Posts Tagged ‘fibromyalgia’

I’ve debated what to do about this blog for the last year. I’ve told myself it’s because I am too busy to write – which is true to an extent. I’m too busy living. Too busy discovering. To busy finding myself in the most incredible and amazing places with amazing and incredible people.

I’ve found a world open to me that never was before.

And so I forget.

I forget who I used to be because I tell myself it’s irrelevant. That’s not who I am anymore. It’s not how I think about myself. My inner change has been reflected in how others perceive me and treat me and trust me. The respect I am shown is sometimes mind-blowing and I can’t wrap my mind around it so I don’t think about it too much.
I am hard with myself. I often feel like I don’t do enough or give enough of myself in work or in school, and then I have to run an inner dialog that goes something like ‘Remember, two years ago you could hardly walk. Two years ago you had never worked a real job. Two years ago the thought of volunteering someone a few hours a week to get out of the house was too overwhelming.’

And then I run a quick mental checklist of what I have accomplished:
Drug free
Living on my own halfway across the world
Recovered from chronic pain and mental illness
Working and studying full time
Learned a new language
Learned to have fun and let go
And I learned that men are human too

In my studies we spend a lot of time on inner reflection and exploration. Which can cause mini-breakdowns because you are ALWAYS with yourself in really intense and intimate ways.

Then the parts of me I’ve worked so hard to put aside suddenly rear up and I feel the huge disconnect. The things that I’ve done and that I’ve been through – things that made perfect sense to the drug and abuse induced fog I was under for so long – make zero sense to my now rational mind.

And I have no outlet for these feelings because no body knows the real details and I don’t really want to talk about it, because its not relevant, right?

But as a result of all of the inner reflection I’ve started to see the bigger picture, and started making sense of all the irrational things that happen. I can see, vaguely, how it got so bad. And in an irrational way, it makes perfect sense to me.

My memory comes and goes. Which I will always be thankful for, because it means when these inner clashes happen, I am not confronted with the full reality – just tiny bits and pieces, which after the initial shock and turmoil, I can begin to sort through.

One of the things I recently remembered was a conversation I had in a restaurant, years ago. I was in a restaurant with my ex. I remember the cold and darkness, not necessarily that it was winter and night, just the impression I get. It was probably after we went clubbing. I remember telling him that my suffering has a purpose.

And I remembered other instances as well, when those words would randomly fall from my lips with doctors, therapists, violent exes. I remember thinking it when was maybe 12 or 13. In a wheelchair, wanting to die, and drugged out of my mind.

Maybe thats why I never died, despite the effort I put into it, and despite the almost-successful attempt made on me by the same ex I said those words too.

Now more the ever I feel the truth of it. And though I have an almost paralyzing fear of people knowing,

I’ll continue writing.

I hate days when I end up craving the oblivion of narcotics and benzos. Today is a day when it feels like it’s all crashing around me. The last two-ish weeks have been really awesome. But without really thinking about it consciously, last night I crumbled beneath the weight of the fun. When I wonder when it’s all going to crash around me, it starts to.

When I start feeling guilty for making friends and having a life that is totally my own, I know how far I still have to go. When I feel trapped and cornered when the barriers are purely in my mind, it drives me even more insane.

So I break under the weight of small things, and the physical pain I’ve been experiencing and brushing aside for weeks flares with such intensity, I curse the stupidity of detoxing this year and wish I still had a bottle full of painkillers.

I napped over two hours this afternoon, a desperate attempt to ease my exhaustion and escape the pain for a while. Which worked while I was asleep, but now I can’t quite move. And not being able to move makes me panic. It means I am trapped.

And so the carousel continues to turn.

It’s the small realizations: how far I am from those I love, how foreign everything and everyone is here, how I still can’t, for the life of me, admit I feel like I’m dying from pain today. How innocent the other kids are here. And I realized yesterday that they really are kids, posing as badass miniadults. While I found it amusing and cute observing this, I can’t help but wonder at the badass stories of those who say nothing, but have the same half smile on their faces. And the thought I love most of all “what the fuck are you doing here, you’re just a whore”

Bleh.

Time to go lie in the grass to catch the dying rays of the sun.

Free choice. Something that I really didn’t have for most of my life. Whether it was from doctors, being overly medicated, being pushed into choices due to disability, to being dictated to by a multitude of abusers. One would argue I never had to make any real decisions of my own.

I say ‘sure‘ in response to most things. My ‘sure‘ is not an agreement, but neither is it a disagreement. It is a neutral yet polite and positive response to something I have not yet made my mind up about. And it may very well take me a long time to make my mind up, because I like knowing my choice comes directly from me. I dislike any hint of being pushed in a direction I am uncertain I want to go in.

However, sometimes it borders on ridiculous. I answer ‘sure‘ as if I still am somewhat expecting a violent reaction from others. Which, to be honest, I am. There is a tension still there when a decision to be made is directed to me.

