly, I’ve been doing some weighing out of what’s most valuable and honestly, it is my children. Above and beyond anything else, they are what matters the most. I feel like a zombie mom with a chip on her shoulder. I say “clean your room” seven hundred times a day. Why? They are kids, they are honery, but they are not BAD kids. I have a slew of children, a litteral slew, five kids seven and under. The last thing they need is to feel under the gun and to question whether or not Mommy is happy to be their mommy. SO. Investigative reporting, a little internet diggery, some interviewing of the local bipolar community brings me to this conclusion. I am weaning myself down from (or should I say I just randomly stopped taking the full dose of) Abilify. Now when I started taking it I took 10mg a day. I bragged and bragged about how it “did the trick.” I was still battling with Seroquel, in the miserable hell of withdrawels FROM the abandoned prescription, and not able to sleep or determine which of the gazillion pills I was taking was the one that made me feel like frog ass. SOMETHING was wrong. Then I started taking everything before bed. That helped but the 50mg of Seroquel I continued to take to sleep was doing nothing but sabotaging my waste-line and keeping me lethargic. That’s not who I am. Doped up. Ok fine, not hillucinating (as they like to call my open eyes) and not hearing things, the static is gone from a roar to inaudible and I am less distracted by THESE things, however the total lethargy, the “ticking” that I have grown to know as my “disco tick” since the beat of music makes me flinch along like it’s some sort of joke, and my inability to “feel” any given way other than twitchy and deep muscle spasms to distract me even more were more than enough to replace my “internal conflict.” SO, my last visit to the Psychiatrist we dropped the Seroquel completely, made it walk the plank, and we opted for 30 mg of Abilify a day, 50 mg of Benzotrophine TWICE a day to keep the Tourette Syndrom checked in, 45 mg of Adderall a day (of course), and then to sleep 50 mg of Trazodone, which is an antidepressant, and Ambien. NOW, for a week I felt like shit from the withdrawels finishing from the Seroquel, then it was like the clouds parted. Everything was crystal clear, two dimensional, calm, and I was sleeping like a baby to wake up feeling GOOD. Magic combination? Had we done it? Were we there yet?
In the spirit of all things premature, I began telling the world how great I felt, how I’d found it, the magic combination, I was going to be normal. Days progressed into weeks and I have slowly morphed into a bitchy-emotionless-asexual little dishwashing machine. The house is kept up, the kids are under the constant gun, I tyrade around in a constant state of pms that I am COMPLETELY unaware of. Everyone’s noticing. The kids are starting sentences with “Mommy, I’m not trying to make you mad but…. can we have a snack, go outside, whatever it is at the moment.” I suddenly had become this cold calloused parent who wasn’t in the mood for any nonsense. Nonsense is good. Nonsense used to be my middle name! I used to play with thim, the rooms got cleaned when they got out of control, now I was offended if they left toys out. For cryin’ out loud there are five of them, what do I expect? So here is where I pull my own heart out and put it on the table. I have been, for the past month, exactly what I had never wanted to be. A bitch. To my kids, to my friends, to my husband. Not in outbursts or lashing out, just in coldness and demeanor. I’ve been switched, where’d I go?
So this is why I can honestly say that “me” isn’t a self-centered topic. I affect people. I EFFECT people. I can’t let this go on. So per a suggestion and after my studious rampage I have decided that I take too much medicine. Weighing out my family and its happiness over whether or not I start seeing and hearing things again? They are more important. ALSO, with the sleep I am getting, those things may not even come back in full force like they were. I was running on empty for almost 30 years. No vent, no management, no strategy, no acknowledgement. “I’m fine.” and that was always the case. Not fine, don’t know what fine is, but hide it. That’s what smart crazies do, we know better. So I looked up the “normal” dose for Schizophrenia and Mixed Bipolar Disorder and this is my conclusion. I am cutting my Abilify in half. I am taking 15 mg for a month and we’ll see. I already feel better. I can type again, my words flow, I can hold conversations and actually FEEL sharp. I have been painting, the ideas are back, the feelings are flooding back in. One of which is guilt. Now I have to promise myself that I will be honest if things get bad again. I have to prepare myself for the possibility. My hears are back, my eyes are coming back. Things are twisting back into my old perspective. I just have to understand myself from now on. Stop with the denial, stop trying to drown myself in meds to make me “better.” What I need is to keep going to counselling, to keep taking the lower dose of Abilify so I can at least have some grip on the mixed episodes and the complete out of control lifestyle that would surely slowly take back over if I get completely off meds. Taking less meds isn’t abandoning the cause. I only weigh 113 lbs. I was told by someone in the low 200′s that she couldn’t handle 30 mg of Abilify that she only takes 5 mg and that 30 would put ANYONE down. I also noticed that while I was told to take them together, the 15 mg doses state “twice a day” on the prescription. There has got to be some reason for that. So to those of you taking Abilify, if you comment, I’ll be happy to hear your opinions on it. I personally, since I switched on Friday of last week, have noticed that I am feeling better and better. I just feel like I’ve stepped off of a boat and am learning to walk on land again, or vice versa. A hot pink boat. Ha ha. Good news is I’m sleeping. My plan is this. Take less pills, sleep, be consistent with my therapist visits, and most of all do whatever it takes to get “me” back and be a good mother and a good friend again.
I slept last night, not drunken sleep, not doped up pilled out sleep, just sleep. Took an Ambien and 50 mg of Trazadone with my other meds, I am not on the same pile of pills I was. Seroquel is dead to me. I bid it farewell. I feel skinnier already, ha ha. Midnight sleep-walk-sandwich-making a thing of my past? Who knows. What I do know is I feel fantastic today. The Trazadone was an “and/or” combination for the Ambien. I found neither will make me sleep alone, that 100 mg of Trazadone is too much, and that one of each seems to pair perfectly with the exception of a first thing in the morning cough that if I can avoid succumbing to I am in good shape the rest of the day. So I am taking 30 mg of Abilify, my insurance finally gave in and decided to give me a break. I am taking multivitamins like a good girl with my other meds at night. That’s probably making a difference in the way I am feeling too, and I am taking Benzatrophine twice a day for the turret’s symptoms I experience as a result of the Abilify. So the blinking and the muscle spasms are under control for the most part as well. I feel good. I know I know. One would want to feel good WITHOUT all this jazzy get-up in their system but I’ll tell you what, to not be psychotic, to not live a life of constant anxiety, all of my OCD symptoms are kind of checked in, they are “checking in” the more calm and anxiety free I become, and wow what a difference. My face has healed. I don’t have to wear make-up or be a shut in and cut myself off from the rest of the world while I heal from my midnight bouts of mutilation. I feel good today, it’s all I can really say. I feel like myself again. Just today, so far, but let’s be optimistic and say this might NOT be all in my head for a change. Still can’t believe I slept without getting out of my mind on Seroquel. MAN, what a relief! I might be salvageable after all. :) Go team!
