{Let me just preface this by saying that this is my opinion only, and that I am only doing what is right for *me*. I am acting with the blessing and supervision of my therapist, and while I am not a professional, I spent a very long time researching to make sure that my thinking was heading in the right direction}

In the last several weeks I have been in the process of reducing and eliminating my medication with the hopes of becoming med-free for the first time in 14 years. Just to put those 14 years in perspective, I am 24 years old. I have been heavily medicated since I was ten.

A couple weeks ago, I was once again upset and resentful about being dependent upon chemical compounds (a feeling that overcomes me quite often). This time though, my thoughts took a different turn —

I started thinking about my development. It really hit me that I had been severely limited by the addition of heavy medications at 10, only to continue taking them for the next 14 years.

It started out because of an injury in school during gym class, a hockey puck to the knee. The swelling and bruising was normal. But the immense pain was not. Tests showed nothing. My doctor suggested I was “acting out” to keep from going to school. Other doctors suggested it was all in my head and that I needed psychiatric help.

Eight months went by before I had a firm diagnosis– that my pain was real, and I was not faking it.

Things continued to deteriorate– at school, I was ostrasized for being different. At home, I just shut myself up in my room and retreated. My parents took me to the “best experts” in the country….

At 10, I was declared clinically depressed due to the chronic pain, and thus suicidal. That I *needed* medication.

Typical of modern-day health care, no doctor ever really tried to get to know me, or figure out what was the cause of my pain (abuse). It was simply accepted as fact that pain made you depressed, and therefore, I was depressed.

I spent several months out of the next few years in hospital getting treatment. Meanwhile, my diet was abismal, consisting of hospital pizza and pasta. So of course my weight weight up, making me even more withdrawn and isolated.

To say nothing of the dehumanization of actually being in hospital.

Fast forward… I was 16, and deteriorating once again, after having a good year. On even more heavy medication. My first serious relationship has been going on for a year, and for a year I have been abused. Both my ex- and I were put on accutane at this time, and he became even more rageful and vengeful towards me, while I turned my anger inward and became completely unresponsive, almost catatonic. My parents brought me to emerg, and I was placed in psychiatric care for the summer.

This started a pattern. I learned hospitals were safe– even with “crazy” people. He could not touch me or harm me anymore while I was locked away. I felt better, I did a lot better. Of course, everyone continued to insist I was depressed (my habit of cutting did not help– again, turning my anger and rage inward).

Fast forward… My parents take me to visit various mental institutions, and there is talk of putting me away. Frankly, I’m not sure I care much. I never had freedom to begin with, so why would being locked away matter? At least I would be safe.

Fast forward… I am diagnosed as bipolar. Something I now believe was result of being placed on so much medication that ruined my gut and brain (plus the shitty diet, I think at this time, I was anorexic, and making sure I got less to eat then people in countries of famine– yes, I actually did the research). Finally, something broke and I became psychotic.

What I never mentioned to any “expert”, was all the abuse, and the abuse I was experiencing before, during, and after this psychosis. After all, it was my fault right? Boys will be boys, and all that crap…

Of course, the “experts” knew I was abused, that is the kicker. They could tell. Some pressed me on the subject, some mentioned it, trying to be subtle. But they all knew.

Fast forward… I am… 20? 21? I have attempted suicide yet again by overdosing on my pills, which I have failed to take for two weeks, having collected them instead. Oddly, while my mind is confused and muddled, it is no worse. I still overdosed. I was not trying to die. Never did I want any of my attempts to result in death. I just needed something to change. And I did not have the tools at the time to fix myself. So I did the only thing I could think of to get to a safe place and recollect.

In psych wards, I was always polite, well behaved, and friendly. I was being looked after and safe. That made me happy.

Anyways, my mental health is not something I like to discuss normally. I realize how my actions looked from the outside looking in. I acted like someone with a serious brain imbalance.

