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Me, My Psych Meds & My 12-Step Recovery

Published date : October 14, 2018

Now that I have double-digit sobriety, I don't have any qualms about pulling aside people who disparage the use of psych meds in encounters. As I sat in my jail cell I needed to wonder the admonition I received from an old-timer in a 12-step assembly I frequented. "Should you hope your Higher Power enough, you don't need psych meds" R-

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ally? How well did that work for me? Before my psychotic split I wore my own resurrection well. I'd wed the love of my own life. My IT consulting practice was netting me a mid-six amount income. The custom made home we purchased and furnished was paid in total. Funny thing about alcoholics. When things are going well we want to fiddle with all the recipe that got us there. Why is it that I need meds? Never have I been manic . For some reason that the under-utilized abacus in my head could not (or would not ) do the math that me plus meds . That old-timer's information began to resonate. After all, I had been a Higher-Power-trusting kind of man. Never did it occur to me that perhaps there was electricity and inspiration behind the growth of those medications that kept me sane. A salesman at heart, I broached the topic of discontinuing meds with my wife--my wife that hadn't ever understood me wholeheartedly. "I am doing fine," I said. "Just look at all of these articles I found on the internet about managing symptoms with exercise and vitamins." I closed the deal and by August of 2009 that I had been med-free. All was well until it wasn't. Talk about the need to get a lung transplant and also end-of-life-planning marked many of our conversations with physicians. Up went the anxiety level. Since the stress level started to grow, the amount of sleep that I was getting diminished. Or so I learned afterwards. Around January or February of 2010--the deadline gets somewhat distorted... a small racy--my answer to my wife's health condition was supposed to find out more customers, sleep and work more. One of my clients, a massive county authorities, went under evaluation by the country's Attorney General. The topic of the investigation? The contents of a database I kept. The country wanted the unvarnished data. Stress bombs were being lobbed at my fragile state of mind. Launched in the spring of 2010 there was an audible snap. Distinguishing the seemingly real from the fictitious got somewhat tricky. Paranoia replaced anxiety. Clients began yanking me into meetings to clarify why I had been sending late-night mails about Russian cell-phone hackers and questionable activities on the portion of my co-workers. Seemingly, my excuses were none too satisfying. First there was a mandated 2 - week"vacation." A week after I returned I guess no improvement was noted as the County Manager's individual safety detail for me in the premises. My yearly charging dropped by 75% in a time I was gambling and spending like, well, like somebody in the midst of a whole manic break. The bank balances were drained and the credit cards began to calculate out. My wife advised me of a promise to restart medication if she ever deemed it essential... and she was definitely in a deeming-it-necessary manner. Funny thing about psych meds, the dose which had worked well for many years actually wasn't up to snuffing out full blown mania. I resumed my meds, however, it had been like trying to fight a raging forest fire using a spray bottle. By May, loved ones were more than a little worried. That came to a head in the aftermath of a pool party/cookout gone awry. For some reason I thought our guests required to be bombarded by the entire material of my garage spread across the front lawn and folding tables stacked full of $3,500 dollars' worth of arbitrary magazines, toys, household goods, and an excessive amount of Febreze in a 2 a.m. Walmart buying spree. Twenty-four hours after there was a late time trip from the local authorities to take me to a 72-hour psych hold my wife and daughters had organized. Agnosognosia. A Greek word for absence of penetration. The health profession has allowed it to describe the phenomenon of people in the throes of mania denying that they are manic. I had it now, however great. Four hours into my psych hold I pretended to be sleeping and then put onto a very serene front for your psychiatrist who had just come on shift to create the rounds. By hour I had been discharged, along with my wife and girl obtained a tongue-lashing from the doctor for wasting time. I delighted in that, but not once did it occur to me that if I had to consciously behave calm, perhaps things weren't quite perfect. Life at home got a little more strained. Five days after I consented to be hospitalized. I then reneged on my promise and chose to storm out of the house to highlight how healthy-minded I was. I also made a decision to pack an unloaded .22 pistol which was likely to be the centerpiece of a yet unscripted mobile video masterpiece. As I turned out of my dresser into the duffle bag I was packing on my bed, my wife entered the room. The gun had been pointed out in her direction. She did not see a budding videographer; to her that it was a bit more"assaulty-ish." A half an hour later, I had been cleaning the pool at an unoccupied rental home of ours at which I'd decided to camp out. Not five minutes into it, I noticed a helicopter straight overhead. In my paranoid and delusional state, I presumed the helicopter was there to picture me in all of my glory. Figuring out, a very actual S.W.A.T. staff had encircled me and that I was not so delusional after all. My mugshot made the front page of the important online newspaper... in all of my glory. Over the next six months in prison my symptoms subsided, my union was repaired, and I received a felony assault charge reduced to disorderly behaviour. (I really couldn't argue that I was a small twisted.) Still, I had one entire year to understand just how difficult it's to stay employable before that felony disorderly conduct was reduced to a misdemeanor. I'm now very sympathetic towards sponsees who are making an effort to get back on track after incarceration. It. If I'm still sponsoring, I'm still active in 12-step retrieval. It may not be for everybody, but it works well for me personally. I have double-digit sobriety, but 1 thing has really changed. I have no qualms about pulling aside people who disparage using psych meds in meetings. I talk about my story and explain rather firmly why they may want to rethink this position. I am not shy about sharing in meetings about an article from AA's Grapevine magazine printed in the 1970s if classes were wrestling with the topic of psych meds. The home set in that narrative? It arrived in a place that still stays true to the day: If guided to take psychiatric drugs by a doctor, you should not require you more, nor one less, than prescribed.