Caveat Emptor

I apologize in advance if I offend those of you to whom I am related or close friends. Writing this is my catharsis and has been keeping me (moderately) sane of late.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Love and Xanax in Chicago

So, back to the Xanax. It is my touchstone, my savior, the one thing that allows me to to go on trips via airplane (rarely, my husband and I are teachers so we are grossly underpaid and therefore do not take many trips). Wait, I must interrupt myself! Back in December my sister and her friend were discussing their upcoming cruise with my parents and my parents' upcoming cruise (my sister is a grossly underpaid teacher too, but she was living w/ my parents at the time-poor thing). Anyway, they start talking about how great cruises are and how Mike and I should take one. My husband says, "We're going on a cruise! First we're gonna cruise to Target, then cruise over to CVS, and maybe cruise by the gas station to pick up some lottery tickets." Awesome! He doesn't talk that much, well not in comparison to me, but when he says something I am always impressed!

Usually when I interrupt my own thought I forget what I was saying in the first place, but since I am typing, I can look back an be reminded. Okay, back to the Xanax. I didn't always need/rely on Xanax. It is hard to pin down the exact moment my madness began, but I have some ideas. I usually tell people that it began after a car accident I was in with two of my girlfriends. We got in a cab on Halloween in 1996 and the cab driver took off like a bat out of hell. He ran through a stop sign, smashed into and totalled 6 parked cars, and my girlfriend's shattered face ended up in my lap. I was covered in her blood and the crazy part was that I was dressed up as a doctor, scrubs and all! When I got to the emergency room the doctor ASSumed that I worked in a hospital, fell in an operating room and that was why I was covered in blood. It wasn't a good hospital, but I wasn't that hurt, physically. Mentally, it f*cked me up.

That is the story I usually give for my claustrophobia, but that just intensified it. It actually began after my college boyfriend and I broke up. It was not a normal "I don't love you anymore" breakup; it was because of his escalating alcoholism. This break up really f*cked me up. I did not understand alcoholism at the time and control freak that I am, I just could not understand why if he loved me, he would "choose" alcohol over me. I have learned a lot since then, Master's Degree in Counseling and all, but I know it started there.

After the break up, I lost a lot of weight. I was already slim, but the accidental, because I am clinically depressed weight loss turned into an obsession to remain super-duper thin. This did not last long because A) I am allergic to exercise and B) I like to eat fried stuff. So I became claustrophobic-mostly in elevators. It may seem weird that I blame the break up for this, but I had to move back into my parent's house to do my student teaching when the original plan was for us to live together. Living with your parents in your 20's can make you feel very trapped, hence claustrophobia.

The claustrophobia was not so bad at that time and I pretty much totally got over it, until the cab accident, "NO CABS FOR YOU! NEXT!"

For the most part, I stopped taking cabs for awhile, though I still took them occasionally and I managed my claustrophobia quite well. In fact, it was mostly gone in short order. Mike and I met and started to become friends around the time of the accident. We were teaching at the same school and really hit it off. He was living with someone at the time, so we were friends, at work only! I do not f*ck with another woman's guy! The thing was, we REALLY liked each other. In fact, it was love fairly quickly and we had never even touched each other, let alone gone on a date. Long story short, He asked his nice, but not so intelligent girlfriend to move out, we dated for a millisecond, got engaged and married in less than a year and me and my soul mate began our life together.

The trouble began again the day after our wedding. We were on the plane waiting to take off for our honeymoon in Mexico when I had my first ever panic attack. Perfect timing! As I sat in my seat I watched all the people walking down the minuscule aisle to their seats and I lost it. I left Mike without a word, knocked all those nice people in the aisle on their asses, and fled from the plane. Oops, you married a psycho! Mike came off the plane to see what the f*ck was wrong with me. Of course, I could not explain what was wrong because I myself had no idea. We did not go to Mexico on that flight, but our luggage did. I was paralysed with fear. Oh my G-d, I thought. How am I going to explain this to my parents? The criticism my Mom would heap upon me would be more than I could bear. We went on a later flight, met up with our luggage and had a nice time. But how would we get home? I DID NOT want to get back on a plane, but I did. Looking back now, I cannot believe I got on that plane unmedicated!

That is how I found Xanax!

Pretty pictures of me:

  • In August of 2004 I went to Vegas with my parents and my sister. This is me poolside shortly after arriving via airplane. My Mom told me that people were staring at me and must have thought that I was a passed-out whore. Nice!

  • In December of 2004 My sister and I went to Orlando (awesome outlet mall). Following our plane ride I insisted that I was fine AND on driving the rental car to our resort. It truly is a G-d damned miracle that we survived that car ride. My sister deserves some kudos for remaining calm through this; I could have killed her for Christ's sake. Following the car trip/highway roller coaster ride, I passed out for quite a few hours. This is me upon waking from my "nap." I think waterproof mascara is in order the next time I travel via Xanax, I mean airplane.

16 comments:

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dark_one said...

My name is Wendy Angus and i would like to show you my personal experience with Xanax.

I am 45 years old. Have been on Xanax for 2 years now. In working with a wonderful doctor and therapist, I have learned Meniere's Disease is an anxiety=provoked condition, and is the worst thing I have ever suffered in my life. To manage this, I take a low dose of Wellbutrin everyday and have a 1mg Rx for Xanax, which I am supposed to take 3x-a-day, but to be honest, I usually only take about 3-1mg a week, so only taking it when I honestly feel "too anxious". I also take Meclizine for the Meniere's attacks and those are only as needed as well. I feel the Xanax is better to have around than not, for my personal conditions. It took me a long time to balance out my meds, and taking too much xanax feels as horrible as the withdrawl can be, as I've experienced both. Now, after much time in getting to know what my body needs and how I am feeling (like with anxiety), and removing the 'stigma' of having to take a drug to manage my conditions is now over, taking just a few pills a week seems to work beautifully.

I have experienced some of these side effects -
It makes me very thirsty (dry mouth) but seems to work well in combination with other drugs for my conditions with no ill effects.

I hope this information will be useful to others,
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melissa paul said...

i know exactly how you feel in this one. been there done that.
we should compare stories one day.
i think we will find a lot in common with the "security blankets".
xanax is the greatest invention in my book and a quick fix is a wonderful thing.

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