Well, three months from now, December 14, I will be 70.
Didn’t write yesterday, Saturday.
Did drop to three milligrams last night but awkwardly.
Plan to drop .5 milligram tonight, getting me to 3 milligrams per day for tomorrow.
Did not write yesterday (9/8) or the day before (9/7).
Well, I missed this last Thursday, Friday, Saturday.
I don’t know what to do about how just completely miserable and useless I feel immediately upon waking up. Well, not immediately. The feelings of dread, anxiety, and just plain fear seem to start round 6:30 AM. I toss and turn with them for an hour and a half or so, sometimes dozing, and get out of bed with this horrible weight on my chest and feeling that I really don’t know how I can go on living like this. The rhythm of the thing, or rather the regularity of the rhythm- that there is a rhythm makes me think it is a drug thing, or my general depression compounded by a drug thing.
Missed yesterday (Monday, August 31); and today is the first day of September.
But did manage to remember, last night, to take the reduced
dose: 1.5 milligrams of V.
But yesterday evening, it was 85 degrees in the condo at 11
PM. This has not happened in a long,
So we slept with the windows open, the blinds too. I don’t remember us in fact ever having done
this before. When I woke at one point, I
saw “rosy-fingered” dawn.
We also kept on fan like device we bought from Dyson. Carol says she could not have slept without
Lower temperatures are predicted for tomorrow, Monday.
Went to club; worked out on aerobic for 1.5 hours to the
tune of almost 800 calories. Still,
having dropped two pounds, from the NY trip, I can drop no more and remain
stuck around 170.
Did not swim. The
pool is almost tepid, perhaps from heat, perhaps to keep it warmer for
children, who have been kicked out their pool as the water is re-filtered (to
little or no effect, if the big pool is any indication).
Tomorrow is Monday. I
always find Monday hard. I am supposed
to be working, but I am not. And Monday,
start of the work week, reminds me of that.
This drug thing, along with the aging thing, along with
adjusting to the retirement thing–well, it’s all a bit of a bit too much all at
Tonight would be the night, following my two week plan of reduction, to drop another .5 milligram of V. But I am not so sure. My head feels like lead.
is reached through the doorway of grief and loss. Where we cannot go in our mind, our memory, or our body is where we cannot be straight with another, with the world, or with our self. The fear of loss, in one form or another, is the motivator behind all conscious and unconscious dishonesties: all of us are afraid of loss, in all its forms, all of us, at times, are haunted or overwhelmed by the possibility of a disappearance, and all of us therefore, are one short step away from dishonesty. Every human being dwells intimately close to a door of revelation they are afraid to pass through. Honesty lies in understanding our close and necessary relationship with not wanting to hear the truth.
The ability to speak the truth is as much the ability to describe what it is like to stand in trepidation at this door, as it is to actually go through it and become that beautifully honest spiritual warrior, equal to all circumstances, we would like to become. Honesty is not the revealing of some foundational truth that gives us power over life or another or even the self, but a robust incarnation into the unknown unfolding vulnerability of existence, where we acknowledge how powerless we feel, how little we actually know, how afraid we are of not knowing and how astonished we are by the generous measure of loss that is conferred upon even the most average life.
Honesty is grounded in humility and indeed in humiliation, and in admitting exactly where we are powerless. Honesty is not found in revealing the truth, but in understanding how deeply afraid of it we are. To become honest is in effect to become fully and robustly incarnated into powerlessness. Honesty allows us to live with not knowing. We do not know the full story, we do not know where we are in the story; we do not know who is at fault or who will carry the blame in the end. Honesty is not a weapon to keep loss and heartbreak at bay, honesty is the outer diagnostic of our ability to come to ground in reality, the hardest attainable ground of all, the place where we actually dwell, the living, breathing frontier where there is no realistic choice between gain or loss.
I suppose this makes sense. But writing something like this would require more sincerity than I could ever muster. I incline towards irony. Bruce Springstein is very sincere; Bob Dylan never was. He has always been a huckster and a trickster. Watching him in his early 20’s singing Mister Tambourine Man, I can see he is ready to bust out laughing, as in, “Are you suckers buying this shit salad?”
