Jacqui (jacqui) wrote,

Don't Mind Me While I Whine a Bit Here -- I'm Trying To Wean Off of Prescription Meds

I want to preface all of this anxious rambling by coming clean about my latest addiction to Vicodin and Valium. I've always said that my doing this, keeping this journal publicly, is a great big exercise in honesty and trust for me, so I need to be open about this.

I love prescription drugs. I love it when I have to go to the dentist, or get hurt in some way, and get to walk away with that little white slip of paper that gives me the right to buy a big bottle of some controlled substance. I like being able to take a pill and have all of my pain go away, so whenever I start taking one of these types of medication for something justifiable, like a herniated disc, I manage to milk the need for it, way beyond the time when I should have stopped taking it.

My latest bad habit is to take half of a Vicodin and half of a Valium together at night. I've confessed this to my shrink and my therapist and therapy group, so now it's time to put an end to all of this self medicating and wean myself off of these drugs. I don't want to be spacey and stoned all day because I'm hung over from taking meds the night before. I don't want to defeat the whole reason why I had this risky stomach stapling surgery in the first place, by cutting off the pain signals that tell me when I'm full. I've not only stopped losing weight but am now gaining weight and I'm terrified. Obviously I'm overwhelmed and frightened and the medications help me put all of this away at a safe distance but the longer I put off dealing with these feelings and the avalanche of stuff I have to face, the worse it gets.

I've seen pictures in the tabloids of a fatter looking Carnie Wilson and not only does my heart go out to her, but it scares me. I think, oh man that could be me soon. I have got to get on point here and take charge. I cannot lay around at night doped up on medications, eating and watching television, and hope to maintain this weight loss.

I've got to watch what I eat, drink water, get enough protein and exercise. But I was never good at any of that to begin with or I wouldn't have had to resort to having the operation. Nevertheless I have to do something. I don't want people to be able to point at me and tsk tsk their way to self satisfied judgment, "See, I knew it wouldn't work. Have you seen her? She's gained it all back again." I want to be any one of the many Hollywood glamour puss starlet girlies who whip their bodies into shape just weeks after having babies, or take off the pounds they had to gain to make themselves seem weightier for some role, just in time to strut up the red carpet to cheers, applause and awards. It's a sick kind of fantasy, impossible to achieve, but I want it, and yet my mind just cannot make the connection between the food I put in my mouth and the weight I gain, between the burning of calories during exercise and weight lost.

It's like I have some wire missing in my brain, some basic piece of circuitry that most of the rest of the world has. In my mind I think, "Oh I'll just eat this big piece of a cream roll late at night and not gain any weight," or, "Exercise? Walk on my treadmill? Yeah, I'll get to that, maybe tomorrow." I watch normal people gain three or four pounds and then struggle to take them off again, while I continue to gain. I hate this. I want anyone who gives me simple advice to have to live in my body, to feel these cravings, this hungry fire, before they compare themselves to me and then tell me what to do.

I've been feeling a lot like Cinderella after the ball lately. This magnificent thing happened to me, I had an operation and then I transformed into someone else without having to do anything except go along for the ride, (well, that's not true, or fair, but it kind of feels that way now that all of the hardest pasts of this are behind me), while all along I always felt the same inside and couldn't understand the compliments, the attention, and the approval I was getting from so many people, people I hardly even knew. Now the ride has come to a stop, my coach has turned into a pumpkin, I've lost my glass slipper, and I've got to go back to work in my kitchen sweeping cinders, or at least I feel as if I do.

Yesterday three people I hadn't seen in a while didn't recognize me at first, and then made a big deal about how great I look. One at the movies and two at the drug store. The contrast between how other people think I look and how I think I look is stark. I gain a little weight and think it's all over for me while the world around me seems to think I look terrific, everyone except my friend Atra who is compelled to say what is on her mind, no matter how hard it may be to hear.

No one knows that I still think I weigh three-hundred-and-twenty-five pounds, certainly not the men who smile at me, talk to me, and hold open doors for me, (men who wouldn't have glanced in my direction before), or all of the people who look me in the eye and smile, when before they would have looked away, the way people will avoid making eye contact with someone who is handicapped or injured in some way. I go out of my way to say hello and make contact with everyone because I know just how painful it can be to walk around in a world where you feel as if you are virtually unseen when in reality you are very much seen because you are bigger than everyone else and people think it's contagious, that the worst thing in the world might happen to them and they might just catch your fat.

Anyway, that's enough rambling on these two topics, I'd rather whine a bit about my life now. There's just so much to do and without the crutch of medication I'm feeling totally unequal to it. I can literally feel this anxiety gripping me, squeezing me tight around my chest and I could take a Xanax or half of a Valium but I think they're the reason I feel so anxious in the first place. My body has become accustomed to having something artificial to rely on when I feel this way and I refuse to give in. If I can just hang on long enough, get some of this stuff out of the way, go for a walk maybe, then I can put some distance between myself and the craving for something that will ease the anxiety. I'm also going to have a salad and finish off my long overdue collages, that'll help a bit.

