Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Part of My Story..."The Day I Found Hope"


Over at Beyond Meds, Gianna Kali has made it part of her mission to give voice to those who have found their way from "illness" to create their own life of "wellness".

And today I am honored to have part of my own story added to her rolls.

An excerpt from "The Day I Found Hope"...

In hindsight, the doctor who forced this washout of the psychotropic drugs I had been on for the fifteen years previous, had forgotten to tell me the physical, emotional and mental hell that I would go through for a long time in this withdrawal process as my body returned to a natural drug free state. A very long time.

Over the next two and a half years I would often wonder if withdrawing from psych drugs was similar to withdrawing from heroin or meth – but then decided this had to be much worse. If it was street drugs that had altered my body and brain for the past fifteen years I would have been able to go to a residential facility for up to a year perhaps. Instead, I was discharged after seven-day inpatient stay and told I was now diagnosed with yet another personality disorder and no longer needed the drugs. Seven days.

Seven days in which I had slept a total of about four hours as my body began the long process of learning to live without the drugs that I had been dependent on for sleep – but never had really worked as insomnia had become my norm almost immediately after entering the mental health system and starting the daily regimen of pills.

But – surprisingly at the time I wasn’t angry with him. In fact I was grateful.

You can read the entire article here

Warning: To abruptly stop taking psychotropic drugs is extremely dangerous and can at times be life threatening. To proceed with this process demands one be fully informed of both the process and the consequences. For more information about the withdrawal process go here.

Please read my disclaimer here.

To read more recovery stories go here and here.

2 comments:

Rebekah said...

Susan...thank you so much for sharing this! I especially like the analogy of withdrawal from street drugs and resources available for former addicts and those of us who have gone "off"
our psychotropic meds with no help whatsoever. Its such a valid point.

I knew that I would never find anyone who would accept me going "off" my meds (a psychiatrist or doctor or any other "health professional") so I did it on my own, I had stockpiled enough meds in enough different dosages over the years that I had the ability to wean myself off the meds slowly (about a quarter dose lower every month for several months) , without a doctors supervision (although I dont recommend this approach if you have any other choice...but I have very few mental health resources available and couldnt take another day of meds...so it was a last ditch effort on my part)

Its sad that we have to go to such lengths to take care of our own health and wellbeing because no one wants to listen to us if we are "crazy" or "mentally ill" and I had the personality disorders diagnosis, although they tried to give me more meds for those too...which made NO sense, and made me seriously distrust the medical profession.

Another thing the personality disorders did for me, was to infuriate me. I refused to be labeled "dependent" because I could very well take care of myself, I chose not to because it was easier to acquiesce to others than it was to risk rejection, or abuse, or constantly be afraid of them happening when you dont anticipate it.

So I finally got mad, and fought back. Its a long hard road, but I have come a long way, farther than I imagined I could even. So now I am med free (except for meds for ADHD...I tried going without those and life was extremely hard...so I figured I need those after all...but I had to force the doctors to even accept that diagnosis....they want to throw meds at you for what THEY "think you have" but refuse to listen if you say "I think I have this problem") and making big changes in my life, a little at a time...and Susan...you have been instrumental in that and I appreciate it immensely!!! Thank you and be well :)

Susan said...

Rebekah - Wow! What an amazing journey you have been on!

I'd have to agree that its difficult to find support when choosing to go this route. It would be nice if there was more transparency about what the paths that are available to us and the support in the choice that we make for ourselves vs the path that others choose for us.

I'm glad you've found that path for yourself, Rebekah!