By sharing my experience and learning so much about the experience of withdrawal and recovery I’ve created an aura of authority around my online persona. Some of it is legitimate. I do know more about withdrawal from psychiatric drugs than most people. I’ve devoted more time studying hundreds of peoples experiences as well as alternative treatments than just about anyone including most doctors.
On the other hand I know nothing. I am in the dark making my way and it’s fucking scary sometimes and I often feel terribly alone.
Something strange has happened repeatedly now for the last year. It started almost exactly a year ago.
When I am down, really going through a tough patch with my journey, feeling the pain of withdrawal etc, random people come out of the internet woodwork and metaphorically punch me in the gut. It’s happened again and again now. (The first time it happened was when my brother died and someone from online I thought was a friend turned on me.)
I’ve thought about, “is it some sort of karmic law? etc.” But now I just think that there are people who enjoy sucking the life out of people when they are hurting…we do in some sort of way pull in the negative when we are in a negative space. The perpetrators don’t even know they are doing it and I don’t think they are necessarily horrible people in most if any instances. They see a pink underbelly and they go in for the kill but it’s all unconscious. I tend to curl up and let myself get beat up with a bit of a fight. The “bit of a fight” is not always done very gracefully, hence making the problem worse. I have never, though, attacked someone’s character or called someone names. I’ve only feebly tried to stand up for myself and usually that has made the problem worse.
The thing is, I don’t have the answers and I’m not actually an expert in anything. I simply know more than most about this phenomena of withdrawal—a phenomena for which there is virtually no knowledge anywhere. Here on my blog it is at least laid out for people to see all in one place unlike anywhere else. The thing is my knowledge does not make my individual road map any easier than someone who has not done any of the study and sometimes it leaves me all alone with no one to turn to because I’ve been the one people come to for help and support and not vice versa. We’re dealing with a circumstance virtually no one knows anything about. I know a wee bit more than most but this is like I’ve got three drops of the ocean of knowledge needed while everyone else has one or less. In other words, I’m not very far ahead of the curve.
My favorite yahoo group imploded yesterday. In part because of how I reacted to a situation. I was a moderator and the owner is absent. She left me in charge. In any case the situation was familiar…being kicked while I was down, again. Anyway, it all ended with my excusing myself from the group and from my role as moderator as I don’t believe I was able to keep a healthy perspective. I banned someone for attacking my credibility, experience and character. I found it too devastating to listen to. The argument started fairly and I was dealing with a disagreement just fine, but when it got personal, well I didn’t deal with that so fine. I couldn’t tell if I was overreacting or not and so promptly after banning that person I too left as I’m not comfortable with censorship in a group that I’m not an owner of. Frankly, I don’t hesitate to ban people on this blog anymore…sorry, but there have been some real assholes come my way and it is my blog. Anyway in the yahoo group today was the end of a beautiful experience with many beautiful people.
This is a disjointed and unclear post…I’m not sure I’m accomplishing anything. I guess I just want to say I too need help sometimes and all my “authority” does me no good when it comes to dealing with my day to day struggles. I’m in the muck and mire just like everyone else. I may be able to give good advice from time to time—though nothing should ever be construed as more than a suggestion because, bottom line, I DON’T KNOW YOU and we are all infinitely different. When I need advice I often have nowhere to turn for similar suggestions and in part I’ve created that reality. I guess what I wonder is it possible that there be a different reality? I am doing something that simply has not been done before with this blog. Is there a way that I could do it differently and get more of my own needs met too?
Of course some of my needs are being met or I wouldn’t plod on. I get a lot out of the blogging community and my readers, but I still feel terribly isolated and alone. In the blogging world—at least really active bloggers, I really am alone. I find solace with many of my brothers and sisters who have been labeled such as I, but who else is going through a long and protracted withdrawal process? No one.