Felt miserable yesterday; sodden, sluggish, and sullen.
Missed writing yesterday.
Woke feeling awful.
Been a week and 2 days since last reduced v. by .5 milligrams.
Long time since I wrote here.
Hi Dr. Teague:
I believe I saw you last, Friday, July 31.
The night before that visit I had dropped my valium dose by .5 milligrams, making my dose for the day 4.5 milligrams. 2.5 milligrams upon retiring, 1 milligram round 6 AM; .5 milligrams at noon, and another .5 at 6 PM.
I stayed at this level for two weeks, until Thursday, July 13. Those two weeks were pretty rough; most significantly at the start of the second week I had three nights running of nightmares. I call them nightmares because, while most of my dreams are anxiety sodden, these had elements of violence not usual in my dreams. The details of these dreams now elude me, though I remember in one pounding my father up aside the head because he refused to tell me something I wanted to know.
I have now (Monday, July 17) been on 4 milligrams. I lowered the nighttime dose from 2.5 to 2. I was surprised at how quickly my sleep suffered, though the whole sleep thing has been I know aggravated by the heat of recent days.
Yesterday, in my third full day on the new dose, I was pretty miserable. My nose kept running; I ached in multiple places (calves and buttocks most especially), and had trouble with body boundaries. I stubbed my toes twice, caught my fingers in closet door, and bumped my head on a towel rack, when rising from the toilet. In general, re that area, my gut is not great. Oh, we took your advice and now ingest daily fresh probiotics (the kind you keep in the frig).
This morning I woke with thoughts of degeneration, decay and death. Not a good way to start the day at all. Terror mixed with despair. Took me a while to get moving.
I will stay at this level until Thursday, August 27, and then I will drop another .5 milligram from the nighttime dose. Unless of course things get worse than they are at the moment. Then I will reconsider.
Meanwhile, I keep up my daily routine. Breakfast, morning ablutions, chores, and cleaning in the morning; exercise in the afternoon, and nearly complete collapse after dinner Thank god for Roku; at least we can locate some relatively good TV.
I am concluding Stendhal’s The Red and the Black, as part of a project to re-read books I could not possibly have understood at the time I first read them (given my ignorance and maturity level). The Red and the Black was one of those.
I was sorry to see that Julian Bond died yesterday.
Best to you.
Nick (and Carol)
I have no idea what might be useful or not in a book about drug withdrawal. What would help other people? Maybe just a friendly voice from some one who has gone through it, along with a little practical advice, examples of how to go about tapering, and some stuff to get a sense of my life situation. That might undercut the more authoritative (do this) stuff; on the other hand the authoritative do this stuff is undercut by a lack of context from the speaker. Unless the speaker is a doctor, or scientist and not some regular dude
Yet another day like the one before.
Today, much like yesterday though I woke with a much bleaker feeling.
I failed to write yesterday (October 13).
Day did not start out as dark as yesterday. Felt a bit better.
A dark dark day. Nasty feelings that were like a weight on my chest all day long.
M. said that sometimes, when a patient gets the pain under control, and they are able to rest, that triggers the start of a rapid decline.
Online today for our Sunday meeting, S did not speak. He was mostly asleep though he moaned deeply a number of times clearly in pain. They have doubled the oxycotin. That may be knocking him out or his condition has worsened. It’s hard to tell.
Long hard day.
This will be quick.
Woke, thank god, feeling an iota or two better than yesterday, though I slept terribly.
A horrible day.
Woke feeling possibly an iota better than yesterday. But when I went to get it, the paper was not there. That’s the third time now in a couple of months. My stomach clinches up. No paper.
Really bad, bad day.
This entry, 64, was supposed to be written yesterday, Nov. 2, but I missed it. So this is the Nov. 2 entry written on Nov. 3.
Extra bad day. Feel almost as if I messed up with meds; left something out, or put something extra in.