I Don’t Like The Drugs But The Drugs Like Me

I’ve been taking psychiatric medicine for my entire adult life, and after eight years I can honestly say, it has not improved my condition. I have been on about twelve different medications in different combinations, none of which completely worked. Maybe it stopped me from committing suicide, but maybe there were other ways of avoiding suicide too. Sometimes it even made me suicidal. It definitely made me manic. Either way, the beneficial effects have been negated by long term brain damage. I have tremors now that I doubt will ever go away. I’ve been in perilous near fatal drug related situations for a few months now. I hear things when I didn’t hear things before. My intelligence and creativity have been dampened. I’m just tired of it. I don’t want to do this anymore. I don’t want to feel like doctors have more control over my life than I do. I don’t want to feel like if a major catastrophe happened and I was unable to get medication, I would lose it. I just don’t want this life anymore. Something has to change.

I know someone who had a major manic episode and since then has become a devout buddhist and has lived a completely normal life for decades just doing meditation (and I’m sure eating healthy and other things). People have managed both epilepsy and bipolar disorder only using marijuana, which I know for a fact DOES work for me and has no side effects aside from the munchies. And here in Canada I could apply for a license to use and grow medicinal marijuana (which has been approved for epilepsy and with a persuasive doctor’s note, bipolar too). And then there are various other therapies, the whole exercise thing, etc etc.

I’m going to wait until I see this neurologist. I want to know that I have temporal lobe epilepsy for sure and then I want to find out if that is what has been called “bipolar,” or what. If it is ONLY temporal lobe epilepsy it will be easier to get a license to possess and grow marijuana. If not, it will just be a more involved process. It’s not as simple as TLE and Bipolar either, I also have PTSD, OCD, and Social Anxiety Disorder, all of which respond to medical marijuana.

If I smoke up everyday my seizures go down about 90%. And my moods become a non-issue. In fact, thinking back on it, if I had marijuana when I was suicidal it would go away. I don’t remember a single Long Bleak Night when I had marijuana around. And plus when my moods get really fucked, it usually involves messed up sleep patterns, and marijuana makes me sleepy if I smoke before bedtime.

I have never cried while on marijuana and I have never run around going “Woot!” on marijuana either. Sometimes I get paranoid, but ONLY when I’m worried someone might smell it and call the cops, which is also silly because Canadian police usually don’t care about pot (with exceptions, I know a relative who will go unnamed was tossed in the hoosegow once for having pot).

But I don’t want to rely on ONLY marijuana, obviously. I want to do everything else I possibly can because I do know seizures and suicide aren’t fun. I know there are a few Buddhist groups in town who meet Tuesdays and Thursdays to meditate and then have discussions. I could do that. I think meditation would help me focus my mind a lot better. Yoga would probably help too. There’s a doctor who specializes in Chinese Medicine who got rid of my depression for most of my teen years. I was still dramatic like any teenager, but I wasn’t trying to hang myself like when I was a kid. I know he still practices. I have a shitty diet and I could do better on that front. There are tons of things I can do basically besides medication. And with no long term damage either. Yes, people say marijuana causes brain damage, but I know people who have used it on a regular basis for decades with no ill effects. And the drugs I’m on now have caused more severe brain damage in a much shorter time.

I wouldn’t have been able to do this in Vancouver, when I had no money to buy groceries, or in Montreal, when, uh, life just sucked and I didn’t know where any resources were. But I do have some stability here and I feel like I have the support to do it.

It’s just getting away from the psych industry that freaks me out. They take so much from you that eventually you really do believe you can’t live without them. It’s like being in an abusive relationship and not feeling that you deserve better.

I know there’s a chance I could have a major psychosis again, and I would use Zyprexa and Ativan as needed to bring me down should that happen, but I never want to be on long term drugs again. I have to talk with my doc about this and see if she’ll be supportive. She’s pretty open minded, so I hope so. And in theory I can get off these drugs if I’m in remission.

So yes, I have to do some research, talk to doctors, friends who are off drugs and doing fine, find a good therapist. It’s not going to happen right away, but by May I hope to be off all of my medication.

God, I had a dream I was reading Frankenstein and suddenly came across a passage where Mary Shelley wrote something along the lines of “I don’t know if people know the turmoil I am in as I write this. I am in a disturbed state of being,” and basically went on describing going crazy and then went back to her story in the next paragraph. Mary Shelley did have mood disorders btw.

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