I do know people in my yahoo groups with some similar stories but we too are different in many ways. There too I am in general the one passing out information. Also in general I’ve been on more drugs at higher doses for much longer than anyone. Withdrawal boards and groups all together have lots of information. Of course I learned much of my foundational knowledge in these groups, I need them and they help me profoundly. I don’t want to minimize their importance, nor the importance of the members of the groups many of whom suffer much more profoundly than I even if they have less dramatic pharmaceutical histories. Again, I am different in that I’ve articulated my journey to such a degree that it’s sometimes hard to connect with a lot of these brave folks. There are notable exceptions to this and it’s not at all black and white. I do have close friends from a couple of the groups. And there are also a number of people whom I greatly admire in terms of how much I learn from them routinely.
Yesterday I thought of a friend I met through the blog who is actually also a member of the yahoo group in question. She is someone I’ve actually met in person because of the blog. I thank god (or the universe) I thought of her and I’m not sure how I managed to, but she was a life saver when I chose to call her. And so I was not alone when I was most in pain. She truly has a journey as insane as mine and worse really and she has probably put in an equal amount of study though she doesn’t have a blog. Eureka, a soul mate on this lonely journey, at least for last night.
Anyway…just want you all to know. I’m nothing special. I just write about my story. That is the only thing that is different about me. I write my story and perhaps I’ve studied a bit more and maybe thought too much about this stuff. Some people find that inspiring, but I truly am very unimpressive and have so many flaws and walk this journey stepping into so many ruts…
The people who attack me see that clearly—in some ways they are the most lucid. They see the flaws, the pink underbelly and my uncanny knack of stepping into ruts…like following my doctor down the rapid withdrawal path and then the cold-turkey nightmare. Some people see that and not only do they see I’m flawed but they hate me for it and they attack. I am not ashamed of anything I’ve done, but I know I’ve made many mistakes. I was explicit in the telling of that particular story that I went against my better judgment. That I was seduced by a skilled but in the end also flawed doctor. And yet this situation was flung in my face to discredit me publicly.
I said at the beginning of this blog on my first profile that I would share it all, good and bad, success and failure and I said it not knowing what the outcome would be. I present my vulnerability everyday not knowing if I will make it or not—just operating on a faith that I will. That honesty has created enemies and threatened people and I don’t really know why.
Sometimes I just want to get the hell off the internet and return to the relative safety of the real world where I was never cruelly attacked in my whole life. Where I had loyal loving friends who looked out for me.
But my world has drastically changed. My loyal loving friends have no way of understanding what I go through with this withdrawal and my psychiatric label which was never an issue for many years until the drugs completely knocked me down…and then they couldn’t make sense of me anymore….not of this particular monumental part of my journey….I do hope that it will go back to something similar as before after it is over. I can no longer walk among the “normal” at this given time as I suffer from chronic physical illness from the toxins and so I cannot make commitments out of the house still, though I do get out and about more and more frequently—I just can’t tell ahead of time when I will feel well enough and if I’ll have the physical strength. Until I can make commitments outside of the house, my world will remain heavily internet oriented.
Anyway regardless of what I’ve said above all you readers show me again and again that you do understand. And so I am much more isolated without my readers. Without my blog friends. And yet where I find comfort I am also repeatedly hurt. I don’t know the solution.
Please keep in mind that this is how I feel now in this moment. I don’t go about feeling crappy and isolated all the time. This will pass. It is, as usual, just another part of the documentation I’ve set out to do on this journey.
I wrote this a over 24 hours ago and most of what happened was at the height of the end of withdrawal from my emergency meds—all the ugliness that took place in the group, like I said happened when I was at my worst. I was waking with night terrors every night and so not sleeping well I was feeling distressed as a result— those seem to have been caused by the Risperdal which I am now off of. Like I said, this sort of thing all happens when I’m down so to speak. And so by the time this is published I’m sure it will have passed—this time around.
***And the good news is the very first night I got off the emergency dose of Risperdal I slept like a log again. No night terrors. So I am back and strong for the time being.