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Friday, 29 May 2015

Drugs: A Mental Safety Net

My last entry seemed to be brimming with optimism so I'm very sorry to have to bring back the cynicism.

The past couple of months have been very difficult for me in the sense that I've been finding myself struggling to stand on two feet - quite literally at one point. At the start of May I fell and injured my arm in such a way that it's yet to recover. I've been held back all month by a constantly painful arm and so I haven't been exercising and I've been taking a considerable amount (but not overdoses) of co-codamol each day to deal with the pain.

I've been to see the psychiatrist (at last) and was left feeling quite down. I spoke to her about my sleep and how I was struggling with one 50mg quetiapine each night. I remember very clearly the whole appointment of being looked at like the scum of the earth for leeching so many medications. She asked, "You don't want the rest of your life to be like this do you?" Of course, I'm so used to these appointments over all these years that I know just to smile and nod or shake my head as appropriate. You never let them know exactly what you're thinking because sometimes it's so emotionally charged in my mind that to even speak it would be to have a meltdown.

Well, after several "tsks" and heavy sighs, I got my quetiapine doubled and my promethazine doubled also to keep me sedated. I came home that day and stared at the ceiling and cried. "You don't want the rest of your life to be like this do you?"

A couple of weeks earlier, my parents had went away on holiday over Easter. On Easter Monday I was due to collect my weekly prescriptions but was told to go and collect them from another pharmacy at this time and place... I was, of course, told the wrong date. Due to this, I couldn't get my prescriptions until that Wednesday. That meant two whole days of no medication. Just to put that in perspective for you, I'm on medication for anxiety (propranolol, promethazine), depression (sertraline), hand pain (diclofenac), neuralgia (pregabalin, carbamazepine) and insomnia (quetiapine). I don't think I've had a worse couple of days in... quite a long time. I was crying constantly. It was like when I was younger and hadn't had any treatment yet. I felt sick. I was in a lot of pain.  I had to take a massive diphenhydramine overdose just to get some sleep (which was disjointed and light). I think I had a few co-codamol hanging around but nothing that could tide me over. When anyone mentions to me now about how many meds I'm on and how I should come off them soon cause it'll be so much better, I just think of those couple of days. I was a broken, useless human being.

I do find myself thinking about my future a lot more these days than I used to. Before I couldn't see a life past the age of 30 - not that I've anything against that age, I just thought I was going through so much crap there's no way I wouldn't have killed myself by that time. Now, I'm trying to think of what I can do in life, what I'm good at, what I want from life. I see it going down a certain path and I'm not sure it's a path I want to go down.

I'm still attending groups. Currently I'm attending two! As long as I can continue to go out and see other people, I think I'm doing okay. I don't want to push myself too much but I'm certainly still concerned. I try not to think about how it ended up like this. Those memories are locked away underneath all of the medications. Every now and then, something surfaces and I'm forced to try and work through it. My mind blurs things and I don't doubt the details from the more painful incidents are still there... if not jumbled up. I hope someday to be able to work through them in a clearer manner and in a controlled manner. Right now? I shouldn't let people rush me into stopping things I know are helping rather than hurting. It would be good to be able to get active again though.

Oh, and for the record, I haven't hurt myself in almost two whole months. That's an achievement for me (even if it's a small one).