reply to post by ladyinwaiting
Gee, thanks, Lady
I realised afterwards that I should had explained that I'd already tried to solve my problems via prescription drugs.
When I first landed in the city, it was traumatic .. as if hundreds of tin lids were crashing inside my head most of the time. I did everything I
could to calm myself. Used to study people .. the way they walked and talked and handled life. Tried to copy them. If they could do it, I should be
able to. Recently, I read a description of 'dissassociation' (?) .. the feeling that the world is moving around you, but you're not part of it ?
Well, it was like that for a long time. Obviously worsened by my personal situation which was a trauma all on it's own.
At first, when I heard there were 'tablets' which would help 'anxiety', I started using those. You could buy them at any chemist's shop. I was
popping them like peanuts and told myself they were working. As long as I had a packet in my bag, I felt safer. They were the straw to which I
clung. But they didn't do anything more than take the edge off, at best.
Finally I was able to see a mental-health professional. He was nuts. He had tics and his legs jerked spasmodically, his eyebrows were working
independently, he had a weird cough that wasn't a cough and kept checking his watch, polishing his glasses, etc. But because I had no experience of
any of this, I just assumed it was normal. Then he asked me what the winds were for. He was taking notes all along. Polite trusting me figured he
must be giving me an informal intelligence test. Anxious to prove my symptoms existed outside my basic intelligence, I answered as thoroughly as
possible, i.e., ' One purpose of the winds, or at least the purpose to which evolution has utilised winds, is the spread of seeds at certain times
of year. Various plants and trees have learned to optimise the scattering effect of winds by ensuring they release their seed pods at a time during
the year when winds are favourable, also temperature and rainfall -- to give their seeds the best chance of germinating and taking root'.
The 'mental health professional' jotted it down fast and got a little gleam in his eyes. He was like a kid who'd won a prize. ' So you think
wings are to scatter seeds, do you ?' I stared at him .. ' Excuse me, did you say winds or wings before ? '
He said 'wings'.
' Sorry. I thought you said 'winds' '
' No. I said wings. You just told me wings are for scattering seeds'
' Well I thought you said 'winds'. Sorry. If you meant 'wings', then of course my anwer would be .. sorry, what sort of wings ? '
He was irritable because he could seen his 'lunatic' slipping out of his grasp. ' Wings. Any wings. Birds wings. Planes' wings. You know what
a wing is, don't you ? '. He was snappish
I began to panic. I was under 21. This individual had the power to put me in an institution if he believed I was 'crazy'. And he wanted to
believe I was . So I tried to stay calm and explain the purpose of 'wings'. Explained the reason for birds' wings and moved onto planes, doing
my best to include words like 'displacement', 'thrust', 'trajectory' and regretted failing physics.
Had to bite my tongue to stop myself laughing in his twisty face. What sort of question is that of someone who has panic attacks .. 'what are
wings/winds for ? '. Why had he asked that? Who was crazy here. But I was afraid of his power to lock me away.
He prescribed a drug called Stelazine B. Like an idiot, I trusted that drug the way I still trusted most adults. I blamed myself for not hearing him
properly re: wings and winds. Told myself the pills would make me better, normal, not panicky, etc.
Well, those pills made me severely suicidal. A suicidal fog. Everything felt worse than before, but I kept taking them because they were all I had
to fight the problem. Told myself they must be taking a bit more time to work than I'd expected.
In the end, the world defeated me and I took the entire bottle, hoping they'd kill me on the spot the way overdoses did in the movies. I just wanted
blackness. I'd given up on Heaven. Blackness, nothingness, an end to pain was more than enough.
Then I realised that was a stupid and inconsiderate thing to do to people. So I went to the hospital, told them what I'd done and asked if there was
any way to reverse it. They pumped my stomach, counted the half dissolved pills, sent me to a sanitorium in a van filled with assorted people with
dementia, deliriums tremens, etc. for being a problem.
Next day I knew I had to get myself out of there. It was a living hell. Was interviewed by several men with very white hair and very dark eyebrows.
Told them I was a stupid kid trying for attention, wouldn't do it again. They liked that. God took pity, sent my religious fundamentalist landlady
to get me out. She made me pay in humiliation.
The pills had a weird effect. Made my eyes keep rolling up to the top. Had to close my eyes, bring them down to the bottom, then open them and
continue talking to whomever. Seconds later they were rolling up in my skull again -- just the whites showing, apparently. Very disconcerting for
people who were present or to whom I was speaking. Had to go back to work like that because I had to pay the rent. Took a few weeks to get my eyes
back to normal. Optician said the muscles were wrecked and the eyes would never come good again. But they did. Still using them.
So that's when I knew if I was going to sort myself out, it had to be me .. no more pills, no more 'health professionals'.
Years later, married, sorted-out, happy and with children, saw a documentary about Stelazine B. Seems it caused so many suicides and other problems
that it was withdrawn from the market. I was a survivor. And knew what the others who'd taken it must have gone through. Was finally able to
excuse myself for idiotically taking an entire bottle in the hope of finding escape in blackness.
Sure, there are undoubtedly drugs that are helping people and if so, I'm glad they're helping to make life tolerable.
The only pills I've taken for the past 30 and more years though, are vitamins. And I believe a good friend (even if it's yourself) is at least as
helpful as many professionals might be. Just imo