I asked for help.
This is not something I’m good at doing. I feel like I should be able to manage everything in my life all by myself, and I feel like asking for help burdens people, bothers them, makes them angry. For years, I convinced myself that I didn’t need anything from anyone, didn’t need anything at all. I even convinced myself I didn’t need food and water, the very most basic things, and that almost killed me several times. I thought if I could kill off my needs, it would let me live.
Obviously, that didn’t work.
I haven’t been sleeping. I thought I could handle going off the meds suddenly–after all, it was recommended by someone with a PhD in psychology who’s also board certified in sleep medicine. And I do think I could be on fewer meds or smaller dosages, but doing it so abruptly was really bad. I was okay-ish for the first few days, but once they were all out of my system, I was not at all okay.
This morning, after barely sleeping and having nightmares about my mother when I did, I woke up having a panic attack. I tried to weather it on my own, but that wasn’t working. My heart was racing, and I couldn’t stop hyperventilating. I called my nurse, and she came over and had me take some gabapentin.
“You don’t have to be brave,” she told me. “We’re here.”
The gabapentin then tanked my blood pressure, so she fed me lunch, got someone else from Windhorse to take Winston out for a walk, and put me back to bed. I did, luckily, get a few hours of sleep, but there were more nightmares. They’re trying to find someone who can take care of Winston for a few nights so I can get some sleep. I’m going back on the meds at a lower dose. The no-med experiment failed, but I still do want to try a more gradual, controlled reduction. I go back to the sleep doc on Monday, so we’ll see what she recommends.
I’m just grateful that I have people to take care of me. I’m also grateful that I’m finally able to accept it. Today I didn’t feel like I was a burden or I was overwhelming people or I was a black hole of neediness that would swallow everyone and everything, and that’s how I usually feel about asking for help. It’s a pretty drastic shift for me to be able to accept it like this.
And Winston is doing MUCH better with the biting. He still does it when he gets really excited, but he’s learning. I’m going to be able to keep him. I still think it was really irresponsible for the rescue organization not to tell me about the biting, but I’m glad I have him. I think it was just bad timing, when I got him and went off the meds at the same time. But Winston and I are gonna make it, which makes me happier than I can tell you.