Dragging: Another Type of Epidemic

I’ve been dragging. Maybe it’s desert life? No. It’s being sick. I haven’t been well in a long time actually. I’ve been lost in a trade-off. The war on drugs vs misery.

I’ve thought about talking about it. I nearly always do. I kvetch a lot about many things, lot’s of health issues and pain, but I’m never fully candid. If you knew the whole of it, I felt I would be, well, embarrassed. And, it’s pretty futile.

First of all, rewind. Peanut. We no longer have Peanut. We just couldn’t provide her with what she really needed: a home with other dogs and a fenced backyard. That is what she truly needed and, for her sake, she was returned to the rescue. Now they found her a better home. So we are dogless again. I guess we’ll stay this way for a while. I can’t have a dog.

Taking care of Peanut when she was here was difficult for me. Michael picked up all the slack. He’s amazing like that. But, I’d just come out of the hospital and wasn’t ready to take on the responsibilities of a puppy. A puppy with a lot of issues. We could see when we took her to the dog park how much she loved to run and play, jump and roll around on the grass with other dogs. She had so much energy, it was like hanging out with an ADHD person on crack and RedBull.

After Gemma was killed, I sunk to an all-time low. Anxiety. Depression. I went into the hospital, but I didn’t stay long. In fact, I had to leave before they would’ve liked me to. It was because they couldn’t accommodate my needs.

While I needed a mental health facility, I also needed a medical detox. I’ve been on pain pills for years and I stopped talking them. The hospital was not a detox center, a medical “hospital,” or a rehab. My insurance would not pay for that. And there were other reasons I was not able to get a bed at a rehab. Apparently, rehabs are for addicts, not those who are dependent on pain medication. Because I’d been med-compliant all these years, I was not technically an addict. Seemed stupid, since I was definitely addicted to these pills, but I couldn’t take a bed away from someone who really needed it.

So, for the past month, I’ve been going through withdrawal here, on my own. I’ve been slowly tapering down to nothing, and I am in a mountain of pain. Every muscle kills. I can hardly do anything. I’m flu-ish. I’m exhausted. I can only sleep for four hours at a time. My skin hurts. I’m dizzy. Blah blah blah…Yet, I am trying each day to draw, or make something. It’s just coming out like molasses.

This morning, I finally started a bigger watercolor I’ve been meaning to paint for weeks. It’s a kind of Diebenkorn-inspired sort of thing. This was all I could do today, because now I’m about ready for a nap. It has a ways to go yet, but this took about three hours so far. That’s about all I have the energy for today.

Between sleeping and feeling like shit, I’ve been making little quick sketches of compositions/ideas–something I can do while I lay around, but nothing fantastical is happening there yet. I did a couple dozen of them, but they take a long time to scan, so here is just a few.

I will say that I’m starting to get used to it, being off the pills. I am nearly finished and feeling a little better and whatnot. I still take one quarter of one pill in the morning and at night. Starting tomorrow, that will be cut in half. And I am on a lot of Advil. As for how I’m going to manage the pain in my legs and my back, I really don’t know. I can’t foresee how that’s going to pan out. It depresses me to think about it–going back to living in extreme pain 24-7. I did that for many years before I would ever swallow one single pill. I swore I’d never take any medicine in my life, but then when I finally gave in, everything was relatively managed. For the most part. Still painful, but bearable. At least I was able to do things. Right now I can’t do much of anything at all. Boo hoo for Carol.

Definitely have to nap now. More later…

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