I’ve been in a zombie headed fog for the past few weeks. Hence, no blogging, no writing, no creativity and yes, no sleep. It’s been hell. And now I’m here to tell you about the horrors of anxiety meds. You guessed it, they were brewed in the pharmacy of hell, WrongAide.
This was me the other night, lying in bed. My brow was clenched in a slight headache, I was grinding my teeth, my jaw was clenched, my legs were fidgety, I kept playing with my hair and my thoughts were a crazy repeating unable to concentrate mess. I was topic hopping in a circular maddening way and I was twitchy. I had the DT’s, I couldn’t stop and as it occurred to me, I wanted to scream. And big surprise, I couldn’t sleep. But I wasn’t anxious. I was tweaked out on anxiety meds. So all the symptoms that might occur while you were anxious, trying to sleep, were occurring because of the supposed cure.
As I tend to do, I started getting pissed because this had been going on since I got on meds. Every night was a battle to sleep. And I freaking love sleep. Don’t mess with it, or I will smack you down (meds, I mean you!). So after about 6 weeks of getting substandard sleep EVERY NIGHT (I can’t stress that enough) which involved lying awake for hours before finally falling asleep, usually with the final straw aid of over the counter sleeping aides, I would wake at 2:30 and proceed to be awake for a couple more hours. And the sleep I did get was filled with dreams and the next day I felt like hell, a walking, talking, half-functioning zombie who wasn’t interested in any of her passions. I was passionless, a drone who didn’t give a shit about anything at all and I think I was depressed too.
So you can imagine my state of being after 6 weeks of this. So I decided to cut my meds in half. I was already on the lowest dose, but I started taking half. Now here’s the surprising part that proves my theory of anxiety meds being straight from the devil, I could sleep the very next night. I started doing my normal thing…I wrote blog posts in my mind before I finally nodded off to sleep and I stayed asleep. The dreams were still pretty vivid, but at least I got a full night’s sleep. The change was immediate. I had a slight desire to write. I felt okay. I wasn’t an uncaring depressed mess.
The other half of this equation is of course my Endometriosis which also seems to drain me of energy. So the last thing I need while fighting off my endo (which has been painful for the past 3+ weeks) is to be receiving a substandard sleep allotment every night. So despite my best efforts to “cure” my anxiety (there’s never a real cure, not with meds anyway) I have realized that the cost of the cure (which is never a 100% cure anyway, only a lessening of everyday anxiety while keeping my anxiety at my trigger situations) was far far too high.
Being able to see the me of the past 6 months against the me on meds as a direct contrast was an interesting experiment and one that I thought I’d stick with because I knew I had some anxiety inducing things coming up in my life. However I was miserable. I wasn’t myself. My thoughts were strange, I couldn’t concentrate on writing or stories, I had adopted weird twitches and a constant clench in my forehead that felt like a headache and I didn’t want to think about anything but mindlessly escaping who I was in consumerism of books and TV. I was a different person.
Right now I’m still on the half dose of meds. I have yet to find out whether the half dose does anything for my anxiety. As of now, I feel pretty calm but I’ve only experienced regular everyday life and the meds never helped with my trigger situations anyway. So I’m still unsure if I’m going to stop taking the meds all together or continue on the half dose. It could be the best of both worlds to be on the half dose at least for a few more months, or it might not be worth it at all. Either way, I know the truth now. I don’t like me on meds and they don’t end up being worth it. They were helpful while going through a stressful situation like surgery, but for the long term, shit’s not cool.
I know life is more difficult on a minute by minute basis while off meds, but I get to be me, someone who is passionate about writing and I get to sleep. There’s nothing better than a good night’s sleep. It is in fact one of the necessities of living a calmer life. How can you fight endo or anxiety when you’re exhausted every single day? You can’t. Meds changed me into a stranger. I don’t want to be that stranger even if it means I can do more things. And I don’t want to be some kind of twitchy uncaring mess.