Withdrawal

So, I’m going through withdrawal from anti-depressants and anti-psychotics at the moment. It’s awwwwwwful. I’m nauseous/vomiting, dizzy, tired, sore, shivering then burning up, irritable, and most of all, I have the worst headache on Earth. One that’s so bad I’m considering if I’m experiencing mini migraines.

I’ve gone officially 2 nights and almost 2 full days without taking any Seroquel or Lexapro and the side effects are already better now than they were the first day. I’m hoping (and after reading almost every Seroquel/Lexapro 1st page Google review withdrawal story) I’m expecting these nightmare days to be over within this week. I was weening myself off 75 mg of Seroquel and 10 mg of Lexapro. I was weening myself off both over the last few weeks until 2 nights ago when I was finally down to 5 mg of Lexapro and about 20 mg of Seroquel when I decided to quit cold turkey.

At the time of quitting cold turkey I just figured withdrawal wouldn’t be tooooo bad because I’ve already walked myself off both drugs (only ever one not both) at different times and though I had headaches or nausea, it was never this unmanageable. Lexapro withdrawal is kind of a godsend because it’s just this out-of-body floating high that fluctuates throughout the day. The Seroquel withdrawal is the bloodiest beast. Seroquel is the one giving me these killer headaches and nausea and cold sweats followed by heat flashes that turn into me running to go puke every other hour (again, much better than even a day ago). Finally followed by these mini migraines where I can’t stand light or noise and my brain feels a little too swollen to be resting instead my skull and I can’t sleep without waking up with neck or back pain (elbow and knee pain is most likely from the rain outside and the cramps are from my period) and I just feel like I can’t get anything done when I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO this week because I’ve only got 10 days left in this place before I move out.

And maybe a little stress thrown in on top. GAHHHHHHH I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate this pain. I hate hate hate how terrible these drugs are and I can’t believe and am so frustrated that they exist to help someone if they felt that terrible to be on and are this impossible to stop taking. It’s so tempting to take a mini dose just to lessen the withdrawal, but I don’t think it would. Plus, I don’t ever want either of those back in my system ever again.

I found a holistic mental health doctor who’s got me set up on a supplement schedule that I will hopefully not have to take for the rest of my life and even with taking them now, DON’T GIVE ME WITHDRAWAL and are not harmful to my system down the road or like right now.

I’m so angry at the mental health world for those terrible medications being the first option given when they are so painful. Why aren’t those the last possible option they give us to try? I’m done, so done, and so ready to be done with this pain.

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I feel it

like a fire. I am going to start walking myself off the antipsychotics starting tonight. Then just stay with the antidepressant for a bit. Then schedule a doctors appointment for soon, then just get on antidepressants then be okay with just those. No more psychiatrists, just general doctors.

I hate the meds. I want to feel everything again. Its kind of terrifying, but it’s more terrifying to enter into another relationship with a clouded mind and barely any emotions. I feel everything so much more grandly when I’m not on meds.

Honestly, with still questioning my sexuality and if I really ever liked men at all, I want to feel it all with a woman, nothing held back or muted.

So I’m still terrified this will backfire on me, but we’re going to try it. Maybe I can function just fine without the heavy duty meds…

January 8, 2018

We had an ice day today! (no school)

Thank God. I realized very quickly this morning that I was in no way ready to teach little minds. There are a lot of school weeks where I think to myself on Sunday night, “How in the hell are you going to get through this week?” Or even better pep talks: “You will not make it through this week. I see you having a mental breakdown before the end of it.” Legit, most weeks I am surprised when I make it to Friday in one, semi-managed piece. Or when I actually remember everything I was supposed to do, it really is a shock to me, like an out of body congratulations to my mind.

So I made egg salad today for my lunches this week, and prepared the green beans and radishes for munchies. I even submitted lesson plans, answered all work emails, made lunch and coffee for tomorrow, took meds, and am 75% done with paperwork. I feel like a smidgen more prepared for tomorrow than I was yesterday. Yikes, just let me make it through this week, then hopefully I can see Nicole.

