manic panic

Dear Doc,

Two things I learned yesterday:

  1. It hasn’t been the lithium that has been making me feel so good. I haven’t been on it long enough for it to work, as you explained. I have been manic. That’s all. So, I have to accept that and try to make myself understand that it’s part of who I am and stop trying to find reasons/excuses to explain it all away.
  2. The symptoms I’ve been experiencing, though they are identical to lithium toxicity/intolerance, are the result of Zoloft (sertraline) withdrawal. I looked it up because I knew that, if the physical symptoms I was having were not lithium related, it had to be the Zoloft. As I explained to you on my first visit, I have only been taking it to avoid the withdrawals. The list of withdrawal symptoms in this article is not complete, as withdrawals can vary from one person to another. However, I’ve tried to stop it before, with no success, due to the symptoms I had, but I just didn’t remember till late last evening, when it dawned on me like most other things I forget about…like a bomb!

I can’t tell you how embarrassed I was talking to you on the phone about all of this. You must think I’m some sort of drama queen. Truth be told, I am. But, that’s just something you’ll have to fix. lol! I called N and let her know that I figured out the root of the problem. I should’ve already known that, as I have had severe withdrawals in the past, ending up in the ER once after passing out. Fortunately, I choked on my own vomit and that work me right up! I assumed you wanted me off of the Zoloft when you prescribed the lithium and abilify. If you said anything I don’t recall. In fact, I was going to ask permission to record the last part of our sessions, if you have any new directions/information to provide. I just don’t remember things. Blessing/curse territory, that.

I noticed, yesterday, that you were ‘handling’ me. I understand that is part of your job and that you do that for a reason. But, I guess that I have just never looked at myself as someone who needs to be ‘handled’. I’m not crazy, or a hypochondriac, or anything of that sort. On the other hand, I do have a list of issues and I’m sure that you get many calls every day from people wanting to talk about their issues. I felt I needed to report the symptoms while I was having them, or I’d simply forget about it. And, I would not have emailed you if I had realized what the core issue was. But, I’d been up for almost three days, I think. And, before that, I think I’d gotten three hours of sleep. So, hell yeah, I was concerned. For $250 and hour, I felt as though I could email or call in an emergency, and, yesterday, I was reaching a point. Let’s leave it at that.

I fell asleep at three something this morning and slept till just past 8. I feel exhausted, and very much like I sort of crashed. I am still talking talking talking too fast and too long. I just cannot shut the fuck up. But I’m more calm this morning, and I’m happy about that. I have several tasks I wish to complete today, so I put them on my phone calendar. I’m going to take my time and do one thing at a time, to completion. I may not get finished with everything on my list, but I have to at least manage to finish something. So, that’s the goal: Try for everything, but at least finish one thing. I think that’s reasonable.

I had another chat with my friend in the wee hours of this morning. He is a shaman and doesn’t even realize it. He’s the only one who knows about a certain aspect of my life, because he asked the question. Of all the people I’ve known in my life, he is the only one perceptive enough to pick up on things I say and such and to understand and empathize. What he knows about me, nobody knows. It feels good, though, to know that someone out there cared enough to ask and is open enough to accept and help me through the horrible answer.

I think God truly does work in mysterious ways. I’ve always believed that the people who come and go from your life are meant to. Some stay, some are friends for a season, some are there for only one reason. It’s a beautiful thing, when you think about it. I hope that I can be as good a friend as to my lil shaman as he is to me. His wisdom is precious to me, and it comes from a very deep well. I honestly don’t think he realizes the impact he has. I thank God for letting us cross paths.

On that note, I’m gong to go attempt to complete my first task. Fingers crossed!


































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