I am now on my flight back east. The trip to California was essentially a success. I managed to pack and move my father and then get him somewhat settled in his new home with only one major blowout. I, in an earlier post, mentioned that my father could be a mild pain in the ass. The truth is he can be a major pain–I was being generous in my first statement. So it really was a huge challenge and I gratefully rose to the occasion. I really didn’t believe when I first planned the trip that I could manage it. I was having such an incredibly difficult time dealing with the slightest of stressors–even my moms visit was extremely difficult and my mom is very easy and she was happy to give me space when I wanted it. Nonetheless, I spent much of the first couple of weeks in April feeling like I was ready to have a meltdown. As I mentioned in a previous post, I noticed a shift on the 11th. Since that time I’ve been fine and handled a situation that would have been stressful for anyone–let alone someone withdrawing from heavy toxic drugs who is supposedly bipolar. So, I hardly have to say, I’m pleased.
There are a couple of possibilities for my sudden increased stability. One is the Immunocal (a supplement) I reinstated a few days before I left. As I’ve said, it was associated with the inception of this blog. I started taking it just days before I began the blog. I should clarify–this blog was first created in 2004. For three years I fiddled around with it–sometimes writing for months at a time–then abandoning it in disgust–then deleting everything I wrote. During this time the blog was on a private setting and no one saw it. I couldn’t find a voice. I couldn’t focus. Everything I wrote was dribble. I started the Immunocal in late March. I started fiddling around with my blog again. I started to feel strangely inspired. I wrote an introduction. I dared make it public. And I continued on a daily basis. I felt focused and creative. I wrote three to four hours a day and I had several posts backed up to be safe on days in which I was not able to write. I made it straight through March writing everyday. This was a stunning success for me. I felt motivated and confident in a way I hadn’t for years. And, I was actively tapering my Lamictal.
I stopped taking the Immunocal at the end of March. I thought that maybe it wasn’t doing anything. I thought that my new found energy, enthusiasm and focus might just be a symptom of finding some kind of sense of purpose in the blog and the Immunocal was just a coincidence. That may indeed, still be the case–the jury is still out. Of note, though is that within a week of discontinuing the Immunocal I started feeling shitty again. My stress tolerance went downhill again and my focus became more erratic. I stopped my taper at the end of March as I learned I’d be traveling and I wanted to be stable for the trip. But I didn’t stabilize until I started the Immunocal again.
There is some chance that what has happened is that I tapered the Lamictal too fast and I am simply finally recovering from the taper. It may be simply that. I was on 400 mg of Lamictal at the end of February. I cut out 25 mg a week over a months period. This is a relatively fast taper, though the cuts were less than 10% of my total dose at each taper, usually it’s recommended that one not taper so quickly.The thing is I was doing well even while tapering.
I suffer from a lack of patience and had a goal of getting down to 300 mg of Lamictal before I went to California. In part this was so that I wouldn’t have to be chopping up pills and bringing three different milligram dosages with me. Of course the larger issue was simply my impatience. I had switched from tapering Risperdal, which got too difficult, to tapering Lamictal. The plan was to give my body a break to acclimate to the particular changes that the Risperdal withdrawal had wrought. I had a really rough patch from December to January when I tapered too quickly and had to reinstate a small amount. Once I recovered from that I chose to switch drugs. Once switching drugs I did some research (I never stop doing research on how these drugs effect us and I continually try to get more information about withdrawal, which is hard to come by, but by no means impossible. I am always learning more) I found out that Risperdal raises prolactin (a fact I already knew) what I didn’t know was that high levels of prolactin exacerbates PMS. Since my PMS is incredibly difficult to deal with I immediately felt an increased desire to get the hell off of Risperdal–hence the mad rush to finish off my Lamictal taper for the time being–stopping temporarily at 300 mg. And since I knew I would then be taking a long break while my mom visited, then I traveled I just wanted to reach a good resting point.
So here I am. Am I doing so great because of the Immunocal–or because I’ve given my body a months rest from tapers? I don’t know. The next few weeks will tell. I plan to resume my Risperdal taper once I readjust to east coast time. I intend to continue the Immunocal and see if that eases my withdrawals as the people at “Label Me Sane” claim. I’m optimistic as I actually feel better now than I did before I started withdrawing at all as well as since I started withdrawing. I feel better now than I have in 15 years. My stress and difficult emotions are purely due to life circumstances. I do of course, expect continued bumpy roads as I continue to withdraw and deal with my family issues. I am by no means as functional as I’d like to be even now, though I spent a week working my butt off for my dad in a way I’ve also not done in years. Things are looking mighty good. I need this to be the Immunocal. I need to feel better all the time. I have too much on my plate. I can’t handle a dying brother and father in the condition I’ve been in most of the last 15 years. If, as there is a bit of a suggestion, the Immunocal is strengthening my central nervous system in some way, then I have hope. I have hope that I will get through all the pain and suffering I am guaranteed in the next couple of years in one piece. That I will find the strength to get through it all with grace. That is all I ask. That I can do it gracefully. We all suffer pain. The diagnosed and the undiagnosed. I don’t believe how well one deals has much to do with diagnosis or lack of one. But emotional strength is necessary and it seems I may have found some hidden away having been just been waiting to be fed the right nutrients.
I won’t blame everything on the nutrients. I think I’ve come a long way psychologically too. They go hand in hand. My body, mind and spirit are being fed with food and nutrients and the prospect of possibility that I had previously virtually given up on. Bottom line–I never gave up–that is why you find me here, now withdrawing the the drugs that were sapping my life away. I invested in the drugs in an attempt to not give up–but I never felt the hope that I now feel, since I never had any improvement on the drugs and I am now experiencing lots of improvements. Now my mind is clearing and I’m feeling emotions–good and bad. Life is calling my name.
End note: I just want to remind–I have built of foundation of good health both with diet and a few key nutritional supplements along with neurofeedback. This foundation has allowed me to come off more than 50% of my medications. The Immunocal at best, is only helping along what I’ve started a long time ago. Without the whole package I don’t believe I could have gotten this far. My hope is that this last addition will ease the rest of my withdrawals–but I still have a long way to go.