collecting words in pillowcases & flipping them into the wind.

so, I’m still alive, if you can call it that.

I’ve been on his medication for long enough for it to do what all medication does — flatten me out & take away my words. the poet? she’s buried under a mess of chemicals & cassette-tape-months on repeat.

the only words I have now are “maintenance medication” and “you’ll probably always need to be medicated” and “we can always add an antidepressant… or seroquel”.

my options in life have been distilled into plastic bottles full of plastic futures that cost entirely too much.

do I regret going on medication? not sure yet. I probably won’t know until after I’ve weaned myself off, which I’ve already started doing, without psych advice, might I add. not that it matters much; I already know what my psych would say; I’ve had all those words already. it was worth it at the time; it have me a glimmer of hope to hold onto when I was thisclose from letting go of everything. everything has it’s place.

my running freefloating anxiety & sense of impending doom has all but disappeared, so there’s that. not to say the anxiety is gone — it’s not. I still get anxious about most everything: going to the store, going to the neighbours to pay for rented parking, going to the dry cleaners, thinking of starting to drive again. Okay, so three of those four I still haven’t done. so, define “progress”?

progress is, to my psychiatrist, accepting a second medication. cocktails to the girl who doesn’t drink.
progress is, to me, cooking every single meal I eat from scratch & eating nothing with a label. okay, so I’m still only averaging two meals a day, & one snack if I’m lucky & wake early enough, but I’m cooking! I haven’t been able to do that solidly for.. longer than I’d like to admit.
progress is, in my mind, that “a meal” consists of more than just one egg, fried. 230 calories is now a “small snack”. 230 calories used to be huge. 230 calories used to be a meal that I maybe couldn’t finish.

I am filling myself with much other things, now.

I’ve officially been on this elimination diet for 3 months & it’s become second nature. it got a whole lot easier once I realized there is a whole group of people who already eat like this, by choice. it’s called “paleo”. hahaha! there are blogs & recipes & recipe books full of food that I Can Eat. the writer in me can’t find the words to describe how fucking hysterically hopeful & … happy? that makes me. See, I am useless when it comes to trying to express happy emotions. It’s been that long.

yeah.

so I am pretty on board with this ‘paleo’ thing. I’m a little behind the curve, I know, but as I’ve always been ridiculous thin I’ve never kept up with the latest ‘diet’ things. until I was forced on it by a high TTG & another word: celiac.

as for my celiac-ness, well, it’s still here. still symptomatic, still getting more words, such as.. refractory sprue, steroids, stitches, surgeries & never getting better. luckily I am still me, so that means I can replace those scary words with ones that are much more familiar: denial & blind optimism.

optimism?

yeah, it’s been a while. optimism & hope now comes in the form of, well, more words, but these ones aren’t mine: these are written by someone who knows far more than I do, on nutritional therapy. Julia Ross, “The Mood Cure”, a manifesto based mostly on curing all this mental shit with high doses of amino acids & vitamin/mineral combos. and what do I have other than time? an ability to swallow 3 pills at a time & whole lot of hope.

I’ve been on her supplement plan for 4 weeks (not counting the one week where I fell off the wagon & binged exclusively on homemade honey-sweetened-nutflour-baked-goods, cakes & french toast, but I deserve a little break for getting through all the SHIT I’ve been through in the last year+, damn it!) & I’ve already felt better than I have in…….. years. better than I did when I cut gluten. better than I did when I cut processed sugar. better than I did when I cut fast food, dairy, nightshades, starches, grains…. and a whole shit load of better than I’ve felt since starting my state-sanctioned-pharmaceuticals. so, fuck all this; I am going fullsteamahead on this supplement plan. when I had my binge/crash, I felt my mood slipping slowly each day I went without my aminos. but… even still.. my mood wasn’t nearly as bad as before. just getting dark around the corners, as if being consumed by a silent flame. my suicidal thoughts were relegated to 30 minutes of sadness, instead of my entire waking existence. maybe nothing to you, but to me, that is a fucking miracle. as it turns out, those miracle pills I’ve been looking for since 2008? THEY EXIST. only they originate from protein, not pharmaceutical laboratories. shocking, I know.

