When I last left you, I was psyching myself up to take a Klonopin. The doctor had recommended 1 mg morning and 1 mg night. I asked her to start more slowly than that.
Boy, am I glad I did.
I am terrified of meds. Bad experiences in the past, added to the fact that my father died from what I believe was an unintentional overdose of medications prescribed to him by his “responsible” doctor have pretty much guaranteed that I will not respond well to medication. I will immediately experience every side effect ever known, and be miserable until I can no longer feel the effects of the drug.
However, as I detailed in the last post, something had to give. I want a normal life, and for some people, a daily Klonopin is a lifesaver. There is an old saying around my AA meetings that “when the pain of staying the same outweighs the fear of changing, you will change”. That time has finally come.
So, like I said. The doc wanted to start me on Klonopin at 2 mg a day. I asked for 1 mg a day, and she agreed. However, being the pansy that I am, I decided to start at .5 mg a day to see how it would make me feel, and I decided to wait until Friday night to start even that. I could be home, with no responsibilities, if it didn’t go well.
Friday night, I broke a .5 mg in half, chanted some positive thoughts, and popped .25 mg down the ole hatch. I really didn’t feel much of anything. Just kind of relaxed and groovy. Played some video games, put my daughter to bed, crawled into bed around 10 pm myself, and I was asleep in no time. We could be onto something here, folks.
Saturday was more of the same. Took another .25 in the morning, felt great all day. No anxiety, but I really didn’t do anything to warrant any panicky feelings. I did drink a Dr. Pepper or two without meticulously measuring caffeine intake, and I didn’t have any panicky thoughts when I noticed how much I was drinking. Took another .25 at night, and headed to the mall for my wife immediately after. That would normally produce some anxiety and panic feelings, and sure enough, as I was walking through the mall, I did have some panic build, but it was based on my own negative self-talk. I just took the pills, will they work fast enough? What if they work too good, and I get loopy at the mall?
Made it to the store I was heading to, and the feelings were gone. Now that’s an improvement! Usually those feelings would just degrade into an anxious malaise that may last a day or three. In this case, they were gone, and I believe it was because the pill kicked in and began doing it’s job, or my negative self-talk allowed it to do so.
Sunday, I was doing so good on a half of a pill, I thought I would take a whole one (.5 mg). Didn’t even need to talk myself into it. Just through it back with my pancakes, and went about my morning. Except….
My wife was still in bed. I laid down next to her to relax for a minute. And woke up three hours later. Time gone. Missing. She let me know that she had left and gone to the store, and I have no recollection of that, or the conversation that it revolved around. I didn’t move. Best damn nap I have ever had. But could be slightly problematic if I were at work, or say, driving to work. I have been pretty sleep-deprived lately, so maybe it just relaxed me to the point where I caught up. Ordinarily I wake instantly worrying about the day and what is to come, and in this case, there was none of that. But, just in case, I decided that dosage was a little high to start.
So, back to a half a pill last night, and this morning. I have the occasional yawn, but my anxiety and panic is barely noticeable. I hit a nice long McDonalds drive-thru at lunch with almost no anxiety, and have taken the elevator at work twice today with no anxiety, when I would usually hit the stairs. Huge improvement!
I plan to take the half dose for the rest of the week and try a full pill again on Saturday morning. This time I will stay away from the bed. Maybe I need a little time to get used to it. At any rate, I’m glad that I didn’t start with twice the dose, like my doctor had wanted. I would probably still be asleep.
Look, I know many of you don’t want to hear about being medicated, and want to kick this thing on your own. Good for you. Seriously. I applaud you, and hope that it works for you. I am just saying that for me, the deep breathing and counseling did not work, for many years. I just continue to avoid situations that might panic me, usually at my family’s expense. It’s time that I try something else. And so far, this is the most optimistic I have felt in years. I might have a life after all.
Peace, love, and happiness.