I kind of think I figure things out as I go. Went to see my therapist yesterday. I am guessing that’s what she wants to be called. I, in a sick and selfish way, wish to be called her “favorite crazy person.” Ha ha. I was thinking about why I am having such a hard time selling my art. Not like nobody wants it, like I can’t part with it. It’s a dark part of history in my shabby little book. I feel like it proves the place I’ve been somehow. That I have to capture it somehow before I can part with it. I need to learn to make prints. That way I can wave goodbye but still have an archive of the lost soul I used to be, before my children. They saved me. This process is to save THEM now. I need to be a good person, a good mother, and most importantly, a loving and good example. I can do that without Seroquel or Abilify or Adderall, I did it for 30 years, but it was darkness on my heart until the day I knew I had someone to live for. I feel like I have to make sure that I can show them that someday. That’s why I keep things. That’s why I won’t sell them. If I could just make copies, I could let them go, forever, and just keep a little archive for my girls, so that when they feel twisted, or emotional, or angry, or lost, they can know that I truly do understand and am there for them through ANYTHING that they may have on their minds or be going through. My babies have to know that I accept them, just like they’ve always accepted me. I love my kids so much I can not even put it into words. I have to show them that I would always fight for them, even if it was with myself, so that they can have the best life possible and I can be the one who makes sure that happens, and not just my girls, but all five beautiful babies that I am so lucky to be raising.
For those of you who have sought help, let me address this, how do you explain, on a spiritual standpoint, your “psychosis” to your doctors? Do you hide it from them entirely? It is difficult for me to distinguish between schizophrenic psychosis and my own “gift” of knowing and seeing things that many can not. A psychiatrist would discourage talk of such, call it psychosis, and medicate it. My psychologist is mighty interested in what I have to say. Now is that because she looks deeping into diagnosis by allowing candidness on my part? Or is it because she believes in our God above and the likelihood of spiritual warfare and angels and demons being amongst us at all times? What do you think?
Withdrawels. Suck me sideways. No Adderall. No Seroquel (by choice) out of Abilify, I was supposed to be increasing my dose of Abilify and didn’t know it. So lingering in 10mg limbo was not exactly the ideal situation. Started seeing shit again about a week ago. Things have been interesting. Wish me luck in this fun and exciting time. :) REALLY. Wish me luck.
So I am almost weaned off of the Seroquel. It only took an eternity. Everything feels like one lately. I feel like careening off of the highway into a fiery ball of destruction would be less harrowing than driving 30 miles. I can’t put my finger on it. The only suspect I have is, in fact, Seroquel. Which I ranted and raved about but you must understand, I’ve never slept before. Now that the novelty of that has faded, I feel lethargic and zombie-esque. It’s officially not for me. So I am taking Abilify but for those of you who know of these things, they are basically for the same thing. This means I am double dosing and I am not being “leveled off” I am being lobotomized. Unfortunately there is due process in everything. I just wish it didn’t feel like eons to do simple tasks. Typing is emotionally exhausting, even. (Imagine Snaggle-Puss saying the words.) I feel anti-productive, even. I just hate everything right now. My Grandma dying isn’t helping. My first “real” period in years, probably my first real one ever. It sucked. Every moment of it sucked. Not used to having more than two days of minor inconvenience and certainly unable to distinguish the five days of horror from the lethargy and overall disdain for life I feel from the overpowering effects of the Seroquel. I have weaned down to 100mg. I skipped a week in between the 150mg and the 100. Said fuck it. I can’t live like this much longer, I’ll put a gun in my mouth. I am skipping to the 50 mg tonight and as of this weekend, suzie-sleep-walk will likely be at it again in full OCD glory. We’ll see. Whatever it takes. I have to get off of this crap. The Abilify is brag-worthy. When I was taking an effective dose of the Seroquel it actually seamed to be total improvement. As I’ve weaned down to just an ANNOYING dose of Seroquel the side effects have been ridiculous. The gas from the Seroquel and the weight gain has been an atrocity. I mean I’ve put on an easy 20lbs. 5 lbs on me is donkey-shit-terrible. 20? I might be exaggerating but I can’t physically see my weight on a scale or the eating disorders flare up and we don’t want me to have a straight up heart attack taking all these meds while starving myself for weeks at a time. SO….. going to see Wanda tomorrow if I can get in touch with my Maw Maw to go with me. I can’t go myself. I’m an invalid. We shall see how that goes. Maybe I’ll feel good tomorrow after 50 mg. I mean I don’t know what I will do to sleep without the stuff. I really don’t. I’m a zombie today because I said “no more pills” last night and then at midnight got desperate and took 100 mg to knock me out somewhere between then and 1 a.m. I run out of Adderall tomorrow too. Oh joy joy joy. Seriously. Happy Joy. Like Stimpy. I’ll be alright, I really will. I just hate this and would almost rather be crazy than feel this way. Not that crazy is something I’ll ever not be, thank Jesus, but I’d rather be in full-blown whisper-mode than NOT see the darklings running around and not have the capacity to avoid disaster without them. Part of me needs them. I know when things are going on, or fixing to go on, when I can see the darkness gathering. It makes more sense to think of them as another sensory tool that maybe not everyone’s in tune with than to think of them as psychosis. To me, at least, the whispers and the shadows feel like home. I miss home. I hate the notion that even I have temptation to retrogress back into my old self. I feel like I am handling my drama through psychology….. my psychologist is a great resource for me in all of this. The pills seem like more trouble than they are worth but that is just the dark side of me speaking. I know we all do this. We all try to justify stopping our meds. The truth is I’d be an idiot to do that and am just selfish and impatient and feel like I am failing my family while I am in this daze. I have to get this situated and I have to do it quickly or I’m screwed. My life feels like it’s dangling by a thread over some barren emptiness that I could fall into at any moment. I guess this is, in some twisted way, what Depression feels like? You tell me.
