I’ve made a major decision which goes directly against doctors advice. Gulp. I’ve decided, for one month, to stop my anti psychotics and see what happens to my weight (also if I can live with the side effects of not being on my med)
I’ve stopped now for 6 days and so far I’ve had a splitting headache, I’ve got the sensation of electric shocks, or fireworks going off in my brain, constantly; I cant sleep; I’m hot and sweaty and feel disorientated. My anxiety is through the roof so i’ve added more anti anxiety med throughout the day. BUT i’m not complaining as, so far, I can cope with these things if it means I am able to lose some weight (4 stone 5 pounds ive put on in the past year and a half) yet all the psychiatrists tell me im on a ‘weight neutral’ medication….. My body proves to me that it’s not, for me at least.
Anyway, rather than tapering the medication off or consulting with the psychiatrist, in my usual style I’ve gone cold turkey. Stupid may be a good word for me right now.
One thing that I am doing, which is different for me and I hope takes this medication holiday from self harm to being an active and possibly healthy decision, is that I am being very clear with everyone that I am coming off the meds; I’ve informed my partner, psychologist, best friend, fitness leader, kids school etc and asked them all to let me know if I’m behaving strangely and to let me know, or my partner know, so that I can go back on the meds. Saying that though, unless its affecting my kids i’m likely to keep off the meds for at least the month.
On a completely different note, I became a NaNo Winner on the 21st of the month. I spent last Saturday in my dressing gown (purple, long and soft….mildly pretentious) writing away at my kitchen table and after a day of chasing my protagonist round the outskirts of London I reached the target of 50,000 words. Whoopee!!
I was thinking to myself what id like to take away from NaNo this year and I realised that what I value the most is spending, however much or little, time in my own world, fighting my own dragons and focusing on that elusive but magical thing called inspiration. Many days during NaNo the inspiration was impossible to find but I wrote anyway. I don’t want to be a NaNoer who writes only in November, instead id like to write a little each day and learn a little more about the skill and craft of writing. I worry that I’ll run out of things to write but in truth, I’m more worried about not writing at all. During NaNo I’ve been aiming to write 2000 words a day. I’ve decided to set myself a target of 500 words a day; yesterday was day 2 and I missed doing it! Whoops! Anyway I caught up today so am happily sipping a coffee while posting this blog.
As most of you know, January signalled the end of my Mentalisation Based Therapy program. So I went from over 3 hours input a week down to irregular contact with a care co-coordinator who may not be out to get me, but we haven’t quite developed a language we both understand as yet.
The end of therapy went exactly as I expected, and had told the therapy team…. I had two weeks of flying high and functioning beyond my usual level, then I crashed and my head began to feel that it had split apart. The usual anxieties and stresses re-appeared and 6 weeks on I feel as if I am disintegrating, that my head has things growing out of it (yes forgetting my anti-psychotics for a few days hasn’t helped) and my brain feels like a split chocolate orange, with all the different parts struggling to communicate with each other.
The sad part is that in the past few weeks my kids have noticed a change in me; they don’t want as many cuddles as they did when I was ‘well’, my eldest doesn’t want me to read his bedtime story and chooses to read to himself which is part of his growing up but also, I’m sure, in part that I’m not as nice to be around as usual.
Each time I ring the mental health team they ask “what have you done before to get through this” and my answer is that I self harm. But it’s high risk and despite the urge being there I also want to live and my self harm puts me on the edge of survival. Being honest, yes I have self harmed but not to die…. to try and change the way I feel. I don’t know if I’m going to find a way up and out of this lost and disintegrated feeling but I do know that I am trying.
Ive tried exercise, reading, writing, shopping, dancing in my kitchen; I’ve tried duvet days and busy days; Ive tried speaking to people about it and Ive tried ignoring it. None of these are changing the situation but with each day I try and getting through a day means I have lived and been a Mummy for an extra day and that is what matters.
Yesterday I completed my NaNoWriMo work. I discovered NaNo a few days before November began and so my planning wasn’t detailed. I worked out that my ‘novel’ would hit 30,000 words, so when I hit 35,000 I was happy but the story naturally concluded so for the next 15,000 words I did short stories; a fairy-tale, horror and a humorous one.
I attended write-ins at coffee shops, drank an extraordinary amount of tea and coffee and discussed my work with other writers; I got a lot from the past 20 days including a sense of a creative community.
I was nervous about hitting 50,000 words that it takes to ‘win’ NaNo and spent one evening refusing to turn on my laptop as it would mean I’d rush past the finish line and I wanted to savour it, enjoy the flavour of success.
Yesterday was the first day that I didn’t write 2,500 words and I missed the demand of my attention and need to reach my target. I’m thinking I’ll set myself a daily working target, less demanding than my NaNo word count but maybe a time frame of my creative work each day or a certain word count. I’ve not had to think about how to measure creative output before and I imagine I’ll try a few different ways before settling on my own personal creativity measure. How do you measure creativity?
Ive had a few ‘normal’ weeks when Ive felt connected and part of relationships with people that I’ve met. I’ve made small talk in queues ad smiled at screeching children. Its been amazing but also uncomfortable feeling the weathers chill touch me and peoples expectations of me rise.
I’ve cuddled my kids and told them I love them into their freshly washed hair. My youngest tells me “don’t kiss me” and dodges forwards and backwards chortling each time he comes close then darts away. My eldest snuggles his head into my neck as if he’s trying to climb into my skin.
Then, the other day, possibly inspired by my wellness and stability my therapist said what I’ve been ignoring and avoiding. Instantly I was sucked away from the world. A glass screen shut down. Self harm became my solace.
Lying in bed last night I decided that my SH was too risky. I needed a safer, less harmful form of SH but one that fulfilled my ‘need’. As I thought this I became aware of how ludicrous it was; to alter my SH rather than focusing on reducing and preventing it. But doing that seems far beyond my reality.
I know someone who has not SH for months; when she got to 100 days I felt such pride, amazement, joy and excitment for her to have a world not overshadowed by the stemming of blood and the picking up in the aftermath.
Ive had weeks without SH. I think I’ve even had months! I hope to wake up one day, and without even being aware of it, to not be dictated to by the cravings, physical sensations and endless nagging in my brain; all of these now are louder than a screeching child.
My lovely boys took photos of some lego figures for my blog……