aaaaand sick.

Welp, last night I slept for two and a half hours. From about 10:30 to 1:00. I’ve been up since then. Three hours in two nights is not enough, I’m running on fumes, here. Weirdly, the first part of today was not too bad. In fact, it was kind of good. I was tired, but actually managed to leave the house for the first time in many days. I even put on mascara and a bra–which is kind of a big deal considering how much of a recluse I’ve been lately. Granted, I have mono, so I’ve been taking it easy on purpose. I had to take incompletes for both my summer classes because of it. Sucks. But yeah, anyway, I left the house today and ran some errands with my mom (I’m actually staying at her house right now; she’s been taking care of me while I’m sick) and went to Starbucks. I felt positive. It started raining buckets despite the heat, and I remember feeling rejuvenated and refreshed by the feeling and smell of rain. I also felt particularly at ease interacting with people today–I even smiled at some random person I passed at the store, which I’m pretty sure I rarely do. I was very talkative, cracked jokes, and was even feeling well enough to drive, despite being so tired that I was probably as good as drunk–but I did okay. Once we got home, everything kind of went to shit. I started feeling really, really cold despite the heat, and really weak. I took a hot bath but it didn’t really help, I just shivered like crazy when I got out. I eventually took my temperature, and I have a low fever–99.6. I feel nauseous, my throat hurts, and I’m having pains in both the left and right side of my upper abdomen. They’re not too severe, but noticeable. I don’t know what’s going on. I had been doing a lot better with the mono before this, but maybe the sleep deprivation has run me down and the infection is getting bad again. I’m so sick of this–this is the third time I’ve had mono! People say that you can’t get it more than once, but I am living proof that it is definitely possible. Gahh, I don’t know. Maybe it’s not the mono. Maybe I’m getting sick with something else on top of it, I have no idea–all I know is that I feel pretty terrible. For all I know, it may be an effect of the antipsychotic withdrawal; some people report flu-like effects. The only thing I did out of the ordinary today was to take 5 capsules of valerian root (maximum recommended dose) for anxiety in an effort to avoid taking xanax. It didn’t really do much except make my hands shake, and I don’t think it could have made me sick like this. This shit needs to end. I just want to feel good. I have no appetite, I have barely eaten for days. Eating is already so hard and unpleasant because of all the vyvanse I take, this is just making it even worse. On a positive note, my doctor has mailed me a script for 40 mg vyvanse, so, as soon as it arrives, I can get down from the 50 mg I take now. One step closer to getting off this poison, and maybe, just maybe, having a normal blood pressure and pulse reading. Every doctor I go to is completely shocked and worried by it. Everyone says I’m about 30 years too young and many pounds too light to have readings like I do. I’m positive it’s the vyvanse, it has to be. I’m afraid I’m just going to drop dead one day. Getting off of it is such a painfully slow process, I can only go down 10 mg per month or I’ll have terrible withdrawals. I just can’t deal with any more withdrawals on top of the ones I’m already experiencing from geodon right now.
The only thing making this better right now is my little 8-week-old kitten, who is just so gosh darn cute that it’s hard to feel anything negative in his presence. He’s like a tiny, fuzzy ball of therapy.

Crossing my fingers for a miracle to happen and for me to somehow get a full night’s sleep tonight, and for my fever and abdominal pains to be gone tomorrow. Le sigh.

-j.

Sitting in the dark, praying to something

I don’t usually pray.  I wouldn’t consider myself religious, though I am very spiritual.  Sometimes I kind of send thoughts out to the universe, but I wouldn’t really call it praying to any sort of deity.  I think I do believe in some power of the universe beyond myself–like karma and things like that.  I’ve studied a lot of Eastern religions, so I guess my own personal views align more closely with some amalgam of Buddhism and Hinduism than any other religion, but, again, I don’t identify with anything specific.  Anyway, I digress:

I am totally praying right now.  Like, full out hands clasped (well, before I started typing), the whole nine yards.  Only I’m not kneeling, because I’m on the computer, but I totally would be.  I’m praying like hell.  To god, to whoever, or whatever may be out there listening, to please just let me sleep tonight.  Not only can I not function on another night of no sleep, I also have mono right now, and need sleep to recover.  If you’ve ever had mono, you’ll know that sleeping is pretty much all you want to do.  I am here to tell you, my friends, that the insomnia caused by geodon withdrawals is more powerful than the urge to sleep brought on by an active case of mono–god I hate this drug so much.

I’m sitting in the dark to try and encourage my body to produce melatonin to make me sleepy.  I also just took a hot bath with all the lights turned off for the same reason.  I also took a quarter of a 1 mg tablet of melatonin.  I read that if you take too high a dose, it can have the opposite effect–melatonin-induced insomnia sounds like my ultimate nightmare right about now.  Hopefully that might help, I don’t know.  I’m used to things like ambien, lunesta, and those wonderful shots in the asscheek they give you in the psych ward that send you instantly into hours of blissful oblivion (I think they may have been shots of geodon, though, agh!).  I’m not used to trying natural things, and have no idea if it’ll work. I am also armed with valerian root if needed, though I don’t know if that’ll do anything either.  I also caved and took a xanax xr several hours ago.  Baaaad, I know, but I took it because I thought I was about to have a heart attack.  I am able to recognize that as anxiety and nip it in the bud before it turns into full-out panic and I call an ambulance because I think I’m dying, even though I’m not.  Gahh I know this isn’t exactly completely natural as I had hoped, but as long as I’m getting off the geodon, I can handle taking some supplements temporarily–as long as they don’t give me a hangover, make me fat, or get me addicted then we’re good.  Okay, I should shut off the computer.  The light is probably interfering with my melatonin production.  Okay, maybe I’m being paranoid, but whatever, I just really need sleep.  It’s only 9:33 pm–if I can fall asleep within the next few hours, tomorrow may be looking up.

