Confessions of a Dreamer
Today I did something I never thought I would do. I drove my son to and from the dermatologists office in the rain! Now this might sound silly to some but up until 6 or 7 months ago the prospect of driving in the rain (or snow) was absolutely terrifying to me. During the course of my abuse of ADHD medication I also developed an increasing sense of dread, fear and paranoia.
For the longest time I thought, as did my doctors, that I was showing the early signs of Bi-Polar disorder. I even took anti-anxiety meds like Prozac, then moved on to harder stuff like Cymbalta once my doctors and I agreed that it was the beginning of this disorder. Little did they know how out of control my Aderall addiction had become. Little did I know that amphetamine abuse can cause symptoms of mental illness over a long period. I was always nervous, agitated, going from extreme periods of energy to devastating times of depression and lethargy.
If felts as if my biggest fear was coming to fruition. My mother is a paranoid schizophrenic with bi-polar tendencies. Mental illness was always on the top of my “Ten things I never want to have list” and as the years progressed it felt like I was slowly slipping into a familiar pattern.
About a month after I stopped taking all medications I started to notice that slowly the fears that had consumed me where going away bit by bit. At first it was little things like not jumping every time the phone rang, wanting to have the blinds open in the house and the sunshine stream in. Little by little the shackles that imprisoned me are coming undone. Don’t get me wrong, I love the comfort and safety of my own home more than anything in this world. I stay in it way more than I should, but the simple act of getting into my car without a knot in my stomach and my heart in my throat is indescribable. I am starting to realize just how much I had lost out on these last few years. How much I miss doing basic things that most of us take for granted.
I know I have a long way to go. You don’t get off any kind of drug and miraculously go right back to where you where. There is a feeling though that I have not had in some time. Hope. Hope that each day will get a little better. Hope that I will be brave enough to venture further and further out my front door. Hope that someday I will fully reclaim my life and all the fears and challenges and depression that was once a part of my day-to-day life will continue to feel more and more like a dream that was.