Lost in Nothingness

It’s like sleep paralysis, except I’m awake.

Have you ever experienced sleep paralysis? I did, once. During my teen years, I fell asleep on my stomach, lying across the foot of my bed one day after school. I’ll never forget it because I awakened with a startle, opened my eyes, but couldn’t move a muscle — nothing except my eyes. It was terrifying. Slowly, concentrating all my will on one finger, it twitched. After that, I finally moved my hand. One by one, focusing all my energy on my body parts, I awakened each one as if by force.

Nowadays, I’m experiencing a similar type of paralysis during waking moments. I find myself sitting, unable to move, lost for a few moments or sometimes, as long as an hour (as was the case tonight). I would liken it to meditation, but there’s no real conscious awareness as in meditation. It’s only permeated by that feeling of nothingness.

Gone.

Out of my head for a bit.

Until some part of me gently encourages movement, if only a toe or a finger or “blink, dammit, blink!” These moments can be equally terrifying; but at the same time, there’s comfort… space. It’s tempting to get lost there forever.

If only….

The Medication Chase

I had a lot of errands to run today. One of those errands included stopping by the mental health center where I receive care to refill my prescription of Latuda. Since I have no health insurance other than TN’s Safety Net which apparently doesn’t cover medication, the pharmacist was filing for medication assistance through Sunovion, the company that makes the drug. The pharmacy began this process two weeks ago, yet the nurse practitioner, NP, I see was on vacation and didn’t sign off on the paperwork. When I spoke to my counselor about this two weeks ago, he assured me that the psychiatrist at the center, Dr. A, could sign the paperwork, as my counselor specifically asked Dr. A about this problem.

However, come to find out today, the pharmacist never gave the paperwork to the psychiatrist to be signed at all — despite me relaying the message given to me by my counselor from Dr. A to the pharmacist. When I asked her why she didn’t give it to Dr. A to be signed, she told me that it had to be signed by the nurse practitioner who is prescribing the medication, who has been on vacation for the last 2 weeks. Also, it takes at least 2 weeks for the paperwork to go through once it’s all signed and ready to go, if I understood her correctly; so I would still have to wait another 2 weeks even if it does happen to get signed.

Fuck it! I walked out, aggravated and convinced getting the Latuda is more trouble than it’s worth. I’m done. It’s not helping anyway. I gave it a total of 5 weeks and a day. I don’t know what difference I’m supposed to be noticing, but I fail to see a change in either my mood or thinking for the better. Every part of me is screaming, “Quit taking it!” So I will. I cut my last pill in half with a razor blade. I’ll take half tonight and half tomorrow night to bring the dose back down from 40 mg to 20 mg. I have one more 7-day supply sample pack of the 20 mg pills to wean myself off if need be; but honestly, I want to stop taking it altogether without going through all the hassle.

I see no point in continuing to waste time and energy on this. My stubbornness has taken over and is refusing to back down. I will not chase a damn prescription medication that I didn’t even want to take in the first place as if it’s some street drug. No thanks! The possibility that the medication might eventually start helping at some point is not incentive enough for me to stay on it, especially given the side effects and reasons I went into in an earlier post.

The Struggle of Introversion

What the hell did my sponsor say that shut me down on the phone? I was talking about how going to rehab could hurt my chances of actually getting SSDI should my disability advocate decide to appeal. He finally called me back to schedule a meeting next Thursday. I’m not hopeful. In most cases, judges look at addiction issues not as a disease but much the same as society views it, a character flaw that the individual has some control over. Where I understand that my use of alcohol was an unsuccessful attempt at controlling the symptoms of my mental illness thereby making addiction a symptom itself, a judge might not see it that way. Since becoming clean and sober, my mental illness symptoms have increased considerably, worsening as the weeks progress.

No. I’m not going to go back to using drugs or alcohol despite any urges to do the contrary. I’m done; no more of that chaos! I have no desire to give up my 114 day sobriety.

My sponsor told me that she needed my help in predicting the future and reading people’s minds since I could predict the outcome of my case and read the judge’s mind.

That’s why I shut down.

I have good reason to be leery of a judge’s scorn for having gone to rehab, especially considering the content of the 12 page decision letter that questions my credibility. I’m not an idiot, and I hate to be teased.

It’s been an all around bad day.

First, KR forgot his wallet; so I had to take it to him at work. Then, the washing machine quit working, wouldn’t spin out. I ended up having to spend over an hour hand-rinsing that load of laundry, still didn’t get all the soap out. It took nearly 3 hours for that load of laundry to dry. Ringing water out of clothes, especially towels and denim, is incredibly difficult. Midway through all of that, my disability advocate called and sent my mind racing through all the what-ifs of should I or should I not continue with my disability case. “Why bother?” kept creeping up like it so often does when I’m feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. Suicidal thoughts swept in; the urge to drink came immediately after; what the hell?!

I called my sponsor, broke down in tears after she teased and I shut down. She suggested going to the local NA meeting since there was no meeting tonight at our home group. I went. It was a candlelight meeting. I hate those because they turn out all the lights. It’s creepy. After one member was obviously using his cellphone during the meeting (glow of the screen), another member openly criticized him for it in a passive aggressive manner that reminded me of why I chose a home group nearly 45 minutes away from me in neighboring Cookeville rather than the one closest to my home.

I wasted no time in leaving after the meeting was over. Perhaps my foul mood today only fueled my disdain over tonight’s meeting, but I should have listened to my own instincts and stayed home rather than forcing myself to be around people when I felt the need to isolate and decompress. < This is the struggle of the introvert.