Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Blog space, Part Deux...

(Scroll down to the post below for the first half of this.)

OK, then, where was I? Oh, yeah... therapy, etc.

About six months after being discharged from the first
batch of therapy sessions, I decided that being cranky
wasn't fun. For me or anyone around me.
I called the psychologist and made an appointment.
He professed to being shocked that I was back because he
thought I was doing so well when he ended the first series
of sessions.

You see, even professionals can be fooled if the patient is
adept at saying the right things and acting happy. If the
patient isn't completely honest about their life, thoughts,
moods, attitudes, activities... well, pretending wins awards
for actors, doesn't it? I was very good at pretending and
being very convincing. Up to a point.

So, this time I told the truth. He was obviously shocked.
He said he wanted to refer me to a psychiatrist so I could
be evaluated and prescribed medication. An anti-depressant.
I said no again. He took a deep breath and began a lecture.
Basically, he said that because I had hit such low lows, I was
a danger to myself and if I didn't agree to follow his advice
this time he would take steps to override my objections for
my own good. For my own safety.

He was threatening me with the Baker Act.
I could feel my blood boil. And then I broke down in tears.
I left his office with a referral and a week later I had a Rx for
Paxil. It took almost a month to do its job and clear my head.
It felt like a very, very long month.
He discharged me from therapy after about two months but I
continued to see the psychiatrist every three months until he
released me but said to continue with the meds. I took it
religiously for about five years and did well. Then, I read about
some of the long-term side-effects and began to wean myself
off the drug very slowly. I continued to do well, without the meds,
for almost another five years.

Then the Black Dog started making visits again. Each visit got
a little bit darker and lasted a little bit longer. Damn.

I tried a couple of new therapists. Not much help. buh-bye.
I refused meds with them, too. Can you say denial?

I need to jog back a bit. It will make sense, trust me.

Do you remember when I went to the shooting range?
(Go to the March 2007 archives.)
I really did want to learn about shooting a gun and self-defense.
But, there were other reasons.
I had a weird curiosity about wanting to know what my
husband heard when he shot himself in the head. Yeah, weird.
We never had a gun. I'd never held one, let alone shot one.
I did well that one time at the range and I had fun.
I was surprised that no one ever asked me if I ever went back
or if I actually purchased a gun.
I did a lot of serious thinking about owning a gun. I decided that
it was not a good idea for me. Possibly not ever.

You see, I also learned that it was easy. And quick.
It didn't leave any time to change your mind once you put
pressure on the trigger. No room for an oops.
I don't want to do that to myself. Or to anyone who cares about me.
Family or friends. I've been on that side and it sucks.

So, when the demons continued to visit on occasion, I continued
to fight them. I would dodge and weave and hide. But, it got to the
point that all my energy was being taken up with dodging and
weaving and hiding. It started pissing me off.
When I realized that I was pissed damn near all the time, I called
my regular every day doctor. I explained what I wanted and why.
He did not hesitate to comply. Bless him.

I've been on another anti-depressant for a month now.
After two weeks, I realized that I wasn't pissed at the world.
Oh, I still get angry at times but, it's for a good reason and the
feeling passes as it would for anyone else. But, I no longer spend
every waking hour ready to explode. I am rational.
I am beginning to enjoy life again. I have hope again.

I was also terrified that medication would somehow stop me
from writing anything else of any worth. That didn't happen, either.

If you are not snoring by now... thank you.
And thank you all for not giving up on me.

Life is good.
I'm not ready to get off this ride just yet.


Deadman said...

Goddamn, Jean. What an incredibly courageous post this was. good for you for recognizing that you need help. And I feel comfortable speaking for all your readers when I say we are all here to help.

Hugs and kisses, babe. You need to talk, you know how to reach me.

The other Mark...

Jean said...

I am so incredibly lucky to have such wonderful people in my life.
Hugs and kisses back to you, Mark.

Joan of Argghh! said...

Look, Jean, you and I hafta hold down the east coast of Florida. It'll take at least the both of us.

Glad you're feeling better!

kdzu said...

It takes courage to finally admit that one needs help in any aspect of their lives, especially this one.
Glad that you are doing better. Hopefully some other person will read this and come to the realization that life could be brighter, if only they want it to be.

pamibe said...

Never having been where you are doesn't mean I can't admire your courage and feel hopeful for your future right along with you.

Hang in there!

dianne said...

Jeannie you have more strength & courage than you realise. It is so good to hear that you are beginning to enjoy life again and that you have hope. As far as your writing hey that wont go away, its people like you who can feel so much, your depth of perception & wealth of life experiences that makes you such a great writer & communicator.
Much happiness to you. :)

LL said...

Oh honey, I just want to hug the stuffings out of you. Take care of YOU and the rest will follow.

Freddie said...

As always, admiring your courage and your honesty.

Mark said...

I also got off paxil at one time and I was OK for about 3 years--then my life suddenly went to hell. Now I'm on lexapro and I have my life back. Now I'm the person I always wanted to be. Calm, confident.

