Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I have no mouth and I must scream

Today started out like any other day. Blue sky, not a cloud. Humidity down a bit. I couldn't sleep last night, but that is not unusual.

Then the emails. Then the phone calls. People who love me, yes, they do I know they do. But don't understand me, what I have been through and what I am doing.

All I can say is I am taking steps to take back my life. They are not popular. it's causing pain.

To everyone.

Back in 98, I quit my meds, all my meds and for a period of about 6 months I thought I was fine. Perhaps I was. Perhaps I wasn't.

I was only on lithium, and I was between pdocs.

Someone in the news room said something about Beepers after Phil Hartman was murdered and the story was breaking and we were watching it break in real time.

In hindsight I should have gone to HR and made a complaint about this person.

Went to my parents house for supper, I was upset. In a previous lifetime I did voice work and knew some of the people who worked on The Simpsons.

The next day I called the pdoc and was back on Lithium that evening, as well as an anti depressant. I cannot recall if it was Paxil or Zoloft.

Flash forward about a fortnight.

My mother stood by the kitchen sink, scraping the skin off of potatoes for supper. She looked at me and said "I have my daughter back", Then the threat- if you ever go off your meds again, so help me I will do X Y and Z to you".

This was back?? I had cotton mouth. My brain felt like it was swabbed in cotton, I found it hard to string a coherent sentence together in the right time. I couldn't find the right words to express what I was feeling, and said umm a lot. I didn't ponder, I didn't day dream. I felt cow heavy from the lithium and the water retention that comes with it. I couldn't watch TV and I couldn't read or write. Doing these things were like climbing Mt. Everest to me. The poet/philosopher was dead. Dead and gone lady dead and gone.....

But I was a good girl and wanted to make everyone happy. By doing this I had an idea that I needed the lithium to control the mood swings, and keep me on an even keel. But the other, it was destroying my soul, it was destroying who I was. It was destroying ME, my essence and spirit.

I swallowed the meds and tried to be a good girl. I held down a job, made a nice salary, got my writing chops again, started 2 more novels over the next 10 years. But weekends I would just stay in bed and sleep for 18 hours a day, I was that tired. People made me tired, and I needed to avoid them at all costs. I wasn't alive anymore. The girl who existed in school, even in college who would play in the snow, run outside to look at rainbows, play midnight golf on the golf course and jump into the pool there and skinny dip, she was gone. I couldn't look at the stars anymore. That was heaven and my body was trapped in a hell on earth.

One set of great grandparents left a country under Nicholas and Alexandra because they wanted freedom, and America was the best place in the world to be free. I wasn't free. My body was, my brain wasn't. It was under a Tsar of my own making.

They say fake it til you make it in AA. I did that. That was my life. Keep swallowing those pills and everyone is happy.

Don't question. Doctors know best.

It didn't matter that doctors have almost killed me back in 85 when I had Lymes, and this past Spring with Haldol. They saved my life when I was born and should have died. Somehow that balanced out the other one (now two) on the Karma scale.

And now I am still that scared little girl. My brain is clearer than it's been in over a decade. I know that. The poet/philosopher that was me is back. At what price?

this price? It's too high on a lot of levels. It's too caustic, emotionally and physically.

"The curse is on me", said the Lady of Shallot as she left her tower and tried to row across the river.

The curse. The mark of Cain, the dreaded bipolar label and all it entails and is. The curse is on my brain.

I am swallowing hard to stay afloat. What I thirst for is 30 proof.

All I can do is sit on the couch, under the picture of Wheatfield with Crows and wait for the sun to rise. And pray that this new day is better than the day that went before it.


jessi said...

"Then the emails. Then the phone calls. People who love me, yes, they do I know they do. But don't understand me, what I have been through and what I am doing."

I hope that does not refer to the mail I sent you! If so, just let me know...

Sometimes it's hard to find the right words.

I think I hear your scream though...

love, jessi

susan said...

No no no Jessi.

The emails were not from you. Never from you.

justana said...

I remember Phil Hartman death. It was a shock.
Reading you I feel empathy. You touch me so deep that I don't know what to say.
It only comes to my mind that I understand you and damn... life is unfair.

susan said...


I am deeply touched. Yes the guy next to my desk in the newsroom made a nasty comment about Mrs. Hartman and her meds and it hurt me deeply.

I think we were all in shock though, and I will give him the benefit of the doubt it was said in shock.

sara said...

Is that a Harlan Ellison reference?

susan said...

Hi Sara, yes it was! But it is a great title though.

I just added you to my blogroll. Thanks for visiting!

Paxil Prescription Medication said...

My name is Michael Smith and i would like to show you my personal experience with Paxil.

I am 40 years old. Have been on Paxil for 5 years now. Please be careful if coming off, i started to wean myself with out doctors help couldnt afford it. I went from 20 mgs to 10 mgs for a month, then 10 mgs to 5 mgs for a month. Because the 20 mgs were way to strong took 20 for 5 years and was always on edge. After about 1 month on 10 felt a little better. I stopped for 7 days completly and man did I feel like shit man I didn’t want to leave the house , shop! I just started back on 5 mgs to get it back in my system. Who know what is the right amount you have to be the test subject on yourself!

I have experienced some of these side effects-
Headaches, tremors, emotional wreck, just the blah's when I 1st started takin wasnt bad, cause I also way taken klonopin.

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Michael Smith

susan said...

@Michael Smith- thank you for the information. It was very topical and i greatly appreciate it. Thank you also for finding my blog.

I am sorry you went through hell with Paxil, but please know you aren't alone with this, I know many other people who have gone through hell with Paxil and other psychiatric drugs.

Stay in touch.



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