Illustrating my stupidity

Once again I think I’ve demonstrated why I can’t be trusted with meds. As my last post suggested, last night was pretty rough, and I eventually decided I wanted to overdose on something and knock myself out (I don’t have enough pills around to go any further). The question was what to overdose on.

Usually the answer is automatically ‘Nytol’, but last night there was a pain-med competitor: Tramadol. Earlier in the week I’d told my GP that I need advice regarding painkillers, as I was expecting my *time of the month* pains shortly, and I know I can’t take ibuprofen while on lithium. This appointment ran well over the allotted ten minutes as my GP researched and discarded a long list of options: everything seemed to interact with lithium. Finally we had to settle on Tramadol, which was not ideal (it doesn’t interact with lithium, but instead interacts with fluoxetine…of course), and I was given a prescription for ten 50mg pills.

I haven’t found Tramadol to be a great pain reliever, but it does a good job of making me tired, so last night I was asking myself whether to OD on Nytol, Tramadol, or both. Decisions, decisions. I picked Nytol in the end because with my current daily med combo, my seizure risk with a Tramadol OD would be pretty high.

I slept from 11pm to 10am, and then crashed out for a further four hours on the sofa downstairs. I was supposed to be childminding today, but it was cancelled on Saturday.

I’m not proud of myself for overdosing, although I’m pleased that I didn’t touch the Tramadol – if I need to ask for it on a monthly basis, I’m shooting myself in the foot if I abuse it and have that option taken away. But to be honest, the fact I strongly considered abusing it is probably enough to warrant me not having access to it anymore (not that I’ll be sharing this with my doctor!)

Tomorrow I have to see my GP and Nurse L again, so here’s an opportunity to Be Brave and Ask For Help. I can imagine taking a risk and sharing the details of my current state with Nurse L, because I don’t feel like I have much to lose with her…except I’ve just remembered she feeds everything back to my psychiatrist, with whom I have a lot to lose. I’ll have to think about this.

My main concern is tonight. I won’t OD again because I have to get up early to go for a blood test, which means the first port of call (if the mood strikes) will be cutting. I might write on my arm ‘THINK OF THE SCARS’ in pen as a deterrent.

It’s just really hard to do the ‘right thing’ when you’re agitated and restless because you’re hiding from the bad thoughts that chase you relentlessly.

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Let me off already

After a truly horrific weekend mood-wise, Sunday night ushered in change. I wish I knew how it happened because it was quite striking; I spent the afternoon/evening riding around on buses (my safe place), battling tears, and when I got back to the house I could almost feel my low state flow out of me, leaving me pretty calm. I even slept for a solid eight hours without any sleeping pills.

Today I woke up feeling similarly okay, and was in a mindset to do something sensible with my expected chemical delivery (i.e. dispose of it, asap), until I remembered today is a bank holiday, so there’s no post. I then began sorting myself out for revision, but in this time my mood has gone through the floor. There’s too much to do, there’s too much I genuinely don’t understand, and there’s way too little time. I would seriously struggle with this even without the mental health crap. Add on to all of that that I want to cry every time I think about the house-situ (see earlier posts), and I’m back to feeling absolutely sh*t. 

I’m supposed to go out tonight and meet my brother. Instead I want to dig a hole in the ground, curl up, and have someone pour dirt on top. Alternatively, I would settle for a handful of Nytol.

I. Have. Had. Enough. 

I know it’s a huge cliche to liken things to a rollercoaster, but that’s what this feels like at the moment, and I WANT OFF. 

If the next six weeks are going to be like this, I’m telling you now I can’t do it. 

I don’t care what waits the other side, because whatever it is, I highly doubt it involves an end to the battles with mental illness.

But tomorrow afternoon will bring options.

We’ll see.

Controversies

I’m definitely back in low-mood-country. I thought seeing Dr T this afternoon would help with that, but actually I think it made things worse; during the session a load of exam-related anxieties burst through and I’ve been trying to reign in the panic ever since.

And for the record, I hate this. I hate that everything is work related right now, and I wonder if my readers are as sick of reading about it as I am of writing it. I feel a sense of embarrassment that my work dictates my mood. But I’m trying to remind myself that it’s allowed, and that there are thousands, if not millions, of students going through exactly the same thing right now.

7 weeks and I’m done.

