I don’t know what to do and I really need help.

Everything is wrong and I made a big decision last night hoping to course correct things within my home, but I don’t know if it will help or make things worse. It’s life or death cutting the cord with our 16 year old son. Not TIES, just “the cord”, if you know what I mean. Either that or die. Us, of course, not him.

I don’t know how to even tell people all of the things that are wrong. My main priority right now is that I’m facing the possibility of this stress killing my husband and almost all of that stress is from our son who has worsening mental health issues and has since age 4. He’s 16 now. 12 years ago we were told ADHD/ODD/GAD.

I dunno, though. This isn’t that.

I don’t honestly know what’s wrong with him and I cannot find a psychiatrist that will see him. We’ve been to the ER, and if we go back I won’t let them let me bring him home. I don’t feel like I’m in danger of an attack by him, but that the stress will kill me and his dad. His dad especially, who … well, our relationship is crumbling now because of this, and we truly believed we’d found our true loves. We had a tagline! “We won.” So stupid thinking back on it now. Not that we’ve said anything about separating, we just fight and say the meanest things that we never could have imagined when we first met. (Online, of course.)

Then there’s my panic disorder/agoraphobia. For 28 years now! Well, that’s when I started taking medication for it, but 12 years ago I quit my job because I had a horrific panic attack on a ferry boat on the way to work and couldn’t imagine ever getting back on that boat.

I live a very isolated life and I have since I was 17. My mom threw me out of the house for getting pregnant and I sort of hid in my then-boyfriend/future husbands bedroom, never venturing out. (No phone, no internet, we’re talking 1989.)

I haven’t had a friend since then, because I had to finish high school on a strange schedule while visiting my firstborn in the NICU as he was born at 28 weeks and weighed 3lbs some oz. I haven’t had an in person conversation with anyone who I would call a friend since then, either. I’ve met hundreds of short term ‘friends’ online of course.

I don’t know how to “do” the real world, so I fake it HARD when I DO go out into it with my husband.

Those are always short and zippy outings that contain one or two instances of me running into a store and trying to get through it like it’s a marathon followed up by an exhausted me coming home with my iced coffee from Starbucks and falling into bed for a nap to deal with the intense effort it took to be out of the house for an hour or so.

But I have to keep trying to go out – so, like – the Dollar Store is one of those places he’ll take me, and I like that because they have a little of everything and **I** can physically touch something that I think my kids my like and that way I feel like “I’M getting them something special.” It’s stupid.

Everything else for myself in my life is purchased online, but I like just seeing other people and what’s “out there” in the “real world.”

A quick aside…My son is angry with me right now because it’s supremely early for our family on a Sunday morning, but yet he’s already up and smoking pot, we’ve gotten into a fight by my asking him to please PLEASE not text his father all day because he HAS to do his capstone project for his Bachelor’s so we can be FINALLY done waiting for someone to actually LOOK at his resume and pay him what he’s worth.

(He texts and chats with my husband all day asking for help with ridiculous things, or needing something IMMEDIATELY, regardless of what his dad’s doing or how he’s feeling. This includes things like “Are you going to Taco Bell?” (while his dad is sitting at his office desk on an international vendor issue call with 12 people during work hours (at home – he telecommutes and never goes to Taco Bell during the week which our son knows.) If I leave the house with his dad the texting NEVER stops. (sigh, anyway…)

Why do two or three letters mean the difference between scraping by in life and actually having a shot at GOOD things like psychiatry/therapy visits instead of marijuana?

And that’s me, not my son – that cannabis is to keep me calm because with as much as he’s needed to see a doctor over the years I haven’t really had a chance to, other than my Primary Care Physician who I see every three months. I have to get my blood drawn because I have diabetes from one of the medicines I’ve been on for 12 years – it increases your insulin resistance and leads to diabetes. Well, it “can.” For me, it “did.”

