Friday, November 12, 2010


Winter 2005

I am told that during that time I was a bit of a zombie. I was using a medication created for people who have seizures for the management of the neuropathic pain that was de-railing my life. It was an uncomfortable feeling knowing that I could not just stop taking it. While I was assured that it was a physiological addiction and not a psychological addiction, it seemed to not make much difference to me since I had no control over how I was able to stop taking it.

I made the effort to do some reading and I found a message board that included people sharing their experiences with taking this certain medication. I did find one person's posting about his adverse reaction to the same medication that I was struggling with.  I was gratified to find that I was not the only person in the world who experienced these difficulties with this drug. When I read what the people were writing about what had happened to them it made me feel validated. When I read the horrible experiences people were reporting, all things they chose to attribute to changes in them as a result of the drug, I began to see that I was falling into similar patterns of behavior and that it would only be a matter of time before my choices could potentially become my undoing. I had no choice, I had to figure a way to get off this medicine.

As it has come to be the way with me, traditional pathways of seeking care seemed to never work well. I found myself talking to my dear friend, a doctor who suffered the hard way on a path to discovering a new focus of practice for people with addictions, about my situation. I found it amazing that in order for someone practicing medicine to actually pay attention to my pleas for help with my problem, I had to gather information from a doctor who currently could not practice medicine, learn all I could from him, and change a doctor's mind before anyone would hear what I wanted to propose in order to withdraw from the drug. I was finally hopeful when I found a new doctor and she began to write prescriptions that made sense for a more subtle tapering. I can remember taking smaller doses over the weeks while I had no choice but to endure detox. My body held on to this drug as a toxin and while I was tapering down with doses delivered by an eyedropper onto my tongue all I could think of was being free from it.  I tried hard to keep this end in mind while I suffered through the weeks of low level neurological torture. I had issues with memory, cognition and word finding. I had issues with reasoning and logic and decision-making. I was feeling relentless low-level electro-neurological torture as my entire body tingled, buzzed and crackled with no relief or end in sight. The pain was unreal. The confusion was worse.

I admit this was a shaky time for me. I clung to my Dr. Steve who never once took his mind or attention off of me. I remember now asking him when all of this was going to stop. He said. "When it does". My body burned for weeks after my last dose of the medication. Finally, one morning I noticed a calm in my body that I did not recognize. I had finally done it.  The experience had taken its toll though, and I would not realize for years just how difficult the rebuilding was going to be. I met my second former husband while I was taking  then detoxing from that drug. Looking back I think that may truly explain how the whole thing worked out.

Looking back I realized that I had no idea anymore who I really was because I could not remember anything of my self from my past.  Getting rid of that toxin was only the first step.  I was an exhausted, defeated woman in pain. I chose that time in life to begin a serious relationship with a man. That turned out to be the third biggest mistake I ever made.

1 comment:

  1. I have never been through anything as extreme as this, but in the decade that I have been on medication I have experienced many of the things you describe. It is truly an awful and frightening thing to have your life, your mind, and your well-being so completely at the mercy of an impersonal force you may dimly understand at best. Thank you for sharing the story of how you found your way back.