Soul Doubt: My Face in My Plate- Happy Friggin' Thanksgiving.

Friday, December 4, 2009

My Face in My Plate- Happy Friggin' Thanksgiving.

Well, me foine blob (as Marmitoasty might say), here we are again. I've sworn to stay regular I don't know how many times (and no, I'm not talking about my bathroom habits) but I just can't seem to check in here and scribble down any noteworthy thoughts but every month or two- sometimes three. And now that I'm going to be a (...drumroll....) college student again, I'm going to need to sharpen my writing skills, honing them to a fine point, have I any hopes to make the Dean's List and obtain any merit scholarships. And in the state of perpetual poverty our little family has recently sunk to, I'll be needing all the help I can get. Pell grants only go so far, and even if one of the many, many, MANY essays and other lottery-style scholarships I've applied to pan out, I'll still need a bit more butter for my bread. Or is it the other way around?

Sigh. I almost feel as though I'm at this massive anticlimactic crossroads, staring bleakly down one route, suspiciously down another, and longingly back behind me. Which is totally senseless- I have everything in the world to look forward to- I've just been screwing up ever so slightly as of late, which noticeably came to a head this Thanksgiving, and it's made me a bit hesitant of my abilities to carry on.

See, being in "recovery" is not like a sweet, green grassy plateau; no, rather it's a series of peaks and valleys, twists and turns, with brief respites of bliss here and there. And it's oh so easy to slip, no matter how many safeguards you think you've installed. I'm here to confess one of those slips. Maybe that'll get this nagging weight off my chest, this feeling of guilt slash shame slash defiance.

Because, see, I can rationalize it to the point where I say, "I didn't really slip- after all, those were prescribed medications!" But I know, and Lord knows everyone who witnessed the debacle knew, it was a full-blown relapse.

It all came about like this. I've been treated for depression and anxiety for most of this last year, plus been on a low dose of Methadone for just about forever. My doc is hesitant to take me off the Methadone before the depression gets stabilized, and I suppose I can see her point- if I'm in a danger zone of depression, I'd be more prone to doing something REALLY stupid. But anyway, after trying multiple SSRI's and SRNI's and tri-cyclic antidepressants-none of which did anything except deplete our bank account, this new one came out that my doc was really hot to trot on. Pristiq. Since I've only been on it a week now, I can't really tell you if it's the magic pill all the physicians are lauding it as, but what I can tell you is that there is one helluva interaction when taken at the same time as my regular dose of Methadone, plus a handful of Valium for nervousness. Oh boy.

See, the deal was to travel down to see the in-laws down in Boise- whom, by the way, I adore... in the seven or so years Tony and I have been together, we've never had any sort of problems. But, me being who I am, I want to be absolutely perfect- smooth-spoken, witty, urbane... you know. Plus, the perfect mother to the perfect two-year-old son. So out of my desire to be ultra-cool, calm and collected, I wolfed down a few Valium ten mg's along with the other two prescriptions. That's about the last thing I remember.

Apparently I slurred my words, trailed off in the middle of sentences, and staggered around like a drunken sailor. I literally had to be yelled at twice to pull my head up off my Thanksgiving dinner plate (that part, unfortunately, I remember). More company arrived- by that time I had been stuck in the corner of the sofa with a blanket over me- and they stared at me curiously, probably thinking I had just had too much to drink. All in all, it was a total humiliation that I wish I could just rewind time and undo.

It was so bad Tony's sister actually called my mother and my aunt and asked if this was an ongoing thing- worried, of course, about my ability to care for Jameson. They assured her it was not, that I was a fabulous mother, but there would definitely be a major intervention asap.

We all sat down Sunday morning and talked about the whole deal. I explained how surprised I was to have gotten to be in that bad of shape that easily- after all, back in the day I'd chug hydros by the dozen, snort oxy 40's or 80's, and pop a few Xanax just to make sure I'd really feel it. But of course my body's tolerance is way different now, and besides that, things became even a bit more clear after we hopped on and used their interactions checker for those three meds- BIG exclamation points next to all. Warnings of hypotension, slowed breathing and bradicardia (slowed heartbeat?), and all kinds of other symptoms I fit to a tee.

So I called my doctor's office the next day, and after explaining the situation, was advised to toss my Valium out (which was practically a full bottle before the Thanksgiving trip- it was supposed to be only in cases of emergency panic attacks) and take my Pristiq right before bed, my Methadone first thing in the morning. I've followed those instructions, and things have been fine ever since. On that level, anyway.

That is besides the destruction of trust in my family. My husband. My in-laws. The strange sour blend of feelings I myself am experiencing every five minutes or so... I mean, talk about dwelling on something- I can't seem to get those expressions of mixed disgust and empathy on my in-laws' faces out of my mind. Or the utter silence in the car on the ride back up. Or the fact that my husband now decided he wants to handle our bank account, and I can handle our Quest card (yeah, we're that broke.), when for the last five years, it's always been my job to pay the bills and balance the checkbook. I can count on one hand the amount of times it's gotten overdrawn in the last couple years, but boy, Tony can not only remember how many times, but also remembers the dates, the amounts and the fact that it was "all my fault".

But, as it always does, life goes on. I still go to church. I have a cool older lady who's sort of my mentor there, and I bawled on her shoulder for awhile last Sunday. I've been so geared up about getting INTO school, that now that I'm in, with my classes picked out and my award letter getting modified to put me at fulltime, I have nothing to do now on that angle except wait. Tony and I will straighten out our differences and probably end up having fabulous makeup sex sometime this week. My family will always love me, and my in-laws at least say they do... and I'm pretty sure I believe them. Trust can and will be rebuilt. So, as I said, life goes on.


  1. Aw, Kendra. Can I just give you a big online hug right now??? So sorry you had this happen.
    May I tell you that you absolutely write BEAUTIFULLY?? Believe me, your writing WILL open doors for you over at NIC. You have a real gift!!
    Do not HESITATE to call me if you just want to blab about recovery or anything else.

  2. Hang in there kiddo... recovery aside, if you really think about it, I bet there probably wasn't one person at that thanksgiving table who hasn't had a similar experience at one point in their lives...

    You have a lot going on young lady, just push on through it ... and if you're not making mistakes, you are not going to learn a damn thing... it's how wew deal with them that counts, and you are doing just fine.


Thanks for taking the time to read what I ramble about- I consider it an honor to get feedback from you guys, so please tell me what you think, feel, if you have a similar story... whatever you'd like! Thanks again and God bless.