-unedited- I thought I’d be thrilled with the okay to go off depakote. I really did. Part of me is but part of me can’t help but get anxious and worried. This is what I want. Truly. and have wanted for a long while now. I cannot wrap my head around all that has transpired since the initial discussions to try this route. It has not been a good 7 months. not because I have been depressed, that isn’t it. It is because I have felt so lost and out of control. Whether it be when I get on the scale or when I stand in front of my medicine cabinet. I guess my views are distorted and I see it so very differently than Virgil. The session that I felt so horrified and coerced by seems barely the blip on the radar. I don’t think she remembers it as I do. Not sure she understands how deeply hurt I was by that and how terrified it has kept me for the past months. I wanted nothing more than to return to her and once again speak my mind and refuse the depakote. But what I saw and heard is probably very different from what actually happened. I was indeed very fucked up on the heels of this last hospital visit. Every possible trigger had fired off and every possible button had been pushed. It was a given I walked away as I did. I was angry and upset. Anxious and fearful. It was a perfect environment to have a session come undone. Maybe none of it was said. For all I know it is all in my head, but whatever the case all I walked away with was the imminent threat. It is what I heard. It was take the drugs or you will get sick and you’ll get 2PC’d and it will be a mess. I know in my heart that there is truth in some of that. I cannot just walk away from my handfuls of pills. I know to be non compliant would be a disaster even if it seems very tempting at times. I understand I need these medications. I stand behind my feeling that this was a cross roads for me. There will always be a cost now, as there has always been but the stakes are higher and the drugs seem far worse. We have reached the deep end of the pool and there is no amount of bargaining I can do in my head to convince myself otherwise. This is no kiddy pool, there is no prozac here. We have moved far beyond. When I recoil in my mind as it flashes images of the stereotypical lifer mental patient worn by too may years of hard core drugs and even harder core episodes I want to run. I want to get as far from that medical cabinet as possible. I want to make believe this isn’t my life and this isn’t happening to me. “Your not that sick”, or “you won’t be 200lbs” just don’t stick in the face of the panic I feel. Those are the moments I wish I had never seen all I have seen. If only I didn’t know what sick looked like, or what chronic mental illness can do to a person’s mind and body. To have a firm grasp that what keeps us “stable” is also destroying us from the inside out. There is the trade off. The bargain. Do you accept it in the pursuit of stability in hopes of less episodes, and less hospital visits and keeping yourself alive all the while loathing what you have become. What is okay? acceptable? what is too much? I have no idea where that line is. I know that what depakote did was too much for me. I could not handle it and could not stomach the continued change in my body but did I give up on stability? I won’t know that least not for a while. I can’t just shut up and be happy, no. I have to worry and dread. Damned if you do damned if you don’t.
“Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate”, or “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” Dante
A quote that has stuck to me much these past days, and it seems fitting since I can’t seem to shake the worst that life has had to offer even in the face of such kindness and compassion.
Virgil, you do not deserve my doubt nor my fear. I can only hope it does not drive a wedge between us as I struggle to come to terms with my vulnerability and confusion in the midst of a mine field of triggers, both real and imagined. My gratitude is vast for you have given me the ability to see them and express myself for there was once a time when mute silence was all I could summon in the face of such suffering. There is some hope as now I can put words and feelings together and piece together a mosaic of pieces, strange and sharp as they may be. For that I am blessed and thankful.