Saturday, 25 July 2015

Falling onto the bandwagon

The past couple of years have been tedious. And stupid.

I stopped treatment a while back, stopped going to my psychiatrist (didn't help that he was arrested for sexual assault), stopped taking my meds, stopped going to therapy, stopped everything. I guess for a time I thought I didn't need it, I guess I thought I was as normal as anyone on the street, that however, isn't saying much.

I was wrong. So very, stupidly insanely wrong.

I never stopped having episodes of panic and anxiety, I never stopped fearing opening the mail for fears of what lay within. Everyday was a constant battle just to get through the day, and in most cases I won the battle. Most days were mundane and routine in that I'd get up, kill the internet, do some chores, go for a walk, talk to people, the everyday ordinary crap we all do. But every so often the little evil voice in my head told me I needed to be curled up in a ball on the couch, cowering and shivering like a scared child. That evil voice dictated terms to my life about every second week. A painful reminder of the illness that consumes me.

Most times I dealt with the issues the ways I'd learned from therapy. I'd self-talk, engage in breathing exercises, focal point exercises, and the rest. These techniques work well, but invarariably I end up asleep on the couch, usually for at least an hour, as the physical toll from these attacks took hold. They're exhausting to say the least, fucking annoying to say the most.

But no meds. Last October I stopped taking them. This decision, whether good or not, was made for several reasons, the primary of which is that I felt like a drugged zombie. I took at least 12 pills a day to handle everything from anxiety and depression, to mood stabilizing, which is essentially a pill to keep me from doing something stupid, like running down the street naked yelling I'm the President! Vote for me!

It worked for a while. The cobwebs cleared a little, and I had days of wonderful monotenous civility. Other days, not so much. I know I need to be back on something, being unmedicated and unsupervised for so long are dangerous. Three days ago it happened. I got stupid. And I seriously regret it. After the incident I immediately realized my folly, and lay crying on the kitchen floor, almost hyperventalating. Extreme thoughts went through my mind, every emotion possible, from anger (at myself) to despair. I was cooked. I'd done it, I'd hit bottom.

I immediately decided to put an end to this. I need to get back on the bandwagon and get back to where I was. I made calls, visited a crisis councillor, and made appointments. I also stepped up the efforts to get a new psychiatrist. I need to fix the damage I caused before it gets any worse.

One problem with a mentally unstable person is situational. If a person is not comfortable with the situation they're in, things will get worse. For that reason I must exercise, get out, talk to people, engage in activities, just simply do stuff. Stuff is good. Stuff keeps me grounded. Over the past couple years I have tried different stuff, I taught myself web design, I volunteered my services to different places, did some home repairs, just stuff. But I don't see it working as I'm still having powerful and painful episodes. Yes, ok, I'm not on meds, I know that will help, but so will stuff. I think the problem lies in the fact that I'm not doing stuff I want to do, productive, thought provoking, inspiring stuff, stuff I want to do, not have to do.

I'm opening my horizons to this idea now, I feel the need to look outside my self-imposed comfort zone and grab onto new opportunities. Opportunities are not coming to me, so I will chase them. I have no idea where that chase will lead, and frankly the whole idea kinda scares me because these walls have become a sanctuary as much as a prison. Stepping out the door and doing something I'm not familiar with or uncomfortable with scares the crap out of me, but I feel I must take that challenge on. I won't kick this issue, ever. It's with me for life, but I have to change the way in which I manage my own condition. Only with a new outlook and new challenges will I completely round out my treatment.

There are three important elements to any mental health treatment regimen; 1, Medication 2, Therapy (group or solo) and 3, Self-help. Number three is the most difficult and most important. Any person suffering from this must take ownership and do things for themselves, in whatever capacity is possible. Whether it be community centre oriented activities, exercise, work, coping strategies, hobbies, it doesn't matter. Whatever works. There's the problem with me, (on top of the fact that I started ignoring 1 and 2); I haven't found what works for me. I need to explore possibilities, I need to try and if need be, fail. But I won't know what works until I try. That very idea, scares the hell out of me. I started this morning. I started by pouring a coffee, and staring out the window imagining the big beautiful world outside. I imagined what's there, and put myself into a mindset of "Just find it".

I need to fall back onto the bandwagon, for I will not let this beat me. I will beat it.

Let's see where I end up.


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