Muh Chemical Profile

I’ve been taking various central nervous system drugs since I was a wee Berserker of seven or eight. My current cocktail, including non-psych meds is:

Risperdal 3mg daily
Ritalin XR 20 mg daily
Wellbutrin XR 150 mg daily (beginning tomorrow morning)
Metropolol 25 mg daily
Benazepril  6.5 mg daily
Also occasional ibuprofen for joint pain and I keep a few vistaril on hand for the times when sleep is elusive.

Some folks tell me it’s horrible that I take all these meds. I don’t think it is myself. Aside from them working at keeping me sane, organized and not hypertensive or achy I don’t really feel like I’m ‘on’ anything. I’d like to see you manage arthritis with no analgesics.

At some point in my life I have had these experiences with the following drugs:
Abilify- Made me very foggy and was rather unremarkable.
Adderall XR- was great for my attention span but revved my heart like crazy .
Buspar- didn’t do crap for my anxiety and made me feel blah.
Celexa- kept me hypomanic before being discontinued when the psych unit was bringing me down from a feral lexapro induced mania.
Depakote- Acute psychotic reaction. Tried to start a revolt in the crisis ward. Fun stuff.
Effexor- Absolutely despised it. Felt like a zombie dipped in shit. Plus I had the most horrible withdrawal. Ever hear of the brain shivers? Because I never had.
Geodon- Good results for pulling me out of madness. It does scary stuff to the heart though. Wouldn’t repeat it.
Lamictal- helped at first but crapped out fast.
Lithium- blunted my emotions profoundly. I couldn’t cry while I was on it. I can now. I’m glad that the side effects outweighed the benefits enough to try something else.
Provigil- great for ADHD but needs a time release coat or something as it poops out too quickly.
Tegretol- took at the same time as Geodon. It’s a seizure med so it’ll basically make you kinda drunk and disoriented like it did for me.
Zyprexa- made me fat. But slayed my psychosis like nothing else. Calmed me the fuck down fast.
Lexapro- induced a terrifying series of rapid cycling manic episodes. I am still cobbling my life back together from this period.
Strattera- didn’t do crap for my ADHD. made me feel really sluggish and ditzy at the higher doses.
Risperdal- works better for me than any drug ever has in terms of keeping me stable without completely zonking me into oblivion. It is a good med for the  bipolar/ADHD combo in particular. However, at the higher doses (6mg and up) it can do a number on your hormones. I only take three mg and my doctor is hesitant to raise it.

As with a great many things, results may and will vary. This is just what I got out of these particular drugs.  Hope you have found this entertaining and informative.

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Well…

Things are alright. I’m working hard as usual. I work at a burrito joint as a prep cook in the mornings. Not exactly my life’s ambition, but considering I was unemployed for years, it’s a start I suppose. It’s actually not so bad. It’s the same company I started working for part time when I was still on disability. After two years I switched locations and went full time, effectively terminating my SSDI. As I sit here absorbing King Diamond’s ‘Fatal Portrait’ album I realize that I’m actually something of a survivor. The first two years I worked 15-20 hours a week and could barely handle that. Worse still, I absolutely despised the job.

Allow me to explain a bit further. Sorry, I spaced for a moment as Andy Laroque and Michael Denner’s delicious riffing seriously distracted me. A friend of mine who worked there basically gift-wrapped the job for me. I just had to apply. I was still nervous as hell because by then I had been largely unemployed for the past three years. I started as a prep guy, but there was more to it than just that. I was also a dishwasher and a front of the house employee (bussing tables, cooking whatever the hot line needed more of on the grill (open assembly line type of situation). I was running around like a rat on meth trying to keep up. Some days I simply got buried and left three or four hours late. I couldn’t leave until the responsibilities of the day were complete, no matter how ridiculous.

I was losing my bloody mind. I was also zonked out on Lithium the whole time. It was icky beyond words. I was horribly bent out of shape most of the time. Then something cool occurred. I was cast in a production of ‘Guys and Dolls’ around the time my relationship with my girlfriend of four years was crumbling. This was a clear case of theatre saving my life and sanity. I had so much fun with this show that nothing could touch me. I split with her and moved home to start over. Happens to the best of us I guess.

So I kept working at burritoland. But a guy I worked with told me about the other location he worked at with a different franchise owner and slightly different way of operating. I was intrigued. I went in, got hired as the same job (or so I thought).After a few weeks I told the other store very politely that I was done and went full-time at the other, closer to home store. Right around this time I switched from Lithium to risperdal. Both this and the new job were huge improvements. It was so much better it blew my mind.  I could just be a cook and not do three jobs at once. I don’t mind having to do dishes but all that plus front of the house was too freaking much. I’ve worked there six months now and am fully off of social security benefits and it’s going just fine. Sometimes the grass IS greener on the other side.

So what else is up with me? I’m psyched to be going out with muh Man to see a movie Wednesday night. I have a bit of nerves for an unrelated reason though. My Dad left me a voicemail the other night that made me a bit uneasy. He said something like ‘I have a few things to talk to you about.’. My Dad has kind of a highly serious air even when he’s totally relaxed so I could be misinterpreting. But I remember what I did on Facebook that day. My hairdresser/theatre friend got married to his boyfriend that day and I congratulated them on Facebook. I think my Dad may have been perturbed by this.

My Father’s side of the family are conservative Catholics. Wonderful people but highly intense. As a bisexual man, I’ve always worn a cloak of heterosexuality around them, save for one Aunt who happens to be my Godmother. We don’t talk about it much, but she’s aware and is totally cool.

I’m not out on Facebook. Most of my friends know this about me but I’m not an ‘Advertise it with a neon sign’ sort of guy. I just try to be myself insofar as I can. Too many family members and not well known people are on there and I’m really intimidated by the prospect of how the men in my family would react.  Social networks carry with them some immense social pressures. I’m really not in the closet with most people. With my family it’s different I suppose. I’ve always known it would come up eventually. Still, I’ve played keep away for so many years.

Damnit. I never thought I’d accept this sort of cowardice from myself. I’m so desperate to not upset them that I’m upsetting the hell out of myself. Incidentally, what I’ve described is part of the reason bisexuals are despised by the gay community. They call it hiding behind heterosexual privilege or something. They think when the chips are down we put on the mask and play it safe behind a mask of ‘socially acceptable’. It isn’t like that, though I have asked myself these kinds of questions.

I don’t know. Maybe they would shrug it off. Or they might call me a sodomite and tell me some shit like ‘turn or burn’.I don’t know what to expect. I’m pretty sure they would not get it. It’s a generational thing I guess. My Dad is a good man. When I was a kid I got caught in an Atlantic riptide. My Dad went after me and pulled me to shore. I at least doubly owe him my life. He’s a very cultured man with incredible taste in music and literature. A man of relentless integrity. A man who’s flaws I can easily see past. I don’t know. Maybe someday I’ll summon the testicular fortitude. Just not today *sigh*.

I know sooner or later the cat is going to escape the bag. I mean, if the show Dexter taught us anything it’s this:

NOTHING STAYS BURIED FOREVER.

In the meantime I’m just delighted to find someone I can be myself with. Honestly, this is some of the most intense romance I’ve ever experienced. He’s strong yet delicate, witty yet absurd and just so very sultry in his geeky way.  I don’t really know why I let the family crap bother me. It’s me I have to live with, yanno?

On that note, have a pleasant evening.

-Thom