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Posts Tagged ‘off meds’

my counselor and i began discussing polarity therapy…energy work. i wanted to read more about what exactly it was. i’m very familiar with a variety of yoga, meditation and have had reiki, massage and acupuncture work done…but i wanted to know more about polarity therapy because this is just another area that  can use improvement when one is trying to work towards a healthy lifestyle. so here’s a good, straight forward article, from the american polarity therapy association, on what polarity work is: http://www.polaritytherapy.org/page.asp?PageID=24

an interesting book that my counselor gave me by caroline myss, phd, called “why people don’t heal and how they can” (also wrote “anatomy of the spirit”) deals with incorporating energy work into a holistic mind, body, spirit approach to healing. now i know the title might put you off, but i’ve been following other works that deal with “road blocks” in healing and this is a positive and good read if you’re experiencing “being stuck”.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0609802240/interactiveda936-20

i’ve been at this “wellness” gig for over 20 years. i began searching out many spiritual and nutrition based approaches as a teenager. initially i was concerned with the usual teenage issues like acne and weight but what i discovered, worked, so i stuck with it. as i was digging around that community, which was very small back then, i met a lot of people and was turned on to a variety of readings and experiences. i was learning about ways to heal some deep inner pains that i was already wrestling with, and having some horrible consequences from very bad, maladaptive behaviour and personality issues. i became a devout buddhhist in my early twenties and the search continued. but i am convinced from the many positive experiences that i’ve had, that this whole arena of mind, body, spirit healing is key for living well.

i still struggle with a lot. i’m not whining, but life just can never be normal for me. i keep stumbling across huge hurdles and crashing into brick walls. by now my problems must largely be due to brain damage from all of my collisions with life! but MRIs and other say that, anatomically, i seem “normal”. my gastro. dr came into the room a few days back, sat down and looked at me squarely and said “your tests are normal but…you are not!” and we laughed.

so, after over 11 years on a battery of psych meds for bipolar and spotty treatments for fibromyalgia, i felt i was not longer benefiting from the pharmaceuticals and was going broke in the pursuit of maintaining that. i guess i’m finding out that no matter which direction you go in…if you live out here…it’s not going to cheap and access to help is going to be limited. moving is not an option for me. so i have to work with what i   can  learn to do.

just what can i do from learning? i can maintain a healthy diet and exercise (walking, yoga, physical therapy). i can work on my spirituality (reading, AA, community). i have limited access to a counselor but she’s great and that’s what counts. books and videos are helpful. i have a good thing with my AA community and they do what they can (moral support and other help). there’s the phone, which can be my lifeline on days that i’m not doing well. the internet provides many opportunities to learn of up to date information on nutrition, techniques and therapies. while attending classes and having practitioners would be optimal…you do what you can. at best, things can get frustrating…very.  but when the rewards appear and even if they’re small, it’s great. you learn to appreciate the small things because healing from life long spiritual wounds and chronic issues is a slow process. i may rush with some things but i can’t afford to be down for long or maintain costly therapies that i have no funds for. but much of my process is about patience…the patient practices can be a long and lonely journeys some days and it’s easy to get despondent when you are just plain hurting and down. i’m not a monk…i’m just human…a sick human trying to heal.