My medications haven’t been changed in 12 years and I haven’t had a chance to work with a therapist for any more than 3 visits in a row before my son takes that away from me, too. My doctor is also, for some weird reason, my son’s doctor, too. (We’d needed to move quickly, needed his Vyvance refilled, we took the first doctors that had ANY new patient availability – that’s how ferocious the competition is to live where I do – and that’s how it worked out…now all we ever talk about at any visit is my son and I never get any help.

Do I sound bitter? I don’t mean to, I’m just so tired.

Today I’ll run out of xanax for the first time in the 28 years that it’s been prescribed to me. I started at .5mg 3 times a day, and am now at 8mg (2mg four times daily.) My highest dose was 12mg, which I weaned myself down to 8 from, but I’m stuck at this spot despite several attempts.)

I don’t even care. I’ve dreaded this day for every single day of the last 28 years because xanax works so well, but it’s so dangerous to stop it cold turkey or you’ll get terrible withdrawal and likely seizures (at this dose for this long.) I asked Reddit what to do to prepare for a seizure but they all just said to go to the ER, which I would do if I could afford the $100 copay.

This is going to be a difficult day, and I’m really looking forward to trying to sleep through it. I just have to get to 8am tomorrow morning without the xanax.

Oh, we are working hard to buy a house right now. We must because our landlord wants to sell the home we’re in and our lease will be up, which means no renewal. Every penny we get we’re trying to put towards not being homeless, but we have almost nothing so we’re now looking at homes under $200,000 instead of the $750,000 ones we had always assumed we’d be buying.

That’s okay though because that’s how I grew up and despite trying with everything in my soul I failed to get out of that place in life.

I can’t focus enough to write anymore because my son texted my husband to wake up and fill a bowl with weed for him because the bowl was near me and he was afraid to come near me in case I “flip out.”

I don’t know what to do. Honestly, this shit is insane. I’m recording it and should just post it here so you can hear the fight.

I’m gonna take 2 Benadryl and go to bed.

There is nothing I can do. I’m pretty good at that, though, I guess.

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A 2 isn’t Always a 2 – I shrank.

 

When I was a kid I thought that Liz Claiborne was the ultimate in women’s professional attire.

When I flew to the east coast with no notice for my dad’s funeral I needed to buy clothing there and the problem was I was really fat.

So I’m walking around the Vanity Fair outlet building and lo and behold LC (which now, to me, means Lauren Conrad and not Liz Claiborne) has a PLUS size section called Elisabeth, and the clothing actually is gorgeous. (2000)

They size things funny, like a size 0, 1, 2, 3. I don’t think they started by having a 0, but I could be wrong. Anyway, these were for 0x, 1x, 2x and the cardigan I bought back then was a size 2. or the equivalent of a 2x or a 22/24. It never fit loosely enough but I kept it for years anyway.

In the picture of me here (on my wall I can see the red silk jacket) it’s from Chicos and it was a size 2. I knew they sized their clothing differently, as well, and I never REALLY looked at it, so figuring it would fit when I came across it I put it on a hanger in my closet to sort of dream. Some girls do these things. (Most.)

That picture was taken on Valentine’s Day by my DELICIOUS SON AJ (a bow to the Goldberg’s) and I knew it wouldn’t button, but I had hoped it would at least cover my upper arms (because that’s NOT a pretty sight) – so I put it on and damn but if it didn’t fit! (It was an emergency, the Dinner/Concert was almost cancelled because of Snowmageddon in Seattle so I couldn’t shop.)

So a few days go by and it’s 3 days after Valentine’s, so I’m thinking…I know I’m about the same size as when I went to Wash DC with Dave the FIRST time so since my dad’s funeral was only a few days later I’m the same size, finally!!!

But, then I went to Chico’s website to see what a 2 actually means on their size chart, and it’s a TWELVE. A size 12 or a Large. L/12 WTF!?! Now I know it was REALLY tight around my belly (and I ate that evening, but not a lot – I was still good on the 3rd button, tight but good’ish) as you can see in the picture.

