One of my readers left a message tonight and said he had never felt as bad as he did today since he had begun withdrawal–to the point that he wished he could numb his feelings. My response was to say he was lucky as I’ve had many nightmarish days brought about by my withdrawal so many times I’ve lost count.
I want to tell you all something clearly and explicitly though. I’ve made reference to doing this once before but I want people to know that I’m not some hard-core anti-drug person. I am, in general, anti-med, but nothing is black and white.
Because of the drug withdrawal I’m hypersensitive. I’ve had a number of occasions now when people I care about or trusted have hurt me. In general it’s been a professional care-provider, surprise, surprise. I’ve found they repeatedly abuse their power. Though I’ve also learned how to avoid it now I believe. And I do have some great professionals in my life as well. Consistent ones that have been around a long time. Once it’s been a friend. This is the only time I go into a total tailspin. The emotional agony is so great that I do not sleep and there has been about 3 times in the last 6 months perhaps that I’ve taken a extra bit of a neuroleptic (antipsychotic)—since I’ve been off all of them for “maintenance” purposes. The first time I did it was way back here when I tell the story of when I pop a Seroquel after being off it for a year and a half and it was nightmarish. This is actually before this 6 month time frame while I was still withdrawing from Risperdal—so this is an additional incident.
It was clear I never wanted to do that again. The Seroquel had turned deadly toxic and ugly on me. But Risperdal on the other hand in a very small dose has saved my butt a few times since then.
BUT! Since I’ve been off Risperdal which is probably about 6 months or so I’ve taken .5 mg about 3 times when I got scared that I would just fall apart. And I was hurting so bad I did want to be numb and frankly I think I was simply being compassionate with myself. Remember I was once on 11 mg of Risperdal. So .5 mg for one night is hardly much of a toxic load.
The last time I had a really bad emotional crisis I chose NOT to take the .5 mg Risperdal. I WAS up all night, but finally I slept for about 3 hours the next day and I did return to normal. (my normal, which is hardly typical) So perhaps I learned I don’t need to do that again.
In any case, this is a damn hard process and we need to be kind to ourselves and while I am withdrawing I will do what I need to do as I see fit. I am not healed from the damage these drugs have wrought. And sometimes when the suffering becomes so acute—always with a trigger—a very obvious one—I have chosen to “numb” myself with a tiny bit of Risperdal.
The thing is I am now TRULY AND COMPLETELY informed of the dangers. And I also know that I am TRULY AND COMPLETELY committed to get off the drugs.
That being said, it’s unclear to me when and if or ever drugs are appropriate.
I know that in some extreme instances they may become necessary for acute crisis management. But that is the only time I think they are necessary.
What an acute crisis is, though, is no one’s right to determine but the person who is going to swallow that pill.
And remember the time my incompetent psychiatrist cold-turkeyed me? That too was a crisis in which I needed to take extra meds. I got off all that extra crap in 12 days.
I’m pro-choice. Okay?