OMG Anna, my new housekeeper, is driving me crazy! Please forgive me for saying this. I know how mean and nuts it sounds to be complaining about our relative, (and it's definitely relative), poverty one day, and then complaining about a housekeeper/assistant the next. It's just that with this many animals, and because both Beau and I are floaty minded ADD people, and I'm a lonely single mom, we need help and companionship, and my mother releases money to help us pay for it. I may not be able to pay my basic bills but I've got a housekeeper, it makes sense to me even though it must seem mad to anyone reading this.

There's also the guilt I feel when I say anything negative about someone who is in a less fortunate position than I am, and has to work for us. I know that it isn't a pretty picnic to have to pick up and look after my messy little man and me and our home zoo. Also because I was raised partly by Spanish speaking housekeeper pals, my ex-husband is only three generations from the border, and my son is half Mexican, I am super sensitive to all folks Latin. I also feel for people who have immigrated here from pretty much anywhere else. It's all a great big, "There but for the grace of God go I," but dear Lord she drives me mad.

She comes in when I'm obviously writing or in the middle of something and chatters away at me in this speedy mumbling way and even though I speak her own language fluently she doesn't understand a word I say and then I have to repeat everything. She doesn't hear well, believe me, it isn't me, even Esther, (my long time assistat/pal who comes on Fridays and Saturdays), is having major communication problems with her. There may be something organically wrong with her mind, (not that there isn't with mine or anyone else's for that matter), because she's just so scattered and flighty and can't seem to retain things which is exactly why I don't need in the way of an assistant because I'm the flighty, scatterbrained one who needs help with this. It's a little like the blind leading the blind around here lately. Or as Scott says, "When Esther's work starts looking really good compared to Anna's, (Esther is too burned out to really care about the small things around here anymore, she just kind of handles the broad strokes and then splits as early as she can), you know you've got a problem."

I keep hoping that with enough repetition she'll be able to get certain basic things, but the real truth that I don't want to have to face, is that she isn't cutting it here and I don't have the courage or the heart to let her go. I keep thinking, "Hey, well, at least she doesn't talk about how she used to sniff glue all the time, hang out with scary gang members, have a brother doing time for home invasion robberies with added time for enjoying torturing his victims, and masturbate the men she worked for, like Eunice did."

Don't worry I'll work through this somehow. I just need to vent because I'm feeling overwhelmed and extra anxious without the crutch of having that damned Valium floating around in my system. Right now is not a great time for me to try to find a new housekeeper, not while I'm trying to wean off meds, not while I have a mountain of stuff to deal with, not now that we've spent so much time and money training Anna, and not with mom tossing this new trip at us. I wouldn't be able to pull it off in the little time we have left and feel that I've left the cats in good hands before we leave. Plus the stress of it would just kill me.

The main thing for me at this point is to have someone who is good, kind, honest and can take care of the animals, and I think Anna can do that with a little more reminding, and there's always Esther who can come and supervise. Beau and I can fend for ourselves for a while. I'm just worried about the house. I don't think she can handle helping with all of the animals and keep up with the cleaning, and to be really honest I don't know if she can get all of the cat's medications straight. I'm watching and supervising and constantly helping out, but it's just such a burden to not be able to just tell her what we need done and set her free.

At the same time that I'm writing this I'm also aware of all of her good qualities. This is what always makes this kind of thing such a struggle for me. I'm such a bird in the hand kind of person, with men, with friends, with housekeepers. I've never been too good at letting people go and getting with the whole, trust that the right person will come along, thing. Even though I'll tell other people this, I hang on tight. Especially after I've just had a truly terrible person here in our home. I think the world is filled with evil Eunice type people and I'm afraid that with my funky luck, I'll wind up picking another one of these kinds of women.

Months ago I gave about five bags of my favorite clothes to a friend of Irma's, who is a seamstress, to fit for me. Irma had had her make slipcovers for some of our furniture, and a dress for me, and since they were friends I thought I could trust her. So when I went through my closet to weed out all of my way too big clothes, I kept the best ones, made of the best fabrics, to have made smaller. She came over to my mom's house and I tried on about thirty things for her and she pinned all of them, took them away, and then disappeared. It's been months and she hasn't returned the clothes, hasn't called, and doesn't answer her phone.

Finally today Anna got through to her, she made some lame excuse but eventually agreed to drop the clothes off on Wednesday. Anna can be very persistent so sometimes her inability to hear what you are saying can pay off. She'll just repeat herself until she wears you down and it was this technique that may have worked on the seamstress gal, we'll see.

Back to the pill taking situation, I haven't had a Vicodin in two nights and instead of taking the half of a Valium that I would normally take, I took something lighter last night. I'll try to wean myself off of the Vicodin and onto these other pills, then cut those by halves and thirds until I'm all done with taking things at night. Wish my luck. I think what I really need to do is get my ass to an NA meeting and an OA meeting. Yep, that's what I need to do.

We saw the latest Harry Potter last night and loved it.

Big hugs from Jacqui who feels guilty that she hasn't been putting up pretty images for a while but will again soon.

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