It’s been four official days since I quit taking my psychiatric medications, but it truly has been more like seven, and the withdrawals are making my life difficult. This test is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done in my life. Addiction is a tough thing to deal with, and I am struggling. It’s not even so much a mental thing as it is physical. Mentally, I am strong. I haven’t had any depression or anxiety to speak of, and I am very clearheaded, to the point it’s almost spooky.
To someone who has been walking around in a fog for the last 25 years, this is significant.
If you’ve taken psychiatric medications, especially benzodiazepines, you know the sluggishness and loss of cognitive function. I didn’t realize how bad it was until today. My mind has been extremely sharp, and my focus is better than I have experienced for many years. Today is the end of week one. How much better will it be when my mind truly heals from the damage the medications have done?
If you’ve read anything about fasting, you know after a length of time, you experience autophagy, which is the repair and replacement of cells within the body. I think if I do enough extended fasting (EF), autophagy will fix many of the damaged brain cells. It will be interesting to see after my body is no longer suffering the effects of withdrawal.
Along with insomnia, when I do finally sleep, I have very vivid dreams. Often I think these dreams are violent because I wake myself up kicking and punching the air. This is nothing new to me, I have experienced this form of sleepwalking in some manner before. My wife knows to make sure that I am pointed away from her because I have punched, kicked, and choked her in the past. I woke as I was choking my daughter once, and the self-hatred I felt for myself lasted long after the event.
I am not a violent person, so this is very disturbing for me. I have never hurt any woman or child in my life knowingly, and it hurts that would happen when I am most vulnerable. It is just another of the many reasons I need to be off medication.
When I do awake at night, unable to sleep, most of the time I have a blinding headache. I hate headaches, but since I have been on medication, I have been subjected to them often. Many years ago, when they first started, I got an MRI at the advice of a doctor, to rule out a tumor. No tumor was found, and he declared that it was a side effect of all the medication.
The last thing I will talk about is the muscle pain. The pain in the muscles of my hand and arms is terrible. I almost just dropped my cup of tea because I couldn’t grip the cup tight enough. I am hoping I never have to deal with that and the pains in my back again after the withdrawals are over.
Fasting and Diet
I ended my fast at 2 pm, 13.5 hours after I started. I ate some chicken bathed in coconut milk, which is a little high in carbs, but I couldn’t resist when I saw it. I also ate some very lean beef. There were vegetables in the chicken, so I was quite full, even from the small amount I ate. I knew I wouldn’t be hungry later, so I started my fast again at 4:00 pm. I haven’t had anything but water and tea since.
Here are my stats:
- Weight: 102.9 kilos (226.86 Lbs.) – I’ve found that my weight fluctuates about 4 pounds when I eat from water gain.
- BMI – 30.98
- Length of Last Fast – 13.5 hours
- Weight Lost – 1.6 kilos (3.53 Lbs.)
The water gain is normal, and by the morning it will have gone the other way on the scale. I am not too worried about the weight loss, but it is a good measurement of progress.
I am going to try and do at least 18 hours before I attempt to eat. I will only eat if my body needs it. I can usually tell if the withdrawals have been extreme whether or not my body needs nutrients. I am not going to push as long as I am struggling.
The real goal is to be healthy, not hurt myself any more than I have with the years of medication.