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Words by Julie - Living Life With Paralysis

Addiction takes all forms 2

First physical activity I have done since Wednesday.
Also, first time with my new poles.

Today is day five of a change in medication. I was feeling at the top of my game, so I decided now was a good time to see about reducing the amount of drugs I am taking. Of course, right? Feeling great, so let’s screw with things so the likely outcome is feeling crappy? Well, that is not the entire truth. You see, every day I get a bit of a foggy head in the morning between 10 and noon. It varies from day to day, but some days I just stare into space, sometimes ending up crawling back into bed. I have not been great at tracking the effects of my meds, but I think that this spacey head thing began when I started the antidepressant, and I think it got worse when I doubled it a few months back. So on the advice of my doctor, I have reduced it by half to see if those side effects will abate.

Having gone from 60mg to 30mg is not that big of a change, even though it is by half. It all depends on the dose, right? So I can only imagine what going cold turkey would feel like. I slept a full ten hours last night – felt okay this morning – so I think I am making progress, but it’s not easy. By the end of the day my nerve pain is back to a 10 and I am weepy. Ella is away at camp right now, and last night I cried because I missed her. May times this week I have wondered why I am doing this, surely it is not worth it?

Knowing how physically and emotionally difficult this small of a change in medication has been for me I can only imagine what others have/are going through. The dose is the poison, right? So those on strong shit like opiates – I can only imagine. They must just make everything feel so much better, and then consequently are so incredibly difficult to control, let alone cut out.

Theo and I had a funny conversation last night. He overheard Oliver telling his friend “my Dad is addicted to World of Tanks” (which, for those of you that don’t know, is a video game). This, of course, is one of those “out of the mouths’ of babes” kind of thing kids say. They want to emphasize a point plus they don’t really have filters. (I can only imagine what he says about me and Netflix.) Imagine this boy going home and repeating what Oliver said. Those parents may say something along the lines of Theo not having “grown up”. Now, let’s change the the conversation by replacing World of Tanks with a drug or alcoholic beverage of choice. What is the response? Something like, “Oh, yeah, they’ve had a hard time.”

It has been a hard time. And there definitely have been moments (or more than moments) that I have thought “get of that *&^% computer” and I’m sure he has thought the same as me. But now I am going to try to think of it differently. It’s the escape that helps to get through. And we, collectively, have to remember that we don’t know what trauma/abuse/pain someone has/is dealing with. But they got there somehow. And is sure is hard to get back.

This is what double polling in a wheelchair looks like, with not a lot of practice and on a rough and sandy trail. Keep in mind that my videographer is 11.

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