Sunday, August 7, 2022

Comments by Ryan M. Becker

Showing 12 of 13 comments. Show all.

  • Dear Cathy,

    I have not forgotten about you! However, your comment felt extra special, so I preferred to take some time to respond appropriately. I noticed you recently published an article on MIA concerning Self-Harm; I plan to read it tonight. Although I do not have experience with the topic of your story, I feel it is an important subject that needs to be addressed. I lost a friend in the psych ward due to Self-Injury and an eating disorder; not a day goes by without thinking of her. I miss her dearly and wish she was still here chatting about her love for one of our favorite bands, Queen.

    Thank you again for your kind words. Everyone at MIA, both staff and readers, are helping my recovery as I fight to beat this struggle once and for all. With that being said, I’m not sure I would still be here without the admiration and support of individuals like yourself.

    Wishing you the best,

    Ryan

  • Dear Joanna,

    Thank you for this heartfelt message. Posting this story on MIA has been so helpful. The support that both their team of staff, including comments like these, have given me so much peace. Connecting with people has been challenging due to the overwhelming stigma of going off medications.

    I recently got involved in a friendly discussion with the moderator of MIA, Steve McCrea. He mentioned an all too familiar statement that we often hear from individuals concerning their ignorance of corrupt psychiatry. It goes a little something like this, “Well, if they’re this bad ON medications, think how much worse they’ll be OFF Medications!” This remark brought back so many memories of what friends thought was beneficial for the safety of my own sanity. Yet, over the last three years, my health has significantly improved.

    Yes, there are moments when everything seems like it’s falling apart, but overall, I am happy with the continued results. Of course, it will take a long time to heal when the taper is complete, but it is worth the wait.

    There is no doubt in my mind that I would have died at the hands of those doctors. Every pill they put me on was pushed to its maximum dose and, at points, beyond that. Whether it be 2000 mg of Seroquel, 2400 mg of Trileptal, 320 mg of Geodon, 6 mg of Klonopin, or toxic amounts Lithium, it was never-ending insanity. I couldn’t function on one medication, let alone close to ten. Consequently, it appeared as if I was in a coma on those drugs.

    This lunacy ruined my education. I have not read an entire book since before the age of fifteen. Instead, all my knowledge comes from movies and hearing my dad speaking about his love for literature.

    This crooked system newly mistreated my mother’s best friend’s daughter, only to develop permanent Tardive Dyskinesia. I remember the word luck that you have used, and it’s at times like this, that I realize how lucky I am, too.

    I wish to congratulate you on withdrawing from that neuroleptic. When I was coming off my Neurontin, the mental and physical pain was excruciating. Even though I am a big fan of what The Inner Compass enforces, I tend to make myself suffer by not going as slow as other people when removing each drug. I still decrease the percentage when I can, but I care to go by how I feel at the conclusion of the week before deciding what taper rate I will adhere to. I need to be done with all of this madness. For that reason, I have been okay with struggling a little more than usual.

    What touched me the most in your comment were your words in relation to my dad. Growing up, he may have overwhelmed me, but I forced him and my family through hell. It may not have been my fault, but I still feel awful. However, despite that havoc, we have learned to survive and barely ever argue anymore. Because of that, we are now enjoying life together like I always dreamed we could.

    Today my old man did the coolest thing for me. He understands how much I value writing, and in the light of that, he purchased me the new Typewriter Lego for us to build with each other. Of course, I explained he does not need to do these favors for me, but I can tell it makes him feel good bonding with me in a way we never did. My mom and dad are superheroes for what they have tolerated. I could not be more grateful for having them by my side. In the end, they have supported my recovery more than anyone. They see me every day and know that the best is yet to come.

    Warm regards,

    Ryan

  • Hey Brad,

    I appreciate the concern, and yes, I am going very slow towards the end. I’m reducing at a much lower percentage than I was previously. I go by how my mind and body feel, not necessarily at a specific rate. I also use the Jack and Jill method on The Inner compass to reduce it correctly. Jill has always been a much better friend than Jack 🙂

    My Apple Watch has been my best friend during this taper. First, it helped me to monitor how much exercise I was getting. Second, I monitor my heart rate. As long as it stays low during the week, I know that my withdrawal is not to extremes. I take my blood pressure as well every day. If my withdrawal feels overwhelming, my blood pressure is usually high. The most helpful thing is monitoring my sleep with an app on my watch called AutoSleep. I make sure that I get seven to eight hours of sleep a night. If it is any less than that, I know my withdrawal has been too hard on me. It also keeps track of my deep sleep. If I’m getting too little, I know I’m not having a restful night. Staying away from any know sugars is one of the best things I have done to make sure things go well. The slightest amount of sugar can make things awful.

