Banshee’s Choice

So. Hi. It’s been a while since I did a real post, hasn’t it? Well there’s no time like the present. Hold on to your butts, people, this is a serious one.

I guess it started around Thanksgiving. I was DREADING the holidays, mostly because of Mr. Name Redacted, my ex who I’m not even close to being over. All the holidays in the fall and winter have memories of him attached, and I figured I’d be a disaster. I still have to make it through Valentine’s Day, but that’s another story. Anyway.

I had been taking my pills. Every day like clockwork, like I always have. And nothing worked. I was always in a fugue state, zombified, sad, agitated, totally cut off from the world. I would cry at the drop of a hat. I had gained an obscene amount of weight. I would fall asleep in the middle of conversations. I was constantly relapsing with binge drinking and spent way too much time in psych wards. I was a complete and utter disaster.

Something wasn’t working. So I made a decision. It was time to stop. Full stop, period. It was time to get off the meds. Because they were killing me. So I stopped. I stopped taking my meds. Period. Full stop. For a month. Thanksgiving to Christmas, I was totally med-free. It was rash and irresponsible, and it could have given me terrible if not life-threatening side effects. But I did it anyway.

And so help me, I never have felt better in my life.

I feel…alive. Whole. Sober and clear-headed and motivated and ALIVE. Not manic, not delusional or paranoid or anything like what I felt when I was on the meds. I’m writing for MamaPop again. I’m writing THIS right now. None of this would have happened six months ago. It would have been a sick joke then.

People are concerned, and I get that. Right now, I’m taking 2 meds in smaller doses, down from seven meds and 13 pills a day. I take two pills now, and I want to get rid of those too. I want to take my body back, lose weight, embrace my newfound clarity and LIVE.

But please, please listen to me here: Psych meds save lives. Psych meds are a godsend. What I did was not  the way to go about things, I just got very very lucky. I’m not turning into a Scientologist or anything. No way. This is just what happened to me, and I’m just telling you the truth. Please, if you’re on psych meds, DO NOT go cold turkey off of them. It’s VERY VERY DANGEROUS.

So yeah. I made a choice. And today I told my meds doctor about it. He was…less than impressed. In fact, his quote to me was “Don’t blame me when you end up back in the hospital” and I shivered. But I also stood my ground, didn’t cry, and spoke my mind. And I’m pretty damn proud of myself about that.

I made a choice. And I am, for the first time in forever, looking forward to tomorrow.


Comments

Banshee’s Choice — 19 Comments

  1. I think it’s awesome that you took control and made a choice- I think it’s even more awesome that it worked out!

    Stay strong and know that many of us can see the difference in you and are proud of you!

    PS- Your meds doctor sounds like a douchebag…IMO.

    • Seconded. Is this the same doucheypants that put you on all the drugs you quit? Just because he holds a presciption pad doesn’t give him the right to be a condescending prick to people in need of help.

  2. Hugs, lady.

    Big, giant, squishy, stranger-from-the-internet hugs.

    I have had only very short bouts with meds, so I’d be talking out of my ass if I were to do any kind of sitting-in-judgement, and that’s not my style anyway.

    I can say that what I’ve seen of you online in the past couple of weeks is leaps and bounds of difference from where you were.

  3. Three years ago, I made the same decision that you did. I am still here. I’m no scientologist, either. You did what was best for you, and that takes guts.

    Your meds doc is a douche, BTW.

    Glad to see you back!

  4. I have definitely seen an improvement in your mood and attitude, though I didn’t know the cause. I really hope it keeps working for you; you deserve it.

    xo

  5. I had to drop part of my meds when I lost my job last spring and it turned out to be so helpful. I lost 26 pounds and I don’t feel like I’m walking in a fog. Congrats to you for your bravery! Also, Seroquel is some heavy sh*t. LOL

  6. Fucking congrats to you! And thanks for mentioning the importance of meds. My meds have finally balanced my brain, and I’ve done pretty well this passed month. Good luck to you!

  7. As much as I know that going off meds like that is a terrible idea, it sounds like you did the right thing for you. Sometimes we have to listen to ourselves about these things.

    Yes, I’m sure your meds doc isn’t pleased, but if he’s the same one you’ve had all this time, it seems like he’s a turd anyway. Just sayin’.

    I hope the rest of your support network is a bit more… um… supportive. 😉 If I knew you IRL I’d be keeping a close watch for signs of trouble, but I’d let you do your thing. Ultimately, nobody knows what it’s like in there better than you do. And the meds are supposed to help, not make things worse.

    Good luck! I sure hope we hear more from you now that you have that clarity back!

  8. D.-
    I hope you’ll now get over Mr.NR now that you’re clear headed! Please don’t be afraid to reinstate them if you feel headed to the bin!

  9. As you know, or maybe you didn’t–maybe I hid this well, I was mortified when you listed all those meds you were taking. It just didn’t seem right for someone who seemed quite lucid and young. I have worked with people who I felt had worst symptomology than you and didn’t take as many meds.

    So I’m ELATED that you listened to your body and are on way less meds. I did that, too–when I was clinically depressed over a decade ago. I felt like anti-depressants numbed my very conscience and I was doing so many reckless things. But again, to emphasize as you–it’s much safer to not go cold turkey AND meds really helped me when I needed them.

    I hope you’re completely med-free one day, but it’s OK if you’re not, it really is. A lot of this is really hit or miss, figuring out what is best for you. But I’m glad that you feel more like yourself now. I hope you have a new psychiatrist, soon. They aren’t all drug dealers who want to keep you on the stuff.

    I’m so, so happy for you! Continued health and happiness!

  10. Having worked in the mental health field for several years, I’ve learned that my clients know themselves better than anyone else and, if cutting out some of your meds is working, I think that’s great! I hope this is the start of a new beginning for you and it’s wonderful to see you writing again 🙂

  11. I am so proud of you!!! I understand the utility and need for psychiatric drugs, do not get me wrong, but I have also seen them destroy people in ways I never thought possible. I think you have made the right decision. Honestly, researchers are not even certain how many of those drugs actually work on a biochemical level and who can even guess about the crazy stuff that can happen when said drugs interact.

    I know that everyone’s experience is different, but when I saw one of my best friends go from a brilliant, sassy, athletic (albeit bipolar) woman to an obese zombie with thinning hair and a dulled wit, I realized that psychiatric drugs can definitely have a dark side. We are here to support you!!! Sending you all of the positive thoughts I can muster!

  12. I’ve tried this 3 or 4 times. I get down to around 27mg of my med (down from 150mg) and the crippling anxiety returns and I go right back up to 150mg. I’m jealous of you! Praying for continued success and peace for you!

  13. Interesting… I recently attended a talk about “Depression as an Adaptation for Analyzing Complex Problems” which basically talked about research that looks at the possible evolutionary basis of depression (some feel depression, at least unipolar, may serve a purpose, much the same way as fever does…not in illness in itself, but rather a function). Here is the nutshell version:

    http://dailynews.mcmaster.ca/story.cfm?id=8146

    They were talking about so-called “unipolar” depression (which I realize might be different than bipolar) but I am not surprised by what you report.

    It must be hard when on meds to tease apart what is med-related and what isn’t.

    Good luck and all the best.

  14. I’m incredibly happy for you, and hope – beyond all hope – that this is an indication of better things and better days ahead for my favorite of all Banshees.

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