Abilify, so far, love. I love it and here’s why. I am not experiencing any “psychosis” which is really like sea-legs on land to me. It’s not normal and it’s very uncomfortable. I am the loneliest puppy in the pound but never feel alone, I always feel them, but that’s I guess part of “learning to live without psychotic episodes?” So I’m told. Anyway, the Seroquel seamed to really magnify my paranoia that was manifesting in the blindness. With the Abilify I still would say I am deaf and dumb, but no longer afraid. If that makes sense. I’m at peace with it, not scared of the unseen or what I feel, I guess my bearings are straight in that department in being back to knowing the difference between good and bad things around me. It’s harder when they are hiding from you, but I am glad I have that sense of …. idk, just not feeling so misplaced. Also even though my sleep is headed back towards vampire-esque quick fast and in a hurry, I am still taking 400 mg for the rest of the week and 200 mg next week so we’ll see if I can’t learn to fall asleep on my own, shall we? I think I can do it. I have faith in me. I have tasted sweet slumber. I shall have it, somehow. In the meantime my head is overflowing. I have paintings to paint. I have so much stuff in my head and it isn’t dark and bony and it isn’t broken and it isn’t searching for an explanation. It’s just time to let it all out.
So my feeding frenzy not going over so well…. and the fact that the one true upside to the Seroquel is my being able to sleep, achieved even at 50 mg…. yet I am up to 600 mg and eating my way to China with pretty much the same to show. Sleep itself has given me the control that I was possibly lacking in what I would consider dire situations (or to the layman, all situations) but as far as the Seroquel actually alleviating other symptoms, only the more schizophrenic aspects of my “situation” seamed to be relieved. Of course with that “relief” I also found incredible fear and paranoia for the unseen to be downright imprisoning in the darker hours. So, on to the next. I get the feeling that I am a little perplexing even to my seasoned psychiatrist, in her 43rd year at this, she looks at me quite puzzled. I understand, I feel the same way. We got into some darker details, simply put, the “Dad” details. I never totally touch on these, never all at once, and definitely never in detail. It’s difficult to figure out where to put things, I’m in the “purge” era of this. She uses increments like “five years from now” and things of that nature that lead me to believe this is going to be a long trip. That’s fine. It’s already been one. At least I get a window seat for this part of it. She found blogging about this concerning in case I ever ran for congress, of course the only concern I have is just for things to be twisted for the sake of judgement and to those who may do such, I wish you luck and hope that your commitment is strong in it because I already make obscene amounts of fun of myself so good luck trumping my already impressive bouquet of self ridicule. I’ve run into such fun before, when I wrote a silly and quite sarcastic tale regarding the stretchmark-riddled quest for decent, let alone flattering, swim attire after my twins were born. I think the reference to considering hanging oneself with the actual bikini top in the dressing room and the likelihood of such not being a success with the dressing room attendants’ psychic powers and kick-door abilities. Funny? Someone my flavor would think so. Used against me in a court of law? The attempt was weakly made. That said, I certainly hope that all who even take the time to entertain the contents of my blogs will realize that while I am candidly rambling my way through the management of a pretty serious amount of mental illness, I am far from handicapped and even further from a bad mother or threat to society. So best of luck bitches galore, I am sure you will need it. My potty mouth is only half as sharp as my karate chop. That’s not a threat, it’s an ultimatum, you just missed the part where I said “if you touch my candy or my horse collection….” I had the fun anecdote of “chicken guts in a tin can” utilized to explain un-dealt-with anger, and I’d share it with you but then I think maybe I’ll make you wait or go to therapy yourself to hear it. Na na na na na. I don’t think the chicken gut story will save your life anyway, it’s the kind of thing that I would sit and go “Oh yeah, chicken guts in a can, yeah that sounds normal…” but the rest of you might still be trying to imagine the rest of the stuff that doesn’t come in the gizzard bag and to you I say just don’t. AAAAANYWAY (remember when all of our letters started each paragraph with “Anyway,” or the less educated of you “Anyways,” to begin yet another riveting paragraph of worthless banter?) Que worthless banter: I am now in the process of weaning off of Seroquel, it’s only real duty done, I sleep, now we’ll see if I’m actually learning to sleep or if it can’t be done without a bazillion milligrams of crap coursing through my veins. So now it’s time to try Abilify. That’s while we do a bunch of blood work to see how healthy Momma rocks it and possibly take a shot with lithium. A classic. Heard it has all kinds of possibly side effects. Of course we all know me being the lucky lass that I am, all the cool shit happens to me. So I look forward to the nervous anticipation of worsening Torret’s types of symptoms, I tick already, but not noticeably. I feel muscle spasms and weird twitches but for the most part I think they slip under the radar. That said, of course it’s going to happen to me. Everything does. We’ll see. So 2 mg of Abilify… I got some other fun stuff just in case I get ticky, and I am to drop 200 mg of Seroquel a week until I get down to nearly none again. We’ll see what else fun we can get into once we make sure my kidneys and various body parts are ready for combat. I am kind of relieved because as much as I wanted the Seroquel to be the answer, I think it was just to get me rested up so she could see how much of my “symptoms” or as I like to call them “crazy flavors” were just a result of the chronic insomnia and which were really “me.” I think she is surprised to find that they are all just how I am and that the lack of sleep was really only effecting my edginess and not much more. We’ll trudge onward, my friends, into the juicy entrails of psychology, I have a machete so yall just walk behind me and keep your mouths closed, just breath through your noses. “Trust me, I’m not a doctor, but I hang out with a few.”
Agorophobia….. I hadn’t gotten to this part yet but someone tagged my blog and so I spose I’ll cut away to another fun topic.
Agorophobia: Not the Incubus Song.
