February 23, 2016
Many of us have addictions.
Drugs, alcohol, food, love, sugar....
We use the term literally and figuratively.
"I'm addicted to books."
"I'm addicted chocolate."
"I'm addicted to Game of Thrones."
I probably have several addictions that I'd like to kick. Others that I wouldn't mind having. Right now, for the past 3 days, I am working on kicking a bonafide, serious addiction. I didn't really know I had this addiction until I googled my symptoms, which lead me to my meds, which lead me to their side effects. Yes, I'm a (retired) nurse. Funny the things that do not really occur to us when we're the patient.
So, as I've mentioned before, I have a pretty severe anxiety disorder for which I take a medication called an anxiolytic- which basically means anti-anxiety. It's in a category of drugs called benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are bad and should not be used long term. My doctor saw fit to keep me on them for, oh, 7-8 years. I must admit, there have been some terrible storms in my life during that time.
But now things are calmer and more importantly, side effects have come to the fore, namely, memory loss. I don't know if I can regain any of it by weaning off the medication, and have no idea how to control sometimes debilitating anxiety once I'm off the med and have an anxiety attack, but that's getting ahead of myself. For now, VERY SLOWLY, I have begun the taper. I am going extremely slowly, hoping to mitigate withdrawal.
Wish me luck.
(Yes, the irony of being addicted to a drug is not lost on me.)