10 Months Off Meds And Loving It?

I was in the middle of writing another post on a similar subject when I realized it’s almost been a year off of psychiatric medication and then I had to double check because that seemed like a lot of months to me considering I’ve spent the last 8 years going on and off medication at least three times a year. The most months I’ve stayed on medication was about nine. And that was 7 years ago. Let’s just say I’ve been as consistent with medications as I have been with this blog.

Throwing shade at myself.

I stopped my medication in the first place because I was sick of being tired, I was angry, hurt, and frustrated over a break-up and I just wanted something to alter my state of mind. Now that I look back on it, I can see that was my intention: distract myself from reality by overloading myself with a different type of reality.

I was on Abilify and Trintellix this time, with a psychiatrist ready to switch me from Abilify onto Vraylar. I think I ripped up his prescription though.

The Abilify I’d been on many times before. It’s the only antipsychotic that my body would tolerate. I have a theory about why, but I won’t go into that. Trintellix however, was very new. Not just new to me, but new to the market, and I agreed to try it because I’ve tried the majority of other SSRI’s and SNRI’s and hated each one. Psychiatrists liked to tell me SSRI’s were supposed to help with anxiety but that shit ain’t ever do shit. Straight up.

I figured the only way to get a real anxiety medication, like a Benzo, would be to prove I wasn’t an addict and the way to prove that was to be compliant with their plans first.

I’ve stopped every SSRI, SNRI, mood stabilizer, and antipsychotic I’ve ever been on abruptly. And by abruptly, I mean cutting my dose in half every week for about a month. There are studies coming out now that show you should reduce medication by about .25mg or less every few months in order to safely come down. I was cutting miligrams by the fives and tens (if applicable). Quickly. And I’ve never had an adverse reaction from it, even if I was on them for 6+ months.

*I do not recommend anyone do what I’ve done, or come off of medication without the watchful eye of a medical doctor who can pinpoint physical consequences easier*

But with a new, and very under-tested SSRI, I should have been a little more logical. I didn’t spiral immediately, it took about another month to feel the effects. I woke up depressed, more depressed than I’d ever been (and that’s saying something) and I remember a lot of dissociating and voices. Mind you, I stopped both medications simultaneously. I laid on the couch eating chocolate cake and chocolate chip pancakes during the days and spent the evenings drinking whiskey and heading into downtown. Oh, I also went to work. How? WHO KNOWS.

But eventually something had to give and I ended up in a bathtub with my clothes on arguing with my voices about killing myself. Good times. I didn’t pull myself out of that situation, in case you’re wondering.

But, I also didn’t end up in the hospital. And I’m glad I didn’t.

For the next few fuzzy months I went into an outpatient program, stayed at the mental health program I currently work at (little bit of conflict of interest there, but it worked out) and for a couple weeks was back on the medication. Then, I stopped it again and discarded of them.

What resulted from that was strange. A lot of depression, even the depression I experienced before I stopped my medication, lifted. I felt great. Not manic great, not even hypo-manic great. Just . . . content. That continued steadily and increased once I completely changed my diet and exercised (I’ve lost 35 pounds over the last four months).

It was only a couple weeks ago did I notice my mood become a little wobbly. I started noticing things, strange things again. People kept knocking on my room door and my walls, breathing through them, talking through them, and I could never catch them. I started distracting myself more often, which I didn’t notice until a few days ago. If I wasn’t listening to music, I was watching YouTube or television or playing video games–loudly. Sometimes I’d do all of it simultaneously. Sleeping has become more difficult and I went from getting 8 solid hours to 5, and more recently, 2. I started feeling touches on my arm and legs at night and when I spoke to people I misheard them. I mean, really misheard them. It’s not like when someone says something and they stumble over their words so you think they said cat when they said car. This was people saying full sentences and me hearing “you don’t know what you’re doing at all” when they really said “how have you been today?”

The mumbles have come back too, the hearing a crowd of people talking but not really catching what they’re saying, and so have some familiar voices, particularly one of the softer deep ones who has generally been kind. While I was struggling to get to sleep the other night listening to all the other shit, he told me “I’m proud of you” and for whatever reason, that helped. Me and him, we’re on the same page.

Now that it’s been ten months off medications, I understand why this is happening again. I think the real test begins now. Most of the medications are the lowest they’ve ever been in my system in 8 years and this will basically be me bare-assing my mind around.

My brain has a big ass and the meds were pants three sizes too small.

I’ll have to find new ways to deal with all this, and not get caught up in paranoid thoughts. Constant music and videos has helped keep my mind less focused on all the chatter, but I can’t live life like that all the time. It’s why I haven’t been able to read or write or stay motivated in general.

I recently got a new therapist. She hasn’t known me for longer than a month and a half. In our first session I told her I hadn’t heard voices consistently for a few months, so we’ll see what her reaction is tomorrow when I tell her

Conclusion: meds aren’t always the answer. Not taking meds isn’t always the answer. What works is what works. Will this work? Who knows. But I’d rather try and find out than never try and wish I had.

Story Time: When I Learned What Was REALLY In My Food.