    Don’t worry, buddy, I’m in it to win it. Life’s a struggle; it’s not meant to be easy. If it were easy, then writing about it wouldn’t be any fun.

    Take care, dude!

    Ryan

  • Thank you, Evegreen!

    First, I’d like to again apologize for my late responses. It has been hard for me to communicate my thoughts, especially the creative ones during this taper.

    I want to reply to you while discussing what everyone else has mentioned here. It is now 2 am, but my computer is calling my name. I should be asleep, but I need to get some thoughts out of my head.

    I awoke just now because of a dream I was having. I dreamed of having a random conversation with someone I’d never known. This person understood me, and we talked for hours. We laughed and talked about what we aim to achieve in life. By the end of our conversation, we were kissing and making love. I now see that one day I will be a part of life again and enjoy it to its fullest. I am late for the party, but I will get there soon enough.

    If it’s okay, I’d like to discuss other random thoughts. Of course, while concerning what others have said here in the comments section.

    Recently, my sister and I were talking on the phone. She was telling me she has been having some personal struggles herself. I told her that I loved her and would always be here for her. I even told her I was her big brother. The truth is, she is older than me, but I like to make a habit of telling her I am the big brother to show her I will always take care of her no matter what 🙂 However, I told her I needed to take care of myself. She said she hated that those doctors shoved pills down my throat for so many years. She says what they did to me was terrifying and made things terrible for our family and us growing up. I feel bad because so much attention was put on me growing up and not my sister. Because of that, she may have suffered some trauma herself and now looks to seek some attention she did not get. I want her to be happy, but I have to focus on my life, or I won’t have a future.

    Also, I have been hanging out with my parents a lot as they understand my recovery better than anyone. I didn’t get along with my dad for the longest time. When I was young, I wanted him to be the person I turned to when things were awry in my life. Back then, all I needed was a drop of therapy or my father to talk to. However, I found out that I’m stronger than I thought I was. I have found a way to accept my dad’s faults for what they are and have learned to love him for who he is. I no longer need that therapy that I once thought I needed. It was him that had me turn to pills. Unfortunately, they were not the correct answer then and only made things a million times worse. Now my dad and I enjoy talking about Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, and our love for music. He has enjoyed reading all of your lovely comments despite him not being able to understand more complex emotions. He told me he hates that I went through this for so many years and that I am an inspiration to many. Although I don’t need that appreciation from him anymore, it is nice to know he finally understands.

    I also wanted to mention that I got into a brief fight with him today.

    During this fight, I accidentally had a slight amount of sugar, which caused my withdrawal to be uncomfortable. I cannot explain things to my dad like I am to all of you. Because of this, there were some upsetting words back and forth. Somehow, I ended the argument with his understanding, which is odd. This is because he likes to have the last word. Growing up, he always needed to be the most comfortable person in the room. He also loves Shakespeare and has been watching a new version of King Lear. My dad constantly quotes Shakespeare when he should say how he feels from his heart. It’s almost as if he doesn’t know what to say unless it’s quoted from someone else.

    I ended the dispute by telling him a quote from my book Euphoric Wonderland. I said dad, you love King Lear, right? Let us have an adult conversation about this play you love so much. I asked him if he remembered the line from my book: “You’ll never see with eyes wide open, a broken Lear with no emotion.” I said dad; you are King Lear. Can’t you see I am that kid who has loved you more than life itself all these years, yet you were too blind to see it? I am Cordelia, Dad. I should have mentioned that there was never a Goneril or even a Regan in our family. My sister and I both love my dad more than anything. Not sure he ever saw it, though. I then told him that maybe if I ended up taking my life back then, he would have known what I needed to hear every day. I then said I have already lost everything, dad, and because of that, I now wake up knowing where to go in my life without ever even having to open my eyes to see what’s right in front of me.

