It is hard to know where to even start writing about the last 6 weeks. It has been a rollercoaster of medication and a bit of a blur, to be honest. I haven't wanted to do anything at all which has frustrated me so much. It has felt a little like someone else has been driving and I have just been in the passenger seat.
I knew I had to take a break from all the blogging and podcasting and all the things that go on behind the scenes of those things. Trust me, it is not as easy as whipping up a blog post and then hoping people read it, nor is it easy setting up a podcast with zero experience. So once my motivation was sucked away along with any energy I have whatsoever I decided to just not give myself a hard time and take a break.
So this is what happened with my medication. Bear in mind I am on about 6 or 7 different meds so it's not an easy thing to mess around with. The basic idea is that myself and my doctor agree that I am on way too much medication and I need to start coming off some in order to find the right ones that work for me. So we removed one of the main ones and replaced it with something else, to see if it would help my general anxiety, but more importantly my mood. After a week or so I started noticing my joints starting to hurt which got progressively worse. I didn't attribute it to the medication because it is not a side effect that I have ever had before. Well, that was a rookie mistake on my side because the pain in my joints started getting worse and worse. I would wake up in the morning and it felt like my entire body has seized up and it was like nothing I had ever experienced before. I could barely get out of bed and when I did, I stumbled down the hallway because even my legs and feet were in pain. I decided to call my Doctor and tell her what was going on. She looked things up and the severe joint pain fell into the very rare side effect category which meant I had to cease the medication immediately. Great! So not only was I now barely able to walk and move, I had to withdraw off the medication. My Doctor sent a prescription to my local pharmacy for pain medication which I went and got as soon as I could possibly manage to leave the house. I felt like I had hit rock bottom, again, and I didn't know whether I had the energy to go through the withdrawals of these ones and then go through the rollercoaster ride of starting new ones.
The pain was terrible, I'm used to feeling mentally in pain, and physically in pain from anxiety, but this was something altogether new. I was literally yelling out in the morning when I woke up trying to get out of bed. Needless to say, it didn't lead to any productive days. Finally, we arrived at the 2-week mark where the joint pain had subsided enough to start the new tablets. My Doctor warned me that they are extremely strong and sedating, but that she felt this was the best option to not only help with my general Anxiety but also my BPD. The medication has been used to treat impulsive behaviour with some success. So while still taking pain medication as well, I started the new one straight away.
Now let me tell you, when she said it was sedating, she wasn't kidding. At first I could barely function at all, but I knew I had to push through and besides, it was a bit of a break from feeling so wound up and anxious about everything that had been happening. As we increased the dose to taking one at night and one in the morning, I pretty much became a zombie. Now, this is a little hard to explain, but I didn't mind the feeling at first. I called them my "chill out" pills to my sister because my general anxiety died down significantly and I became quite ambivalent as far as my mood in general. The downside is that I couldn't do anything, it was almost like waking up and taking a sleeping pill and then trying to function throughout the day. One thing that makes things tough for me is that I don't have a lot of purpose in my life at the moment. Apart from my blog and my podcast, there's really not much else. I see my mum and stepdad and my real dad occasionally, but that's about it. I talk to my sister all the time on the phone and that pretty much wraps up my life just now. I know that will change in time, but it makes for a very lonely existence.
So with these tablets making me so tired through the day I feel like I have almost slept the past 6 weeks away. It is a hard feeling to grasp because it adds on to the already giant sized mountain of feeling like I have missed out on so much. At one point I decided to just give up on my blog and podcast altogether, but I am determined to keep going.
You see, this is only one of many many hurdles I have faced and thought I couldn't get over. Sure, my blog might not be the best in the world. And maybe only 10 people will listen to my podcast. But to advocate for Mental Health means to keep pushing and climbing, even when the road ahead seems insurmountable.
I feel positive that once these new tablets are at the right dose that they will make a difference. But I also need to take some responsibility and fight a little harder. And that is my promise to myself and to you.