So…. I’ve made little jokes about my grocery cart antics, but I guess “fessing up” to being totally aware of yet another completely dumb (and I say that about anything that I am aware of but do anyway, because it makes me feel like an idiot) facet to my beau coup dien ca dao existence here on planet Texas. Yes, at this point I have formally decided that Texas is not only it’s own country, but it’s own planet…. leaning towards the high likelihood that it is an actual Universe. Here is where the complete craziness comes to light. The grocery store. Namely, Walmart, and here’s why. I don’t NEED ANYTHING, but surely at Walmart at least with all the categories at my fingertips… SURELY I will think of some reason to be there. It is usually “a container” as my husband likes to call it. He says I am addicted to containers of girl stuff. He’s right. I will see it on TV and be absolutely positive that I NEED it. Not want it. Not would like it. NEED IT. I will then commence obsessing over it until I go to the store and buy it. Now “it” is never over $7. I also have a severe guilt complex over spending more than $7 on myself. I can’t do it. If I do I have to formulate an elaborate justification about why I need whatever the thing is that is over $7. This applies even to copays for my Psychiatrist/Psychologist visits. Which are $15. GASP! I always find a way to punish or deny myself as punishment for spending $15 on ONE thing for MYSELF….. now…. I will buy $100 worth of crap I don’t need at any time, but each thing individually will be between 1 & 7 bones. For my kids? I’ll spend zillions, lol. My husband? Zamillions. Me? $7.
NOW, the reason I would say that I probably have this odd number to stay beneath is that I literally go to the store every single day. WHY? As terrified as I am of people, public, face to face unexpected conversation…. I am ten times as terrified of myself. I won’t be home alone with me. I don’t trust me. If I am home alone I am on the phone constantly, pacing all over the house, never sit on the phone. I can’t do it. I literally can NOT sit and talk on the phone. I will go to the store and I will keep the phone plastered to my face, If I can’t find anyone to talk to I won’t go. I can not be in the store and just in the store. I can not walk to go and get one thing, I have to take a cart which I will then pretend to be distracted by the quirkiness of said cart/arm basket/whatever it is I am buying itself, so as not to give the impression to anyone around me that I am in a state of mind or have time to be spoken to. On the off chance someone speaks to me anyway? Nervous-fockin-wreck. I’ll shake all over and laugh nervously and talk as loud and fast as you’ve ever seen in your life. I’ll be nearly sick until I am home. Please don’t talk to me in public. I don’t belong there anyway but I am afraid to be alone so I go and I wander around, mortified, in public, where I also am afraid. It makes no sense. An earthquake, a bomb, downright Armageddon? I’m your girl. I’m quick, I’m focused, I’m ready to act, I am fearless and without emotion. Blood? Guts? Teeth and bones? I got it. I will sew your shit up, hold your guts in, and carry you to the hospital over my boney shoulder without so much as a falter in my step. I will put teeth back in someone’s head and wrap them in gauze and take them to the ER… but whatever you do, don’t talk to me in the band aid isle. I’ll freak out. The meds I am taking have lightened the grip of this by… oh…. I’d say a smidge. Barely. I notice because it is such a terribly part of my life that even the very slightest of “less anxious” I feel is such a victory I want to shout it from the rooftops, but then someone would look at me. I cover my mouth with my hand while I am chewing food if someone is in the room. I constantly look up my nose in the rearview mirror when I am in the car because the other cars might be able to see up my nose. I am an all around total psycho in public. If I am alone. If I have my kids with me I am twice as psychotic because now I am also obsessing with the way they are acting and/or the possibility that they may be kidnapped at any moment. Realistic? Nope. Do I know this? Yep. Does it matter? NO. I can’t focus on what I came or if there is an actual mission because I have ADHD so bad that even ON Adderall I can barely complete a task. I feel like a leper in public. I feel like a total psycho when I am alone. It’s a lose lose.
So my little rampage through the frozen tundra is somehow already reaping more than I thought it could. I really could have said “no one will ever see this” and trudged on, being all full of crap and blabbering about “feelings” and sissy-la-la kinds of business. Fortunately, I now know that FEELINGS (see how towering it looks in all caps?) are quite the opposite, they are empowering. WHY? Let me tell you why. When you’ve never felt A feeling, not ever that you can remember, when you always twist everything into something else before you can actually feel it, experience it, suffer from it, be enlightened by it…. when you spin spin spin, do or don’t do the drugs that everyone else does or doesn’t do to feel the way that you are already feeling, thinking it will help it make sense, or ease some pain, or add kindling to the imagination that you already are at the mercy of…. the flames shot out licking the ceilings and your soul is on fire, how do you put that into words and expect anyone to understand it? How about we just don’t CARE if anyone understands it and the ones that are supposed to, they just will. I feel like I am falling back into my old self again. How do I explain that on Thursday, to Wanda? How do I first explain it to Liz? See my first name basis-ness is starting to feel ok, right? I mean I am taking my meds consistently. I take 600mg of Seroquel every night. I take the Ropinirole for RLS. Last night I thought I had Restless-BODY-Syndrome. The same stinging, tingly, itchy, annoying, except here and there and everywhere all night, or at least for an hour before I passed totally out, and my arm were like lead, I couldn’t scratch the itch because I was immobilized by my kicking in Seroquel and I was frustrated and tormented until asleep I fell. What was that all about? I don’t freaking know. Will I remember to tell Wanda? See previous answer. I feel the mornings are going well, they are normal now. It’s hard to get up but I get up, and once I am up, I’m up. See? I am eating like a maniac, though. Like it’s going out of style. Not really leaning on my Adderall so much but when I don’t take it the eating is that much worse. I mean I am eating…. like pregnant eating. Lol. Like I wasn’t kidding when I said I needed ninja squirrels to karate kick the cookies out of my kung fu grip. I feel a little “out of control” when I do get upset or overwhelmed, back like I used to. I think I am adjusting to the meds and going back to overpowering them. I threw a gigantic wall-eyed-doozie of a tantrum the other night when I’d had a few drinks. I guess that’s no longer allowed. :) I feel still that the thing I was angry ABOUT was completely warranted but my ability to stay in control of my emotions was absolutely not there. I was not intoxicated, I had two beers, but it was enough I guess to totally destroy any sense of control I might have had. I threw some things, which brings a new development…. I usually am not able to get “angry.” I just don’t. I never let myself get to that point because I don’t trust myself angry, I don’t have a way to mediate my anger. It is a scary side of me I don’t ever let happen, and I think maybe that’s the first time I”ve let myself get angry in at least six years, and it took place when I had a small amount of alcohol in my system. I don’t know what that really means, I guess I’ll have to fess up to get the answer, won’t I? I mean I KNOW what it means, spare me the “explanation” but I don’t know what it means for my processing all of the crap I’ve recently had thrown at my face.
March 6th 2010. Day…er…..16? I wrote “February 6th” in my journal.
