WARNING: THIS IS MORE ABOUT MENTAL ILLNESS AND ITS INHERENT FUCKWITHERY. IT IS ALSO ME WHINING. NEITHER OF THESE THINGS ARE NOVEL EXCEPT THIS ENTRY PERTAINS TO PHYSICAL REACTIONS TO THE FORMER.
Last Thursday, I wrote a poem on a little slip of paper beside my bed. It went like this:
Now, if written as the first two lines of a stanza, it’s very Emily Dickinsononian, so, um, I guess I could be proud of that? But what I think is the most appreciate-able of this personal achievement in literature is that it was literally the only thing I was capable of doing outside of the bare essentials from that day until yesterday, capping up a week of slow mental deterioration. (Chloe and I had “Pajama Day” a few days last week… she’ll only think it’s weird when she’s in therapy in a couple decades and realizes what it actually was) Thanks to New Drug #4thirty’leb’m, I’ve just endured the single most physically excruciating week of my entire life… And, thus, feel the need to publicly share it, if only for those other people out there who have told me that when I write about the lifestyles of the mentally ill, they appreciate the candor and the relate-ability. Also, I really felt I should document it for myself for future reference.
So lemme get you up to speed as though you’d never read anything I’d written about my breed of The Crazy before: I have chronic (until we find a cure) depression; it tends to kick up in the spring for inexplicable reasons; I have it under control for the most part otherwise. Well, this year during my annual Bout o’ The Crazy, New Doctor #7 (because I’ve moved in the last year) decided to start tinkering with my meds, which has lead to at least two extra months of BAAHHHHSTOPITCRAZY with the added bonus of my very first mania! WOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!
Aaaanyway, after “Well, let’s try you out on _____ for a couple weeks…’see how you do, umkay?” for four solid months now, I told my doctor to suck it; I’m stripping myself back down to the minimum, (which is the dosage at which I’ve been happily sane for 85% of the time for the last couple years) and I’m not screwing my brain up with any more of his chemical experiments that I’ve told him since their beginnings wouldn’t help anything in the long run. And I told him that if he was going to buck me on that, I’m looking into taking my humble dimes elsewhere anyway.
And this is why.
In the last week-and-change, due to 2.5 mg/daily of the drug Abilify (oh yeah, we’re calling it out by name. After the Vyvanse debacle of 2009, I’m calling anyone out where needed… for um… legal reasons? Igotnothingmumblemumble…), I’ve experienced the following:
~ Insomnia like whoa
~ Lethargy like whoa
~ Aching, gnashing pain in my limbs like fucking WHOA.
~ More-vivid-than-when-I-was-pregnant dreams including the most fucking horrifying nightmares imaginable (no, seriously. These made Kubrick look like PBS.) on the one night I opted out of the drug.
~ The complete inability to find a comfortable position.
~ The complete inability to remain in stasis.
~ 95% of the inability to move without inexplicable, aching, throbbing pain.
~ Increased heartrate.
~ Increased body heat (NOT fun for my husband, who isn’t a fan of keeping the house as chilly as I’d like.)
~ Bloating/Gas/Indigestion. Like whoa.
~ Seeing shit out of the corners of my eyes. (I’d say “hallucinations”, but saying “seeing shit” makes me sound more human and more lucid in that I have the wherewithall to be legitimately freaked out, right? It’s an affectation I’m trying on.)
~ Hearing things; either my brain completely misinterpreting a sound or fabricating sounds entirely… like children playing or bells chiming…
~ Exhaustion along with shaky fidgets.
~ Inability to focus (This entry has taken me three days to write. Not kidding. I’ve edited a lot.)
So, yeah, my last week sucked. I was awake more than any person should be for more than 3 days, I was both unable to sit or lie still and, yet, I was exhausted and in pain every time I moved, and I was legitimately out of my mind outside of the two former factors, so all of it was a cocktail of HOLYCRAPBAD. And I say that it was “the most physically excruciating week of my life” without any intention of hyperbole; at least in the aftermath of my C-section, I was able to sleep and take some pain killers and, in weeks when my body has been exerted and put through the ringer (high school volleyball training weeks/camp, expeditions with collegiate Outdoor Adventures group, etc.) I was able to rest for at least 6 hours a day or site where the pain was, specifically, and nurse it back to health with massage/warm showers/whatever was needed. This last week, my body has ached in ways that aren’t expressible and weren’t cured by the prescription-doses of ibuprofen I kept slamming.
And then, when I stopped taking the drugs because I couldn’t stand the side effects anymore (last Thursday), I had to deal with equally uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. YEAAAAAAYY!!
I just hated it. And I hated that I hated it. And I hated that I was STILL dealing with psychiatric bullshit 2 months later than I usually do every year. And I hated what it was obviously doing to my family. And I hated that, no matter how much time and therapy I’ve gone through with this mental shit, I was still running into the same crippling physiological horseshit I’ve been dealing with for for-fucking-ever. ::sigh:: But we’ve talked about this before, right? I feel like this is just another redundant entry in the Captain’s Log of my Crazy.
Anyway, after four [expletive unrecognizable in human linguistic patterns and, thus, deleted] months of mood roulette (the ball landing on “Crazy/Bad” more often than not), I woke up yesterday with a feeling of serenity and stable optimism that didn’t quit before I went to bed later that night and, in fact, has continued right up until this very moment. And, I don’t want to get ahead of myself and/or say anything too soon, but it would really really be wonderful if this was The End of the 2011 Psychotics Episode for me. Seriously, I’m ready to turn that corner now and, frankly? I think after this last week I’ve had, it’s owed to me by the Universe at this point. I don’t usually make those sorts of cocky declarations, but I’d kind of reached a breaking point, to be honest, and wasn’t sure how much longer I’d be willing to tolerate writhing around in agony without immediate, intensive medical attention (which, after two experiences with this type of “help”, I’m none too hasty about requesting ever again.) So I’m glad to see the tides turn, even if it’s with such late arrival.
::exhales:: I’ll be turning the “Fasten Seatbelts” signs off momentarily. It feels good to be back at cruising altitudes… and to be of the state of mind that I can get away with terribly overwrought analogies referring to my mental state.