Sleep now eludes me. Words and images have become my enemies, lumbering in and out of the dark places of my brain which only exist during the quiet of the night. The images are Kafkaesque, not the images one usually associates with metamorphosis. I am becoming someone I vaguely remember from long ago before medication and before I knew what was wrong, when my mental illness was scarier and more unpredictable. I’m a little concerned that my posts may not be good for my stigma-busting; but because I am nothing but open and honest about my mental illness, I refuse to edit my experience. Perhaps it will show the dire need for affordable mental health care, because that is one of the reasons I’m doing this. A correct diagnosis is vital (as accurate as one can get in this field); and as I’ve mentioned previously, I’m concerned all the different types of meds may be have been masking or even causing symptoms. The truly helpful meds are so expensive, even a very old generic medication is barely covered by my insurance simply because it is rarely used anymore. Our local newspaper just ran an investigative series on the appalling lack of good mental health care. The state of this issue in many parts of the world that one would think of as advanced is frightening.
It’s been over 25 years (since my last pregnancy), that I have not been medicated in some form (self-medicated or prescribed) at night. It’s been about 40 years (except for my pregnancies and a few other brief periods) when I haven’t been medicated at all. My brain is not happy. I’m questioning my reality – do I feel this way because that is what I’m expecting? That’s what makes sense because I’m not even a week into the detox process.
The last time I did this I was in the hospital for four weeks. Two weeks detox, one week clear, one day of testing, one week with a new medication. I wish I could afford to do that now. I know my marriage will survive, my husband is unbelievably understanding and supportive. I have to rein in the feelings of guilt – why would he want to live with Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde? I feel so unlovable; but if I can think of it in the terms of the fact that he wouldn’t leave me if I had any other disease, I should be able to get a grip on those unreasonable fears.
It’s all in my head, right?
(image credit to octothorpopus on flickr)