Withdrawal

I’ve been telling myself for the last two days that I won’t write another post until I’m feeling better … but here I am anyway.  I’m weaning myself off the sleeping pill Lorazepam and it’s a tough go.  But having been on the medication for years, why would I expect any different?

I’m faded … dull … not Bruce.  And yet of course this experience is an aspect of me.  My meditation practice has taught me to sit gently with whatever life offers, even when my brain is refusing to work.  Wait a minute – how exactly have I been able to write these two paragraphs?  Perhaps it doesn’t seem like much to you, but to me it’s verging on a miracle.

My recent strength training has focused on being “fierce” and I’m doing my best to bring that quality to my withdrawal from the drug.  Yesterday, the woman who greeted me at a local natural health store told me it might take months for the effects of leaving Lorazepam to subside.  Months!  Fierceness blew up in my face as depression took over.

Today I’m not depressed, just mightily sleep-deprived.  I’m having trouble keeping a conversation going with anyone.  The thoughts seem stuck along with the words that exit my mouth.  And I’m crying a lot.  Without a logical reason, it seems.  And yet what’s logical about sadness?  I’ve cried for a beautiful tree, for Jody, for a new pro basketball player in London who sounds like a nice guy, for a golfer who hit a beautiful shot on TV, for the waitress who called all of her patrons “my dear” this morning.

My body’s not working right in a number of ways.  I’ll spare you the details.  A physio appointment this afternoon, a doctor one on Friday.  Heck, why don’t I toss a psychiatrist into the mix, just for fun?  No, don’t worry, I’ll not be needing a shrink.  I’m rolling through a time of “less than”, and in the big picture it doesn’t matter that I don’t like it.  What does matter is that freedom from sleeping aids is in my future.  Jody, in our daily talks (It’s okay if that’s outside of your reality), says “I’m proud of you, husband.  You can do this.”  And I will.

I guess there are many people who live perpetually in the fog I feel.  How sad.  We’re meant to be vibrant beings who touch each other in many ways.  I fully intend to be back there soon.  For the time being, however, I’m being as gentle with myself as I can muster.  That makes me dully happy.

Drugfree Overnight

Another fine concert yesterday evening and another late night, what with the subway ride home to my hotel.  I dabbled on the Internet for thirty minutes or so but then it was time for sleeps.  I thought I did my usual pre-bed routine but I missed one crucial thing: taking my sleeping pills.

I’ve been on Trazodone and Lorazepam for many years.  I didn’t handle the stress of teaching very well.  It was common for me to get no sleep at all on Sunday evenings, so scared was I about the tasks of the week.  So my doctor first prescribed one pill and later she added a second.  They’ve helped a lot.

The stresses after retirement just changed their tune.  I was caring for my dear wife Jody as she declined towards death.  The pills remained.  Now I’m officially a retired human being with greatly diminished worries.

So … last night.  I just forgot.  The few times this has happened before, I’d be awake again within the hour and trudging to the medicine cabinet for relief.  This time I slept for about four-and-a-half hours.  How is this possible?  A cold turkey event and still my brain slowed into slumber.

Here I am post-shower and pre-breakfast.  I feel a bit rough but the shower helped.  Now what do I do?  Wisdom suggests that what I experienced overnight was the worst of it all as I contemplate weaning myself off those little round things.  I could try skipping the Lorazepam tonight to see what Trazodone by itself can accomplish.  Later I could cut those pills in half, and then … nothing.  No pills.  Me.  Bruce Kerr.  Sleeping medications have been part of me for so long.

I want this.  I want to be free.  I don’t want to be dependent on anything or anyone.  I want a loving relationship in my life, but the word I see there is “interdependent”.  Can I let the pills go?  “Yes” is the quiet answer that rises to the surface of my mind.  Most likely with considerable discomfort but really I don’t know if that’s true.

I want to be healthy
I want to live a long time
This is one piece of the puzzle
Here we go