while i’m off all of my “psych” meds i am still taking lyrica. i don’t think i’m fond of the lyrica? i take melatonin and it does help me  sleep very well and i wake up feeling good. i ran out of guaifenesin a couple days ago and found out just how much that was helping my fibromyalgia. i ran into the 4 corner town a few miles down the road to see if they just had something containing guaifenesin…i didn’t think they’d have what i take, but i found it…after half an hour i was feeling much more on track. gaufinesen an oddball therapy for fibro but it was in the book my dr. gave me and i thought i could try it…it seems to really help. (Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain: A Survival Manual (2nd Edition) by Devin J. Starlanyl and Mary Ellen Copeland)  also a good article on guaifenesin therapy: http://www.fibromyalgiatreatment.com/Articles_HYSTERIA.htm for now, i’ll take any help, because simply being able to do anything but lay on the sofa is an improvement and i need to be able to be up, moving around and communicating. i’ve got a lot of writing to do and i’m just trying to avoid it right now!
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well, i do have a bit of a bee in my bonnet. it’s about the accelerated taper schedule i needed to follow. i don’t harp about my life’s circumstances…the one thing that can drag me down faster than my illness, because it won’t help things and it’s not the topic i’m working with. but i’m sensing some bristling of hair regarding faster tapers. i fairly, thouroughly understand the multifasceted need for doing a slow, supervised taper. many people make sacrifices in order to manage their health. but when you have nothing  left to sacrifice…well, i think there is a great lack of empathy for the circumstances of some people needing to get off meds. this may be a hard concept to wrap your head around, but protracted withdrawal is a luxury  people take for granted. i’m sure you can throw a list of how you have been able to do lengthy tapers with limited resources…but do you live in rural appalachia? my county (s.e. ohio, west virginia) and the neighboring ones, make national news for joblessness, hunger and poverty all the time. my mother sends me the articles from the chicago tribune! we do have an extraordinary situation here. being poor in or near a large city is very different than being poor and living hours from a major city and living in a region not known for being “progressive”…we are not a hot spot or major destination for research and development. yes we have pockets of that if you’re looking at obesity, diabetes, COPD, etc…poverty isa major contributor to those things. it is easy to condemn what you don’t know…believe me, there are a lot of unknowns. being poor and new on the learning scale does not make one the enemy…we just need accommodations…so many of us give up the good fight because of the stigma. but if you’re diagnosed mentally ill and you’re dealing with income issues maybe you can begin to have some insight into what “stigma” means?

i avoid this topic because going there…i can find myself feeling irritated….i’ve been butting up against it for too many years now. (i’m fortunate it hasn’t been my whole life. it may be harder because, for most of my life i was reasonably successful and i have a hard time understanding why i can’t pull myself up. but i’m understanding how people can “get stuck”. i just don’t want to stay stuck. i believe i can get out of this. but judgement and stigma can put more weight on you than almost anything…if you let it. i won’t so that’s why i’m writing instead of feeling hurt, defeated and just walking off. i don’t have a lot of love and support around me…except for AA where i let people in. i have no available, supporting, family or a spouse. my love and support has to come from with in and from god.

in an area where just day to day survival is a massive struggle…mental illness and surrounding issues are a luxury. that may be hard to swallow…but if one can’t understand that, then you are probably blissfully ignorant or naive! (check out mental illness in developing nations! my friend just came back from a 2 month visit with her family in kenya, after being in the US for over a decade. she was given diagnosis here but…that’s still another issue worthy of inspection so you don’t take for granted what you have here.) i am back in survival mode. i am not considered quite “poverty” and don’t have medicaid. i have medicare, but don’t have enough of an income to afford uninsured care (and most insured care). i can’t work right now, and often can barely manage a shower and making it to an AA meeting. thank god for AA because it’s free, but i have to be able to make the 25-30 minute drive to and from! but i don’t have a husband, family or really friends that support and understand withdrawal and fibromyalgia  issues. my friends and community are good people but this is not their gig. this is a rough spot to be in! i would have never understood it myself, if i hadn’t found myself in this position. living here over 11 years and i was ignorant and naive to this. being caught in the middle of the socioeconomic stratas is just that, caught. i’m not using the words ignorant or naive to be cruel or condescending…they are by definition, the appropriate words.

at least i can find some information that is helpful, but i have to be able to do it or it’s just “information”. i always thought that where there is a will there is a way.  but “way” requires money and access. and hey no money no access! even supplements are ungodly expensive. in the past i could afford them. so necessity is driving my schedule and my life now. some of us are…no all of us are doing our own personal best. and we all have our own personal necessities…i like to call it personal velocity.