If I pull out my highest numbers I’m taking a pretty solid guess that I would have been a 7. But, I’m not, and it’s not  in my head. I cannot fathom how that red jacket fit me. I’m gonna call it a massive win and try to figure out when the last time it was that I ate now.

I don’t want to go back to fat.

How is it, though, that I didn’t know I got unfat?

I didn’t know I was going here in the first place.  I just woke up one day and realized it. I think that means I have too much on my mind.

Why I think People Are Addicted to Crime Shows & Me Update

I think you’ll find similarities between many of the people who constantly watch real life crime shows, documentaries, etc. I believe that trait to be lack of stimulation in their own lives. I feel like it’s a mark of needing a “safe way” to experience a strong emotion that’s been pent up for too long, and that emotion is often just simply loneliness or a sense that they’re living, but trapped into doing it the way others want them to live, and so they disconnect those strong emotions.

I know, for a fact that it’s easier to type the exact opposite of what I want to say to my husband in a chat when he is going on and on about something he should know has been a sore spot for us in the past. If I were to type my true feelings it would just end up in another three hour fight and I don’t want that.

In 3 decades I have padded every aspect of my life just so that I’d be “safe” by avoiding arguments, and making sure that every second that everyone was happy, but I think it’s time that I start separating myself from that type of behavior.

It can’t be healthy.

I haven’t thought of this before, but it occurred to me when my husband said that I needed to be more responsible with the money he gives me.  It had been $20 and we were in public, and I know he’d fight me on the specifics, but the main point is that I felt humiliated in public, ashamed of myself, and then the worst part was that I realized that I wasn’t at all surprised by how I felt, and that was wrong.

I can’t quite figure out how to move forward, you know, like what’s a really good, logical AND practical next step, because I do love my husband – and all 3 of my sons of course! – but I’ll figure it out.  There must be a way to separate yourself from your husband and children and yet NOT leave them, right?

Being someone other than “Lisa, she’s a wife and mother and person who sits and stares at the computer screen all day waiting for someone to give her a clue about what her next movements should be” would be a really refreshing change.

I hope it’s as easy as I’m making it sound – because with my panic disordered mind I go straight to a flash of an image in my head of me sitting here in another thirty years and everything’s the same for me, but everyone has stood on my shoulders to get to much better places and there I sit, beat to shit and a foot shorter than 30 years ago.

She looks nice enough, right?

I never tried to actually commit suicide, but tonight I did. I dumped my entire bottle of addiction adult capsule capsulesXanax is my mouth and held it there for like, 2 minutes, before deciding what to do.

Things are  bad with me. I can’t get anyone to listen, or to talk back. I have never been so lonely or dead inside, so why am I sticking around? I’m looking for an answer to that. Why live? Why now?

I went numb several years ago, but now I’m just hollow, so that helps not feel as much, if anything at all in many situations. Like when things are so bad that my husband literally cries because we fought, and we never fight, but he’s always busy and he has obligations and friends, so the time he has isn’t for me. I just get drive by “Hey, Baby.” every now and then, but I needed to talk to someone so long ago and it’s now been so long that I have no idea of what all I had intended to get off my chest, or out of my brain and into the light of day where problems could be worked on, and I keep being asked.  “What does ‘I never got the break I needed’ even MEAN???” and I can’t answer so I feel so stupid, and I just shut down more.

I don’t know what else to say about things sucking. I will put this image here to describe what I have felt like for the past 10 years or more.46493176_10218288781356843_1044933335157047296_nI suppose I should say that my husband is probably not a narcissist. He’s a beautiful human being, but he’s very, very busy taking care of our family. However, I believe fully that two of my sons are, and my older sister.  I feel like the image describes for some reason, and I don’t know if it’s narcissism from me, from someone else, or if it’s something entirely different, but I do know that I wanted to just make everything stop sucking, and I didn’t, so now I have to figure out how to continue living like this. I really don’t know how that’s possible, but I’ve been researching, and maybe someday I’ll figure it out, but probably not.

But Don’t We All?

I just want to go back to bed and actually sleep.

