Sunday, January 4, 2015

Guessing Game

Sorry for leaving things with the previous depressing post for so long.  I kept meaning to write something that was a little more hopeful, but I just never could.

So, things have been bad for a while now.  I'm just so sick of it.  And I'm back to lying frequently when asked how I'm doing.  Sorry if you've been the recipient of one of these lies.  I just get so tired of constantly bringing everyone else down.  And, even though I know they're offered with good intentions, I get tired of the sympathetic looks and comments.

And I feel like other people are getting tired of it too.  Like, come on, you can't seriously be that down for that long!

So, instead I tell people that I'm doing better and then the conversation moves on to something else.
And it's just easier.

But, the other night while HH was praying (we pray together just before bed each night), my mind fixated on something he said about me and it might have started to wander a bit.  But, I think maybe it was inspired wandering?

I started to think about how awful I've felt for so long and how it's been forever since I really felt like "myself".  And how it's been forever since we had a period of stability, when everyone could just be themselves without worrying about how it might effect me.  When I could try to host something in my home and everyone else wouldn't freak out (we can't let Cheryl do that--the stress might put her back in the hospital!) and come up with all these excuses why someone else should host.  (This keeps happening, lately.)  When everyone (myself included) trusted me to be a "normal", functioning human being.

And then a little flag went up.  You've felt this way before.  So, I kept racking my brain (memories are still a serious challenge to pull up).  Until I hit it--every time I took anti-depressants, I eventually went off because this is exactly how I felt!

When I found out that I had bipolar II disorder, I was kind of excited.  I thought that now I'd be able to find a medication that would help instead of hurt.  And it explained why I always felt so yucky on anti-depressants--because they weren't made to treat what was wrong with me.  And so, I have been open and willing to take all of the different medications they've prescribed.  I've given every single one of them a good run, in spite of side effects like dry mouth (resulting in bad breath) and dry skin, serious tremors, confusion, so tired I can hardly get out of bed or accomplish anything during the day, hungry all the time, never feeling full (consequently, plenty of weight gain),  etc.

I kept trying the meds because I kept feeling awful and I had faith that something would eventually help.

But when I had that epiphany the other night, it occurred to me that perhaps I feel so yucky because I feel so yucky.

The lethargy that I feel nearly all the time makes it difficult for me to do the things that I love that normally help when I'm feeling down like working out, cooking and baking, and even playing the piano.  I've actually reached a point where I HATE working out.  HATE IT!  I do it because I keep gaining weight and every time I get dressed or walk past a mirror I tell myself I'm getting fat--even though I know that's not actually true.  But I feel it and I hate myself for it.

So, these negative aspect to these side effects just keep perpetuating more and more negativity in my life.

So....  I'm going to go off all of my meds.

This is kind of scary.  But, it feels right.  I'm going to at least try it.  I'm not saying I'll never try meds again.  I freely admit that things weren't exactly peachy before meds.  There's a reason I wound up in the hospital multiple times.  There's a reason I was so willing to take meds when we changed my diagnosis.  But, nothing is working.  I have a hard time believing that the medication is doing any good.  I mean, HH is debating taking me to the hospital at least once a week because things are so bad.  So far, we've managed to find a safety net and keep me home.  But, we're really not all that far from things being as bad as they can get, so I doubt the medication is what is keeping me safe.

This is going to be a hard sell for my psychiatrist though.

He's already told me he couldn't ever support a plan that doesn't include so meds.  And I understand where he is coming from.  And I have a lot of respect for him and his plans for treatment for me.  A part of why I'm writing this is so my thoughts on the matter are written down and more solidified in my mind.

But, he is a doctor.  And he definitely knows a lot more about all of this than I do.  So, how can I convince him that my reasoning is justifiable?  That something in my gut tells me that for some reason these medications don't mesh with my physiology.  Sometimes I wonder if maybe they're all designed to treat bipolar I?  Because that really is a different beast.  And since I've been on the meds, I don't often experience the hypermedia side to bipolar II.  Other times I wonder if it's just me?  If for some reason, medications just don't sit well with my body.  I've always had pretty strong reactions to medication.  For instance, I can only take a half dose of night time cold medicine (and even then I only take it when straits are dire) because even that much knocks me out for 24 hours or more.  So maybe, I just experience the side effects so strongly, I can't ever feel if the medication is working?

It doesn't help that there are so many options when it comes to medications to treat mood disorders.  And countless combinations of all these drugs.

But, right now, it just feels right to at least take a break.  Maybe this won't work either, but starting fresh could be good, right?

Ugh.  I just wish I knew.

For now, I'm going to give it a go.  If you're a praying person, please offer up a prayer on my behalf.  I had to go off of my meds temporarily during ECT and I don't remember it, but HH said the withdrawals were pretty rough.  Which scares me a little.  That and venturing away from what I know my doctor will want me to do.  But right now, this is the only path that I can see that is lit up by the light that hope brings.

And I could really use a little hope.


Linda said...

I'm sure you already know that I'm praying and hoping and loving you. But just in case you needed to see it in print, here it is.

I love and admire, Cheryl. Very very very much.

Kelly said...

We've remembered you in our prayers Cheryl. I almost sent you an email to go along with Nick's. He's like Michael Jackson- he wants to "Heal the World" with healthy eating haha :0) People get turned off by us talking about it sometimes, so I am often hesitant to share. But I believe good nutrition has a lot to do with our mental as well as physical health. I hope you can find a way to feel your best, whatever it takes!