The Doctor asked me last week how the drugs were working out. I told him that I went from a person who would prefer to hide under a rock to a real prick. His response, "Good".

Told you you weren't alone :-)

curmudgeon said...

Can't say that I've actually walked in your shoes, but I can say I have tied the laces to those shoes.
I have dealt with the effects and it's hard to be patient.

It's hard for someone in either position to accept that there is really a problem. It's quite easy for people to say "Grow up and stop your blubbering" when they haven't been involve with it first hand. The frustration factor is a mother- uh, bear.

But on the flipside, the strength and pride gleaned from successfully whooping it's ass is nirvana.

I've said elsewhere that a chemical imbalance is a chemical imbalance and not a handicap, any more than green eyes or brown hair is a handicap. Some people are just built differently.
It's almost ridiculous that people have to feel so miserable when tossing back a pill will fix it. And no one should feel inferior about it.

Okay, I'll shut up now. Here's a hug and a peck on the cheek!

{}x !

Anonymous said...

Whooo Hoo...............good girl!..doin' what the hell you are told....."Happy Dance"


Doom said...

Is it ok if I snort a bit? But it isn't at you, it is at us. All of us. We can be so prideful, so sure, so wrong. Still, sometimes that is needed and works. So, who knows exactly.

I, myself, had to leave most meds. I cannot take them regularly, and when it gets bad, my ability to take them goes too. So, instead of having a crutch, I have a crutch that works perfectly until I need it. I am not sure what I am doing now, but I am doing something. And, to some degree, it is working.

As for guns, I cannot say about you, but I can tell you my part. I had worried about guns too, initially. After buying a few short and long arms (at least one of which is always loaded and ready, and usually two), learning about them, and practicing with them, I have found some peace with them, and the notion of them. One might say they have pacified me quite a bit. I would not suggest ownership if you KNOW you cannot do that, but fears are often just that. Besides, as for me, if the world ever gets too dark, I would use a gun as only the absolute last option. I know far better ways now, none of which are any slower... at least, they are quicker and easier to do and there are no options once done. (ugly, I know, but true)

Well, you dwell in my prayers and thoughts from time to time. I certainly hope you find your way across in your natural time and hopefully painlessly. But why bother with all that jazz now? I hope more and currently that you find some little and big joys in life, and know you are loved. You are.



jck said...

Jean, thank you for sharing. It takes courage and honesty, for which I admire you immensely. And it is good to see you are taking charge and getting the help you need. And Doom makes an excellent point about the misplaced pride we silly humans have.

Wishing you all the best - and reminding you that there are many of us out here cheering you on, and learning with every step.

You are so right - Life is Good!

Jean said...

Joanie....no problem! They'll never get passed our boobies. :-)

All of you are wonderful. There is no way to adequately express how much your understanding and support means.

I honestly think if more people spoke openly about these issues, it would eventually help erase the stigma and promote more understanding and encourage many people to accept help and be able to enjoy so much more of their life.

Thank you ALL!!!

Anonymous said...

You are a very courageous woman Jeannie. I hope the new meds keep working forever!

lucy said...

Jean...I feel like I can relate on so many levels. I went on 'meds' due to anxiety and it was the hardest thing I have ever done. And I have done some hard things! Admitting I had no control over how I felt was so painful. But it was the best thing I ever did for myself and those around me.

I too have experienced the loss of a loved one through suicide by firearm. It was life altering. There is a post related to it on my blog (July 21)

It is hard to bare our souls but cathartic as well. Sometimes better than any therapist and certainly cheaper!

Valerie - Still Riding said...

I see another place I have visited and reached the same conclusion...
"You see, I also learned that it was easy. And quick.
It didn't leave any time to change your mind once you put
pressure on the trigger. No room for an oops."

I own a rifle for hunting and a pistol - both take time to get to.

I ain't taking the short cut home, no matter how dark it gets.

I fight against meds, too. But there were times in my life I needed them to co-exist with others.

It's okay to need help.

have I sent you http://4herway.com/4letterword/

AspergantuS said...

Jean ~ I have not read any other comments, but I am so very proud of you for taking control of your life.

Maiden said...

I like you.

Jean said...

Mick, you helped :-)

Maiden, warning. I am a crazy broad

Paxil Prescription Medication said...

My name is Michael Smith and i would like to show you my personal experience with Paxil.

I am 40 years old. Have been on Paxil for 5 years now. Please be careful if coming off, i started to wean myself with out doctors help couldnt afford it. I went from 20 mgs to 10 mgs for a month, then 10 mgs to 5 mgs for a month. Because the 20 mgs were way to strong took 20 for 5 years and was always on edge. After about 1 month on 10 felt a little better. I stopped for 7 days completly and man did I feel like shit man I didn’t want to leave the house , shop! I just started back on 5 mgs to get it back in my system. Who know what is the right amount you have to be the test subject on yourself!

I have experienced some of these side effects-
Headaches, tremors, emotional wreck, just the blah's when I 1st started takin wasnt bad, cause I also way taken klonopin.

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Michael Smith