Coming Down Again

Nothing is ever as it seems & no one is ever fully who they claim to be.

I know that I have so far been very serious in this blog. That was/is my intention. But sometimes, I just have to talk about myself, mostly because I made the promise to myself that I would no longer be such a “talker” & keep more of my inner thoughts to myself, and not irritate the people around me. So……

I’m a thinker….it just happens. Trust me, if I could turn it off, I would IMMEDIATELY! Today I noticed how dirty, dusty & just kinda gross my apartment is. Ok, I noticed it before today, but I guess I decided to care today. I spent the first couple hours after I woke up thinking about possibly cleaning up a bit. I managed somehow to get the clean clothes out of the laundry basket that have sat there for at least a week & a half, since I last did laundry. I threw them on my bed, so I could put all the dirty clothes & such that had accumulated around my bedroom & closet floor into the basket. Then I actually forced myself to put some of the clean clothes away, the easy ones. I don’t have a dresser. I have a good size walk in closet, with 2 of those hang off the rod shelf thingy’s from Ikea. I shove my stuff that isn’t hung in there. It’s pretty overstuffed. I like clothes, hats, jackets, shoes, boots, scarves….but I don’t really feel like organizing any of it. I haven’t desired to do so since I moved into this apartment.

I like this place, I do. But what it represents to me is falling down. That makes me sad. I have always had a problem having to start over, maybe because it happens to me/I do it to myself so often. I’m tired. Tired of losing everything. Tired of sleeping in a bed I got off Freecycle, laying on the floor without a frame. Tired of beating myself up for something that would go away if I just stopped! I’m tired of being mediocre.

After I shifted the clothes around the bed & put some of them away I decided I really needed to sweep the place. I am pretty sure it’s been at least 3-4 weeks since I did the whole thing. So, I swept the floor. Oddly enough, I didn’t bother with the bathroom, which was the same thing I did last time I swept. It either slipped my mind or I just didn’t care, I don’t know which. Just a few minutes ago, I had to go into the bathroom, for obvious reasons, when I noticed that the floor needed to be swept, so I did it, but I didn’t move the rugs or the garbage can. I just feel so lazy & not in the mood to clean. I hate that I feel like that, because the even stranger fact than me being a slob  is that in my mind, I’m a neat freak. I like everything to be clean, tidy & in its place. I used to always clean my place on a regular basis, no less than every 2 weeks & that’s full cleans. Sweeping, mopping, vacuuming (if it applied) dusting, cleaning thoroughly both the bathroom & kitchen. I didn’t leave clothes lying around, everything was put away & I made my bed daily. Now…

I may be giving off a vision of me living in filth. That isn’t the case. The place is clean, it’s just…

It could really use a thorough cleaning, I just don’t want to do it. This goes along with me waking up everyday not wanting to go to my waitressing job that I should actually be grateful to have. I sit in front of this computer, look for work in Promotions & Marketing, apply when I find something, I write my blog, I do research for it, I Tweet stupid, pointless shit for no reason for hours sometimes, just to get some of this shit out of my head. At least the insomnia seems to have subsided. The memory loss…..still here. I’m afraid to go to the doctor, not because I think I have some illness or disease, but I am afraid he is gonna want to put me on some sort of medication to “help” with the anxiety, the insomnia, the memory loss. So, here’s the problem with that…another confession. 3 years ago, I finally sought help for the anxiety I had allowed myself to suffer for as long as I can remember. The doctor put me on 2 medications; Paxil for “daily maintenance” of the anxiety & Xanax for “moments of attacks”. To be honest, I had been prescribed Xanax 2 years earlier & it worked wonders for me. More on that in a bit. I gave myself a 1 year goal to allow this medication to take the edge off, so I could learn & put into practice practical ways of controlling my anxiety, and not allowing it to control me. I make it very clear that I am against drugs, including “legal” ones. This was my biggest obstacle when deciding to start meds. Ok….we’ll start with Paxil. What it did for me initially was allow me to see my life more clearly than I had before. It let me see that I was in an incredibly unhealthy relationship with a man who did not love me, respect me, or like me in all honesty. He was also a heroin addict, claiming to be clean, but secretly using, as well as putting my health at risk by sleeping with multiple partners without my knowledge, both men & women. I am so lucky to have walked away from that healthy & clean of disease! This medication also allowed me the confidence to start overcoming each of my greatest fears one by one, starting with getting on an airplane. Doing this led me to my dream career that I have been SO in love with ever since, even though I am struggling to find work in this economy & due to some personal mistakes that have tarnished my reputation in some circles. Then, what Paxil gave me was 25 extra pounds & the loss of my ability to have an orgasm, which put together, or even separately, is kinda depressing. I ended up on Paxil for a year & a half, mostly due to my touring schedule. When I had some down time, I came back to Detroit to meet with my doctor to discuss changing medication. He had told me that he felt the previous doctor was mistaken in the first place to even put me on Paxil & that he wanted me to try Lexapro, which supposedly helped one lose weight, and not gain & also give me back my orgasm. I did regain the orgasm, but then found out that taking Lexapro caused a person to gain more weight than even Paxil. Look, I was never one to worry about my weight during my entire life. If anything, I was underweight, which most of my life was just nature, but there were times when I didn’t eat on purpose, or other times, when I was in my early 20’s & a drunk, where I would purge nightly, so I could sleep without the spins. I also found myself not eating during times of extreme sadness & pain. Anyway, the Lexapro was a bad idea. I went back to the doctor, AGAIN, after only a few months, where we discussed the option of Wellbutrin, which had the added bonus of helping me quit smoking (HA!) I began the process of weaning off Lexapro & starting the Wellbutrin. The withdrawal symptoms of Lexapro are nightmarish to put it lightly. I felt as if I was having a stroke for 3-5 seconds every 10 minutes for 2 weeks. It felt as though a zap of electricity was being shot through my brain & at times it would just freeze all together & stop working. I was SO glad when I got past that & will NEVER take another of that type of medication again.