And yes, it is a lot easier to just let someone else make a choice, and go along with it. Which is what I typically do. And which is what I can’t really do here in Israel, where people really know their own minds and voice it.

I’ve even been told that being here is good for me cause it’ll force me to learn to make choices for myself. Which I completely agree with. But it is a statement that also makes me feel very much like a child.

Meanwhile, it is my choice to be indecisive about a lot of things. I choose to take time to make my mind up about things.

I was thinking about this cause it’s been really hard and draining, the last several weeks. I had a moderate freakout which lead to a shared cigarette and buying makeup and earrings for the lobe piercings I retired long ago. Which really isn’t a big deal on the surface, but in my mind it was the first step back into oblivion.

However, smoking made me realize why I stopped in the first place (it’s really yuck. I had to decontaminate myself afterwards). And wearing makeup does not make me look like a whore. Nor do multiple earrings.

Which made me look at why I kept thinking like that, and realizing I’m still internalizing J’s abuse long after his exit from my life. I just figured he was right: I was a whore, therefore I looked like one. So I tried to eradicate any lingering ‘signs’ (weight, clothes, hair, appearance, everything). Which is ridiculous. And brings me back to choice. Perspective too, since anyone who is human could be a ‘whore’, and what does that word mean anyways? Cause it’s really not applicable to me, despite what I lived through (circling back to choice).

Anyways.

So I essentially said fuck you in my head, and hoped he got the message, wherever he is. And went late to class this morning just to put on some makeup.

I did my nails too.

🙂

I’m now almost a week in Israel. Which is awesome, and beautiful. And hot. Omg, the sweat. The heat sinks into your skin and clings to you, even in air-conditioned spaces. Worth it, totally. Even if I occasionally wonder why I thought it was a wonderful idea to come in the summer.

I think I’m finally getting the picture for God’s plan for me here. The earthly plan is for me to go to a kibbutz, study and work for a couple months. Which is not 100% precisely my idea of a vacation. BUT! I get why this is such a genius plan for me.

Basically, I need to know I’m capable. And I know, I really do know that I am a capable and functioning person now. This just throws me into life. Putting theory into practice. Cause that was a huge fear of mine for years — that I would forever be trapped in a drug addled mind only able to stare into space and act out in destructive ways.

I proved myself wrong on that front. But 1. I’ve never had a normal job. Was never capable of having one. 2. I tried and failed to go back to school. Several times. 3. I had no sense of worth.

The third point is the most important one. That’s taken care of.

Its the doing stuff that I (now) know in my mind I can do. I’m no longer functionally handicap (by which I mean I could pass, on occasion, for being like any other healthy person for short periods of time and a bit of creative thinking with what I said).

But being here, healthy, is weird. In a good way. But weird.

I went today to a village in the north to see some artwork. The same village where my family wanted to send me to ‘get better’. This was, like, 6 yrs ago. But they couldn’t deal with me. And I couldn’t even being to think of how I would deal with being around other people in a foreign country. I could barely leave my house. So that trip was spent pretty miserably. I thought I hid my rage well. I probably didn’t.

Last night, walking in the dark with my aunt, she asked me in a couple different ways what happened? how did I change? She came to visit my family 3 years ago. She pointed out that she could hardly talk to me, I was so out of it. Totally true. I also remember that at the time I put in massive effort to appear normal (functional). Also a fail.

It’s a really weird question to answer. What happened? I was raped again, moped around, and woke up.

Its the “woke up” part I have trouble explaining. I was made to be chemically brain dead by psychotropics and narcotics.

Yet, this is what I knew:

1. God was there while I was being raped. God loves me. God hates seeing me in pain. For once, I wasn’t angry at God.

2. My mind cleared once I realized I wasn’t angry. The zombie-making effect of the drugs left enough for me to really focus on and grasp the things I was compelled to research, some of which is somewhere on this blog in a rant. Something stuck, and pieces started falling together. I knew how fractured I was, and how, systemically, every part of my body and mind and spirit had been rapidly breaking down.

3. I finally found the will to live. This was different then my willingness to simply remain alive, and if I die… whatever. Everyone will be better off anyways, right? I began to burn with a desire to LIVE.

4. K, so, it took 6 weeks to detox. I was getting off everything at once, which was comparable to getting off herion and/or cocaine. And the psych-meds are supposed to take a couple years to totally leave the body before it’s able to rebalance itself. Six weeks. Seriously. At the same time I changed my diet, so I had the carb-flu at the same time. But I’m fine.

5. Really, God wasn’t there? How easy would it have been to give up, to go back to shit that would eventually kill me but that I was used to. This was before I managed to repair the fragmented parts of myself. Through the worst of my self-worthlessness, I’d remember almost dying, and God’s loving embrace. And the words that it’s not my time yet.

What happened?

Um. Transformation that has lead me here, to Israel. To accelerate an already rapid journey in becoming all that God intended.

{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 ❤