Wild Imagination.

Some kids, when you show them a cardboard box with squares cut into it and miniature cardboard furniture inside, will look at you while they rip the box apart and call you a moron.

Some kids love homemade toys.

Some kids skin animals in the forest because they’re “curious”.

1d4ff4ff3
Don’t Get Your Brains Scanned Kids, You Might Be A PsYchOPaTH

Some kids are robbed by (or gifted with) an imagination that sucks them away from Earth and into a different consciousness, like Jani Schofield.  But that’s a whole other opinion waiting to happen, so let’s move on.

Then there are kids who were like me, a lot probably, who teeter somewhere between what you would expect in an imagination and what you wouldn’t expect. Or maybe you should expect everything, and that fact that people don’t is why some kids are “normal” and others aren’t.

This thought came to me today, a few minutes ago, a memory that had been long hidden that for some reason was brought out by watching eleven minute YouTube videos of people scarfing down Carolina Reaper peppers.

When I was still in elementary school, we only had one car and it was a truck my mother used to get to work in. My father would walk with me to school and from school. On the corner about two blocks away from my school, there was a little orange market that sold cold drinks, ice cream, and these weird little pastry balls filled with meat. I don’t remember what they were, and I haven’t seen anything like them sense. The market was owned by a family with some kind of Asian descent, so I believe it was a home recipe of theirs. This market is now Front Street Offices. Kind of weird to think about.

I was sad when that little market went away. I was in there almost every day, and across the street from them I found a really heavy, large, expensive-looking watch hanging in a tree. I still have it.

I didn’t like the pastry things. I didn’t know what kind of meat it was, and it smelled like someone boiled the dough, stuffed it with meat, and sprayed some more tap water on it to keep it moist. I don’t know.

I used to get Push Pops. I think those still exist. These things:

471-107799-otg_orange_burst_300x300-1
Push Ups, Pop ups, Push Pop, Pop Push, Pop Ups Push down. Whatever.

I liked them until one day I got a red one. I got a red one and ate it happily until there was some weird, slimy mass in my mouth. In fact, there were two of them. I stopped eating and spit it out. I looked at the chunky globs: the Push Pop had frozen off my tonsils. That’s what they were, they were my tonsils and I was standing there terrified, trying to halfway swallow my tongue so I could see if my tonsils were there or not (I couldn’t feel them), and almost crying because was I bleeding? I was!!! Was I going to die? I was going to die. Why was the Push Pop Company trying to murder me? Can I not even trust ice cream in this godforsaken world? 

I didn’t tell my father why I had spit out the chunks. There were no more in the ice cream, so I licked it, paralyzed mentally, until the rest of the murdersicle was gone.

When I didn’t die, I started getting scientific. I knew I couldn’t come to a conclusion about my tonsils because a true theory needs to be tested with multiple experiments. My finishing hypothesis was that the Push Pop hadn’t taken out my tonsils, but that they were putting meat or organs in the ice cream. In order to test that, I would need some more red Push Pops.

slide_18
You Fucking See It?? OHEC

I was about seven or eight.

So I got another Push Pop. I got another. And another. They ALL had chunks.

I never ate another Push Pop after that, not the orange ones, not the multi-colored ones. I stopped eating Popsicles in general for many years. Because Push Pop was lying to the masses and putting OTHER people’s tonsils, their organs, KIDS ORGANS into their ice cream, the sadistic bastards.

It wasn’t until I started high school did that fear subside and did I realize, after finally eating a Push Pop styled ice cream, that the red chunks were strawberries.

That was a lot of years of fearing popsicles. Six years to be exact.

Things have never really been what they’ve seemed to me, and I’ve been open to all possibilities, bizarre or not. Why did I revert to this non-common-common-sense tactic of mine as a child, I don’t really know. I think at that point I was so used to weird shit happening—all the nightmares, the demons in the woods, time travel, learning about the weird world of quantum physics (although I didn’t understand much of it until Junior High)—that corporations shoving children’s tonsils and organs into ice cream didn’t seem that far off. 

I guess these memories are popping up more frequently because 1) my birthday is coming up and everything in my childhood seems so separate at this point, so separate from me and my life and 2) because of drones and the puppet Trump and whichever world organization is his puppet master, and police and that boiling Culture Of Fear that’s brewing on the stove top of this world.

Maybe the red chunks in our ice cream ARE tonsils. Maybe every single thought I’ve ever had is true and real and if so then I guess I don’t have any reason to fear them.

Tonsil ice cream tastes great.

FTW. 

*Note* I actually fucking HATE strawberry ice cream. It might have something to do with the truama of all the aforementioned.

The MMJ Journey Pt. 3

 

Is this self-medicating?

I couldn’t give you a straight answer to that.

Because I find myself slipping into that mindset of “magic fix”, although there are no such thing. I find myself wanting to be “medicated” 100% of the time, and that’s my fault because I did buy an Indica strain with THC, mostly to help me sleep. Which it does. It also reminds me how nice being high can be. It’s like an ex-heroin addict taking Narco.