December 30, 2017

Alright. So, I finally made an extra email for an extra Instagram account. With that said, I may also still make a Twitter from the extra email account.

I joke on here about my mania side wanting to be famous for my writing, but I feel the need to emphasize that’s not the purpose of all these accounts. I don’t keep daily written journals by my beside and inconsistent blog posts when I’m overwhelmed, and hundreds of iPhone notes, and pictures saved from Snapchat with captions of the places and feelings that went with them at the time just because I want someone to like it. I keep everything documented in all forms and compartments of my life because I know without writing it down, I will probably (98% sure I will) forget it. Depression consumes a majority of my days, and even when I’m me I still have a poor memory. Blame it on lifelong bipolar or antipsychotics or anxiety or whatever you’d like. Regardless, I have a poor memory, and I hate that quality about myself.

I love rereading journals from college and on (I threw away all journals from middle-high school, though I desperately wish I didn’t). Every little day or crush that I thought I would remember forever has to be jogged back, but it’s a welcome thought to review all my previous stresses or obsessions or frustrations with a different mind. It’s comforting to know those experiences weren’t lost or forgotten. That each little day mattered.

And I love getting the words out of my mind. Thoughts that won’t leave me alone do so once I put them in words on a page or screen.

So, I now have just one hardcopy journal that sits on my nightstand. I have one blog that I try to be completely honest on, and in extreme situations have made those extra honest posts into private status because they’re just kind of too awful for another human to read. I have two Instagram accounts, but only one of which I actually post about my bipolar and bisexuality and general tendency to be a complete asshole; on the other, I try and convince the world I am a high functioning heterosexual adult foodie without any sexual partners or self-destructive tendencies…

Maybe I’ll get a Twitter, or maybe I’ll put all extra effort into the Instagram to make sure all little iPhone note posts or blog entries get transferred directly to that account.

I think the most exciting thing about the extra Instagram account is that it’s public and honest. I can talk about anything on there and anyone can read or like or follow me and it’s all just out there. It reminds me of being a nude model in college and that surrender of control and worry about other’s opinions or judgements. I would undress, keep my eyes open, and settle into a position for 3 solid hours. That job taught me to let go of my physical insecurities and be vulnerable. Sometimes, the vulnerability scares me more than the fear of failure.

 

December 27, 2017

I’m feeling so many emotions, so many right now that I want to sob. I don’t cry at home though. That’s another long story, but my family gets so upset when I cry in front of them. They accuse me of being unstable for days after they see me cry, so I just try and keep it together when I’m home.

I really want to cry though. I just emailed both of my principals (my most respected ones) and asked for a reference letter so that I can start applying to other schools for next year. The one I’m most intimidated by replied back to me; “Of course. Makes me sad but I understand.”

I can be a narcissistic asshole in all areas in my life, except at my job. At my job I am deeply insecure and self critical. Knowing an authority figure at my job respects me enough to send a sweet email in reference to my leaving makes me feel so good and sad all at once. My first immediate thought was to type back that I was just kidding, that really I would probably stay at my job at that school forever.

I’m terrified of moving. I know it’s all I’ve talked about for months now, but that’s because I just want to be someplace different. The actual process of moving for the first time since starting teaching is almost enough anxiety to make me never want to leave. I’m good at this job, I love these people I work with, why should I ever leave?

Because the pay is low and the area is poor and I’m far from family. But I want to move out of state where I’ll be even further from family? But that’s because I want to move to Denver and I know better than to justify my fear and never act on my dreams. So why apply to BloNo? Is it just for Liz or Nicole (who you are probably breaking up with next weekend)? It feels like it’s for them or it’s for family, which makes me nervous. But what makes me more nervous is still not knowing where I should be looking to move when I’m only months away from that decision. Living in BloNo with Liz would be cost efficient, but what if she never wants to leave the state? Moving to Denver for August seems too drastic.

My anxiety spirals in my head with this daily. I might have a headache from all the hours spent worrying today about those three emails I just sent. There’s so many open questions that I can’t answer for months, which is why I have the doctor’s appointments for more meds and a counselor set up for next week. I am preparing for this spring because I know it’ll be stressful.

