Saturday, February 6, 2010

The ADHD I can stand...'s the anxiety that kills me.

ADHD makes me have a good time. It makes me energetic, it makes me have fun ideas, it makes me bounce around. Granted this is not always to my advantage, but it doesn't make me feel trapped, sick, mentally unwell, unable to make decisions, and unable to cope with anything.

Anxiety does.

And I shit you not when I say that the fact that my dog and two cats are having a pissing war that has destroyed my entire home this week has not helped. Or that certain people in my life who qualify as "high maintenance" have also not helped (hence I have hit the "ignore" button on their bullshit).

Oh, and the fact that my Remeron/Mirtazapine, isn't doing shit? Yeah that's not helping either.

We've tried two dosage bumps now, so I feel sufficiently convinced that no, this shit is just not going to work anymore. That's not unheard of in the world of Remeron. Sometimes, for some people, for no particular reason, it just stops working. And when that happens, and you start to think of Ativan as something you really want to take on a regular basis, you know it's time to ask for something new. The other night it was a tiny tab of Ativan and "oh look, a wine tasting, I think I'll pop in!".

Of course, here I am trying to finish up the dregs of school so that I can graduate...after having to ask for more time to finish my homework from last semester, because medication changes were making it impossible for me to think straight.

A lot of ADHDers talk about ADHD and how it kicks their ass and makes school harder...and it does for me too...but it's not even half as bad as dealing with unchecked anxiety. And meds changes in the middle of a semester. This is my last shot...I HAVE to finish this work this semester...and I am extremely sensitive to meds as anyone who's read this blog with any regularity knows. This is not anxiety talking--it is a fact that every time I switch anxiety medications, my thinking ability falls to shit for several weeks. But is that worse than literally hating life for those same several weeks because anxiety is running the show? Running my life? Either way the choice is heartbreaking.

At 7.5 mg of Remeron, I remember how it melted the anxiety away...and then we went up to 15 and all was still well...except that it made me so sleepy I couldn't function unless I piled my ADHD stimulants on top of it (which I honestly don't need every day). So we went up to 30 mg...but it felt like, even though the sleepiness pretty much went away...the anxiety was creeping back in. And so we went to 45mg...and gradually I have felt nothing but worse.

I've written about the anxiety before, and described it as a white noise, polluting the backdrop of every minute of my waking life, for as long as I can remember. It's back in full force. If white noise isn't an potent enough descriptor for you to grasp what I'm saying, perhaps this is: imagine fingernails on a chalkboard every time you're trying to have a conversation, make a decision, or get work done...and there's no off switch. Or someone beating a drum right next to your ear, that unfortunately nobody else can hear, so that when you react to it, people think you're being really unreasonable.

Oh I have a bottle of Ativan, the chemical equivalent of an off-switch. But I simply don't see drug addiction as a healthy alternative to chronic anxiety. Ativan has the potential to make very good friends with your body chemicals in as little as 7 days. The way I'm feeling, I don't doubt the potential for addiction could be very real.

This is why, and I have to remind myself of this, it is a fucking miracle that I made it in life as far as I have without a serious drug addiction problem. This is why everything about the general functionality of my life is freaking commendable. But knowing that doesn't make the anxiety go away, and this morning I kind of lost the battle I've been quietly waging for several weeks now. Poor ADHD boy, even though he suffers from anxiety himself, has never seen me this way, and was honestly, and understandably a little overwhelmed. Because you see, I'm able to be articulate sitting here several hours later, tying onto a page, but this morning when I began to unravel, I wasn't able to articulate the he was a little at a loss to know what to do about it, if anything. He politely speculated that perhaps PMS could be the issue...but the first clue that PMS wasn't the problem, was the fact that I had no inclination to argue that point :)

Knowing that I've defied some odds doesn't make me want to cry less. Knowing that doesn't make it easier to explain to people around me. All they see is irritable...cranky...illogical inability to make and sudden reactions...what they don't see is that the inside of my head looks like armageddon, and I'm just trying to crawl through the day with the stumps of my sanity held to my chest in desperation. Regardless of my actual surroundings, my mind and body are engaged in fight or flight.

I'll call my prescriber on Monday, but right now, Monday feels like a long, long way away.

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