Once again I’m craving some space to breathe, so I’m telling myself that if I submit my dissertation by Friday, I’m allowed to go to the coast on Saturday. That’s a bit controversial as my go-to place is the same place where I had my first (aborted) suicide attempt, but I won’t go anywhere else because this town means something to me. I used to go there with my grandparents on holiday, and we sprinkled my Granddad’s ashes in the sea a little way off the beach. The trip isn’t controversial to me, because I know I won’t be doing anything *stupid* – just an innocent trip to feel unconstrained, if only for a few hours. But I won’t be telling anyone else.

What is unquestionably controversial is what I got up to last night; I have reliably, and cheaply, sourced something to knock me out. It isn’t illegal, although I wonder if it should be. And if times got really bad, it would work nicely as a ticket to Catch the Bus. To be clear, I don’t have any plans, and I haven’t placed an order yet, although the resident demon in my brain won’t stop arguing about that. If I’m honest I would like to try it as an alternative to doubling up the Nytol when I want some shut-down time, but this could very easily go wrong. I don’t know.

For now, my mood might be low, but I’m functioning. I’m going to try and block everything out, temptations included, until/unless that changes.

I’m doing okay!

Twenty minutes ago I had a rather pleasant realisation: I’m doing okay. I actually am, and I hardly ever seem to get to write this, so I’m devoting a post to it. Doom and gloom be gone!

And it’s surprising, because the Easter family BBQ wasn’t exactly fun. Within two minutes of picking me up in the car, Dad was telling me off for the whole behind-with-work situation. My sneaky brother had informed les parents that I got an extension on my dissertation, but NO ONE ASKED anything about the medical grounds it had been granted on. To be perfectly honest I wasn’t hoping they would ask, because they weren’t supposed to know, but upon finding out I’d expect concern (that something has happened that’s serious enough for the university to grant me extra time) rather than anger. Mais non. 

It turned out my extended family had been gossiping about me/work in my absence, so even people like my uncle (who I rarely talk to) had the nerve to laugh at me yesterday, for apparently being so irresponsible. Thanks folks. But while it made me angry, I also winded up proud of myself. They have almost no awareness of my mental illness (only my parents know about the depression, and they believe it’s not serious), and I have no intention of changing that, so expressing my anger wouldn’t win me any arguments. I’d just look overly defensive. So I held back; let them say whatever, and privately wrote their words off. I don’t need that kind of crap from people who have no idea what’s going on, and it’s my problem, not theirs. And I was also proud because I realised this meant I didn’t crave their understanding. I didn’t feel a need to fight for my Dad’s approval. Instead the main thought was ‘screw you’. The independence-is-everything part of me loves this.

I returned to my house-sitting place in my uni town this morning, and managed to get a little bit of work done (!!). Not much, but anything is more than I did in the last week. And then I realised how well I’m doing at the moment, work aside. Sure I’ve had some low-ish moments, but I haven’t self-harmed in a week. I haven’t taken more than two Nytol at a time, and I haven’t taken it every night. I haven’t been trying to source Nembutal. My depression hasn’t been bad enough that it’s felt like a physical weight or pain. I haven’t had any more panic/anxiety episodes.

So I may not have achieved much, but mental health-wise, I’m doing okay.

Not a good day

Hey there, rock bottom. I know I haven’t seen you in a while, but don’t worry, I’m on my way…

Today has not gone well for therapy/ist -related reasons, and I’ve really sensibly decided the best way to deal with this is to OD on the old Nytol. I’m writing this having just taken six tablets, and since I haven’t taken any in a few weeks I’m hoping they’ll knock me right out.

Onto the ‘why’. At around noon today I had a session with Dr T, and it was excruciating. When I admitted I hadn’t managed to do any more work on my dissertation since I last saw him, he immediately told me to go and get my stuff, and come and work in his office so he could be on hand to help me through the anxiety/panic this work is provoking. Unfortunately, the idea of doing that provoked it’s own anxieties; I’d be very, very self conscious. And even though Dr T laid out exactly why it would be great to take this opportunity to push through that issue, I couldn’t do it. This is when I start to wonder if I’m broken somehow. 

Anyway, after 50 minutes of pain I left Dr T and killed some time before my GP appointment that afternoon. He was running an hour and a half late today which was irritating, but at the same time I respect that because I know many of my own appointments have run well over the allotted ten minutes. When I was eventually called in I got some good news: the abdominal ultrasound came back clear. It appears the intense pain was probably a tiny gallstone that would have disappeared without a trace in the month I had to wait for the scan. The important thing is ‘there aren’t any more in the queue to come out’, so I don’t need an operation or anything like that. Hurray!

But the good mood was spoiled approximately five seconds later when my GP casually informed me that Dr T had called him. Apparently he was calling to ask what my GP thought about my medication (200mg trazodone nightly), and then my GP had the idea that maybe it’s time to stop the medications altogether for a bit. 

