Sunday, February 3, 2008

I'm throwing away my meds..... I move into Acceptance. Acceptance of what I cannot change.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross made a name for herself by describing the "five stages of grief" most of us go through when confronting a loss. They are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and finally Acceptance. I've run the gamet - and have thrown a few more in there as well - like Fear and Guilt and Anxiety.

Acceptance can be tricky. Just when you think you 've reached that state, you turn around to discover you've been fooled. All along it was really suppressed Anger or Depression or Resignation in disguise.

About 4 years ago I thought I was moving into Acceptance.
I wasn't.
I was stuck in Resignation.

Acceptance feels mellow. An agreement of some sort. The fight is over. Your body relaxes. You come to an understanding somewhere in your bones that this situation will not change. So you do what you have to, and then you move on.

Resignation feels different. An uneasy feeling pervades your body. There's an uncomfortable heaviness that you try to ignore. You've surrendered to this battle, lulled for the moment. But the war is not over yet. And your Anger is buried so deep you think it's gone.

When it became obvious that I was still in fighting mode and nowhere near Acceptance, I decided to get a little help in the form of Effexor (an SSRI), to calm my jittery nerves and help me sleep. It worked in the beginning, and I thought I was "handling things pretty well" for a while.

However, after a year or more, I became aware of some bizarre muscle spasms. And an internal poke or a nudge, telling me to get off this stuff!!

So I did. It wasn't fun. Definitely not something I'd want to do again.

The insomnia returned. I was prescribed Ativan to take at bedtime. It worked.

Not long afterwards, I decided to add a little HRT (hormone replacement therapy). It would certainly relieve the hot flashes and hopefully get rid of some mood swings as well.

Deep down in my gut, I knew that my physical and emotional symptoms were the result of my brain trying to grasp and assimilate my husband's illness, our changed lifestyle and ultimately his End. This stuff was not negotiable. There was nothing I could do to change it.

But now, today, February 2008 I have had enough of "crutches". I have decided I need to stand on my own two feet again and let those medications go.

"Why on Earth do you want to stop your pills?" says my druggie sister.

"Because, I'm finished with them. They served a purpose and now it's over."

She thinks I'm nuts. I think she's nuts. She's bipolar. Her meds are for life.

I am getting rid of my meds.
Throwing away my crutches.
I need to feel strong again, not dependent on medication. I need to feel some control over my life. Am I really moving into Acceptance? Or is this just another Emotion in disguise?


Grandmother Goddess of the Garden said...

Just wanted to say hi and see how you were doing...I too refuse all medication except for my B/P...hope you find a happy medium there.

Wendy said...

Well, I am weaning off - not drastically throwing everything away (although sometimes that's the best way).
The longer I live, the more I find myself tuning into my internal whisperings and when something doesn't feel right - I act on it.
Thanks for stopping by. Next time I'll serve chocolate eclairs or fudge cake. Ummmmmm!