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3:49 p.m. - 2013-01-24
She won't swallow that s-t anymore...
A has decided to go off her meds ... without consulting her doctor. It's Wellbutrin, which according to her (and my research), you can go off of with minimal side effects, and she says she's done it before with no problems. She has been on it since Fall '11, when she was stressed out over buying her house, and her cousin's death from cancer. She says she has taken Wellbutrin when she was stressed out in the past and then stopped when the stress abated.

So now she feels like it is preventing her from having to deal with life and her own feelings, and she's worried about long-term side effects and also on becoming dependent on a chemical crutch to avoid dealing with things.

I am feeling guilty, though, because I am probably the catalyst for this decision. A has had unexplained rashes and allergies since last spring, and her doctors can't seem to figure out what it is or how to treat it. They've basically told her to get used to it.

"We'll figure it out," I said, and I have been trying. A couple of days ago it suddenly hit me to look up the side effects of Wellbutrin -- low and behold, rashes, migraines and other symptoms she's been having are all listed. She started getting this stuff about four months after she went on Wellbutrin.

She says the idiot who proscribed the Wellbutin and who's referred her to specialists for the rashes never made the connection.

There's no knowing for sure Wellbutrin's the cause, of course, but one would think her doctor would at least rule it out. Apparently the moron doesn't know the side effects of the meds she's proscribing.

Needless to say, A. is kind of pissed at medical professionals at this point. She doesn't feel like shelling out another $20 copay to get a blessing from the same idiot who should have taken her off Wellbutrin eight months ago. Can't say I blame her.

Nor can I do anything about it. I told her I think she should see a doc first, and that's that. She's an adult, and she can make her own decisions. Frankly, she makes better decisions than I do. So I said my piece to her, and I'm done.

What I am not going to say to her, at least not now, is how much I admire her. I don't know may people who go on a psych medicine when they really need it to cope (like emotional aspirin) and then go off it and face life head-on when they don't need it anymore. My coping style was always to refuse psych meds (I hate them; they make me feel drugged -- prior to age 18 I was on just about every one there is at one point or another) and to self-medicate with anything legal but destructive I could get my hands on. Dealing with myself head-on was never a goal of mine. I didn't refuse psych meds because I wanted to get to know and deal with myself; I refused them because I am a control freak and I believe in DIY drugging.

So anyway, she stopped taking them Sunday and so far so good. I guess. She seems normal. She says she feels clearer-headed. She is writing and talking to me more, I think.

Despite what I said two paragraphs ago, I actually don't do DIY drugging anymore and I've spent the past five years trying to figure out how to be mostly sane and happy, sans happy pills and booze, after 25-plus years of never being either, EVER. It IS doable. And I have talked some to A., I guess, about how I do it.

But I never encouraged her to get off the meds and do it my way. Why would I? If meds work for you, great. Wish they worked for me.

It never really occurred to me that maybe meds have the same effect on me as on anyone else; my "drugged" is another person's "better" and "fewer highs and lows." Personally I'd rather be miserable than numb. Especially if I can worked in some non-numbed, 100 percent real ingredients, full-fat Ben & Jerry's kind of happiness on the side.

A too, I guess.



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