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  1. I'm putting this question out there, partly as a reminder to myself, hopefully as a help to others who are struggling... I am in such physical and emotional pain these past few weeks. It is getting unbearable. My wife and I are trying to stick to the commitment not to go back on the meds. But boy, do I think I want to at times. Especially right now. So I'm here to remind myself why I stopped the psych-drug merry-go-round. I hope it helps you too. And I would love to hear your "why" story. It will be encouraging to all of us, I think. Anyway, I went off of the meds because I didn't like who I was as a person, and more and more I got the feeling that the meds were a big part of the reason. I was an angry person all of the time. And selfish. I would give in to rage - even in the most inappropriate situations to do so (like my daughter's 7th birthday party, for instance). I treated my wife horribly. I would go off the rails, feel like killing myself, and take handfuls of the meds at once (wow - I never admitted that ever before). I would fantasize about hanging myself (even though I would never have the guts to do so). And as these things were happening - especially over my last year before going off the meds - there were more and more times where there was a part of me inside of my mind saying "stop it, stop that crazy person" - as if the real me was trapped inside of this raging body that had been taken over by another mind. I had to find out who God created me to be. I even needed to find out what a real relationship with God was like. Turns out that He created me as a pretty nice guy. I'm loving and caring and helpful now (well, as helpful as I can be given the immense physical pain the withdrawal has caused me, and the anxiety that keeps me from running errands some of the time). I was even more engaged in activities during the window as I tapered (completely incorrectly and too fast) and for the first 3 months after I was drug free. And that is part of the problem. I can remember a time during the taper, towards the end, when I was in a "sweet" spot - where there was no withdrawal syndrome, and 90% of the time I was a great guy. I keep fantasizing about going back to that "sweet" spot. But I don't think going back on the drugs after being off for over 4 months would really work - and it could cause actual harm (I fear, for instance, the suicide bug that bites some people during the early days of psycho-med use). Or, it could just cause me to go back down the rabbit-hole of using the psych-meds - and that will bring back evil me. So I'm writing this to remind myself why I quite the psych-go-round. I hope it helps remind some of you too. SJ
  2. I just watched this video of an interview with Philip Jacobs. I found some of his ideas helpful for understanding illness as part of a larger, more positive picture, he writes: 'I had always previously thought that it was possible to change my attitude to any situation. With the illness, I realized that there was a stage where you couldn't. You could have a good attitude either side of the experience, but not while you were in it. This was when the illness was deep in the brain, there was no way out until it passed and you just had to allow the experience to be what it was and if it was darkness then it was just darkness.' I was having to assimilate the idea of illness and suffering as a gift - what looked like suffering on the physical and psychological levels could often have a transforming effect on the deeper spiritual levels, that may not be apparent to the casual observer.'