Thursday, September 9, 2010

Rip Van Winkle...and a bunch of other thangs.

I don't think I have ever been so tired as I get at times as of late. What is that about? I mean it hits with a swiftness i can't comprehend and lays me flat as if Stonehenge has landed on me. I fight it. I'm not a nap taker. I do not know how to take a nap. I can sleep for hour upon hour, but those short little naps...well, I just don't get that.

My Lyme test came back negative but I have a delightful little bulls-eye on my belly and my hip wakes me up at night giving new meaning to the term in-FLAMED! I could live without knowing that ugly, ugly feeling.

My surgeon will be fixing my hernia on the 27th of the month. YIPPEE! I consider that very good news cause when that puppy hurts, that puppy really hurts. That there is an end in sight is thing of beauty. Scared? Hell no! I am absolutely excited about the prospect of taking care of business.

That, of course, is the good news. The bad news is that it is still a very bad neighborhood in my head. In meetings, folks talk about that as being behind enemy lines. Well, duh! I am my own worst enemy and worry is like some covert agent that sneaks in and gains control of the grey matter between my two ears. Now mind you, it gains control because I hand over control.

MORE MEETINGS! That's just what the doctor ordered. Well, actually, no one ordered it. Experience has taught me that when my mind is against me and doubt, fear and worry start playing their games more meetings succeed in getting me to a better place...emotionally, spiritually and matter what else fails, more meetings work. I don't know why they work. I don't have to know why they work. I know that it works and that is good enough for me. Don't analyze, utilize!

I realized today that in the midst of life on life's terms, I am basically quite content with me and my life. The bumps in the road remind me that I am on a journey. Call it recovery or simply call it life. It can be a wild ride sometimes but it is most definitely worth it. I'm not trying to go around life today. There is only one way and that is through. Sometimes I go in kicking, screaming and leaving claw marks on things but all of it...the good, the bad and the ugly...has been worth it once I sit on the opposite shore and look back at where I have been and where I am at in the now. I am grateful that life is not always easy. That would get boring real fast.

I can certainly be my own worst enemy. Fear, doubt and insecurity plague me at times. And it is a truism that my troubles are of my own making. Fortunately today I know how to ask for help, how to get perspective and how to listen to voices other than the crazy ones in my own head. Hell, sometimes my instincts are right on these days and I can figure out what the next right thing is. Panic is not my regular default position. Hope is a phone call away or at the place where my fingertips touch the keyboard. Sometimes a deep, relaxing breath is all it takes. Sometimes a simple prayer or a quiet meditation bring me back to the present. I've learned to live Rule #62...don't take yourself so seriously.

When I don't get all caught up in my own head, I do pretty well. That is like way wicked kewl. Once upon a time, I couldn't imagine that was even a possibility. Life is very good today. MY LIFE IS VERY GOOD TODAY!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's been a while!

I woke up 'edgy' with 3:00 AM staring me in the face. UGH! Nuked some water for a Sleepy Time tea and made a PB&J sandwich. So, I figure a bit of writing and I will be ready to get back to the task of getting me some shut-eye. Let's see how that works out. LOL

Edgy. Well, at least I'm not downright anxious. It sucks to wake up in the middle of the night in the midst of an anxiety attack. Been there, done that. EWWWW! Let's just say, not my idea of a good time.

Then I am reminded of my dance with the psychotropic medication Seroquel. OMFG!!! So, I tell the shrink at the time I had had two...count them...two anxiety attacks in a 2-3 month period. I didn't want to be medicated, just wanted to keep him in the loop. Silly me thinking that was the right thing to do. He wants to prescribe Klonopin or Ativan or some such. I can't remember exactly what it was cause he said "X" and I heard BENZO. I explain to him, "Been there, done that, ABUSED IT!!!" He says with two years clean and sober I'm fine to take it. I DON'T THINK SO! Well then, try this Seroquel stuff...just what I need he tells me.

That little dance went something like this. FOUR DAYS! Four whole days I take the stuff...sleeping 20 hours a day with vivid, bloody, gory, grotesque nightmares and that was the good part of it. The four hours I was awake I kept wishing the Fuller Brush salesman would come knocking at my door. (Do they even do that anymore?) Well, here's the thing. I wanted one of them to knock on my door so I could drag them inside, dismember them AND THEN kill them. I would have settled for the Jehovah Witnesses I suppose. I just really wanted to hurt people.

When I am thinking crazy and I know's pretty damn serious and pretty damn dramatic. Usually my crazy slips past me and I have to depend on others to explain the situation to me. Sooo, I call this quack up and he tells me that its not the medication, keep taking it I'm just having a psychotic break...and that's the end of it. HUH? Who the hell tells someone they are having a psychotic break, keep taking your meds and have a nice day? WTF...and am I the only one who should be medicated here?

I stopped taking the Seroquel against medical advice. I was scaring me with the breadth and depth of my state of mind, a state of absolute madness unparalleled with any other time in my life. By that point I was staying away from people, not that four whole hours of life was really a lot of time for human interaction anyway. A few days later, I felt a world of difference in my unscrambled brain. Voila! Problem solved. I no longer was having those violently bloody dreams. I was no longer agitated and just waiting for the opportunity to act out on that agitation. I was my reasonably socially acceptable self again, fit for human company and all.

Now this guy reassured me that it absolutely, positively was not a reaction to the medication but it was just a psychotic break. Have you ever had anyone casually mention that you just had a psychotic break? It was absolutely surreal. HELLO! Never had one of those before, so let's maybe explore this? Let's maybe not talk like I just had a freaking hangnail? Apparently there was no empirical evidence to suggest that this medication would cause this sort of reaction in any of the research even though my experiential evidence told me otherwise. I was totally and thoroughly dismissed.

This is the only time in sobriety that I went off a medication against medical advice. I'm glad I did. Even though I know many who have and are taking this drug with no ill effect...I'm not one of them. The experience paid off though. This guy's eagerness to push benzos on me alerted me to the fact that he had no business ministering to this addict.

Shortly thereafter I found another med provider, one whom I had a rapport with which served me well. We talked about my experience with Seroquel. She told me that though there was no empirical evidence available in the research there was anecdotal evidence to support my experience with the drug. It wasn't a psychotic break, she said, it was an adverse reaction to a medication. Then she advised me to put Seroquel on my allergy list. And believe you me, it's right there on the top of that list!

Funny thing (sic) is that I don't believe that side effect is listed on the adverse reactions for that medication still. It's been 5 years since my "Days of Seroquel Hell."

Odd that a little 'edginess' can trigger all that thinking, huh? Not really. When I woke up, Mel was lightly snoring next to me. It wasn't all that long ago that I realized she had changed back to the Mel I knew and loved. I think it was one of the medications she had been on that triggered all the wild thoughts that were triggering her crazy. Why do I think that? Well, since she's been off that one particular drug, she hasn't been as hostile, belligerent and confrontational. What a difference a med makes! Why the hell don't doctors know that?

Well, today I am grateful. My med provider listens to me and that makes a world of difference. I don't have to put up with those nincompoops who dismiss my experiences with a drug simply because they are convinced I'm just a crazy and couldn't possibly have anything valuable to contribute to my treatment process. Life is good and I am about finished with my cup of chamomile which is just about right cause I am getting wery, wery sleepy....