this is largely uncharted area that we are going into. little is still really known, and much research is showing up about both withdrawal and fibromyalgia. we know more now, but we are still learning! each of us are pioneers in trying to deal with these health issues. i think we have to be supportive to everyone’s approach. there are many strong feelings and there will be in these fronts. but if we let our emotions and opinions divide us (even a very informed opinion is still…an opinion)  rather than showing support for the entire community we will greatly weaken our efforts to move forward. i have been fortunate to have been in AA for over 10 years. i have a lot of experience with diverse populations finding many paths to a common goal. it is the common goal that holds us alcoholics together, not our means. yes, we all practice the 12 steps, but even each take on the 12 steps can vary. if we scrawbled about the details, the AA support circle would shatter.

the common goal we in the “off meds” community share, is living drug free (or with minimal medication). we will get there if we maintain that focus. everyone has something valuable to contribute…for now we really only have each other. with love and room for growth…more people will join the ranks of being able to actively contribute and support others.

contempt prior to investigation…not cool. don’t pass uninformed judgement on the choices others have to make in their healthcare. we are not equally provided for or have equal access in that arena…not even in, god-bless-america. not even with information. we can not demand it becuase we have to do for ourselves…that recquires creativity and weighing options…assuming you’re fortunate enough to have them. PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE EQUAL ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE IN AMERICA…please understand this becuase it’s real and its now and it hurts.

big pharma would love to devide and concour us, but why bother if we do that to ourselves.

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i would like to say that this is another journey i don’t want to see come to an end but i’d be lying. detoxing off of my psych meds has made my top three list of most difficult things to do. but to think that it ends here would be…well let’s say getting the drugs out of the system is a only a portion and beginning of journey.

as i learned from getting sober…more than once…there are a lot of life skills i need to acquire, to make up for what i was depending on the drugs to do. i was lucky in that i’ve had a great foundation and have worked with some people who’ve really put me to work! i see so many people living with the illusion that the drugs/meds are “the therapy”. gosh folks, if we don’t know by now, we’ll never learn…that they are only a brief/portion means to an end. they can help clear things up and and make a newly diagnosed person a little more capable of coping (which in the beginning can feel like a lot). but if you do not develop a good set of life skills to depend on…you will start heading off in an even worse direction. and, having mental illness, depression, bipolar, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, or any chronic disorder…we shouldn’t feel singled out as having an added burden of the need to learn these skills…granted we might have some more work to do, but all people would be wise, to be conscious of these simple, almost obvious skills that need to be created and sharpened.

i just have to say, that being on line with this journey has been one the greatest, free, adjunct therapies i could recommend. i’ve been able to put my stuff out there, and receive input. i’ve had the chance to read other people’s experiences and tips and have good exchanges of information and support! the support to gather more information and research…to be an informed consumer and participant in managing my life has been invaluable.

but, my journey is just beginning. the meds may be gone by the weekend but learning to live with out them is the next…the real part of the journey. i got off these meds so my life would be better and now it is time to set my sights on that process. i will still have the lyrica to contend with, but one thing at a time…doing to much at one time was part of the mess i got into.

in the past i’ve discussed various things that i’ve been picking up over the years and past months…such things to look at as: laughter, spirituality, brain exercises for mental acuity, using support groups (blogging), etc…there is a lot of discussion about diet, exercise and supplements in everyone’s blogs. all of these things are great life skills to work on that make our life’s great. i am still being exposed to more books and practices that support healthy living. that learning, is never ending.

i’m really looking forward to continuing my journey off meds both on line as well as…in my life. i do feel reeeeally good! (allergies and fibro…i can deal with that) there is much more to come thanks to being able to get off my meds (fellow bloggers), staying sober (AA), good living (counselor, friends, neighbors) and spiritual living (i should go back to church).

so moving forward here. my next effort is getting back into grad school. they could always just say “no”, but they could say yes (maybe with provisions)…but what ever happens…happens. as i get more busy with those ventures i will have less time to write here. but, my writing here is very important to me so, it is something that has to go on the list of “things to do”. if i don’t post much in a week it is likely because i’m doing well. of course when i’m having a more difficult day, i tend to not write either, but let’s go with the thought that i’m not here, because i’m out there putting the metal to the test!

this is just another beginning!

peace out!