I call ‘bullsh*t’. This does not add up, at all, and it’s making me angry.

1) Why didn’t Dr T tell me about this like he always does? 2) My GP did not have the idea that I should come off medication, Dr T did. I know this because the print out I was given with the scan results had my recent history on it, which says ‘Dr T called to discuss the possibility of giving up medication’. Why did my GP twist that? 3) Why did Dr T need to call in the first place? I can’t help but feel like there’s something dodgy about this since he didn’t tell me. And given the speech about ‘making drama’ by taking medication a couple of weeks ago, I have a horrible feeling he didn’t trust me. 

I don’t know. I can’t really think this through at this moment in time: I have a massive headache which I can’t take painkillers for because I’ve been too nauseous to eat since yesterday. I told my GP about my recent anxiety/panic issues, and he responded by authorizing me to take 1-3 propranolol tablets at a time if needed. He wants me off psych meds altogether now, at least for a couple of months, so he won’t give me anything stronger. 

Oh, and did I mention that my dissertation supervisor suddenly announced today that she’s taking leave (which won’t end until after my dissertation deadline)…?

Enough. Come on sleeping pills, knock me out.

I’m not sure I can be trusted with meds

Last night wasn’t brilliant, but it could have been worse. It turns out Nytol and trazodone (Desyrel) don’t make for a great combo; some internet research warned me that the two would interact, but it wasn’t the way I expected. I was hoping to be knocked out, but actually that didn’t happen at all. It took hours to get to sleep, which is unusual when I OD on Nytol.

Now I don’t know what to do. I want the Nytol to work, and for that to happen I would have to skip the trazodone. But at the same time I know I’m really meant to be giving the trazodone a proper try, so my doctor would say to skip the Nytol instead. My head is going ‘no. no, no...’ because the less sleep I get, the stronger the destructive urges get. And I guess also because I’m sick of insomnia, and when Nytol works it’s a nice change. If I’m being honest there’s a part of my brain telling me to take all the trazodone in one go and see what that does, but since that’s a promise-breaker I’m doing a good job of ignoring it.

You know what makes me feel pretty sad at the moment? I don’t think I can be trusted with meds. I was so pleased to be allowed weekly prescriptions again this week, but perhaps my GP was right to hesitate. I haven’t abused the trazodone so far, but it’s come pretty close. And now I think that even if we dropped back to twice-weekly prescriptions, the urges would be there all the same.

I don’t know what the answer to any of this is, but part of me wonders if I shouldn’t be given meds at all. That wouldn’t improve the Nytol-related problems, but it would make me safer in one sense at least.

I don’t know

 

The destructive part of my head wins

**Trigger Warning** – this post contains a detailed discussion of self harm

Last night took me to the extremes of my self control regarding self harming. It’s been quite a while since I’ve felt those destructive impulses so strongly. The first form they took was overdosing; I took my nightly dose of trazodone (50mg) and it didn’t help me sleep, so after an hour or two I found myself wanting to down the rest of my week’s supply.

To be fair, that wouldn’t have been dangerous at all given that I’m currently on a fraction of the standard dose, so I came quite close to ODing, when I remembered something. I’d promised my GP that I wouldn’t abuse these meds when I asked to be allowed weekly prescriptions again (instead of twice-weekly). And that was HUGELY irritating. Stopped by a promise I shouldn’t have made. But at the end of the day I absolutely won’t break my promises. My word has to mean something when I give it. 

The next option was Nytol, but something in my head was reminding me that I didn’t know whether or not it interacts with trazodone. So I hesitated for a while, and the only way I could move on from that idea was to think about cutting. The question was what to do it with; usually my tools of choice are pointed tweezers or a knife, but I’d read a news article online about how razor blades were best. I didn’t have any, and was nervous about buying them in a shop, so I ordered some online.

Ordering them, and knowing they’d arrive soon was enough to dampen the restless impulses to hurt myself there and then. I think I got to sleep around 3am. 

Today I can feel that destructive momentum building again. After trazodone’s fail on the sleep front yesterday I know I’m going to take at least a couple of Nytol again. I want my body to feel heavy, I want the world to spin and lurch when I stand, and I want to lie in bed knowing I can only stay awake if I fight for it. But now that’s not enough. It’s hard to describe exactly what cutting does for me, but there’s something peaceful about the focus it requires. There’s something satisfying about the pain, and the blood. I want blades, and a little more research told me how I can get them today without any questions.

The destructive part of my head wins. The rest is silent.