Charge of The Light Withdrawal

Title:
Date: January 5, 2019
Image: a screengrab from an FDA drug portal about Aripiprazole (Abilify), for which I was on from 2002 to 2014.

"Cause No Harm." Apparently, this is a very well-known line from the Hippocratic Oath. Hippocrates would be turning in his grave when he sees how perverted the people (at least the ones who prescribed them to me) who take this oath were. As this nation is in the throes of a very bad opioid crisis, it's important to remind you that our kids are addicts too, as I was, until I got lucky with a career psychiatrist whose guilt caught up with her. She decided to commence her retirement with one last act of defiance.

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Shortly after I moved back to New York State, I was temporarily assigned to the on-duty pediatrician, [#a9d59a], who oversaw my doses until a new psychiatrist was found to replace him. I was dispatched to the Yonkers Service Center, where I was assigned to then-Director[#a0o54g]. I was always told by others that she was the harshest person there. I then began to recall that my former clinician, [#a3l58e], was given the same informal reference. With that in mind, I ignored their remarks and walked right into that office. "So, you didn't heed them," she said in a thick Eastern European accent. "I was given...similar advice a decade earlier, but that person turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me, so yeah."

I then give her the prescriptions slips and my insurance card, followed by an explanation of the pills and what they were prescribed for. I plan on attaching my CTPs to the site. When I do, I will hyperlink the previous sentence. She then wrote slips and handed them to me. She had a furrowed brow as she wrote them, and rolled her eyes. "Yeah, I know," I said. But four weeks later, I found an advocate in Affinity Health Plan, who penned this harsh letter, deeming my pills "Clinically Unnecessary." which I used as one of those thirds of justification to finally get off these pills.

I did attempt to withdraw myself, but I lacked the discipline to keep myself off. The side effects from a cold turkey withdrawal were too great, and I resumed regular dosage the following week. Something happened during that time, though. I saw something beautiful in that moment, but it was so dazzling I couldn't put it to words. I wanted to reach for that light once more. This time, I sought out a plan with [#a0o54g] to slowly withdrawal from the meds in exchange for mandatory blood draws (due to the Lithium, whose levels HAD to be monitored during the withdrawal) and both group and individual therapy with [#a9t44f].

I complied with all the preconditions set by her, and by April 2014, we began the withdrawal process. Instead of lowering doses (which proved catastrophic during my 2007 med holiday), we simply spaced out the schedule. Some med changes occurred immediately after the letter, such as the discontinuing of my Concerta, which caused my appetite to soar, resulting in astronomical weight gain (70 pounds in six months, with a blood glucose of 99). I was able to stave off any further weight gain as I exercised more. I even bought a gym membership with the local Planet Fitness, which I walked to from Nodine Hill, even though my lazy arse could have taken the 7. Unlike most people, I kept it well past New Year's.

I did not inform the Children's Village or my family that this was going on, knowing they would interfere. October 16, 2014 was the last day I was required to take the pills. I took the last two Lithium pills in the bottle and tossed my pills goodbye. I then moved to Northern Westchester, Town Of Ossining, where I would continue my education at SUNY Westchester. I eventually told CV of my withdrawal after Thanksgiving, which made them livid. I didn't realize that they'd be willing to turn my life upside down because of it, though. I later found out that they played a key role in the events that led to my eviction in March 2015.

- 🚏

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