Return to September 27, 2007 (log)

Recent Events

As you may, or may not, be aware, I've endured a long, uninterrupted fall from grace over the course of the past year. To sum up, I lost my job, which I'd held for over six years, in October 2006, due mostly to diminished performance caused by a bevy of medical problems at the time (some of which are still ongoing). I temped and contracted for the first several months of this year, but since my last contract ended in May, I haven't been able to find any work at all.

What little savings I had were gone by July, leaving me unable to pay my rent, and at the end of that month, I moved myself from New Orleans to Franklin, Tennessee, to share a house with my 59-year-old father, who himself has been out of work since May 2006 and who was divorced by my mother, after 33 years of marriage, in October 2006. The divorce settlement she received entitles her to about 90% of my father's retirement money (his unemployment came about due to forced retirement).

These things make for a particularly downtrodden atmosphere in the house of avalyn.

It gets worse.

With the end of my longtime job and the contracting that followed it, I find myself without health insurance. Without it, I've been slowly descending into madness as my prescription medications run out one by one, because I can't afford to refill them at uninsured prices. First, I ran out of Lyrica. Not a big deal, but it did lend a small hand in controlling my panic attacks. Then I finished the last of the Seroquel, which had quite a bit more to do with controlling panic and anxiety, and left me finding it difficult to stay asleep. Adding insult to injury, the Lunesta dried up next, leaving me unable to get to sleep at all; spans of seven to nine days of severe insomnia followed on an almost predictable basis. Have you ever stayed awake for over seven days? It's not something I can recommend unless you have a penchant for horrifying hallucinations, extreme muscle fatigue, inability to eat or to form complete sentences. A couple weeks later, I bid farewell to Xanax, which was more or less the last bastion of defense I had against panic attacks. Luckily, I had enough samples of Lexapro, my antidepressant, around thanks to the far-seeing diligence of my former psychiatrist, who gave me several months worth of sample packets the last time I saw him. Two months after I'd run out of everything else, I still had it, keeping me sane. As of last week, I've run out of it, too. As a result, I've gone into deep withdrawal. There hasn't been much depression yet, but I'm sure it's in the post. Panic attacks and unprovoked feelings of anxiety now whip me multiple times daily. Brain zaps, a common symptom of SSRI withdrawal, prick me with each move of my head, neck or eyes, or if I even find myself thinking too quickly. Sleep has become a bad joke, oft-repeated; it seems I'm capable of it for only minutes at a time. All I have to look forward to is months (at the very least) of this kind of thing as my brain slowly becomes accustomed to the lack of chemicals it's been receiving in daily doses for the past five years.

Some have suggested replacing my prescription drugs with St. John's wort, GABA supplements, melatonin or valerian root. Much as I'm willing to give these things a try (despite melatonin and valerian root never having much of an effect on me to begin with), I don't have even a penny to my name; my bank account is woefully overdrawn and I have to practically beg and plead with my father to get him to spot me even five dollars for petrol so I can drive to a job interview and back (not that any interviews I've been to thus far have been successful, of course), and said begging and pleading will occur only in times of dire desperation, because he doesn't have much money either, which is why I can't ask him for any money for food or to pay for refills of my long-lost meds. Getting five dollars out of him is like pulling teeth as it is, or at least it would be if guilt trips and disdain were parts of the normal tooth extraction process.

The Present

Even if I could find employment now, I honestly don't think I'd last too long, due to my mental state. Thinking things through has become impossibly difficult. The attention to detail that most work requires isn't something I'm capable of any longer (at least not presently).

With a bit of luck, my drug withdrawal won't morph into full-blown vertigo, which is what happened the last time I was forced to abandon an antidepressant drug regimen.

To top that off, I had a court appearance scheduled for August 23, due to a very minor car accident I'd been involved in early this summer. Since by that time I'd been in Tennessee for three weeks and I have no money, it goes without saying that I had no way of attending. As such, there's been an attachment for my arrest issued. I have no idea what to do about this, although at this point, there's nothing I can do at all other than hope for a complete lack of interaction with any police force in the future.

The only thing separating me and the homeless right now is the roof over my head, and I can't say with any certainty how much longer it will stay there. If I disappear from E2 abruptly, fear the worst.

I'm in a very large hole with very steep sides. Climbing out of it will be a major undertaking, and I don't know if climbing out of it is even possible at this point. My goose is pretty well-cooked. All that's left is for something or someone to come along and poke me with a fork. My only ambition now is to stay alive.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to curl up on my bed and cry my eyes out.

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