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i thought i’d share a letter i completed. i made a difficult decision, to try to return to my graduate studies in counseling and i’m asking for a second chance after i completely unraveled, unknowingly, from multiple prescription drug addictions and entered into subsequent relapse in my alcoholism.

hi p.,
 
it’s been a couple of years now…after talking with a lot of people for a while, everyone’s input has led me back to the same spot: “go back to work on your degree in counseling”. so…
 
my BVR counselor, c., suggested that, in light of how things ended for me in the department, maybe i should initially contact you to talk about how i might be able to get back into the program to complete my masters degree in counselor education.
 
after all this time has passed and so many things have happened, i can see more clearly, what went wrong my last time around. yes, i wrestled with being very sick, but what i wasn’t fully aware of was that i had developed an addiction to pain medication after being prescribed the drugs for over two years! yes i was working on my counseling degree. yes i was active in AA. i was even counseling and working with so many alcoholics and addicts. but, since i never abused my medication and never got high off of it…drugs were never “my thing”…i didn’t see what was happening to me. at one point i told my doctors that i needed to stop taking the pain meds, but i didn’t realize that i was addicted. my behavior and judgment had gradually been changing and finally, when i did try to stop the meds…well i tailspinned into a total relapse with my drinking. but through it all…i couldn’t see what was happening.
 
amazing that with all the resources and experience i had…it happened (well i happened). and of course i can see all the elements of my unraveling now…the most sneaky aspect was that i got so busy working with others (interning)…at the end of a day i would feel that “i’ve been studying, counseling and working with other alcoholics and addicts, facilitating groups…i probably don’t need to get myself to my meetings and continue with the work that supports my continued recovery”. i’ve learned from raising this issue in meetings and while giving leads, that this is a very common cause for addiction and relapse in the helping professions. (you hear about it, but you can feel immune until it knocks on your door.) working in the counseling field can be full of “land mines” we don’t consider until we’ve stepped on one, and it’s not for lack of warning signs. this time around, things got much worse before they started getting better. i got back into AA in september of ’06. it’s been a good and productive 18+ months.
 
i just uncovered recently…and here’s a really good one…that i was addicted to klonopin! after over 11 years on the prescription drug…go figure. it was when i began a titrate off of all my medications and finally approached the detox from klonopin that, all of my addictions became so horribly clear to me. it took going through an intentional and “going into with your eyes open” detox off of meds (and i’ve been this route on alcohol) to understand and see what’s been going on over the years. it’s humbling to look back and think that “someone like me”,  could have become so tangled in so many addictions, for over a decade, even in active recovery, therapy, under doctors’ supervision, and studying to become a counselor!
 
i can’t say that everything is alright now. no, there’s a lot of stuff to continue to learn, clean up and work on. what i’m aware of now is how one can get “lost” in the midst of trying to be a counselor and…in life. there may be no perfect prevention, but there is a lot of “psychosocial insurance” available. i have a valuable past to illustrate what can lurk in the shadows, of even a seemingly together person…as i once thought i was. i’m a firm believer that the wreckage of our past can be our most valuable resource as we try to move forward.
 
with all of that said…am i crazy for wanting to re-enter the counseling program? maybe. i weathered some storms that woke me up and taught me some…great lessons. while i am still me, i can’t help but be changed. i have some good material to bring to the table. so…i’m wondering if i might be able to schedule a time to come in and meet with you to discuss what is going on in the program now and if i may still find a place there.
 
thank you for your time,

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so many of us that have lived with a diagnosis of mental illness or chronic disorders such as fibromyalgia and chronic pain also suffer from a loss of mental acuity and function. it can be the result of long term use of psych meds, pain meds, benzodiazapines, etc….it can also result simply from atrophy, attributed to a lack of use…

in considering the horrible side effects of the drugs we have taken and are now withdrawing from, many of us have turned to suppliments and certain dietary guidelines along with excercise, meditation and various holistic approaches to being well. probably one of the most disconcerting side effects of the medication and withdrawal is what happens to our mental acuity and functioning. we become fuzzy, confused, struggle with memory, have “brain zaps”, our vision is poor, speach is difficult…our hearing, smell and taste is off and coordination is challenged…the list can be lengthy. and while we take various suppliments and eat certain diets, etc. all of which can be expensive, but, important to support healthier functioning of our body…there is another thing we rarely discuss that is free and freeing. exercising our brains!

