Holy shit, etizolam is brilliant.

I took a test dose at 9:30, on top of a full dinner. (The roommates who have a vested interest in my existence knew I had it, and were watching movies in the next room over when I did this. I'm not stupid.) It kicked in by 10. By 11:30, I was not exactly all the way back, but I could have taken a shower or cooked a pot of pasta without injuring myself or burning the house down. Was pretty much normal by the time I went to bed, only a wee ghost of a headache from the hypotension, and no hangover in the morning.

Welp. That's getting chucked into Ye Olde Box o' Nuclear Options, where the Sudafed lives. Moving generally leaves me two cocktails away from becoming the Simple Dog, so I'm probably gonna need it. An effective dose for me is somewhere between a quarter and a half a milligram, and it's diluted to a strength of ~0.1 mg/mL in a 20 oz water bottle. I'm, uh, not in any danger of running out. Ever, maybe.

For the record, I have no idea if it would pop positive on drug tests, but in my case it doesn't matter. One, it's not a chemical that would be on any kind of standard tox screen. Those are made to detect illegal drugs, and etizolam is not illegal. (Here, anyway. The feds have no opinion, but a few states have condemned it.) A GC/MS confirmation test would not show any controlled substances, because I haven't taken any. Two, if it cross reacted with anything, it would be with benzodiazepines. I still have a legitimately-prescribed Xanax bottle, containing two lonely tablets that I did not dare take, just in case something somehow got worse this time around. It's old, but it's mine, which means I am allowed to have it in my bloodstream.

(Phenibut would not show up as a drug on any kind of tox panel. The whole point of phenibut is that it metabolizes into GABA, a substance that your body produces naturally. It would present much the same problem as testing for naturally-occurring steroids like testosterone in athletes. Normal levels vary so much from person to person that in order to get caught, you have to have orders of magnitude more than expected circulating in your body, and I am not taking anywhere near that much. Again: Not stupid.)

Pleasingly ninja-like pharmacokinetics aside, this is a great relief. I knew that having to go beg for my meds every time I needed them was an added stressor, but I had no idea how much stress that was putting me under until I suddenly I didn't have to. It means I can do things like tell the next doctor I deal with that, while I am happy to come in and talk to them on a regular basis so they can see with their own two eyes that I am not becoming a degenerate junkie, I am really fucking done with therapy.

I have a few big problems with therapy, and the main one is that it solves a problem I do not currently have. This would not itself be an issue -- things that do not directly serve my interests are allowed to exist, after all -- if it were not so difficult to convince people that I do not secretly have the problem therapy does solve, and instead really do have the problem I keep goddamn telling them about.

Therapy, especially cognitive-behavioral and dialectical behavior therapy, is meant to get you to pick apart your thought process and unravel a lot of destructive assumptions you have forgotten to question. The idea is that if you stop thinking of yourself as a useless swot, you'll figure out how to stop being one. I'm being flip here; it really is a lot of useful introspection stuff, and I use it extensively on myself and on all the other people I profile here. If you know what it's about, you'll probably recognize it all over the entire rest of my blog. I've been doing it myself for years and years at this point, and it's brilliant for what it is, but if it fucking worked on the status panicus thing I would not be dragging my ass into a doctor's office asking for Xanax, would I?

Unfortunately, it does not do anything about my actual complaint, which is that when I am legitimately stressed out over legitimately stressful things, I start having panic attacks and can't make them stop. They are impervious to logic. CBT is basically fixing yourself via winning internal debates. The thing I am dealing with is an animal, at most a toddler, and does not so much win the argument as it just ignores you and your puny hyoo-man 'logic', and does whatever the fuck it wants anyway. You cannot reason with it; all you can do is hit it with a very large hammer.

I realize the therapist has noble intentions. I'd probably tell them whatever they asked about, whether it's helpful or not, if not for the fact that they are generally part of a 'treatment team' and potentially have some input into whether I get my goddamn medication or not. I police myself extremely carefully, lest I say anything that makes anybody re-think my prescriptions. I just end up managing my therapist like I manage anyone else I want to stay at arm's length, which is more work than anything. I realize this is the opposite of what a therapist is for, but A) I am really fucking tired of being given CBT homework when none of it helps, and B) getting the medication I need to function trumps showing off my mad self-analysis skillz, even to someone who might appreciate them and have some suggestions on creatively misusing them for fun and profit. I would skip the stress and refuse to go, except going to therapy sessions is one of the standard hoops you have to jump through to prove you're a Good Patient, who Tries Hard, and can be Trusted With Real Drugs, which is unfortunately what I need.

I didn't dare say 'no, quit asking, I'm done' before. Now I can.

I like this position a lot better.

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