It’s been so hot here, and we do have central air conditioning, but no matter how I adjust the settings it’s freezing in the entire the house except for my bedroom, which is like a sauna for some reason.

I have that horrible “I want to run away.” feeling again, but I don’t have anyone to tell.

I was going to call Dr. Brad and ask for an appointment and talk to him about it, but he’s  not trained to listen to shit like that, and I think he’d just feel bad because he’d know he wasn’t helping me.

There just truly isn’t anyone to talk to.

I wasted my last chance at a break in life when I flew to Pennsylvania in March of this year to see my sister and mom. I wanted to see my son a lot, too. I needed several late night chats with my sister, who is gone now. I needed long chats with my mother, who is gone now. I will never have an opportunity to vent again.

I wanted to decompress. I wanted to reset.

And, now I realize I am saying “I” too much.

I came across this sentence, and I wish my husband would understand the early signs of relationship cracks. ”

  • When a woman no longer gets frustrated and upset with you, you can almost guarantee that she no longer cares.

My wedding anniversary is in 8 days and we will have been married for 16 years. Normally I don’t get a gift or anything, but sometimes we go to dinner and once we stayed at a bed and breakfast, which isn’t really my thing. I guess the point of an anniversary is just to have a reason to have sex. Obviously, it marks the passage of time, but does the day actually have any value to it? I guess maybe it’s like the greeting card scam, just made up to sell more cards.

 

Not Loving This Day

I’ve never turned off the location services for my phone before, but today I did because I had to get away from my house and I didn’t want anyone to “ding” me right when I stopped at where I was going. The casino.

I haven’t been able to go to the casino in a long time by myself, or at a time when I had more than $20 to spend, so I thought I’d just go. Just do it. Well, instead, I panicked the whole time, lost all my money, and now I’m sitting at home at my desk near ready to rock back and forth.

I mean, the casino is at least six miles away. It’s 90 degrees.

What bugs me about this is how much xanax, how much pot candy (2), I’ve had to take to stay calm enough to get there and back. No, I didn’t take the pot candy until I got home, but it takes like an hour to work, so I just took another xanax.

On my way home the car started bucking. We’ll probably be without a car for … a year or so any time soon.  Dave won’t care because he has a motorcycle.

Yay.

I’m really not loving this day.  I want to be high right now.  I want to be cooled off. I want to not be poor anymore. I really, really want to go to sleep and just never leave the house again.

 

The Anxiety is Strong With This One

Tapering off of xanax is the hardest thing that I’ve ever done.

I have been sexually abused, raped, beaten, kicked out of my home when I was 16 and pregnant, forced to have an abortion, cheated on, been ignored, laughed at.  My house has burned down and I lost absolutely everything I owned.  I’ve huddled over my children underneath a water pipe in the basement as a tornado went over our house – twice.  My oldest son was born 2 months premature and we both nearly died in the process.  My youngest son was born and immediately started having seizures from withdrawing from a medicine that my doctors told me I needed to take and wouldn’t hurt my baby.

Xanax withdrawal is harder than that.

At my highest dose I was taking 12mg a day of Xanax.  That is A LOT.  I had been going along just fine, really, and then my life fell apart when I developed a severe phobia of the only transportation available to get to my job – a ferry.  Without the ferry there was no way to get to the city to work.  I had 2 major panic attacks every day while trying for months to overcome the phobia – one in the morning on the way to work, and one in the evening on the way home.  It was a 45 minute ferry trip each way, and the entire trip was spent hiding in a bathroom, sitting in the First Mate’s office, laying down on a bench, or hiding in any other way that I could find – even in stairwells trying to convince myself that I was in a building that wasn’t moving, and not on a giant steel boat in the middle of the water with no chance of rescue should I drop over and start to die.  At that point I had been having panic attacks for about 16 years, since the age of 19.  I was taking 3 to 4mg of xanax a day, but quitting that job in the city brought a whole host of new stressors into our lives.