yes, our neurological system needs a good workout on a regular basis, just as our muscular, skeletal and cardiovascular systems do. when we’re depressed and struggling with the horrible mental side effects our first reaction is to isolate and shut down. were no longer receiving any stimulus or forced to use our neurological system in the way we used to, in day to day living. comming out of “hibernation”, as i call it, is yet another difficult thing to navigate. but how we manage that, determines our whole interaction with the outside world. stop and think about all of the tasks you did or would normally do just in your morning routine. all the interactions being transacted…comming and going, from your system and the world around you! if you’ve shut down and you’re simply going from the bed to the sofa, sleeping all day or watching tv, maybe eating something but not really cooking, avoiding the phone and conversations…just barely existing (like me)…well with all that, (over more than a years time) you can probably see your muscles atrophy…i sure did…and, i lost bone density! i mean, the physical evidence of being sedintary or functioning at a very reduced rate, is overwhelming to look at.

now what do you think has been happening to your brain?

well, not only can the trauma from the meds, but becomming sedintary and barely functioning also, wastes away our brains. and, no wonder we’re foggy, have poor memory, can’t communicate well, etc! i’m struggling with it, as may be evidence in my writing! i’m embarrassed to have to mingle with people, talk on the phone and worst even…speaking in front of large groups! it’s a horrible struggle. few can imagine the mental gymnastics you’re doing to compensate! yes, i have (in the last week and few months) spoken in front of large groups…i’m in AA so even in a regular meeting…it proceeds around the room of 20 or so and it’s soon my turn! gasp! i mess up, loose my train of thought…but i’ve told people what’s going on with my meds and detox. i just get to a point where i’m lost so i laugh, flip my hand up  and pass! BUT I TRIED…that’s the important part of the exercise. simple social gatherings, time with friends and group sessions offer us opportunities to exercise our minds. (sound like a no brainer?) hell, i’ve even woven and stumbled my way through two leads in front of groups 15 and 50! 

those opportunities and others are my chance to share this experience with others. i get to show them first hand, what has happened and why.

i have so many encounters now, and i am “hyper-aware” of my neurological processes! (yet another mental obsession…AAs will get that one) facing all these interactions, as i’m trying to make my way back in to the world…well i just take a deep breath when i leave the house every day, and i don’t hold it! i take a lot of deep breaths all day (it slows me down, gives me a pause).

but it’s in the doing that we rehabilitate ourselves. our mental processing will improve if we use it and take it out to exercise too! no, don’t leave your brain behind…it may be a scattered mess and you may feel a shell of yourself…but with increased use you can see parts of you slowly return. it’s really no different than if you received a traumatic brain injury in an accident…consider what persons with TBI go through, to get rehabed. well, we kind of have to follow some of that model, i’m afraid. there is no pill or vitamin that is going to do it all. hell that’s how we got in the trouble we’re in with these meds…someone told us to take this pill and our bipolar, depression, pain….would get better. doesn’t work that way does it?  to even really deal with all of our problems, meds alone could not work. we would have to incorporate such techniques as behaviour modification, thought changing…they all require work….that dirty four letter word…work. we are not lazy people and in fact the majority of us are quite intelligent by all measures. so we’ve been misled and the social and medical communities don’t have enough funds or manpower to assist us 100%. well, if we want to get there…it is evidence to me by observing the blogging community…that the initiative must lie with in…each of us. we must draw upon what we can create and develop ourselves…we can read the research on the wall….”they” are not going to provide extra help for us, and things are getting worse.

so how do we repair our shattered minds. many very good therapies, approaches suggestions have been shared in the bloggesphere, and i’ve picked up on a lot for my own use! i love it…people helping people…awesome. this is how it works!

but back to the mind….i wander and digress (surprised?).  well i’m starting here…a simple search for “brain exercises”: http://www.ask.com/web?qsrc=178&o=0&l=dir&dm=&q=brain%20exercises just look! there’s a lot being marketed to this topic, but you can find resources that are free.

right off i find a simple article from webmd:

Train Your Brain With Exercise

“Exercise is really for the brain, not the body. It affects mood, vitality, alertness, and feelings of well-being.” to read more: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/train-brain-exercise

here is an article that says exactly what i’m trying to convey…but they have some creative and simple exercises you can incorporate into your daily routine:

Reviewer Name: Ferguson, Monica O. M.D.
Date Last Reviewed: 12-06-2005
Published Date: 02-06-2008

Just as cross-training helps you maintain physical fitness, using your brain in a variety of ways can help you keep your mental fitness, strength and flexibility strong.