Only a little sliver of myself is excited to move. The majority of me is terrified and stressed and confused, but I don’t think I’m wrong with this decision, which is comforting. I think moving is the correct decision for this coming year because staying at my current job would just be me settling with what is comfortable and safe for me. I have bipolar and anxiety and panic attacks, but I am high functioning with all of them. I’ve gotten this far with this many memories and successes because I’ve challenged myself and constantly stepped out of my comfort zone. Moving is the harder choice for this coming year, but it still feels like the right one.

A gigantic cry is waiting for me when I get back up north and dang will it feel good. I can keep it together until then.

December 18, 2017

I went to the DBSA group therapy meeting tonight for the first time. I plan to go again when it starts back up in January.

Therapy like this is important and incredible to be apart of, just as it’s a solid reminder to be compliment with treatment. You need support with any major illness, mental disorder, mood disorder, loss, abuse, etc. You need counseling, you may need medication, and with some of those situations; you may be willingly seeking the treatment. I write about the things I have had or currently experience because those are the subjects I know. As much as it’s right for my family to know I have bipolar and panic disorder, it’s more important for my actual support system to be made up of friends, counselors, or therapy friends who can relate and understand what I am going through. Pity, worry, or disappointment aren’t emotions that help me correct my depression/hypomania because those emotions don’t make any difference. Correction, they make me feel ashamed of something I can’t help.

Just today, I locked in a January appointment with my psychiatrist to discuss medication and get a new prescription. Tonight, I attended the community DBSA group therapy at the hospital. Tomorrow, I plan to call back about setting up a counseling appointment with one of the local psychologists. I’m back on medication with the intention of long term use. Granted, right now I’m feeling good. This is all a different story when I am depressed or eventually get tired of taking such calculated care of myself. (I feel like I’ve talked in other posts about how strict my weekly exercise schedule and gain-weight-diet-plan is.)

So, I’m nervous that someday in the future I will be non-compliant with treatment again. I’m also nervous walking into the spring semester because some of my most severe depressions have started around January. But, I have to emphasize on here and mostly to myself just how drastically different I am today compared to one year ago. At this point, I have so much hope and confidence back in myself. I feel strong and at ease with the diagnosis, which is a feeling I never thought I would get to. For the longest time, I was still making up speeches in my head how I would propose to my psychiatrist that I was wrong about the symptoms I’d described and that I was actually probably just depressed not bipolar, so could he just give me a new diagnosis so I wouldn’t have to carry this one with me forever?… It’s taken so long to get to this point of acceptance, and I have to remember how important that is.

December 17, 2017

My world seems so much wider after I come out with a huge truth.

Going home for the holidays this time last year was painful and confusing because I was going through a breakup and coping with a recent bipolar diagnosis. I lashed out at everyone and silent cried at night almost half the time I was there.

Weird family dynamics I’d rather not explain make it impossible for me to cry or show any great emotion in front of my parents. I hid the breakup, the diagnosis (which was the worst to hide), and oh, the ongoing questioning of my sexuality. It was just a lot to keep inside, and I hadn’t had a good moment to debrief with Liz.

I feel so much relief thinking about going home this year to a family that knows and has had time to process it. I know I’m not going to get a bunch of questions about it or any dramatic emotional breakdowns from my mother about all her failures contributing to my mental illness, or anything.

There’s still the sexuality I eventually need to come out with, and man is that a heavy secret. And I’m still not solidly stable, but I’m comfortable and proud of my current treatment plan. I’m thankful I told my family about the bipolar and panic disorder and they took it on well.

Also, I’m back on meds as of December 9th 🙂

November 24, 2017

I had a lot of crazy dreams last night (rich food always throws it off). One of those dreams I was walking across a long, windy, skyscraper-like bridge behind a long line of women. We were all wearing the same uniform and my general feeling was unease and worry with what would happen to us when we reached the other end. Very suddenly, the woman in front of me turned around and held onto my shoulders and I felt a wave of love and belonging and strength. Her face morphed into my own face, like a mirror (my dreams always morph), and she/I said to my point-of-view, “You are ready to have sex again.” The words were so shocking to me they actually woke me up completely. LOL.