I slept like a rock until 9 a.m. Eddie played with my hair until I woke up but I dozed off and on until around 10:30. It’s Saturday so I really had a hard time convincing myself waking up was a good idea. I’m still taking my Adderall. Several reasons. To wake up. It’s not MANDATORY but it certainly adds hope to the situation knowing that if I start moving it will kick in and take the fuzz off of everything. I could live without it but it would be a struggle. It also checks the munchies that the Seroquel absolutely inspires and seems to work to even me out at normal eating habits which I honestly have always struggled with. I don’t like to put the fact that I have an addiction to amphetamines out there, because it isn’t extracurricular, but if we are being all honest for the sake of science or simple honesty (which I have promised myself I have to be) then yes, I am not prepared to stop taking my Adderall, the withdrawals would be short and totally bearable but I don’t want to deal with the emotional side of it. It comforts me, it’s my “snap out of it” and my “help” and my “crutch.” I am absolutely lying if I say I am not addicted to it. It’s impossible not to be. My dose is low, 15 mg. three times a day. I don’t always take the third dose anymore. Sometimes I forget the middle dose. I feel like I am slowly walking away from it, but my desire to disprove my ADHD and say it’s really part of my Mixed Bipolar is beginning to fade. I have to, at some point, accept that I have A LOT of things. Hearing the big dirty word “Bipolar” and then all the other ones right after, the “Bipolar” was what echoed in my head. “Oh, so that’s it.” I think, I try to think. I try to forget the others. OCD, ADHD, Anxiety Disorder, MIXED Bipolar, Borderline Personality Disorder, PTSD….. I mean a real sh!tload of mental illness. I try to pretend it isn’t. That it is liberating to know so I can manage… but it still hurts. It hurts to know that you hated yourself for the right reasons. Even though they try to dissect you and tell you that hating yourself is just a symptom, if you hate yourself because you know you are ruined, and then they tell you you are ruined, but to stop hating yourself?
I obviously survived the 600 mg and actually, not knowing if it had any effect on my ability to get up since it’s Saturday and I would have slept late regardless. I was on point all day. No stutter. No real moodiness, despite having PMS (which was beginning to become a brutal part of life for me.) I didn’t “slip into obsessive” like I had been doing every afternoon. Not sure if I should keep at the 600 mg even though it was an accident but there was a notable serenity to the afternoon.
March 10th 2010… I think we can stop counting the days.
600 mg Seroquel/ .25 mg Ropinirole/ 3 x 15 mg Adderall/ Ocella Birth Control
That is the rad cocktail that I’d love to say is keeping me afloat but we all know that’s not true.
March 11th 2010
I stayed up past 11 last night. Took meds at 11:30 and today was PURE HELL.
Couldn’t see straight, walk, think straight. This morning every few feet I would get overwhelmed and start blacking out and have to sit down. Hands shaking, couldn’t talk. Every time I tried to really talk or raise voice or even “think about” something I would become nauseated and disoriented. Bearing straight enough to get kids ready, from the floor. I poured cereal, tied shoes, signed notebooks on the floor. Oldest was on time for school but Kinder’s were 10 min late. Caught train. Stuck in line for 45 minutes. Huge struggle not to fall asleep sitting at the tracks. HUGE struggle. I was totally out of it until after 11:30 a.m.
I will never take my meds that late ever ever again. it was horrible. It was impossible to get up and go, fall asleep at the wheel type of out of it.
Took meds at 10 pm….. same combo. 600/.25/BC.
March 5th…. Day# IDK Anymore….. Ok, so Day 15 because I couldn’t stand not figuring it out.
Lots of things…. first, and probably just because I just noticed but, my handwriting does seem to be mostly back to normal. I’ve seen Wanda another time (that’s the psychiatrist.) Need to make another appointment for next week but haven’t yet. Also haven’t purchased either book suggested by Liz (my psychologist) or Wanda. (I have no idea why I’m writing like it’s some first name basis except that they are 100% inside and all over my business so I’ll call them whatever the hell I want to.)
Suggested reading: “Courage to Heal” and “The Glass Castle: a memoir by Jannett Walls”
So I am two weeks “medicated.” My dose is 400 mg right now. I’ve tried to plateau but think tonight I’ll go 450 mg because I am still a wreck in the evenings. By “wreck” I guess I really mean “back to nearly normal.” Perhaps I am being too hard on myself but even writing this I noticed the fluidity of my writing was clearly hindered. I “stammered” in my writing. It’s hard to explain.
This entire experience is odd at best. I feel “dumber” still than I know I am. It’s frustrating. Both Liz and Wanda put it as “slowing my mind down” by force and unfortunately I have to get my bearings so that it’s not slowing my entire mind, just the parts it needs to. I hear them tell me over and over how intelligent I am but I feel like an idiot. For example. Grammar. Spelling. Strongpoints to say the least. NOW? I have zero faith in my ability to communicate effectively. Also speaking to educated people evokes an old flame in me that I can’t quite put my finger on. Not that I don’t feel like I am already around intelligent people but in this particular setting I feel challenged but also challenging. All I can think about is should I have said “evoke” or “envoke” and I am an idiot if I go and look it up really quickly to make sure. (It’s evoke, by the way.)
….. So, the warfare is now invisible. I don’t see it much anymore. I can’t explain it except that I knew if I mentioned it that they would label me as schizophrenic secretly and medicate accordingly. I was right. Hiding it doesn’t mean it isn’t there, I am just like everyone else… except that I feel the silence and the blindness to be completely tangible and not sweet oblivion. It’s almost terrifying. I said relief, but when night falls… on my home… in my head… I “feel” but can no longer see that I am not alone and not knowing WHAT is around me, being deaf and blind to it, is as terrifying as being deaf and blind in the world.
I feel crippled for my own good, or is it for everyone elses? Like all other things, I question if I ever did see or hear at all. So quickly you question yourself. I feel stifled yet driven to speak of things that feel so so “crazy” and unacceptable but the escape of “myself” as a history… even in talking to myself, I can not quite explain it yet. I am not crazy. I am just insane. If there were some way not to look like a suddenly overly introspective self-absorbed jackass. Not to sound that way. I catch myself trying to weave a lie to lighten what is really taking place. Just for everyone else. I need to tighten my noose enough to create a safer picture for the rest or I’ll be taken as self-indulgent. The guilt is difficult to shake free of that this is absolutely ok and my finally saving me from myself isn’t wrong. It is just difficult to admit that I knew all along what they are now telling me as though it were news. Like they just discovered the moon or sun.
