Thus far, the year 2017 was the most unforgettable period in my life. First and foremost, I would like to give a “shout out of thanks” to the pharmaceutical companies who make psychiatric medications. LOL… Also, my psychiatric nurse practitioner for discontinuing medication that left me emotionless, numb and cold for over 10 years.
For the most part, discontinuing Zoloft and starting new medication was a smooth transition. Just to be clear, I am not advocating to stop taking psychiatric medication. I was on Zoloft for 10 years, and on the same dose which was prescribed by my family doctor. I had never seen a psychiatrist nor been officially diagnosed with PTSD until this year. My new psychiatric nurse put me on NEW psychiatric medication that allowed me to feel. My family doctor had diagnosed me with generalized anxiety disorder due to several episodes that had sent me to the emergency room consisting of heart palpitations, chest pain and anxiety. And just like that, I was slapped with the label, generalized anxiety disorder, given a prescription of Zoloft and sent on my way.
If only I had known how these little pills would impact my life. There was a period where I fought my family doctor on taking the medication however, after 3 trips to the emergency room I surrendered and just filled the prescription. No referral to therapy, no assessment for PTSD, nothing, just take this medication and go home. Today I have a new family doctor who requires every patient to fill out a mental health questionnaire at every visit, I am grateful.
The best decision I made was to also start taking naltrexone, a narcotic blocker, to assist with my opiate addiction. I had already overdosed twice, I do not have a death wish, I have chronic pain.
Second, I want to thank my mother, giving “a shout out to my mother”. (my mom above) Seen in the pic above before she became too ill to communicate. The phone call for help when she found out she had cancer. The months I spent by her side at hospice! And then when she was ripped away from me, taken from the hospice facility one night by my brother, her weak body loaded in an ambulance and sent to a nursing home hours away from me.
I spent more time at hospice house over the past year than at my own home. I know every room in the facility, every nurses name. I learned about my mothers childhood, how she was 15 years old when she was married off to my father. I changed my mother’s diapers, I feed her, hugged her and loved her unconditionally, for the first time in my life felt empathy toward her. I watched my mother change from a cold unloving person to a loving warm mother. For the first time ever, I had a mother. I regret nothing! My brother stole my mother’s body but, I still have her heart…
Third, I want to give a “shout-out to the #metoo movement”, for triggering the PTSD nervous breakdown of the year. While Time magazine is selling out and celebrating the metoo movement, I am traumatized every time I turn on my television. Really, I cannot give all the credit to the metoo movement, the family Facebook page really started the whole sexual assault nightmare.
I wrote more detail in my other posts however, in short, some people wanted to rehash childhood sexual assault where others did not. The family Facebook page became a “tell all” for sexual assault. In the meantime, the metoo movement was picking up at the same time. So you get the point. It was 6 weeks of hyper-vigilance and not being able to have anyone touch me. The end result of the family Facebook page and childhood sexual assault, my brother moving my mother miles away to a nursing home to keep her away from the truth.
It was, and still possibly is one of the darkest periods of my life having to grieve the loss of my mother, and at the same time deal with flashbacks of childhood sexual assault. The whole ordeal left me questioning my sanity, reality, judgment and memories. The only way I made it out of the depression was knowing from prior experience that time is a great healer. Each day I got a little stronger…
The fourth major life event was one of the biggest blessings in my life, my grandson. He came into the word with such an explosion the whole labor and delivery unit was running in circles. The umbilical cord started to come out before my grandson in the birth canal, which happens 1% of births, we are the 1%, always. It was 10 minutes from the time the nurse felt the umbilical cord when my grandson was born via emergency c-section.
Talk about holding your breath! My daughter was going into shock, my grandsons heart was stopping, I don’t think I breathed for 10 minutes until they came running out to tell me both baby and mommy are fine. And yes they are fine as hell. I love them to pieces.
The fifth major life event involves my son, whom has always been very independent and standoffs-ish toward me. Mind you, before my medication change I was very unemotional, there were times where my son needed emotional support and I was incapable of giving something I did not have, so you get the point. There had been this strain in our relationship for years.
Last year my children’s father overdosed and I dipped out. (wrote about this in overdose blog). Call it mothers intuition, or it was clues from Facebook posts and my other daughters comments regarding my son but, I felt this concern for my sons mental health. I reached out to my son, he pushed back, I continued to reach out and slowly he would engage in conversation. At first it was shallow conversation, then eventually he began to let me in on his life, and little by little we built trust.
I got an urgent phone call in the middle of the night from my son, he was in another state, stranded and needed a plane ticket home. My husband and I were baffled. My son has a very good job, is responsible! What is going on… We got my son back to Michigan and later found out he impulsively got on a plane without a plan and money.
Within a couple of weeks my sons mental health deteriorated. I continued to reach out and talked him into coming to our home and letting me take him to an emergency room for suicidal ideation. I spent 12 hours sitting in the emergency room with my son. We talked about all the pain, we cried, we hugged and I took care of him the way I should have many years ago.
I participated in family therapy and am still an intricate part of his outpatient program. My son needed to break, he had been strong for too long. This was the child who watched his father get shot over drugs at the age of 5, and then his father died of an overdose last year. Too much shit to keep inside.
Another year, another series of more unfortunate events, but are they really that unfortunate? Who is to say good or bad? The medication changes paved the way for me to feel my emotions, as a result, I had the capacity to have empathy toward my estranged dying mother. For weeks I would sit at her bedside and tears would run down my cheeks; the years of pain were released. With every encounter in 2017 I felt empathy, it was apparent to me the medication Zoloft had stolen my soul, and as a result, I had lost the ability to feel emotions. I spent weeks crying whenever I could, in my truck, in the bathroom, in bed, in the kitchen, on the deck, walking, talking to people, everywhere… I think people thought I was a mess. I had a lot of tears stuck inside of me.
My heart has grown, not sure if this is medically possible but, I feel like my heart is bigger. I love so much bigger! Even though it hurt so much to have my mother taken from me again, the love and forgiveness in my heart are worth the pain. Love covers pain, love is bigger than any pain we have. My son and I talk daily, there is nothing in the world that compares to my love for him, nothing you could give me, no amount of money, priceless. The year 2017 has been the most unforgettable period of my life.