As always, the fight continues.  Hoping for a better, less delirious tomorrow.

love, j.

And so it begins

oh hi there, I’m j.

I am a college student living an outwardly pretty normal college studenty life, except I’ve got all this pharmaceutical deadweight I’m carrying around.  Oh, and I’m also a woman, in case that’s a thing you wonder about when perusing blogs.  Allow me to explain what I mean by pharmaceutical deadweight:

I made this blog on kind of an impulse move following my first sleepless night due to decreasing the dosage of my antipsychotic, geodon.  Just for the record, I’m nowhere near psychotic, just unnecessarily medicated.  I am diagnosed bipolar, but I know in my heart it’s not right.  I am probably borderline, which responds better to therapy than meds.  I’m not yet sure what I’m trying to accomplish with this blog.  Support?  I guess that’s what this is.  I mean, I had a xanga way back in the day and I used it to blog about my feelings anonymously to strangers and it really kind of helped, so I’m kind of trying to do that again with this.  There are very few people in my life who I can talk to about this, and even fewer that support my decision to pursue a med-free lifestyle.  I want a place free of judgment where I can talk about whatever’s on my mind without hearing anyone say “just take your meds.”  I’ve been dulled into oblivion at the hands of incompetent, pill-happy doctors for too long.  I’ve had my brain fried (electroconvulsive therapy, aka electroshock) eight times simply because nobody could figure out what to do to help me.  I was hurting for a variety of legitimate reasons and, instead of actually taking the time to help me, the doctors sprang for the “quick fixes.”  I’m only 24 and I feel like I’ve lived ten lifetimes dealing with the whirlwind of all this crap, going in and out of hospitals, getting on and off a billion different drugs, blah blah blah.  I’m finally learning that drugs are not the answer, and that I’ve just been turning my brain into mush for eight years now with no true improvement, just band-aid fixes.  Don’t get me wrong—psychotropic medication has done a lot of good for a lot of people, I don’t discount that.  If it works for you, awesome–it doesn’t work for me.  It has helped me in some ways, but it has hurt me more than it has helped.  I also don’t mean to imply that all doctors are quacks–I’ve just had some really rotten luck.  Getting healthy, for me, is all about hard work—making better choices, adjusting my mindset, willing myself to do things I don’t immediately want to, and putting effort into therapy.  As a therapeutic tool, I need a place to brain vomit about all this other than in a medical professional’s office—so here I am.  I’m also going to kind of use this as a blog as motivation to rid myself of other toxic things in my life as well such as nicotine, marijuana (well, at least get less dependent on it), and general treating-my-body-like-shit-ness.  You know, working on things like eating right, being active, bloodeeblooblah.  I also have an extensive eating disorder history, so I’d like to find as well as give support for that, too.

Anyhow, here’s the lowdown:

current meds: geodon 40 mg. at night (well, 20 mg as of last night), vyvanse 50 mg in the morning, and xanax XR 1 mg as needed.  I am trying to get off geodon and vyvanse;  I don’t mind having the xanax around for the occasional bout of anxiety.  My psychiatrist is helping wean me off of the vyvanse at my request, but the geodon I am doing on my own volition.

As you can see, I’m not actually on all that many medications right now.  I’ve successfully weaned myself off of a HELL of a lot, y’all have just caught me mid-process.  I’ve been on this particular combination for quite some time now (except the vyvanse was lowered from 60 mg around mid-June), and getting off this combo will be the hardest part of all that I’ve done so far.  The xanax is really no biggie, I generally rarely take it.  I noticed myself taking it more lately (almost every day this week), so I didn’t take one last night—this may have been part of why I didn’t sleep, along with lowering the geodon by 20 mg., but it’s all the more reason I need to stop so I don’t get dependent.  The geodon is apparently a BITCH to come off of.  Everything I’ve read online says to expect horrible withdrawals, and I’m kind of already experiencing them just by going down 20 mg for one night.  I couldn’t sleep a wink last night, and I feel super wired, headachey, and all around totally terrible today, and it’s probably only going to get worse.  It’s compounded by the fact that I also have mono right now, which makes me feel supershitty in the first place.  But anyway, I’m powering through the withdrawals in the hopes that, on the other end of this, I will be in a better place.  I just hope this doesn’t turn into many nights in a row with no sleep.  Welp, I think this has already gotten quite a bit longer than I intended.  I tend to get rambly and spacey when I am super sleep deprived.

So yeah, it’d be great to connect with some people on here who might be dealing with psychiatric things of one sort or another for mutual support purposes.  If you’re in need of some support, don’t hesitate to shoot me a message.  Or even if you’re not, say hi anyway!  I love “meeting” new people and hearing their stories.  Okay, okay, I’ll go now.

j.

tl;dr: well damn, I really wouldn’t blame you.  I’m trying to get off my psych meds and it’s pretty rough terrain and it would be cool to have support and things.