April 17, 2012
Grief Therapy 7, ME Newsletter, Vol. 5, Issue 16
It went on this way for a while. Me, struggling through each day. You, with only minimal information. For the second time, I accidentally left my phone off for a few days. I was hurt by the reaction. In my mind there never was a choice. So, I guess in a way that was my choice – to keep going. I was angry that anyone could even consider I would harm myself. I felt let down by the lack of confidence. I worked so hard to keep going, to keep up the facade. I pushed my way through Christmas decorating, at the office, at home. I made an effort even though I suspected doing so might make me unhappier. I figured that would be better than ending up mad at myself for not being strong enough to handle seasonal normalcy. I started with a gift from last year’s Secret Santa: a ceramic cookie jar in the shape of a stack of presents. I changed out the placemats from chickens to red and green plaid, plopped the jar in the center of the kitchen table and called it good. A little later, I glanced over and realized I liked what I saw, so I did some more. I brought out the snowman card basket and placed a jingle-bell wreath on the balcony railing. Even later, I went back and pulled out some garland to add to each side of the wreath. That was my best decision. Brightly reflected by the solar lamp glow, the view from my couch is festive, and not as painful as I imagined, but I am also very aware it shouldn’t have been so difficult, so consuming, so abnormally laborious.
Over the course of those few hours on December 5th, I argued with myself a lot. I berated and cajoled and forced myself through the steps required to do those few things. Open the pantry, find the box, open the box, take the item out, close the box, close the pantry, find the tie-wraps, go outside, hang the wreath, secure the wreath, etc. I rested in between monumental tasks. When I had done enough to satisfy myself and portray the image of actively living, I considered my self-driven mission a significant success. But then things changed; they always change at night. I hate drifting off to sleep because that’s when the hallucinations are the strongest. The same one has haunted and taunted me; over and over. I physically feel my mother’s face hovering over mine, facing outward - like a mask two inches from mine, sliding closer. It’s the same feeling you have when your eyes are closed and someone passes a hand in front of you. Even my teeth felt superimposed. Awake, I catch myself unintentionally mimicking her mannerisms, inflections. I’m afraid of the way my smile feels tight like hers. It didn’t always reach her eyes. I know mine doesn’t go there. I’m afraid the magnetic draw of the mask will stick. I’ve never felt like this before. I’m sure it isn’t right, but that would mean having to admit to the severe abnormality of hallucinations. That would mean I couldn’t get past it myself. That would mean a failure of self control. I refused to fail at self control. But, as the weeks continued, I continued slipping. In the end, it was only my failure to beat these feelings and side-effect research that saved me.
I stopped taking the Celexa on December 23rd. I drew my own conclusions. I didn’t ask, consult or tell anyone. It had to be done; I had to be done. Because I have a history of drug sensitivity, I keep a list of medications tried that I will never take ever again. Among the ones that made me feel not right: Lipitor, Neurontin, Demerol, then Prozac, then Cymbalta, and Ambien. The last three were prescribed after Jeff died to take the edge off and help me sleep. The Prozac made me jumpy, the Cymbalta gave me muscle cramps, and the Ambien kept me awake. I added Celexa to the list. At my already scheduled MD appointment January 7th, I explained. My medical chart now contains the notation that I am allergic to the class of medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) which also includes Prozac and Cymbalta. I was reluctant, very reluctant, to try anything else, but allowed myself to be talked into a trial of fast acting, lowest dose possible, made even lower by splitting the pill into two tiny crumbly pieces,non-SSRI. Within three days, I noticed a difference. I was insanely happy to be normally unhappy instead of destitute, discouraged, disheartened, deadly depressed. At the same time, the better I felt, the more scared I became; of where I had been.
Posted by jaselin at April 17, 2012 09:39 PM