We couldn’t afford to live in our nice house anymore and had to move into ex-military housing that had been remodeled into small, ugly, cramped living space with really scary neighbors.  Our car was repossessed in the middle of the night and the tow truck driver threatened to hurt me because I honestly did not know where the valet key was.  My husband’s job was in jeopardy because of the many, many days I begged him to stay home with me and not leave me alone to deal with the panic by myself.  One night it became too much and I had – truly – the worst panic attack to date.  I called 911, and I had never done that before.  I was absolutely certain, without a shadow of doubt, that I was going to die.  I made my husband put our youngest son, who was 5 years old at the time, in his bedroom with the door closed and a radio on so he couldn’t hear or see the paramedics.  I did not want him to witness his mother’s death.

Obviously I didn’t die, but my husband did find a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner that was able to see me fairly quickly.  From the 3 to 4mg of Xanax per day that I was taking, she immediately bumped me up to 12mg per day.  2mg every 4 hours.  I continued to take that dose for a while.  I had no life, but that wasn’t unusual.  My husband had to keep a chat window open at work the whole time he was there and talk to me if I needed it, and I needed it.

Eventually I was able to taper myself down to 8mg per day, and it was really difficult.  The lack of Xanax was causing withdrawal symptoms that were like anxiety on steroids.  Horrible headaches, nightmares, tremors, constant…constant shaking and body aches.  It was pretty bad.  But now it’s even worse.  I was on that high dose of 8mg of Xanax for nearly 7 years.

When I quit my job, and got through my final two weeks, and just before my birthday that year, I promised myself that I would keep busy.  My first day of not working I went into the Obama campaign headquarters in my town and volunteered for the phone banks.  Nobody was very friendly and I felt extremely awkward, which led to anxiety, and so I just never went back out again.  I pretty much didn’t leave my house for the next few years.  I couldn’t get further away than 5 blocks – and that had to be in a car, in the passenger seat, while ONLY my husband drove.  Not that I knew anyone else that would drive me someplace anyway.  Or…knew anyone at all for that matter.   So, basically for the past near 7 years I’ve been inside my house and not even looking outside.

The PNP (psychiatric nurse practitioner) only refilled my prescriptions and sent me “Lighten Up” forwards from a hypnosis-based weight loss clinic.  I received no therapy other than medicinal.  Obviously I didn’t get better.

And then things started getting better.  We moved into a nicer home for two years, but our landlord was literally insane.  She was a psychiatrist, but retired.  She was constantly coming by our house very drunk, but because my father had been an alcoholic I knew it was more than just alcohol.  Then she talked about the pills that she took.  Ahh, mixing drugs and alcohol certainly would explain her psychotic calls and emails to us.  Wild accusations of killing 40 year old Clematis (that had been dead many, many years before we moved into the house.)  Constant threats.  We were being terrorized and felt trapped.  Then her husband committed suicide and that is when we knew we really had to do the healthy thing and get the hell away from her, but the problem was that we couldn’t afford any of the houses on the island we lived on.  Amazon had come into Seattle expanding more and more, and this bumped up the price of rental houses an insane amount.  To move into a rental unit you need first and last month’s rent, and a deposit in the amount of the rent, plus any pet deposits of $500 each.  Also, good credit.  (Ours had been ruined because I had quit my job.)

A week before our son was scheduled to start 5th grade we found a house in the next town over.  This was a HUGE relief because we had given our 30-days notice of intent to vacate, and had found a small apartment, but that fell through at the last minute so we were looking to my husband’s friends and asking for help…we were facing living in a basement, but we were okay with that – anything had to be healthier than staying in that house with the crazy landlord.

It was $1,650 per month, though.  How do you come up with over $5,000 move-in costs when you’re absolutely broke?  You do what we did, if you’re lucky enough to have that option, and cash out of your 401k, and you get enough extra from that loan so that you can also buy a car (even if it was at a “We Finance Anyone, But Prepare to be Ass-Raped!” places.)

Suddenly we had a very nice house again, and a very nice car.  Sure, the car was older, but it didn’t look it, and that made us feel like decent human beings again.  We thought things were starting to really get better, and I suppose that they were for a while.