I am seeing my psychiatrist at the end of the month, when she gets back from her vacation & I am informing her I’m going off my meds. they haven’t done anything positive for me since I hit around 100/125mg, anyway. my progress has plateaued, and who knows if that progress was from the antiseizure meds or from just a mix of eating more than 1000 calories a day, cutting grains/nightshades/starches/the rest of my gluten & the placebo effect.

I’m getting other effects, too, that aren’t placebo: my hair is falling out, my eyelashes are falling out, my eyes are blurring & it’s hard to focus them.. oh, and I’m suffering from a serious case of medication-induced-unwritingitis. it’s not so much that I can’t write, it’s just that I forget about writing. no longer is the need to write there… the pressing need that forces me to spill words onto keys like they actually matter.

not sure if I’m getting better or if I’m just accepting this lower standard of living. maybe both. but I’ve definitely accepted that this ‘getting better’ thing is going to take time, even if my mind is trying to hurry it up. this letter today sounds pretty depressing, I guess, but for what it’s worth I don’t feel depressed. I have been suicidally depressed for the last 2 years up until the last 4 weeks when I started taking these aminos, so there’s that. a reprieve from the urges that make me want to leave this world behind? sure, I’ll take it; it’s a welcome vacation from the life I’m currently stuck, stuck, stuck in.

taliho, for now,
I’m sure I’ll be seeing you somewhere closer to 125mgs.

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three cheers for life-long conditions only taking 27 years to get diagnosed! (ha)

well, i was anticipating anemia. maybe something thyroidish. instead i got.. celiac disease. go figure. i knew i had some issue with gluten, so i had cut it out entirely about 9 months ago & felt immediately better. since then, i’ve had the occasional craving — leading to the inevitable cheating — and the brutal side effects that followed. but my ‘cheatings’ are usually only 1 small gluten-containing item, every 2-3 months. i was okay with suffering through the side effects (cramps, 5-months-pregnancy-bloat, anxiety, depression, even crazier mood swings for the following 3 days) but for the most part i’ve been avoiding gluten. or so i thought. turns out i’m STILL highly gluten-inflammatory (anything above 17.5 was ‘very severe’ & i’m at 60!! MD was visibly shocked when i told her i hadn’t had gluten recently). apparently my anemia was most likely caused by my inability to absorb nutrients due to the celiac. another piece for the puzzle! and another diagnosis to add to my pretty collection of life-long, incurable conditions.

otherwise, i’m completely perfectly healthy. so no more attributing my mental condition to anything physical (well, aside from the gluten-inflammatory response, i guess)!
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doctor notes.

going to see my MD in ten minutes.. getting the results from the blood test i had last friday. crossing my fingers & hoping that i still have anemia & perhaps an underfunctioning thyroid to blame for my fluctuating energy & relentless anxieties.

but if both are fine then i’m ready for medicating.. although i’m still quite terrified of seroquel. going to talk to my MD about it again too.. because my anxieties tend to make small things into huge mountains & it’s hard for me to know if my antipsychotic-fears are founded or if it’s just my anxiety/paranoia running away again. when i was prescribed it i wasn’t sleeping until 6am & was brutally depressed, so i’m not sure since i’m doing a little better, maybe i don’t need something that harsh? who knows. denial is still my middle name, after all.

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to medicate or not to medicate, that is the question…

i’ve been sitting on a script for seroquel for almost a year now. when it was first written i wasn’t sure if i was willing to give up the hypomania for it. it’s been almost a year & i’m still not sure, but the hypomania hasn’t come back with the intensity that it did before, so i am getting tired of waiting.

my hypomanias now are markedly different since i made the mistake of taking an antidepressant — way more anxiety & delusions. i’ve been forced into constantly self-medicating & barely living as it is. is it worth being clean from medications if i can’t leave the house? the thought of me holding a job is laughable. oh, how far i’ve fallen.

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