I think I’ve been kind of waiting for a sign or a feeling from inside that I was ready to go back to sex from this year long break. That dream felt so real and so much like permission, like my heart telling my mind, “I trust you again.”

The dream was serious, but with it waking me up so suddenly, I was laughing at the weirdness of it. Honestly though, sex is both meaningful and irrelevant all at once. Like, I don’t care how many people I sleep with, or which gender I’m sleeping with. I don’t care if my sex preferences are kinky or how my body looks when I’m performing them. I don’t think sex with one person, your partner, or multiple, non-monogamous partners should mean anything strange. Sex can be so physical and so pleasurable without reading too much into what it says about you or what it means that you sleep with so many people, or sleep with a same-sex partner, or sleep with a different person each night, etc.

And then there’s that point where sex loses it’s meaning completely. I hit that point slowly, dully. Sex became less pleasurable. I began to use it to fill a void so I slept with dozens of people, multiples per week. I stopped being adventurous in bed, so much more insecure. I began to only sleep with men because the sex was faster and there was no cuddling afterwards. My final sexual partner was a fwb, who I’d invite over late at night by leaving my front door unlocked and falling asleep naked. He would come in, we’d have sex with me mostly motionless or feigning to be too tired to move, then he’d get dressed and leave. To no ones surprise, he eventually stopped texting back. The last time he came over was on December 9, 2016.

On December 8, 2016, I was unofficially diagnosed with Bipolar 1 with anxious tendencies by a local counselor. And on December 12, 2016, I was officially diagnosed with Bipolar 2 and Panic Disorder by my first psychiatrist.

I’ve mentioned it before, but this year has been a whirlwind and a much needed break from where I was on December 9, 2016. I haven’t figured everything out, but I’m much healthier and have much better coping mechanisms in place than I did then. Having Nicole has been enjoyable, but I don’t think having a monogamous partner means I’m anymore healed than I would feel now if I was still casually dating. Still, it feels good to walk back to sex (semi nervous and still a little insecure) healthy and proud of myself. I am excited to get back to that point where again where sex is a fun activity, not a product of my mania or depression.

November 23, 2017

The meds gave me the ptsd flashbacks again, that’s why there’s so much fear and opposition to going back on them. I connected those two thoughts a few days ago, so my mind and my fear felt like it made sense to me again for a little bit.

I think I’ll get a tattoo soon to represent the abuse. My tattoos seem to get the thoughts from circling inside my brain, almost like I see it on my body and I can finally stop obsessing over it. Or, by the time I’ve put it permanently on my body I know most of me has healed from it.

A little, glass blue bird on my sternum transforming down to a hawk wrapped around my ribs. Originally, I thought about the hawk carrying a moonflower in it’s talons to represent my grandmother and the night the abuse stopped, but a huge part of me is so angry at her for not catching the abuse, or letting the bulk of it start and continue to happen in her house…she’s been gone and it’s been over for 16 years now and I’m still a little angry at her. Too bitter to give her a space on my body.

I’ll pursue a counselor (a new one) soon, two tattoos, the consistent workout classes, and a second piercing. I’m still in a good place.

November 15, 2017

We’re on the upswing, folks. My memory skills are back!

Do I apply for a second job now (housekeeping’s the only option), or wait until January? Probably wait until January, where there’s no immediate holidays for a while.

Do I follow through with the anxiety therapy? Only if the office lady tells me my insurance will cover it, otherwise, def. do the second job instead to prepare for THE MOVE.

And THE MOVE…Am I decided on BloNo or am I still up in the air? I think I’m still up in the air with which major city in IL I will be moving to, which is shitty because I feel like both N and Liz are banking on me moving to BloNo. And it would be cool to work there, but not working a shitty teaching job I hate. If I were to move anywhere, it’s because I want the position offered, and the city I’ll deal with whatever I get, like always.

Guys, I feel happy and positive and hopeful again (normal again), and it feels sooooo good.