“Presenting the brain with non-routine or unexpected experiences using combinations of your physical senses — vision, smell, touch, taste and hearing — keeps your thinking and perception active and growing,” says Lawrence C. Katz, Ph.D., professor of neurobiology at Duke University Medical School in Durham, NC, and coauthor of Keep Your Brain Alive. “It stimulates patterns of neural activity that create more connections between different brain areas and causes nerve cells to produce additional brain nutrients.”

Dr. Katz calls these brain-stimulating exercises “neurobics.” “Just like aerobic exercises emphasize different muscle groups to enhance coordination and flexibility, neurobic exercises involve activating many different brain areas to increase the range of mental motion,” he says. “They result in a mind that’s fit to meet various challenges — whether it’s remembering a name, mastering a new computer program or staying creative in your work.” to read more: http://www.healthline.com/sw/wl-neurobics-brain-exercises-for-on-the-job

ok so my formatting skills…don’t have them, but hang with me here…

here’s a blog: “Your window into the emerging field of science-based Brain Fitness, its implications for Health & Wellness, Education, Leadership, and more.”  http://www.sharpbrains.com/blog/ this may give you some interesting links about the brain and how we maintain it and improve it!

now when i mentioned exercising the brain i was talking about using techniques that are like “brain teasers” and other literal “brain exercises”. but this new york times article discusses how regular physical exercise can enhance brain function:

“Scientists have suspected for decades that exercise, particularly regular aerobic exercise, can affect the brain. But they could only speculate as to how. Now an expanding body of research shows that exercise can improve the performance of the brain by boosting memory and cognitive processing speed. Exercise can, in fact, create a stronger, faster brain. “

to read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/19/sports/playmagazine/0819play-brain.html

i checked out AARP (ok, i’m only 44, but who would know better than AARP, about this issue) and when i was talking about simple social interactions as being a good exercise, here goes:

“Social Connections and Brain Health

A major public-health study involving more than 116,000 participants found that people with strong relationships had less mental decline and lived more active, pain-free lives without physical limitations.

Other studies suggest that people with the most limited social connections are twice as likely to die over a given period than those with the widest social networks. Many experts believe that social isolation may create a chronically stressful condition that accelerates aging.”

to read more: http://www.aarp.org/health/brain/takingcontrol/stay_socially_connected.html

even if things are not specific…geared towards “off meds and detoxing”…for the most part, with in this topic,  they translate.

if i do too much research on this i take away an important exercise you can do to help your brain rehab from this horrible storm it’s weathered! time to get the fog out…

peace out!

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well…i haven’t written or really been on line for the last few days. i’m a bit rushed this morning but, i guess when you get to feeling better for a bit, things get busy as you paddle to catch up. and there’s just the catching up inspite of not feeling great. the darn fibro alone simply wears on me, trying to make all my appointments and obligations. when i get home i can barely focus to read, let alone write.

i still maintain that getting off the benzos is a good thing…it’s means so much to be completely clean and then, “on top” of what is going into my body and how it’s affecting me.  while i want to rush and just dump this last .25 mgs, i will have to try to be patient…this weekend i’ll cut to about .13mgs, then i will be off the benzo/klonopin by the next weekend. there will be “aftershocks” even after the final dose…but i’m familiar with that route. being a recovering alcoholic who was addicted to pain meds for years as well, has offered me many “benefits” in this arena…my personal experience and mostly those of my peers!

i have several friends who’ve successfully detoxed off pmeds and are living good lives now. they inspire me.

