Friday, August 17, 2012

Deep in Clover

I am disrupting my dog, Max's, sleep schedule getting up at this hour but the cats roll with the punches. Today is Black Cat Appreciation Day and I am celebrating it in my heart. Mine was called Fudge and lived to be 23 years old. He was Mom's special cat, and a week after she passed, he curled up on her bed and died.

It looks more and more as if the kindly stepfather and Sunbunny will have to put the house up for sale, if Vapid has anything to do with it. She is nasty enough with alcohol, but without is truly a nightmare. She stayed closed in her room yesterday, but snapped when Married but Single showed up to take her out for the evening. It's amazing how she can stay upright on the back of a motorcycle...In the latter stages of liver disease, the liver, and thus, the stomach, distends. I can't tell how much of that she has because of her diapers; is it diaper or stomach? She also wears enormous coats, even in the hottest weather, and that alters her silhouette as well.

Although I have no room to talk. I am chunkier than before I quit drinking, from eating more. AA tells us not to worry the first year about gaining weight, "First things First." You can always lose that weight after you have some sobriety under your belt, is the reasoning. But eating a pound of fudge at one sitting? Don't know about that.

Which leads me to my medications or meds. I have, once again, taken myself off of Abilify. After a month on it, I am eating like Vin Deisel and I hit deep depression. I only take it in desperation. As a recovering alcoholic, my shrink won't prescribe anything like xanax, ativan, or any other anti-anxiety drug. You know, the good stuff, that works.

No, he and my therapist have come to the conclusion that I can overcome all those nightmares and anxiety with my mind. Meditation, regular exercise, healthy diet; all that shit that any normal person with mental illness tends to avoid.

For my anxiety, they also have me taking 6 mgs. of omega 3 fatty acids, or fish oil pills a day. They do work on the nervous system, quieting the 'fight or flight' response; that is, I'm not so jumpy. They also make my hair shiny. But it's not the instant release from overwhelming worry that I want. I can feel my life shortening with every panic attack, and to not give me something proven to work seems cruel.

I am most bitter against my gentle and humorous shrink (psychiatrist). He has battled with me for 17 years, but he takes his own advice and is quite well mentally, and I am sure, sleeps soundly at night. And yet, here I am writing this blog at 3 AM. As I lie down for a nap at 8 AM, I have this cynical picture of him in some deeply carpeted bedroom, which muffles the footsteps of the maid who opens the drapes, and serves him breakfast in bed. He has a bird's eye view of his estate, hip deep in horses and deer, and there is always a sprightly flower on his breakfast tray, which is adorned with china and fine linen.

I don't feel the same about my new therapist because I have his phone number, which he will actually answer anytime of the day or night. Now that's plebeian for you. I only call when I am really going off the deep end with no respite in sight, but I know he doesn't get crumpets and Earl Gray for breakfast. I just have this feeling. He also doesn't like to take vacations, which is one up in my book. After all, I am mentally ill 24/7, why should he get any time off?

Of course, the time off keeps him sane enough to treat me, so I try not to complain. But it's hard to view the unrelenting nature of mental illness and not be bitter. I mean, my gods above, the medical establishment is still using Lithium, designed in the 1950's...don't get me started.

1 comment:

  1. We know so much... yet so little about the brain. But I agree with them on anxiety. I have been getting them (panic attacks) since I was 8 years old and the best way to learn to cope with it is talk therapy. Arming yourself with the tools to recognize it and stop it dead in it's tracks is worth its weight in gold. I have taken a Xanax before, made me more talkative and very relaxed. But it felt like I was walking through a fog and my brain did not like it.