The Wellbutrin I have now been on for about a year & honestly, what I do notice is that while it does calm me, it is stealing my memory. I don’t know why this is. There are things that happen that I have NO recollection of, like a friend of mine visiting my new apartment & I still can’t remember her being here. I started crying when she told me. I forget all the time & having been someone with a photographic memory, it’s frightening. I understand a bit better now my friend Tony’s Traumatic Brain Injury received in a car accident 3 years ago. I understand people with Dementia, I understand people with beginning stage Alzheimer’s, I understand my dad a lot better, who has never had a good memory. I don’t like it. It scares me & I fear that it’s irreversible. I have an appointment with a new doctor tomorrow to see what other options I have to deal with this anxiety/medication bullshit.

I mentioned that I would get more into the Xanax, so here it is. This is the only drug/medication that takes away the anxiety completely. It is the only one that helps me feel normal, where before I was frightened, in a panic & always ready to leave any social situation, there were even a few instances of agoraphobia, where I couldn’t leave the house. I started living again. I did, however, use it as a crutch for a time. It’s hard to admit, because I’m such a fanatic about drug abuse of any kind. When I was trying to figure out what I was doing in this relationship I mentioned above, I spent a month in Florida with a friend. During that time, I must admit here that I began living off of Xanax, chocolate milk & rice. I dropped down to 116 pounds & was very weak. I have gotten this under control in the 4 years since & do monitor my usage very closely, even making it a point to not take it all for weeks at a time. It’s so hard for me, because this is the one thing that I have found that works for me 100%. I feel guilt for continuing to use Xanax, but have spoken to doctors & friends about it & now know the signs that tell me if I’m relying on it too much. I know how to wait to take it, how to push myself to not take any, even when I am feeling anxious. This is the reason I continue to take it.

I can with complete & total honesty say that if & hopefully when I find a non-drug way to control my anxiety, I will beall over it! I just have not found that as of yet. I wouldn’t be writing this if I felt I was an addict in denial. I know the signs, I have lived periods of my life numb, I have been surrounded by addicts my entire life. I would stop taking Xanax IMMEDIATELY if I felt it was taking control of my life. I won’t allow it. I am not an abuser, I take my medication as directed. I have for 3 years now. I promise myself, everyone who loves me & anyone out there following this blog that if I feel or see a change in my behavior or intake, I will stop & seek help. I can say this with confidence because I am a woman of my word.

So, there ya have it folks, yet another confession or two lifting even more weight off my chest, allowing me to breathe even better. It feels great. I do have concerns that some will find me to be a hypocrite because I take Xanax for anxiety, but I can say with all honesty & confidence that is not the case. This is one of the reasons I am fighting this battle, so that people like myself who are truly helped by & use this medication properly will not be stigmatized by the epidemic of abusers.



Filed under Life, Opinions, Real Life, Writing

2 responses to “Coming Down Again

  1. Syl

    Jenn, I suffer from clinical depression, and will take an anti depressant for the rest of my life and that’s fine. I also take lorazapam for anxiety and panic and I’m okay with that. I think as long as we take our meds as prescribed and we, as well, as our doctor, knows about our addictive personalities, this is what we have to do. I’m in a position now, having worked at my job 35 years and with new bosses and hating it. I get incredibly bad migraines and have missed a lot of work. I’m too young to retire and I need insurance; so I’m looking at alternatives. I know how you feel. I’m like you, sometimes I just can’t stop thinking.
    But we are going to be okay…right?….we are truly blessed to get up every day with hope and love. XXX

  2. We are going to be ok, yes. I believe that!

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