Willfulness in the Face of Necessary Medication

Anxiety and frequent panic attacks have been the menu du jour for weeks, now.  I have had my Klonopin prescribed as a scheduled medication, have had the med treater add Xanax as a PRN, and have been trying various and different DBT skills.  Very little works.  It probably works a lot less, because I am not very compliant with taking three to four Klonopin per day at scheduled times, nor allowing myself to take any of the Xanax that have been prescribed.  I have tried explaining it to my therapist, the not wanting to take more and more medication, the not wanting to become a “Klonopin whore,” the not wanting to start an addiction (because life is rough enough with *just* your regular, garden-variety mental illnesses to combat every day).

This has been a “problem” for me over the years — my distaste for (what I see as) excessive use of addictive pharmaceuticals, and, in general, not wanting to let myself just be numbed out day after day.  Is it better to suffer the multiple-times-daily breakdowns, than it is to just take a wee bit of Klonopin here and there?  My brain and heart are in a battle over it.  Those who know me best, who see me on a regular basis, they plead with me just to take a Klonopin.  Why am I being so willful, over some damn Klonopin?  Just take one!  It won’t hurt!

I have had years worth of numbing myself out with various psychiatric medications, a very brief (very, very brief) relationship with marijuana in college, and a couple very short-lived love affairs with alcohol over my 35 years.  I say “No, thank you,” to all of it.  It may seem strange, like, “what Rosa, you don’t want to get some peace?  Even your med provider thinks it is a good idea!” but it is a different scenario in my mind.  I will never go back to alcohol, to marijuana, to popping this pill and that in the hopes that I will get a bit of relief.  I never let it get to a point where it destroys my life, but I have seen so many other lives destroyed by chemical dependency, and so it is very easy for me to say, “no, not for me.”

Could I just take a little bit of Klonopin here, a tiny nibble of Xanax there, and be just fine?  Yes, probably so.  I have a hard time justifying my refusal to take medications that are prescribed to me, and I revealed to my therapist this week that, really, what is behind this refusal to take medications is the thought, the feeling, that maybe I don’t feel I should be taking ANY medications.  Maybe I don’t really have bipolar disorder, maybe I can be one of those people with bipolar disorder that does not NEED medication, but can manage things with a strict schedule and diet and exercise and meditation.  Maybe I am meant to be medication-free.

At the exact moment these words come to my mouth, I know they are untrue.  I quickly scan through the years that I tried just that, to treat my bipolar disorder without medication, and just how very dangerous it was for me.  How many terrible situations I landed myself in, how I barely made it through living in the big city alive, how I hardly escaped not one but multiple abusive relationships, how the thoughts of wanting to die and dancing on the edge of the Earth with death and Satan, himself, were a daily occurrence.

So, yes, I am prescribed quite the boatload of psychotropic medication.  I don’t want to take it, but I will keep doing so because I know in the wisest part of wise mind, that it is that medication that is making me “stable enough” to exist as I am.  I will think some more about the Klonopin and the Xanax, and eventually the daily breakdowns will become too exhausting to continue, and I might try taking some.  I won’t like it, and I will worry that I am doping myself into a corner, about becoming a Klonopin-whore  but it is quite possible that a little bit of Klonopin and Xanax thrown down my gullet on a semi-regular basis will decrease the multiple daily breakdowns, and that is something that needs to happen.

mistake

 

 

The Will to Carry On

I sure am up bright and early today.  I think that’s what happens when you go to bed at 9:15 p.m.  I am on “Plan A” of QoB’s model for healthy living.  “Plan A” consists of taking medication as prescribed, AKA taking meds twice a day instead of once.  It has really made a difference, it seems.  I am less agitated in the evening and more pleasant to be around (at least I think so).

I have also started taking Cymbalta again and it is amazing how wonderful I feel.  Back to where I was before I decided to go off it, really.  Apparently the withdrawal effects from going off Cymbalta suddenly include depression and irritability.  Hah!  Who would’ve known?  I was obviously not in my right mind when I went off it in the first place or I would have Googled everything.

Dr. Love’s parents were in town yesterday and I was able to spend a few hours in the evening with them.  We get along pretty well and it is always nice to see them.  They brought Matt’s nephew with them and he is getting SO big and is starting to say really funny things.  I think is he around 4 years old.  What a crack-up and what an age for repeating what he hears.  We went out for Chinese and he kept talking about the “damn Mexicans” and how we should “ship ’em home.”  Apparently he has been overhearing some rather racist conversations somewhere.

While at the restaurant, I ran into a co-worker from when I worked at the community mental health center.  It was really nice to see her and I think we are going to have lunch to catch up.  She has become a supervisor and I can totally see her in that role, kicking butt and taking names.  I told her I am loving corrections and that I had always thought I was not nice enough to work in straight-out mental health.  She says, “Hah!  Do ya think?!?”  I can remember giving people “pep talks” and co-workers coming out of their offices to see who is giving the “nice litle old lady” (aka, the 60 year old meth-head) a hard time.  Oh those were the days!

I have been cheating a little bit on my Paleo diet and have really been experiencing some serious gastrointestinal problems as a result.  Why do I do this to myself when I know it will make me sick?!?!?  Oh wait, it might be that eating disorder kicking in, as QoB reminded me.  I do tend to forget about it.  It’s just normal to me.  I don’t think about how other people eat and just assume that what I am doing is what anyone else would do.  Well, apparently it’s not.

So, to counteract urges to go to Casey’s and buy chips and cheese, I have cooked myself some good things for lunch today — edamame, zuccini stir fry with brown rice, grapes, apple with PB.  Should be a much better day for my stomach.  I also gave Dr. Love my debit card to hold onto.  My lack of self-control never fails to amaze me.

My car has been in the shop this week and it will finally be done today.  I’m pretty excited, as I have been driving Gav’s mini-van and it is very different from driving my car.  Definitely not as cool, but it has been great to have something to drive while my car has been out of commission.  It is hard to live in Topeka without a car and depend on the kindness of others to sneak you out of the facility for a smoke break!

Keep on keepin’ on.

Queen, The Show Must Go On