I spent my whole life so far feeling misunderstood in the best way possible. Misunderstood as better than I really am. As handling things. As forgiving. As for the most part “in control” of my completely haphazard and ridiculous life. Everything by God’s true grace, and I believe that with every fiber of my soul, has fallen just so that I have never drowned in my own disarray. I find myself in a very raw and naked place. Where honesty’s sharpened knife points bear down on my jugular and I feel my very survival here on this earth depends on complete submission to the whims of brutal truth. Even now when they tell me how very odd and impressive it is to be seven shades of crazy and “function” on the verge of thrive with such crippling and rampant mental illness…. I have a sick overwhelming urge to deny the absolute truth that I always have been treading sanity all along.
The guilt and absurdity greatly trumps that of pretending that I am ok to admit that I am not. Telling the truth in black ink blood feels dirtier than the years of lies in piles of journals full of self-indulgent pretense.
All that bullshit said, let’s get scientific. Nothing better than an experiment where there is absolutely no base and no variable. Complete and utter “soft science.” Hooray to be the rat. Hooray indeed.
I WAKE UP FEELING LIKE SHIT. I WAKE UP WITH MUCH RESISTANCE BECAUSE SLEEP IS SO NOVEL AND DELICIOUS I MAY NEVER HAVE ENOUGH TO SATISFY THE GAPING HOLE THAT YEARS OF INSOMNIA DUG WITH DIRTY FINGERNAILS FROM MY CORE.
Every morning feels only slightly easier. Mostly due to optimism and knowing that when I am upright the haze will fade, just slowly enough to piss me off and mute my necessary urgency to prepare my children for the day ahead.
It seems to fade just enough just in time to pull it all together and general tardiness is becoming a thing of the past. Just in time to have wasted an entire school year scampering in two minutes too late every day regardless of routine or compliance…. we are always late.
“We are always late.” That is not true anymore. That alone a liberation I thought I’d never see and an example I’d never set. “Last minute panick” no longer plagues me. Even moving slowly I feel calculated and unjustifiably confident.
Before lunch is still challenging only in focus and articulation. Stammer and Stutter aren’t crippling communication entirely but linger still. I was told to take a week off, a month suggested, but the guilt of not working (even though home is a never-ending glorious conquest worthy of abandoning outside employment) and the fear of losing my ability to provide would never let me consider that. I told work I’d be out for a week. Then I made it to Tuesday before I was coming in for half days to “carry my weight” in an accounting monthly close.
I worked Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from “lunchtime” to 5:30 in the evenings to keep my absence from having any effect on my department. Of course that basically means I didn’t rest at all. My bad. It is not in my nature. I spent my “mornings off” tending to the house, going to appointments, shopping. Can’t say I did what I was told at all. Do feel I did a good job at work. Will see by the rate of mistake come next week. Hopefully that’s gonna be a big fat zero mistakes! No anxiety during the day. Even when I feel like it’s warranted… don’t or hadn’t really gotten upset until yesterday at work when I felt attacked but it was fleeting.
Able to focus at work much better now than I have been. Non-emotional judgement. Contemplated engagement and response. “Impulsiveness” not prevalent and “Compulsiveness” absolutely unphased.
My “night” compulsions are not being committed because I am sleeping.
(Let’s take another moment…. I am SLEEPING. Sigh… it feels so dirty to say.)
“Self Destruct” compulsions from night are now manifesting in the car when I am alone.
“They” are invisible. I am deaf to them, but I physically FEEL them. It is really really scary.
Tonight I will take 450 mg of Seroquel.
*I ACCIDENTALLY TOOK 600 MG OF SEROQUEL, NOT 450 MG. I TOOK 3 x 200 MG INSTEAD OF 2 x 200 MG AND 1 50 MG. I HAD NO IDEA WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN AND I PANICKED NOT KNOWING WHAT A SAFE DOSAGE WOULD BE FOR ME. I HAVE BEEN TOLD 800 MG IS SAFE BUT I FEARED A 200 MG JUMP. I WROTE A NOTE AND PUT IT ON MY NIGHTSTAND WHEN I HAD REALIZED WHAT I HAD DONE… JUST IN CASE.
February 19th 2010: Day 1
Took Ropinirole .25mg and Seroquel 50mg at 8:35 p.m. Stayed up successfully until 9:45 p.m. From 9:00-9:45 I completely lost any shred of balance, felt very drunk or loopy. I stumbled and struggled to get to the restroom and back, had to use furniture for support. When I made it to the bed I was unconscious before my head hit the pillow. I slept for the first time I can remember, I slept all night.
February 20th 2010: Day 2
Woke up when husband left for work at 6:30 but couldn’t open eyes. Made “uh-huh” and “uh-uh” type responses until no longer engaged and fell immediately back to sleep. Woke up at 9:30 and took my first dose of Adderall for the day. 15mg. I usually take this at 6:30 a.m. and it takes effect within 20 minutes. Two hours passed and I felt no effects other than ackward jitters but no alertness whatsoever. I felt like I was in slow motion. I called a few friends to get an opinion of “how I sounded” as I was in a complete haze and barely able to form sentences. I was told the opposite. That I sounded like myself. Speaking rapidly, rambling, and jabbering. To me it was as if I were a record being chopped. Two hours later I began to focus somewhat, was able to get dressed and go about my day. I took my Adderall every four hours (three times total for the day.)
Overall I can say I was less agitated. Irritable, yes, but less agitated. I was told that I ACTED the same as always, rambling, excessive talking, pacing, tapping, leg-hopping.
Took Ropinirole .25mg and Seroquel 100mg @ 9:30 p.m.
Not overwhelmed with the loopy feeling as quickly as the night before. I got up to get a snack at around 10 p.m. and could barely walk. It was as if I was paralyzed. I became so overwhelmed on my way to and from the kitchen I had to stop and lay on the floor in between each because I became extremely hot, dizzy, and incoherent. It was terrifying. I laid down on the floor right outside my bedroom door for at least ten minutes trying to muster the courage to make a dash for the bed. I kept blacking in and out. When I finally got to the bed I slept like a rock.