i will be off all of my meds when i take that last klonopin in less than 2 weeks! that means no more: lamictal, wellbutrin, neurontin and klonopin as well as a mix of other prn meds.

geesh…the docs were all too willing to get me dosed up for over a decade…well two…but where did they go when i wanted help getting off an addicting benzodiazapine that was only being maintained…really…to avoid going through withdrawal. after the first couple of months the benzo was no longer providing the desired effect at 2-3mgs! i was hanging in some suspended place all of those years…the dose simply being like a “space holder”. attempts to go off did reveal symptoms…OF WITHDRAWAL! but the doc and all, had me convinced that those symptoms were from my “illness”, i needed to stay on the klonopin…and no one…NOT ONE professional ever suggested, strongly enough, that prolonged use of a benzo could be causing the chronic depression and fatigue i had succumbed to after a the first couple of years of adhering to my doctors orders with my meds! granted i was wresting with the fibro too…but all the more reason to get clean!

i know i may be moving fast compared to the schedule many others maintain. there are many who do agree with my approach and have done a similar program. but, i have no physician or practioner supporting and guiding what i’m doing (not by choice). the side effects roll in like the waves in the ocean…but there would be side effects if i went slow and i can’t see dealing with this discomfort for a year if i can bear with it all for about a total of no more than 12 weeks. yes that’s me sticking to a schedule even if it’s rough on my body. but staying on this drug is more damaging than getting off could ever be.

i take a lot of supportive measures with nutrition, meditation, exercise, laughter and friends. for me, i have to try to be on track by june to hopefully start back to classes

yes, our bodys do tend to follow their own schedule but…if i followed this darn body around i don’t know where i’d be! probably where i am, because that’s what i’ve been doing!

…so i rush…at this point no set of symptoms can trump what i deal with, having fibromyalgia, and thus set me back to changing my approach to my taper schedule. as i see it…if i back off my schedule…maintain or up the klonopin dsg to way-lay symptoms…i’m prolonging the inevitable. i’m already sick and draging, so what’s a little more if i can have this over with in as timely a maner as possible. i’ve lost so many years and time is precious.

 it’s been a rough and bumpy ride. the days are unpredictable packages of fog, fritz, fatigue and pain, punctuated with a clarity that motivates me to get clean. i’m so grateful to be able to detox…

many won’t have the chance to detox for a variety of reasons.

rough as detox is…it is a gift.

there is no pain-free, side effect free, way to withdraw from anything! i know this from experience…mine and other’s.

i have had many good hours but few completely good days. when i feel good i have a habit of “binging” on my available energy and lack of pain. of course the flip side is that i get wiped out, and feel the “hurt” of my fibro. i think the lyrica is being helpful, the most severe pain symptoms have abated, but i fight the fog and jittery feelings (which can be debilitating).

i don’t want to mess with the lyrica right now because the only thing i’m changing for now, is the decreasing doses of klonopin. a few weeks after the klonopin is gone i’ll work with my physician to tweek the lyrica and make decisions about managing my fibro. with the flood of symptoms i have from detox it’s hard to weed out which symptom is attributed to detox and which belongs to the fibro. oh, lest we forget this issue of bipolar… so one thing at a time.

my driving reason for wanting off all of my pmeds was the crazy overlap and layering of drugs that led me to where i just couldn’t tell what emotions and situations were me or my meds!

from now on the motto is to “keep it very simple and stay the course”.

and for now,

peace out!

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     so far, i’m feeling a bit better today. i messed around with the dosage on my lyrica starting wednesday. i was feeling like i’d drank 2 pots of coffee…very uncomfortable…so i began cutting back a bit and…well, maybe the bottom fell out…but i also wonder if being so tightly wound for so many weeks may have not just worn me down…a little of both? the pain was comming back as i lessened the dose of lyrica…physical therapy was tough too. i pushed my dose back up last night.  gosh was i weak!  i’m holding steady at .5mg klonopin, but that comes down to apx 36 mg.s tonight.
 
