"I spent eleven months trying a wide variety of substances and nothing worked. It either didn't make a noticeable difference or impaired my thinking to unacceptable standards. And the side-effects were quite unpleasant."
That is a quote from http://archiveofourown.org/works/133861?view_adult=true
's short fiction (NSFW) set in the world of Sherlock Holmes as reinterpreted for the new BBC series. And damn did it make me cry.
Sherlock goes on to say he tried morphine after all the legal prescriptions had failed, and while that helped, it made him stupid. But then "Cocaine, ironically enough, made my thoughts quicker and made me more agreeable."
One of the most brilliant, logical people in his world resorted to cocaine, and used it for several years, in an attempt to be "normal". I understand how that feels, when you'll try anything to feel "normal" even if the normal I'm looking for is totally not the fit in with society, get a job as a policeman that Sherlock was trying for.
People online and IRL keep wondering why I've stopped writing as much, why I don't come out to as many events or go out to dinner with them, why I'm not as present in their lives/our community. The first paragraph is pretty much why, although since I'm doing all this experimentation with a series of doctors it's taking much longer.
My newish doctor is good; we're making progress, and I'm thrilled with that. But I still struggle with sleeping through the night; I'm still in pain nearly all the time (the pain isn't as bad as the side effects of the meds that make it go away). And I'm trying to learn how to cope with the memory losses, the blank hours and days.
Ok - this sounds really self pitying, but in all honesty it's not; it's anger and frustration that nothing fixes it. I'll never be a NOC manager again, I can't remember what my grandmothers' faces look like, swathes of my life are disappearing and no-one can figure out why.
Physically, I'm feeling better than I have in over a year; the right thyroid medication and such make a big difference. I'm working out (as opposed to just stretching) again regularly, and while it hurts it's a good pain, not one that knocks me out for days afterwords. I still have bad days, usually when the weather is miserable and/or cold, but not as bad or as often as before. Yet there's nothing we've tried that helps my brain function the way it once did, and I suck at coping with that. The more stressed or upset I am, the less likely I am to remember basic facts, what you said last, or how to comprehend my surroundings.
It's infuriating. And there's not a damn thing I can do about it.