February 21st 2010: Day 3
Woke up @ 5:45 a.m., 7:30 a.m., and 9:15 a.m. All three times I felt rested and alert, but I never get to just sleep in so I laid in bed until 9:30 a.m. which was when I took my Adderall (15mg) and got out of bed. I felt rested and calm. Just calm. Of course calm being my mind not racing but I felt overwhelmingly guilty. Unable to think of anything or begin anything. Numb and lost. Guilty. Nervous. I messed with my face off and on all day, which is my first choice when I start to take my frustration or anxiety out on myself. Second dose of Adderall at 1 p.m.
As the day wore on I felt more like myself… which unfortunately is exactly what the meds are supposed to keep me from feeling like, ha ha. More desire to engage and speak to others and less self-conscious than normal. Around 4 p.m. I became active, doing housework and staying busy. I took my 3rd Adderall at 5 p.m. which is a little late in the day but I was losing my mojo. I had a normal evening “as usual” except feeling distant. I exercised from 9-10 p.m. and took my Ropinirole @ 9 p.m. and 150mg of Seroquel at 10 p.m. and went to bed. Now somehow I got ahold of a cookie, not sure how unless I pulled another sleep-eating episode, but I woke up with cookies in bed and was choking on one I apparently was eating in my sleep. I had to hang over the bed to dislodge it. I woke up off and on all night, began to feel the tingling in my feet but it went away quickly. I laid awake for two hours before falling asleep.
February 22nd 2010: Day 4
15mg of Adderall at waking. Disconnected all day long, trouble speaking, just found myself stammering between words. I felt like I was pausing and stuttering. Despite that I somehow got the kids to school on time. That is a victory. Adderall again at 11:00. I was “quiet minded” and it was very difficult to focus all day. I went to work. I felt “all over the place” but without the bad anxious feeling. Calm but distracted and floaty. Hard to explain. I just wanted to be left alone, but I felt like I was being “nice” despite feeling extremely invaded and nervous. Around 2 p.m. it was as though the sky had cleared a little. I felt more crisp thought and was able to focus on my work a little, but was still very distracted and irritable. Anxiousness feels more like quiet bothered at this point. Took Adderall at 4:20 p.m. The best part of the day was between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Worked out 8-9, showered, took Ropinirole and 200mg Seroquel at 9:15 p.m. I was really kind of worried about my grammar and spelling suddenly being extremely sloppy when I was hand-writing in my journal. Conversation and communication in general was very difficult.
February 23rd 2010: Day 5
SLEPT LIKE A ROCK. Up at 7 a.m., I overslept. Could NOT get up. Couldn’t see straight. 9 a.m. my Adderall kicked in a little. Seriously concerned about my ability to drive. Felt like a goldfish, like when the cell-phone echos and you ar confused and struggling to say words. I felt like I was in slow motion.. like I’m under layers of cheesecloth and every hour a layer pulls away. “Off,” echo, floaty, but not scared and anxious which is what would be “normal” for me all of the time. I couldn’t really start anything, just sort of prepared projects for when I trusted my ability to complete them without mistakes. I couldn’t focus or sit still at all. Extremely nervous. 11:00 a.m. Adderall… slowly feeling crisper around 2 p.m….. between 2 & 4 I found myself a little quicker and conversations were less labored. Still just felt off, like I was in a fishbowl with a constant echo. Unable to multitask. Constantly having trouble remembering, instantly forgetting messages or phone numbers before I could even get them written down. Just confused. 4 p.m. took Adderall again. 4-6 I started feeling myself and was 100 mph for the rest of the day. Extremely alert, active, and anxiety free. Did not even succumb to normal anxiety attack when baited to argue with spouse. I stayed calm, didn’t get upset, didn’t throw up…. lol…..I was just a “strange calm” all afternoon on the inside, but incredibly busy. Worked out 8:45-9:45 and ate, then took my Ropinirole and 250 mg of Seroquel at 10pm.
February 24th 2010: Day 6
Couldn’t get up. Hit snooze until 7:15. Husband called at 6:30 and was concerned because I was unable to hold a conversation with him. He asked repeatedly if he needed to come home and help get the kids to school. I was extremely groggy, balance and vision obviously impaired in the mornings. By 7:45 I had snapped out of it. I was disconnected but calm and in control, despite my complete inability to speak w/out stutter or stammer. Everything was fine until I “lost” the car keys that I had in my hand and had a total breakdown, tantrum, complete frustration with my inability to focus to find them. Found them. Got oldest to school on time but not the Kindergarteners. Had to pick up oldests lunch and drop off on way to work. Came home to get ready for work and somehow lost an entire hour just sitting at my vanity brushing my hair. I have no idea how it happened. AN HOUR. I don’ t have that freaking much hair! When I was moving I felt way more alert and in control if I was moving or walking around but when I would sit down at my desk I would completely lose all focus. One thing at a time, no multitask. All day was overall much clearer.
* Better attitude, less “snappy” and agitated
* Still Stammering-Echo-Goldfish
* Still concerned and confused about suddenly not being able to spell or articulate
* MUCH more pleasant day w/kids
* Still extremely impulsive
* Still extremely self-conscious and “ticky” all day if not downright hyper
Took Adderall at 7:30, Noon, and 4:30
Pretty much everything after 8 a.m. could be described as “awkward, nervous but not “scared”, disconnected, pleasant mood, “off,” extremely challenging conversation, and zero attention span.”
8:30 p.m. took Ropinirole (.25mg is daily dose, no deviation,) ate cheese and turkey on crackers and then took 300mg of Seroquel at 8:45 p.m.
February 25th 2010: Day 7
6:30 a.m. CANT GET UP. Left Adderall in the car.
Morning just almost unbearable. I had such a bad time this morning vocalizing anything in general. Became overwhelmed and nauseated when the kids became challenging. Couldn’t spell or write or talk like normal AT ALL. Unable to “deal” and having a very very hard time speaking in the mornings. It’s almost like I have to force words out of my mouth and it is physically exhausting to speak. Literally. 7:30 a.m. I got the kids ready with extreme difficulty, they didn’t have their listening ears on and mostly because I simply could not make the connection. Thought—–>Communicate the thought = IMPOSSIBLE. Just a complete struggle. Got Adderall in the car, took the kids to school before I took it. 9 a.m. took it at home after an hour of trying to fall back asleep. Just thought maybe I would rest today, but couldn’t actually sleep. I just laid around and snacked. Relaxed. This may sound ridiculous, but I have never ever never relaxed before. It is almost fascinating, the silence and “alone” not being threatening to me.
