Still working stuff out…
I haven’t really worked out what this blog is for yet. I’ve not settled into a rhythm as such. Until I do, I guess one thing I can do is talk about the way my medication is affecting me.
This, I suppose, is quite apt — I still haven’t really worked out what my meds are for either. I know that medication is not the answer to mental health problems. I know that they alone will not ‘fix’ me.
I am relatively stable at the moment. Sort of. I’ll explain why ‘sort of’ in a second. What I’m saying is that I’m at a point where my mood has stopped being quite so all over the place. It has plateaued, if you will. The problem I’m having though is that it has stabilised out at what I’ll call a low level of depression.
This has caused me to think a lot over the last few weeks, and in that time I keep coming back to three differing thoughts:
- I’m actually ‘supposed’ to be like this. The medication is working, and my current mood is all I’ll ever be entitled to.
- I’ve progressed as far as medication will get me, and its up to me now to change something else in my life to properly ‘heal’. Whether that’s therapy or whatever.
- These particular meds simply aren’t doing what they are supposed to, and I need to change them to something else.
These are my main thoughts about my situation. They worry me for a number of reasons, but perhaps most predominant of these worries is that I will have to change something. As I said, I’m ‘stable’ — that is as good a description as I can think of. I’m not in a position where I want to talk to anyone about how I feel, and I really don’t want to have to go through the chemical stresses of changing my medication (every time I’ve changed medication I’ve gone through weeks of feeling like complete crap).
I’m in a bit of a bind though. I’m currently on a repeat prescription, so I can keep taking them without consulting my doctor until a pre-determined time. That predetermined time is the middle of March. I’ve been on these drugs for a while now, so the doc will want to start to talk about weaning my off.
I mentioned a bind. There are two problems. The first is that I’ve been… erratic, shall we say, with actually taking the pills. The last time I renewed my prescription it should have lasted me until the end of February. In fact, I’ll actually run out of pills at the end of this week. So, in order to maintain this level of ‘chemical stability’ (such as it is), I’ll need to renew early, which — I imagine — will be a warning flag to my GP.
But the thing is I don’t even know that these meds are doing anything. When I say I’ve been erratic with taking them I’ve gone days without taking them — sometimes a week — and then double-dosed in other cases. A short while ago I took a week and a half’s worth of pills at once. Broadly speaking, I’ve felt no change at all.
I suppose there is a conversation, perhaps, to be had about the erraticness of my dosing; maybe I’m not feeling any better because I’m not taking the pills as prescribed, maybe the fact that I recently overdosed is actually a very real symptom that something isn’t right, maybe the consistent insomnia despite the fact these pills are supposed to help me sleep as well is something to talk about.
(Incidentally, the most recent overdose — which, in case you were wondering, is a different overdose to the last one I mentioned — was a frustrated reaction to a bunch of things, underlined by the aforementioned insomnia. I had been drinking and knew that alcohol + mirtazepene = sleep. It worked, I was out cold for nearly 15 hours of blissful, dreamless sleep. I did feel like complete shit for about 3 days afterwards though — my head was fuzzy, I was uncharacteristically clumsy, and — ironically — I couldn’t sleep.)
I mentioned there were two problems to my bind. You see, even if none of the above was true — if I had been taking my pills consistently, one a night every night, for the last few months — I would still have to have a conversation come March about what I want to do.
I can’t stay on these drugs indefinitely — certainly not without also being in therapy. But I’ve been too stable for too long now, realistically, to start switching things up.
Of course, what I should do is tell my doctor the truth. I should tell her that I’m struggling. I should tell her that I’ve — whether consciously understanding what I was doing or not — effectively attempted suicide twice in the last 3 months. I should just explain to her that I have a very real and (to my mind at least) justifiable fear about expressing how I feel to people, and that therapy is really, really, really not something that I want to even consider. I should just explain these things to her, and then trust that her many years of medical training will provide an answer.
It is like a lot of stable things though — I don’t want to change too much for fear of changing everything.
Better the devil you know, and all that…