The last several months I have been doing a bunch of research… I have been compiling evidence that someone like me can be healed through proper nutrition (orthomolecular medicine). But since it is only me compelling me to act, and no one else helping me out, I had to actually implement change on my own.

Change happens in an instant, but getting to the momentous shift can take forever with the thinking and hesitating, and analyzing.

On sept 25th, I was raped again. And I used that as a catalyst to change.

I forced my brain to focus on what I was researching. To assimilate the knowledge I was reading and to actually process it. Finally, it started sinking in. And my thoughts, which would usually peter out if getting too complex, actually clicked. The cycle I am in is killing me, my health is failing me, and my quality of life sucks.

So I did an overhaul, I revamped my diet first, started getting more fresh air, put things into play to ensure that I slept at night peacefully. I created a good support system around me. I really opened up to my therapist. I got better.

I started questioning my diagnosis. I’ve long accepted that my fibromyalgia pain is my body’s result to trauma. But could the bipolar be as well? I did more digging.

I found out about damaged gut flora, and how it can create physical and mental problems within the body that can manifest as both fibro and bipolar. (google “GAPS”– gut and psychology symdrome).

I started to believe that my symptoms were a result of nutritional defitency. That my mental state was the result of long-term heavy drugs used to control mood. The side effects sometimes “create” illnesses like bipolar. I also learned that my painkillers could be making my pain worse. I also feel like the real source of all problems is trauma. Help the trauma and I help myself.

Everything built up until I decided to simply wean off. I informed my psychiatrist, told my general practitioner, and explained in depth to my therapist, who completely understands, and is amazed at the progress I have been making.

A week and half ago, I started tapering off oxycontin. Yup, same stuff that people sell in the street, snort, crush, get high off of. I’ve been on it for at least the last 10 years.

I am now on day 3, being completely and utterly medication free. Here are my observations about myself:

I am at peace. My mood disregulation is gone. My complex- PTSD symptoms have all calmed down. I smile randomly throughout the day. My mind is clear. I am capable of complex thought process in a way I never have been before. There is a spring in my step, where as before, I walked about as fast as my cane-using 80 something yr old grandmother. I feel a desire to do things I have not done in forever, or have been too triggered to do (like listening to music).

I actually feel hope for the future. Trying to start a business while being unwell just was not feasible. I’ve now come to discover just how bogged down my brain was due to medication– I could not function as a “normal” person– no focus, no concentration… I have drive, but had little motivation to propel me into action.

I have an appt set up with my p.doc this week, and I hope I sound coherent when I explain my reasons for getting off meds. He has always taken the stance that taking them is up to me, and only me. But it would be nice to have his support, like I do my therapist. I am also doing a 17wk group therapy for abuse survivors. I am doing BodyTalk, where I am connecting mind to body, which is helping me heal in leaps and bounds, instead of tiny baby steps. I have an appt this week too with a naturopath, with whom I hope will guide me in the correct direction regarding supplementation, and diagnostic testing (I suspect some hormones might be out of balance, possibly candida…which of course contributes to the mess my body is in). It’s a lot of specialists I have been committed to seeing, but I figure if I do the work now, I will benefit sooner, and for longer.

I am still in detox from oxy, but the worst is over. The miserableness of the last week and a half has lessened to mild unpleasantness. It is thrilling, because my baseline pain levels are lower then normal.

Stay safe ❤

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Comments
  1. Carla Viegas says:

    My God, what a journey, and what courage… Incredible story, brilliantly written, all the signs of a talented and sharp mind. All the best with your journey back to wholeness and health. 🙂 xxx

  2. James Claims says:

    Best wishes on going med free. It’s something I wish I could do. The closest I’ll come is going down to just lithium, but probably back up from that since I have psychotic manias and crippling depressions.

    • sweetsiren69 says:

      🙂 thanks. So far it’s going great– now going on 6 days med-free! A book that might interest you– The UltraMind Solution by Mark Hyman, m.d.– about how to “fix” broken brains, looking at the body/mind as a whole entity. Very interesting stuff. Best of luck 🙂

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