But what’s the difference, really, between this and the other psych meds I were on? Psych meds last 12 hours or so, hence the repeated use in the morning and the night, and no strain of CBD or THC can last that long–as far as I’m aware. It would make “sense” to use it more often throughout the day.

And then, at that point, isn’t the point to self-medicate? Isn’t the point of anti-depressants to medicate your depression away? Isn’t that the point?

41x3yditbxl-_sx322_bo1204203200_Of all the psych meds I’ve tried, they’ve all pretty much done the same thing: made me more numb than usual. A little more numb means, by default, less anxiety, less paranoia, less dissociation, less everything. That’s how you know it’s “working” . . . when you can’t feel anything, really. That doesn’t sound any different than someone in an alley shooting heroin to forget whatever they’re trying to forget.

But once you come out of it, you’re going to remember again. Same goes for anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds, and anti-psychotics. For the overarching majority of us, “symptoms” are still there regardless of whether or not medication is down our throats. For some reason that possibility of “no medication will ever help” is meant to make us feel hopeless or, at the very least, disappointed.

With every medication I’ve tried, I’ve been disappointed, and MMJ is no different, because I have this surreal expectation that one day I will take something, do something, think a certain thought a certain way, and everything will disappear. But life doesn’t work that way.

That’s not an expectation I created myself, it was an expectation a lot of society advocates: you’re having problems with what? Go to the doctor, there’s a pill for that.

So, just like I would your average psych med, let me list the top five pros and cons of this route so far.

Pros:

  1. Sleep comes easy. Raspberry Kush has, by far, been my favorite for this, probably because of the familiarity of it. The strains I used as a teenager were also medical and one of them was that same Kush, due to ties we had with a grower.
  2. More focus. I am able to get some things done with less fatigue and a little more motivation. There are times I feel like my old self again, with a bunch of ideas (good ones, too, ones that are realistic, that I know I can accomplish).
  3. Less thoughts. Thoughts are what keep me up at night, and although nothing can “stop” the thoughts, their effect on me is severely diminished. On nights when insomnia is horrible, that helps a lot.
  4. Less fog. You would think “getting high” would put you in a fog, and it will if you’re a legit stoner. But for me, it lifts away that fog and lets me see things a little clearer. I don’t have thoughts crashing into each other, I have a few organized ones that I can take the time to enjoy.
  5. The present. With Sativa, I’m in the present and not the future or the past or whatever other parallel universe I get transported to.

Cons:

  1. Dependence. I do depend on certain strains to sleep or make it through the day. This is conflicting: people depend on other meds to do the same thing, but I hate dependence regardless of where or why. I’m working on this.
  2. Paranoia. Mmm, I . . . hmm. This could cause trouble. If you experience this yourself, you know you can feel it coming. At least, I can. I can feel the interjection of some thoughts here and there or that ethereal sense of being watched, tracked, listened to. I feel there’s someone who has been tracking my computer, or my profiles, maybe my IP address, because weird shit keeps happening on a few of them by people with different usernames, but they all do/say the same thing. That doesn’t keep me awake at night, but the spiritual things are, the demons–maybe I’ll explain this later. Also because I’m pretty sure a spirit just went into my poster. Which is probably why I had such a strong feeling to buy it when I did. Cool. Glad I’m not sleeping HERE tonight.
  3. I know absolutely that Indica makes me hear shit, more often than I usually would. It’s annoying, but since I don’t use much of it and only for sleep, I’m not too bothered. I only deal with whatever I deal with for a few minutes and then I’m passed out. I wake up very refreshed.
  4. It’s not very discrete. If you’re someone who smokes it, the smell will linger in your clothes and such if you’re not one to air out your room. I’m not one of those people who will go to work or class baked out of my mind just because it’s medical and “I can”. That’s just being an asshole. If I’m going to work, I will use CBD because I will be alert, focused, and calm but not high. “10/10 best medicine ever”–IGN.
  5. Can easily get expensive. Medi-Cal ain’t covering this, I spent $93 on my last haul, which is nothing really.

It was harder to come up with cons than pros, probably because I’m tripping on this poster. You don’t understand. I was pulled towards this poster when I bought it, and then all this weird shit is happening, my phone call was interrupted with static and what sounded like a bunch of voices or demonic something. My boyfriend on the phone heard it too. I’m thinking maybe a radio interruption? I don’t know, we couldn’t hear each other through the phone. He had to hang up and I called back. At any rate, I’m feeling right now there are a lot of secrets in this poster, I . . .

. . . need to stop talking and get ready for work. I also need to pull my mind away from all that before I drive myself crazy some more.

Conclusion? Be careful with Sativa, CBD or THC, and know your limits. Be careful with high content THC Indica as well. Be careful with high content THC anything. 

*NOTE: I’ve had waaay worse psychological experiences on psych meds. This is NOTHING compared to how Effexor fucked me up Effexor was pure shit. It had me feeling focused with some energy until I wanted to come off it and got sucked into some demonic hell. It was worse than an anti-psychotic withdrawal, I swear to God, and that was only after . . . three months? Three months. That’s it. Fuck Effexor. How is that shit legal?