Slow…. Stutter….. Stammer…
1 p.m. I ran around for about half an hour before my Maw Maw came to go to the Dr. appt. with me. Was actually dressed and ready to go. Did a few silly “checks” and organized things before we left. Just desperate last second stupid things. Meaningless. Just nerves.
On the way to the appointment we talked about “other things.” As in, not an anxiety laced conversation ABOUT anxiety laced conversations.
Really really good mood all day as long as nothing challenging, the kids and responsibility in general quickly send me back into nervous overdrive. Fought impulsiveness all day. Didn’t touch face. DID absolutely start back into the “self-hate” behaviors in the bath. Pretty hard on myself today, but did stop earlier than I normally would. My handwriting still sucks and I feel like I am misfiring all the time. 9 p.m. took Ropinirole and 350mg of Seroquel.
OVERALL WEEK ONE WAS VICIOUS. JUST PLAIN VICIOUS. BARELY BEARABLE. FRUSTRATING, A LOT OF GUILT OVER ABANDONING MYSELF. EVEN THOUGH I SEE MYSELF AS ANXIOUSNESS, ANXIETY, COMPLETE DISARRAY. THAT IS ME. IT IS ME. SO IT IS DEFINITELY A STRUGGLE TO REALIZE AND ACCEPT THAT YOU AR IN FACT BECOMING SOMEONE ELSE, TO A CERTAIN EXTENT. IT WAS DIFFICULT TO EXPLAIN TO FRIENDS AND FAMILY THAT DESPITE MY ANGER AND FRUSTRATION, MY OVERWHELMEDNESS, EXHAUSTION, AND GRIEF, THAT I AM MOURNING THE DEATH OF WHO I HAVE BEEN MY ENTIRE LIFE, BUT THAT I LOOKED SO FORWARD TO WHAT THIS LIFE COULD BE FOR ME SOMEDAY. IT IS HARD TO EXPLAIN. I FEEL LIKE I DIED. LIKE I DIED AND BURIED MYSELF. IT IS TERRIFYING. IF I AM NOT SYMPTOMS AND I AM SOMETHING ELSE WITH SYMPTOMS AND WE ARE TAKING THESE THINGS AWAY, PLUCKING THEM AWAY, WHO WILL I BE? HOW DO I LEARN TO LIVE WITHOUT TORTURE. HOW DO I TRUST MYSELF IF I DON’T REACT TO THINGS THAT I USED TO? AM I BETRAYING MY OWN NATURE OR AM I SAVING ME FROM MYSELF. INTERNAL CONFLICT IS THE UNDERTONE OF EVERY MOMENT I’VE SPENT HERE, IN THIS LIFE, IT IS WHO I AM. I LOOK AT THESE LISTS, AT THESE DAYS, AT THESE SYMPTOMS AND EVALUATIONS, AND I MUST MAKE PEACE WITH THE FACT THAT I AM ABOUT TO BE SET FREE FOR POSSIBLY THE FIRST TIME IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. I AM EXCITED. I AM TERRIFIED.
*On the 8th Day my psychiatrist said that I should take at least one month off of work and my having gone to work every day since I started the meds was absolutely unbelievable, that I should have been resting. I told her a month was unacceptable, that I was terrified that this “medical problem” would cause me to lose my job, my job already suffers at the mercy of my mood swings and anxiety attacks and that I have successfully hidden these issues from my family and my employers my entire life and it would sound ridiculous to suddenly take a month leave when I act “fine” to everyone. I took her instruction to ask for a week off of work….. I took two days of that actually off.
The verdict is in. I am officially, card-carrying, in the management phase of….. batsh!t crazy. Look it up. My face is beside it. What a shock? Hardly. Lol. I could describe this is strangely liberating.
I had a little peek at my file, I self-diagnosed to a T. Now anyone can “self-diagnose” if they are already familiar with or look into for the sake of emulating just about anything. I mean my sister, for example, is notorious of her chameleon-esque replication of any mental illness or physical condition for which’s sympathy could prove as serving. She is quite the little sympathy whore. I made myself a list. A normal person might not quite share all of this, and I am sure anyone who DOES really know me in real life is appalled at my cavalier attitude over something so disturbing, but the truth is, I know for a fact, this will help someone out there to hear. God has his way for tilting our ears. My plight is not wasted, I have absolute faith in that. So I’ll save the world one Bipolar Blog at a time and you guys can handle the Global Warming and hunt for terrorists at the airport and I’ll be here rubbing imaginary elbows with “my people.”
THE VERDICT…. yes, the verdict. I was right.
Severe Mixed Bipolar Disorder with comorbid Borderline Personality Disorder (which I wasn’t supposed to “figure out” yet.)
Severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with comorbid Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Substance Abuse (I guessed she’d pin “Addict” on me even though I don’t “use” I’ve done drugs at my worst point.)
Restless Leg syndrome (yeah, only every night for the past eight years.)
and then at the bottom of the list “Severe Overall Mental Illness“
I have no doubt I’m getting nailed as schizophrenic also, but they are dancing very delicately around that and I really feel like it’s just a matter of whether or not I am honest about certain subjects that will determine THAT one.
Did you hear that? I am “severely mentally ill” in general. WTF. It’s funny, and even more so because the people who’ve known me for years have never really known at what depth my crazy really does take root and are in complete disbelief that I am “suddenly crazy” when I act fine to them. I get a lot of “you are definitely hyper but I wouldn’t call you bipolar at all” from even my closer acquaintances. To that I say, “thank you, that is a compliment to my ability to fool every single one of us (myself being part of “us.”)”
The Verdict’s Verdict? Get me “under control.” Get me sleeping at night. Get me “less distracted.” Get my anxiety under control to eliminate some of the impulsiveness.
The Prescription? Seroquel….. and more every day till we hit whatever the heck state it is they are aiming for, I can’t tell you. I looked it up online. It’s a treatment for…. drumroll please…. schizophrenia as well as BP.
SO, I am now in the process of “journal-ing” my daily whatever in my sexy orange spiral. Here goes so far… I’ll update a little less at a time from now on but to get us through the “hump” I just went through, I’m just gonna cram as many days in a post as I can.