Update on the state of my mental health

I’m having a hard time. My stress tolerance is at an all time low even though I’m not having PMS right now. Since going out on disability that was the only time I felt like I was on the edge to any huge degree. Now with my brother dying as well as some other stressors of note, I am dealing with symptoms worse than I’ve had in years. No one said this would be easy. Withdrawal alone can make one symptomatic and now with the situational depression and grief I’m feeling like I’m losing it. (It’s important to point out that “feeling like I’m losing it,” does not mean actually losing it–I am, in fact, coping–just not as well as I’d like)

The last time I was this intolerant of stress was when I left my job. At that point I was on up to 6 mg a day of Klonopin. I’ve since learned that benzo’s do a number on the ability to cope with stress. People who go on benzo’s for muscle relaxation, for example, start losing it mentally after some time, even when they’ve had no history of any mental health problems. I’m on 3 mg of Klonopin now and suffer some intolerance to stress at all times, but expect this to change once withdrawal is complete as it does for most people. In the meantime I’m still on enough Klonopin to continue exacerbating my stress tolerance. I can’t say I’m having anxiety attacks–that’s not it. I just can’t handle stress. I’m driving my husband nuts and he’s been a wondrous support to me. He doesn’t deserve my snapping at him for imagined insults. (yes I can, after an outburst, see that I am overreacting. (and just so you know–I’m not going around yelling or anything–I’m just impatient and irritable)

The other “stressors of note” I mention is the uncovering of feelings around abuses I suffered in childhood and early adulthood. Feelings that were rudely numbed by drugs starting at age 19 are arising into my consciousness. Memories I pushed aside are intruding into my mind and refusing to be ignored. I imagine I have the emotional maturity of an abused 19 year old. I’m on a hair-trigger. But this is what I’ve signed up for; dealing with the reality of my life drug free. It’s time to really address my psyche in ways I’ve never done before. I’ve never even talked about these abuses to anyone. I never thought of telling and no one ever asked. These insults are not chemical imbalances–they are real life events that would challenge anybodies mental health. I am grateful I now have the opportunity to look at them and heal them–not numb them out of consciousness.

To be clear–I am not any worse than any time I was fully medicated. Medication never helped me and that was why I kept upping the doses–because I believed they should help. I was out for the quick fix for close to 20 years. More and more drugs and they never did a thing and ultimately destroyed my coping capacity to the tune of disability. I have come off over half my meds and seen no sign of worsening. I see emerging memories and feelings as an improvement. At least I now know what I’m dealing with–what I was trying to run away from so desperately. Now I have access and intend to deal with it in therapy.

I haven’t seen my therapist in a couple of months due to running back and forth to California for various family duties. My father’s been sick–had to go take care of him. He got better–had to go move him from his home to the town my sister lives in. And now my brother and his cancer–went to California for two weeks to be with him. I’ll be going back to California as he worsens–could be as soon as another two weeks. Shit, do I have my plate full and when am I going to be able to get back to me?

And then there is how all this drama is effecting my marriage. There has always been an imbalance in who needs more support. My husband has always been the source of support for me and he doesn’t always get all he needs. This pains me. I know I’m difficult and I know he deserves more from me. But I don’t have it to give. That is a source of guilt. Not only am I not always emotionally available, but now, with my chronic fatigue, caused, most likely, from the withdrawals, I’m not particularly physically available either. We have a half of acre of land to maintain. I used to do the mowing of the grass. We have a hilly property and pushing the mower over it is about a 2 hour intense workout. I can no longer do it. It must be done at least once a week. And then all the other chores. I’m only up to them occasionally. I’m not pulling my load. My husband does all sorts of heavy manual labor around the house. He’s built a shed, put in a floor, made all the wooden raised beds for our garden and much more. I’m not skilled with my hands–the lawn mowing made me feel like I was doing at least one physically demanding thing to balance the work load. Not being a productive part of the household is not good for my self-esteem and strains the generosity of my husband.

And what happens when my brother actually dies? Will I get worse? The thought of him being truly gone forever overwhelms me when I think of it. Shit–it’s just around the corner.

4 thoughts on “Update on the state of my mental health

Add yours

  1. “There are places in the heart that do not yet exist; suffering has to enter in for them to come to be.” ~Leon Bloy

    “I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge – myth is more potent than history – dreams are more powerful than facts – hope always triumphs over experience – laughter is the cure for grief – love is stronger than death”
    ~Robert Fulghum

    You’re doing really well with this Gianna. Believe me; you really are.
    ((hugs))

    Like

  2. “There are places in the heart that do not yet exist; suffering has to enter in for them to come to be.” ~Leon Bloy

    “I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge – myth is more potent than history – dreams are more powerful than facts – hope always triumphs over experience – laughter is the cure for grief – love is stronger than death”
    ~Robert Fulghum

    You’re doing really well with this Gianna. Believe me; you really are.
    ((hugs))

    Like

  3. Gianna:

    I relate so much to everything you’ve said here. I too was medicated at 19 and for about the same number of years as you. We were indeed numbed and the neurological/physiological realities of withdrawal combined with the fact that we are no longer numb makes it overwhelming, confusing and difficult to navigate. I am also rather isolated and I have lost my identity. It is the worst collision of the biological, psychological, and social aspects of the biopsychosocial model. It’s disorienting and painful to say the least but bit by bit we can put ourselves back together.

    The stress intolerance is ridiculous in my case. It’s gradually improved but there’s a long, long ways to go.

    My wife does more than her fair share and it kills me. There are so many simple ways that I could help but what used to be automatic and easy is now very difficult. I too feel that I have little to give emotionally. Recently I’ve noticed that my wife is overwhelmed too and increasingly it seems that we are both lost in our respective pain/stress with less support from each other. I think we both feel lonely.

    Anyway, just wanted to say that you are not alone and that I do believe there is reason for hope.

    Mike

    P.S. I don’t recall if I’ve shared this with you but I had a two-year protracted benzo withdrawal and completely recovered.

    Like

  4. Gianna:

    I relate so much to everything you’ve said here. I too was medicated at 19 and for about the same number of years as you. We were indeed numbed and the neurological/physiological realities of withdrawal combined with the fact that we are no longer numb makes it overwhelming, confusing and difficult to navigate. I am also rather isolated and I have lost my identity. It is the worst collision of the biological, psychological, and social aspects of the biopsychosocial model. It’s disorienting and painful to say the least but bit by bit we can put ourselves back together.

    The stress intolerance is ridiculous in my case. It’s gradually improved but there’s a long, long ways to go.

    My wife does more than her fair share and it kills me. There are so many simple ways that I could help but what used to be automatic and easy is now very difficult. I too feel that I have little to give emotionally. Recently I’ve noticed that my wife is overwhelmed too and increasingly it seems that we are both lost in our respective pain/stress with less support from each other. I think we both feel lonely.

    Anyway, just wanted to say that you are not alone and that I do believe there is reason for hope.

    Mike

    P.S. I don’t recall if I’ve shared this with you but I had a two-year protracted benzo withdrawal and completely recovered.

    Like

Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: