Random anger, random ramblings and incompleted thoughts

When I was at my acupuncturists the other day I basically collapsed on the table after pounding on her office door when I couldn’t tolerate sitting in the office. I REALLY needed to lay down. I can sit in recliner type chairs but an upright chair I can last in only so long and I had reached my limit at the health food store where I had lunch before I went to accupuncture.

I learned that it was the acupuncture that made my endometriosis pain almost non-existent. It is, after all, the reason I went to the acupuncturist in the first place but I didn’t expect such rapid results. Almost totally pain free after two treatments.  She told me that pain is usually the easiest symptom to treat and the rest of my hormonal issues and my basic poor health would probably take much longer to deal with.

Her diagnosis of my situation in the Chinese way of interpreting things is that my liver is in serious shape. Since Chinese medicine deals with the whole being I’m really being treated for everything my body is suffering from even though I presented saying I needed help balancing my hormones.

In any case, I collapsed on her table after being out for an hour—I was sick of staying in bed and so my husband took me to lunch. But that hour was really too much and as I collapsed on her table I burst into tears.

It ended up being like a therapy session. I told her I was dealing with so much anger. And rage. My circumstances so damn frustrating. Doctor after doctor mishandling me. Making me sicker. My rage is targeted mostly at my sister who doesn’t give a shit that I’m sick and at my last doctor who seems to have no interest in admitting any fault and is therefore just as bad as any drug pushing doctor. It’s also targeted at people in the recovery movement who think that their road to recovery is the only road to recovery and they seem to dare to think that if I only followed their way I would be well by now. One thing I’ve learned on this journey is that there are as many roads to recovery as there are people. My recovery stories page on this blog gives a glimpse of this—-all different methods of recovery…I borrow from many of their journeys, but ultimately I trust my gut. And so should anyone else struggling to recover…There is nothing tried and true for every person who has been labeled. No one thing. Perhaps the only necessary ingredient is believing that one can get better and all of these people have that and I do too, in spades.

In any case I have rage. It’s probably primal rage and it’s just glomming on to whoever is an attractive target right now.

How do I clear it out? How do I forgive my sister and my doctor? How do I embrace the giant egos of some of my recovered friends when they seem to condescend on my journey? (please don’t everyone assume I’m thinking of YOU…it’s just a couple of people really)

One thing is clear. I have no mental illness, but I’m very very physically sick. The drugs made me sick. The withdrawal made me sick. My prescribing psychiatrist who is watching me go through this process agrees. My husband who knows me intimately agrees. No mental illness…nope, just sickness caused by drugs and drug withdrawal.

But right now and since I went through my crisis, I am dealing with rage. My detoxing liver determines my rage, says my acupuncturist. My withdrawing body must feel emotions that have been numbed out for years. I know some of my rage is pointless, like hating my sisters guts for not even inquiring about my health when I told her in an email what was up with me. I wrote two sentences in response to an email in which she expressed her expectation that I would be joining her somewhere out of state in December. I told her at the time I bought the ticket that I was ill and would probably not be able to go and she didn’t ask in the email if I was better, but instead acted as though she assumed I was going. I’ve been sick for 2 years and she somehow can’t remember?? My response:

Sister,

Right now I am bed bound and unless I get better won’t be able to go…I try to remain hopeful but the truth is I’m seriously debilitated.

Followed by a neutral response to the rest of her email and she didn’t even see fit to respond. Your sister is so sick she can’t get out of bed and you don’t say a word!!!??? Fuck her.

Okay, I know all of my rage is pointless, but I still need to feel it and let it flow through me as part of my healing process.

I’m no longer irritable though—not in a general sense—granted I recognize this as a rant and it includes feelings of irritation!! But I no longer act out irritability and that is awesome. I don’t bite the heads off of anyone anymore. Not even my husband who, poor guy, was the most frequent recipient of my joyous irritability. Risperdal seemed to be the greatest cause of that. Finally finishing that withdrawal changed things dramatically.  I should say I do still have low grade irritability but I don’t act on it anymore and I know it’s the Klonopin that is causing the residual irritability…I should be one hell of a pleasant person once I’m off it all. I was in fact very pleasant when I cold-turkeyed for the first two days. Very pleasant indeed, with the drugs out of my system, until of course I got psychotic…but even then I remained pleasant.  I just needed attention so that I could sleep again. But yeah, that sneak peak of being drug free was awesome. In that regard I shouldn’t regret having gone through what I went through. It gave me a glimpse of a very balanced and sane future.

Okay, I’m rambling…I’m too tired to work anything out or figure things out so I’m just getting crap off my chest.

One thing my last doctor (the one that cold-turkeyed me) was right about was Klonopin being toxic to my system right now. I do, indeed, get sicker every night when I take it. But the alternative, not taking it, is unfortunately worse. She apparently didn’t think getting psychotic from lack of sleep and cold-turkey withdrawal was worse, but I did. So being that it was my call, I am now stuck getting sicker every night upon taking my Klonopin, while I wrap up my Lamictal withdrawal. I’m down to 7.5 mg of Lamictal. That was from a high of 400 mg. The really weird thing is I can feel each 2.5 mg taper of the Lamictal. It’s really bizarre how chemically sensitive I’ve become. I stay on a lowered dose a few days until I get nauseas again and then I cut by 2.5 mg.  As soon as I’m off the Lamictal I will push the Klonopin as hard as I can, but I WILL NOT sacrifice sleep entirely. That is what will control the speed of my Klonopin taper—I must get at least a few hours of sleep a night or hold my taper, but lord do I know I need to get the hell off of it. Every night when it comes time to take the Klonopin, just as I’m just starting to feel better, I have to take those damn pills that make me feel really sick all over again.

What a twisted reality I live in.

About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters

19 Responses

  1. Gianna,

    I would say – let yourself feel the anger and the rage…..but, don’t live there – consider these emotions places to visit, but not places to move into….nasty landlord for the long-term…..

    Forgiveness?
    You have a long list….
    Forgive them for yourself…..If you have a hard time forgiving them (especially, since they have apparently not asked)….Don’t do it for them…..Do it for YOU.

    Not being “mentally ill”…..in spite of all of the pain you’ve undergone…..at the hands of many people who’ve caused such injury….you remain, a very grounded person in my mind….So, You’re okay….you’re more than okay…..You’re an intelligent, gifted woman…..who can do whatever you set your mind to do….including getting well, and staying well…..

    Recovery, being something “different” for everyone…..Again, you got that right! Until our medical community wakes up to the fact that one person’s thyroid problem has similar symptoms to another person’s enviromnental allergies, or a third person’s hormonal difficulities, and a forth person’s absorption problems, we are going to continue to have “doctors” who cause more harm than good…..much more harm than good…..

    I wish I knew what to tell you…..If I had the perfect words, I would give them to you…..You’ve been to hell and back….

    I have to go back to something as simple as letting yourself feel what you feel…..anger, and even rage…..but, don’t let it consume you…..

    As far as fighting “egos”……the only thing that can beat a big ego is a strong spirit…..move inward…..center…..
    go to “here and now”……whatever it takes to make that journey….the “past” scoots away quickly…..seems to have no power in the “here and now” when we get there…..and, our own ego knows not how to take that journey…..move with the spirit.

    And, thanks for being who you are – exactly who you are…..
    I like you just the way you are!

    Duane

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  2. Gianna,

    You raise some good points – we are all so very unique….our brains like fingerprints…..or snowflakes if you prefer….no two alike….

    There isn’t one key….how could there possibly be one key?….
    This is the problem with conventional medicine, and its attempt to define such things as “bipolar”…..with a list of symptoms….We’ve all seen it….with NAMI, the NIMH, all the big-shots who claim to know….what “bipolar” is, and the absollute need to stay on “medication”…..what a crock!

    The natural-side is full of all kinds of treatment options….Some seem to work quite well for some individuals…..others don’t…..And for the person right next to them…..it’s reverse….so it is with our brains, and even more importantly, our minds….We are complex creatures….So be it!

    The thing I get tired of hearing is how quickly natural methods are dismissed…..

    Take for instance, the “new age” acupuncture that seems to help you…..Nothing quite as “new age” as a 5,000 year-old art….They actually found an ice man who had the Chinese meridians tattooed on his body…..He was 5,000 years old! Can you imagine the arrogance of western medicine…..? Time-tested and practiced forms of traditional Chinese medicine brought into question……ie, “prove it”…….

    Western medicine is the new kid on the blog….With a not-so-good track record…..After you consider that more than half of the clinical trials never get published, or reviewed by the FDA…..the fabrication, falisification, and outright lying through the entire proces…..from fighting to keep information off black-box warnings……to clinical trials for lifelong medication that are only a few weeks or months in lenthh…..to hiding the side effects that take place after years on the “meds”…..And for those who are brave enough to try other things….they are dismissed as “nutty”…..for having such courage…..How strange is that?

    I say if something works, it works! If a person is happier and at peace with themselves and the world around them….able to function…..whatever works……

    Glad to hear that some traditional “new age” Chinese medicine works for you!!!

    Stay with the stuff that works, and avoid (like the plague) the stuff that doesn’t…..Listen to your body, and ignore the naysayers!

    Duane

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  3. Self worth is neccessary to live, to get/deserve things, eat food , food that once was alive.

    If one didn’t have anger/rage then it would mean one has no self worth to insult, but like Duane says too much (of anything) is not good either.

    Excess may do you harm.

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  4. Doe

    I think rage is one of the most difficult things for me to feel. Bite through steel rage. I am familiar with it.

    For myself, I think there’s really no way to talk myself out of this state when I’m in the throes of it. I think if someone told me to chant some sort of love and kindness affirmation during one of these times, they might be in serious danger :-).

    For myself, I think I’ve come to that it’s necessary to feel this rage, to really experience it. It’s like an emotional detoxifying that needs to happen, it’s got to come out. I try not to act out, however.

    Mostly, I”m successful with that, but not always. I just don’t want to do anything that’s going to make me feel any worse than I already do–like lash out at some innocent person.

    If I’m at all able, I try to look at it like, I don’t know, some raging case of diarreah…it’s got to come out, and it will pass soon.

    I think my periods of rage have often brought me to a new place, a new realization, someplace new that I needed to come to.

    I didn’t want to go to that new place, and I went there kicking and screaming. But once my tears dried, and my fists unclenched and I could breath calmly again, I was glad I was there.

    But make no mistake–I really, really hate experiencing rage (which makes it worse…not only do I hate the rage, I hate everyone around me, then I hate myself for feeling that, then sometimes I’ll lash out at someone, and I’ll hate myself even more and the whole thing snowballs)….

    It’s not a pretty thing, not a pretty healing process at all, but sometimes what’s powerful isn’t always pretty.

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  5. You are making progress. Anger is behind a lot of the problems our species experiences, both individually and as a society. Anger is a valid, natural emotion. It arises naturally; we can’t control its appearance. But, to live among others, we must control the expression of it. Today, many people don’t. After a disagreement, they bring out the guns and start shooting. We all need to acknowledge that certain people, ideas, and instutions anger us. If we control the physical expression of our rage, we can do OK. You can think and feel anything, but when you start hitting and shooting, you will sooner or later be in big trouble. So have the thoughts, the feelings, the emotions–just try not to physically hurt others in the process.

    Another aspect of all this is that centuries of evolution have made our bodies react to anger by preparing our bodies for a battle. These hormonal changes will intensify everything. In our society we often have to just sit there and continue being nice to people. For example, after students had yelled 4 letter words at me at the end of one class, I had to wipe my feelings away and teach the next group of students coming into the door, and they could be an honor’s students, including the kids of school board members. It was tough. I survived decades of teaching by being physically active. Physical activity burns off all the energy that our bodies produced to get us through the battle.

    Good luck, you’re doing well,
    Jim S

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  6. Gianna,

    What a frustrating place to be in – drugs make you sicker, stopping drugs makes you sicker! I am very sorry that you are going through that. No wonder you are angry. I think anyone would be!

    I agree that writing is cathartic. Without it I would be so tied-up in unexpressed emotions that I might just explode. Keep letting yourself feel all of your emotions. You have earned them!

    You are a shining example of determination to heal.

    Hugs,
    Tamara

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  7. Gianna,
    It would be too difficult for me to try and answer all your questions in a comment, but know that I’m here for you, and deeply sympathetic to all your pain and suffering!

    With love,
    Susan

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  8. Sloopy Cowbell

    I get angry with some of my own relatives who’ve shown no real interest over the years. Contrary to popular belief, absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder.

    I get a huge buzz from reading about your withdrawals, though! Especially the ridiculously low dosages you’ve managed to wean yourself down to! I don’t know anything about Lamictal, but 400mg down to 7.5mg is very impressive!

    So glad the acupuncture is helpful to you!

    Keep at it Gianna! You’re very close to the end of the tunnel!

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  9. You beautifully articulated something I was thinking about recently, not about anger but becoming wiser in general:

    “It’s like a spiral staircase for me…I revisit these places and as I move up the spiral I learn lessons with finer distinctions each time visiting a similar, but different place.”

    Is it romanticism to suggest that those of us who have experienced psychosis, or even had to live with a debilitating label, have a greater cognitive capacity for those finer distinctions? Once we (begin to) clear the drugs and the distorted thinking that goes with it out of our systems, I mean.

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  10. David

    Although I know how hard and frustrating it is to have that much anger and not know how to release it, it’s better to feel it than not to feel it, as you know. And on a good note — what a wonderful miracle that the acupuncture helped your pain so quickly!

    Have you asked her whether she might be able to support your detox process? She sounds like a very high-level practitioner.

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  11. bev honold

    Hi Gianna,

    This is good stuff.Rage on notwithstanding hang not on to it.Emotion the name suggests”motion”.Alot of things shouldn’t have happened for many!

    Love,Bev

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