It’s not a secret that my anxiety has been bad this year. Yesterday’s news didn’t help at all, what with a sexual predator being installed on the Supreme Court. I was completely unable to focus on anything yesterday, and consequently, a lot of my job went undone. It wasn’t the end of the world – we all have our off days – but I’ve been having more and more of those lately. Part of it is I am constantly tired, always trying to shake off a fog that makes it so I can’t even see past my fingertips. Heidi told me the other day that I’m always telling her “I’m tired” – so much so that she wondered aloud if I was physically ok and if I shouldn’t see a doctor. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with me physically, and I always chalked up my constant fatigue to the stress of life and the world we live in now.
But I think there’s another culprit – and I think it’s Klonopin.
I take 1mg of Klonopin every night to treat my anxiety. I never thought too much about it, even though Stevie Nicks famously spoke out against the drug and how it sapped all her creative energy, turned her into a zombie, and then, when it came time to get off Klonopin, it was worse than getting off cocaine. At first, I didn’t believe that it could be Klonopin because I’ve been on it for a long time and haven’t really noticed anything untoward. But that’s when I realized that this constant state of tiredness had become my new normal. I was living in a fog that never lifted. I nap EVERY SINGLE DAY after work, no matter how busy it was at work or how much I have slept the night before. And the kicker was, I still felt anxious, sometimes to the point of paralysis.
Now I’m no fool, I know that anxiety is going to happen no matter what and that my job is to not fuse with it and just allow it to be a feeling that floats by. But it seemed this drug that was supposed to be helping my anxiety was not really doing much for my anxiety and was hurting me in other aspects of my life. I feel like I have been skating along at work, doing the bare minimum, because I am just so tired all the time. I can’t stress enough how much I feel like I’m in a fog – I keep coming back to the word “fog” because it’s so appropriate.
So last night, I cut my dose back to 0.5mg. I did this once before and the anxiety was so bad that I had to go back up. I’ll be honest, today I’m feeling pretty anxious, but again, it’s hard to separate that from current events, stressful encounters on social media, and having to chase a chipmunk out of the house AGAIN today despite thinking that I had sealed all the entry points into the house. So maybe it’s just that. I do think I’m going to have to find a non-pharmacological way to manage my anxiety because I can’t be on Klonopin – not to be dramatic, but it’s kind of wrecking my life. I don’t feel present for my own life. Just writing that makes me sad and anxious. But I guess I’m doing something about it so there’s that.
I need to try to meditate or something along those lines. I don’t know. I just know that Klonopin can’t be part of the answer. I’m scared to go off of it because I know that the withdrawal can be pretty bad. Maybe I’ll get lucky and won’t have too bad of withdrawal symptoms, but I’m not going to hold my breath because I’ve been on it basically every day for at least 2 years. Maybe I need to switch to as needed Ativan or Xanax, although I hate drugs that are spelled the same forward and backward.
Anxiety is totally invited to fuck right off. We’ll see how it goes, but I believe it to be the only path forward or I’m not going to be able to do my job. Discovering this has had one silver lining – before I put two and two together, I figured the reason I couldn’t get anything done is because I was a lazy piece of shit. Maybe there’s a component of that too, but I really think it’s the drug.
Even though current events and other various things in my life make the following meme appropriate, I think I have to persevere and work to getting Klonopin out of my body for good and get my life back.