A few months ago, just after the 4th of July, I started working again (for my sister, as you can read in past blog posts.)   That made me start to feel really useful, and at that point I had been seeing a psychologist for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for about 2 months.  I was starting to really push HARD to step out into the world.  And I did make progress.  I was able to – for the first time in 15 years – drive by myself.  Yes,  it was only 3 blocks, but it was progress.  The panic attacks continued, though.  Then, the shit storm hit.  My PNP found out that I was seeing a psychologist and they happened to know (and hate) each other.  This infuriated my PNP and she decided that she wasn’t going to prescribe me Xanax anymore, so she needed to taper me off of it very quickly.  I’ll keep this very brief and only say that she had me go down 4.5mg in 2 months and I seriously thought it was going to kill me.  The CBT stopped helping and my sister had some sort of psychotic break and lost the business that she was taking over, meaning that I lost my job as well.

Back in August I could not reach my PNP to get a refill of Xanax.  I called well in advance to both her office and cell numbers and left messages.  I sent emails.  The pharmacy faxed in two refill requests that went unanswered.  The last call I made to her – the last message I told her that I only had 3 doses of Xanax left and because it was Friday night, and I knew she didn’t work on the weekends, that it would mean that I would have to go to the hospital if she didn’t “PLEASE!!!!” call or fax in my prescription, and that I would be completely out of medication on Sunday morning.  Still no response.

I ended up going to a local Urgent Care center in a panic, and the doctor there very kindly gave me enough xanax to get through to where I could see a new provider.  My husband had made an appointment for me for 2 weeks from then and it’s a real miracle that I even was accepted as a patient.  There simply aren’t enough mental health care providers to treat the number of people in our county.  Our county has nearly doubled in size in the past few years, but mental health care providers are all either retiring or over-booked.  I was turned down by 10 other doctors.  Turned away, I should say, with no ideas from them on who else I could try or where I could go.  So yes, it was amazing that I was able to find this new doctor, and even more surprising that he was an actual psychiatrist, and only in his 40’s – not ready to retire any moment!

My old provider had terrorized me for years.  Always held the threat of withholding my medications if I didn’t do or say exactly what she wanted me to do or say.  It was truly awful.  When I first saw my new psychiatrist it was such a huge relief that I cried.  He was kind.  He was compassionate.  He halted the Xanax taper and allowed me to stay at the same dose for another month before planning any further reductions.  I was able to breathe again and feel a sense of hope.

And then my old provider emailed me.  I got the email this morning with her acting as if nothing had ever happened.  She had attached a prescription to the email; a copy of the prescription that she had sent to Rite Aid.  I do not know why she would think that she was still my provider after she failed to do any providing, and after the voice mails that I left for her, but yep…there it was.  An email from her.  Oh, and the best part was that it was for doses to be taken starting on September 31st.  (Wtf?)

Needless to say I was angry.  When I get angry I get very anxious and my heart starts pounding really hard and fast, and I get really hot.  That was the state I was in when I wrote back to her with this:

I literally thought you were dead.
That you sent me this email with this prescription is so completely baffling that I am going to have to forward it to my psychiatrist to review so that they will know exactly what I’m talking about at my next visit when I am learning to deal with the anxiety that you, personally, have caused me.  I do not say this out of anger, but rather with complete sincerity.
Then she wrote this in return:
I telephoned you several times last month  and spoke with your son.  Did you not get the messages?
And my final response to which I am hoping she doesn’t reply to…and keep in mind that I was incredibly angry and anxious when I wrote this, so I realize that there are a few typos and it may be a bit disjointed, but I had never spoken to her (or anyone!!) like this before because I was terrified that she would stop treating me.  (And my son, but that’s a whole other story!)
My cell phone log only shows 1 call from you on 8/21 at 12:37pm and I was at work that day.  My son may have answered the phone, but he passed along no information.  The last voicemail I got from you was on 7/16 and it had no useful information other than “I called.” in it.  Prior to that, the last two times you dialed my number was 7/16, and 6/2, both times I responded via email, but received no follow-up from you.
The last time you called our home number was on January 13th.
So, not several calls last month, but only one where you did not even make contact with me.  You didn’t respond to two faxed refill requests from Rite Aid, and you didn’t ensure that I had a prescription for when I was scheduled to have finished the previous prescription of Xanax even though I emailed as well as left voicemails on your office phone and your cell phone requesting a refill.
As for emails – the last one you sent to me before today was June 24th, although I emailed you on 7/3 and 8/20 with concerns, but got no responses.
Were you trying to rely on a 12 year old boy who you know is being treated for attention difficulties to relay very important information regarding my medication with that call on the 21st, or was it to simply say that you had called and assumed that he would tell me?  Regardless, no.  I did not receive any “message” that you may have left with him, which is why I took the pharmacist’s advice and went to Urgent Care on Sunday the 23rd.  The prescription that you attached to your email this morning says that it was written out on 8/26, which makes no sense to me since you say it is for my “next prescription” on 9/31?  The 31st of September isn’t even a date that exists.
It was with a great deal of effort that I was able to see xxxxxxx xxxxxxxx  at xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx and explain my situation and be referred to the section head/psychiatrist at xxxxxxx xxxxxx.  He described the tapering schedule that I had been following as quite aggressive and completely unnecessary.  I will continue to see him for treatment, as well as (my psychologist for CBT), and taper at a more realistic and less aggressive rate, as there is no apparent rush to take me off of xanax after taking it daily for 24 years, especially as I do still actually suffer from what he referred to as the worst case of panic disorder with agoraphobia that he has encountered in his career.
Therefore, you can absolutely call Rite-Aid and cancel the xanax prescription you may have faxed to them with the understanding that you are no longer my mental health care provider.

So, yeah…a tad furious.

I really hope that she doesn’t write back because I’ll panic if I see a response from her in my inbox.  I would think, though, that if no email comes tomorrow that I’m in the clear and can put her in the past where she belongs, and really start to heal from having taken such an extremely high dose of Xanax for so many years.

To be honest, my psychiatrist said it may take up to 3 years to completely taper me off of Xanax, and that worries me, but at least the cuts are only a quarter of a milligram a month instead of a half a milligram every two weeks.  He said he has a lot of experience tapering people off of doses of 6 to 8mg a day, so I’m grateful for that.  I had described all of my symptoms of withdrawal and all of them are normal, thank God, and my big question to him – would my short-term memory ever recover?  It will.  What a relief.

But let me say again that even today, at this point, the withdrawal symptoms are really fucking terrible.  There are times when I can’t type because…well, I just can’t!  My brain simply doesn’t work.  Noises become ROARING loud and I cannot hear what my husband is saying to me.  I am in a constant state of elevated anxiety – it just simply never stops.  Ever.  The shakiness never stops.  Off balance?  Always.  Everything – absolutely everything feels “off” somehow.  And yet, all of that is normal he says, and I have to trust him because I have to believe that there is hope for me.  It’s my last hope.  It’s my last chance.  I want to live and I want a life with people in it.  Friends.  People who might send me a card, or write an email to me.  A phone number in my cell phone that isn’t a family member or doctor.  I can imagine it, and I want it desperately, and so I’m not giving up no matter how much worse it gets.  I will get off of the Xanax or I will die trying.

So yes, this is absolutely the worst thing that I have ever endured, and the next three years might be this bad, but I have to be okay with that.  I’ll be almost 47 years old at that point, and I hope that I’ll have at least 20 years of life left to maybe enjoy some things.

I’m tired of being the forgotten one.  Most of all I am so, so sorry for what my anxiety has taken away from my children and my husband, especially my husband who has had to devote every single day of the last 15 years to making sure that I was protected from absolutely anything that might trigger a panic attack.  He is exhausted.  He is no longer him, and that’s my fault.  I really can NOT fail him, but also, I can’t fail myself.