The Trial and Travail

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So, my psychiatrist told me that medication is all trial and error, that it would be great if they could just run a blood test and know what would work for me…but, they can’t; you never know what you’re going to get because all the meds effect everyone differently.

I have now tried eight different meds for depression and anxiety and I keep returning to duloxetine as the lesser of all evils.

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My last trial (and, what a trial it was), before again returning to duloxetine, was with escitalopram.

The good points..well, there was only one good point, and it was a very good point: I could reach orgasm again easily. It was delightful to not have to work so hard… the relief from frustration… the glorious intensity of pleasure. However…

The broken pieces of glass in my head would not stay put. Crashing and slicing around, they blinded me with mental and emotional agony. Thus, not doing much as an ANTI-depressant. Then, there was the physical pain which forced me to my bed.

Maybe, prior to taking duloxetine, I hadn’t realised the severity of physical pain I was in. I knew my body hurt most of the time, but it was…manageable, compared to the mental/emotional anguish.

Now, the pain in my body was intense and overwhelming, further contributing to a downward spiral.

And, so, I stopped taking the escitalopram and started again on the duloxetine. Bye bye easy orgasms but, also, goodbye crippling pain.

It’s sad that in numbing the bad, the good gets numbed as well. And, as far as mood…I still want to die…but, the duloxetine helps me function by effectively killing the physical pain.

The duloxetine also holds the glass in my head in check; it dulls the sharp, jagged edges, doing little for anxiety and low mood, but keeping full blown psychosis at bay.

It’s no way to live, it’s just a way to exist a little better, to (I detest this word) survive (bleurgh, I spit that word out with hatred).

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Meanwhile… (I sang live on the Beeb)

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At short notice on Thursday, I was invited by the Brahma Kumaris Meditation Centre that I often provide music for, to come sing at their new large Leicester centre on Friday (yesterday). That really wouldn’t be that much short notice to me (I try to stay practiced up and prepared for musical opportunities) except that then I was told I’d be being covered by BBC Radio Leicester.

Normally, I’d have been running around like the proverbial chicken sans head, thinking, “OMG! RADIO. LIVE RADIO. LIVE POPULAR RADIO.” However, they’ve recently changed my meds from duloxetine to venlafaxine and I was more like, “Nice. About time. Eh, what should I wear to be on radio?” (an ironic, but serious, question).

My friend Vee came with me and played roadie. Before going live, the man from the station came to talk to me. I introduced myself by name and said I was a local artist from Loughborough. He replied, “Excellent! We champion local artists; you should send us some of your stuff.” I retorted with, “I have done. For years now. I’ve never heard back from anyone.” He said, “I’ll give you my details and email; send it to me.”

This was/is worth getting excited over. Still, the venlafaxine is holding me in check from getting my hopes too high. And, yet, the hopes are still there. He seemed genuine.

We went live, I was interviewed (being American came into it), and then asked to “give a burst” of a song, I “bursted” decently, he got my name wrong when it went back to him, but he corrected himself so no harm was done. Then, while the show went back to the studio, he handed me a piece of paper with his details on it. He handed me a shred of hope.

Here’s the link to the podcast of the show.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p024wyv4 Skip to 1:13:37 to listen to my interview and “burst”. Shame about the stupid noise my sustain pedal was making. But, other than that, I nailed it, was asked back to the centre to do more music for them, and made a contact at BBC Radio. Not bad for a day’s work.

Tired

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I’m trying so hard to get well.  Very few will ever know or understand how hard I’m trying. How miserably I’m failing, however… that can clearly be seen.

 

I feel like a fucking nhs guinea pig!  They’ve increased the meds that do not work.  Ah, yes…this approach is so damn logical, isn’t it?  Let’s give the poor woman more of what doesn’t work.

 

So, the side effects of the increased Duloxetine is making me feel sick, more anxious/on edge/weepy/paranoid than usual, and – the icing on the disgusting cake – urinary tract/bladder infection symptoms. Oh, fucking joy.

Yes, I’m swearing. Yes, I’m angry. Yes… I’m tired.

 

I go through this, then I go back in July when, oh, let’s hope again /sarcasm, that they will actually give me something to HELP!

 

Is it too late? Has it been too long? Was there never any hope in the first place and no chance of real help until mental illness treatment is greatly improved? Am I unfixable?

 

I know, ultimately, things will get better. They will. Ultimately.  I will die, at some point.  Just not nearly soon enough for me.

 

I keep meditating, keep practising mindfulness. But, it seems like all the stacks against me keep getting stacked higher instead of there being lasting improvement; it’s just one stress/struggle/fucking “life test” after another.  I need a break.  A real break.

 

I’m so tired.