    When I am with my family, they have also watched the news when I am over. It’s been a little scary for me, and I have to ask them if they can either turn it off or watch it another time. I am very aware of the shooting in Texas, and it is terrible. Somehow I hope that the parents of those kids find peace in all of this tragedy. When watching today, I noticed a slight tear in my eye. As I mentioned in a previous comment, it has been hard for me to watch the news during my taper. But, that small tear made me realize how big my heart is and that I love people so much. I know now that I will have an amazing life and connect with people soon in a way I never knew I could.

    I love you all!

    With gratitude,

    Ryan

  • Hey Joshua,

    I wish I could immerse myself into the world the way you can. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to watch the news since starting this journey. I have always loved keeping up with what’s going on in the world, but this taper has left me severely paranoid. My progress in healing my mind and body has forced me to shut myself off from anything that could be unsettling. I deleted all my social media accounts when starting and even recently removed YouTube and any known apps that can trigger uncomfortable reactions. Sometimes when I lay awake at night, I can hear the police sirens through my window. There have been times when I think they were coming for me, only to take me away and throw me into those dark and scary wards one more time. Fortunately, I’m stronger than that and will never let them take hold of me again.

    Ryan

  • Thank you, Fiachra!

    I feel it’s good to make light of even the darkest situations. It’s been hard to feel anything lately. I used to be able to cry and laugh so easily. But since starting this taper, it almost feels as if my emotions are locked in a cell. I can’t way for the day when I can connect with everyone and everything in the way I always knew I could.

  • Thank you so much. I still have a long way to go.

    Please excuse my lack of response. I recently started reducing the last of this half milligram. The last itty bit is always the hardest. Still, I never give up and will make it through, no matter how hard the struggle is.

    This has been the most isolating experience of my life. I’ve lost every friend I’ve ever had. It’s nice to know there are people out there that believe in this story. I only hope that it helps others in similar situations.

    I’m glad you enjoyed my writing. It has given me so much relief to express everything that has gone on all these years. I’m looking forward to the day when I can communicate with the world outside of my writing in a much more comfortable manner.

    Have a wonderful week, my friend.

  • Daiphanous, I think you are brilliant. I spent the last hour reading some of your other comments on here. After interpreting much of your writing, I was instantly mesmerized by the beauty you express. You have such a poetic way of describing life. Unlike you, my creativity is not all there. Unfortunately, my mind needs to heal before I can create what I realize has been with me all along. This story that I wrote was produced in a terrible state of withdrawal. It has been one of the few pieces I have composed since publishing my book Euphoric Wonderland.

    While on the subject of writing, I wondered if I could make a request. I’m curious if you would be open to a free copy of my book in exchange for an honest review? The poems/stories were created while I was still medicated before starting this journey of tapering off meds. If you look closely at the poems, you will notice my frustration with how the mental health system had treated me. You are welcome to message me through my website if interested. I wouldn’t usually ask this, but I am in awe of the power in your words. If this is something you would rather pass on, that is okay too. Either way, thank you for your beautifully written thoughts.

  • Dear Ann,

    Thank you for your kind words and your generous support. It’s so lovely to hear from caring individuals like yourself. It has been tough finding people to open up to about my progress. Most individuals I reach out to during my taper say this solution is just a ruse to get attention. However, I did my best to tell this story in the most honest way possible.

    You are correct regarding the amount of ECT I Received. It was more than anyone should undergo. Unfortunately, I asked for those treatments, but at the time, I was so confused about what I deemed acceptable. I became convinced that there was something terribly wrong with me. If I had only known sooner that it was the drugs causing my severe psychosis, I never would have taken such extreme measures. Nobody wants to be a part of such terrifying circumstances. It may sound foolish, but I am glad I made those mistakes. Seeing things dark and twisted gave light to a future life where I could finally feel at peace.

    Still, there is so much more that I must accomplish. The one thing I’m struggling with the most is knowing that I am starting over at forty or even later, as this journey is far from over. Sometimes, when I’m in the midst of my withdrawal, I find myself repeating things out loud. I often catch myself saying I want my life back but then have to correct that thought because I realize I never had it to begin with. Fifteen years old is too young to have fully developed who I am as a person. Deep down, I knew who I was, but the medication held me back from meeting my true potential.

    I am confident that you will help others by sharing your mother’s story of recovery. My twenty-five years of suffering seem trivial to what she must have experienced. I can’t imagine the nightmare she endured spanning over four decades of her life.

    Let us hope for a day when no one has to go through such agony.

    Best wishes,

    Ryan