      i fell asleep when i got back from town. but when i got home, it was so nice to have msgs from people who were concerned and it was nice to know people cared…i had gone to an AA mtg but just couldn’t make it to staying and going out to dinner (which i always do). having to back down because i was not feeling well was really a hard thing to do…i just try so hard to never let how i’m feeling come up or interfere. is that stoic or stupid?
 
     this sharing…that i’m not doing well or not feeling well…it is really hard for me. it’s hard to ask for help and it’s hard to let people help. that attitude has been a long time in the making. when i was young…if i said i wasn’t feeling well that was met with “you’re such a hypochondriac” and “stop trying to get attention”…so i stopped…got tough and learned to buck it up! it always felt like i had to be well or together so everyone else could be falling apart and sick. i mean someone had to take care of the cooking and cleaning! i never, never asked them for help…they wouldn’t have been there if i did. so…you live and you learn…some really unhealthy things.
       living quite far from town and my friends…well it’s a big deal for them to come all the way out here (esp. now with the gas prices)…everyone i know is long distance call from here. yes, if you’re about a mile from here, it’s a long distance call! so that whole long distance drive/call thing is an added barrier. (in the back of my mind besides my personal issue about sharing what’s really going on and asking for help.) “i can’t impose on people because the drive or calls would be too much”…that’s an easy out!
 
     the insane thing is that…my circle of friends is based on helping others (AA) and i really love helping others. but allowing people to help me…and maybe really allowing people to know me…i’m insecure that way. i guess i only feel people will be around if i’m needed or being useful. i believe there is a huge part of me that feels, if i’m needy people won’t want to be around me. yes, there are some big self-esteem issues flying around here…the pink elephant in the room! i know how good it feels to have someone ask you for help, and to be able to help. why can’t i give that opportunity to the people around me…even my counselor! some of it is a control issue…accepting help also means accepting advice and doing what others tell you to do.
 
     now, most of the people who i would talk with, have excellent advice…they are wise and have a lot of experience. would asking them for help, and doing what they tell me to do, be fatal?!  not likely…in fact, i’m sure most people’s advice to me, would be better/healthier than, the advice i sit around giving myself most of the time. by isolating this way, i live in a vacuum and that is not conducive to growth. i’ve always prided myself on learning, growing and…being open minded. but damn can i be a stubborn, closed-minded creature!
 
      it’s embarrassing to admit but, that is being so much like my family, who i loath. yes…i am a lot like them…in those regards. stubborn, and closed-minded. yuck, blagh, aarrghh…that was awful to say…but being honest here…that’s what i’m working towards. (i’ve also seen my family, and others, develop disabling issues with “learned helplessness”…having ailments and problems become a means of getting attention…that has turned me off a lot. i hate soap operas.)
 
     yes, letting go of some of the control i’ve taken over my life (that has overtaken my life) , and being more honest in the one area that i am in the most denial and dishonest about…my health and energy…that’s what needs work!
 
 
     this thing about being alone…it can be a hard thing to become comfortable with. normally, i love being alone quite a lot and rarely think of it. i’ve been running this farm over 11 years alone and it’s become a way of life. the last time i was married was over 15 years ago, and that was brief. most of the time it is a good life. it’s the “being alone” when i’m getting really sick, or the sickness is dragging along that…well, when you’re not feeling well…everything in the world that is remotely upsetting seems to come to mind and become magnified! but during an average to good day…don’t think about being alone at all. i prefer it (considering what some of my options where over the years!). besides, i have 4 dogs, a cat and 3 horses that are the best therapy and company, most of the time!
 
     it’s good to find friends and comrades in many places…even far away. the internet has been a life saver, as winters especially, can become very isolating (besides the illnesses). well it’s a small town here, and it’s also nice to know people who are not from here…for so many reasons.
      writing this blog is also helping me to see some of these really disabling issues…as writing this has also led me to read other people’s blogs and share…people have been awsome and the reaching out from others here is carrying over into how i’m living my “offline” life! thank you dear blogshpere friends…you are changing my life.
 
     oh gosh….feeling held back from chronic illness, pain, these meds,…it just gets really getting old sometimes. but…onward and upward (LOL).
 
     today i will tell someone how i’m really feeling and ask for help.
 
peace out!
 

 

 

 

 

 

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