Archive for the ‘Antidepressants’ Category

The Good Life

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Greetings from nature!  …And by nature, I mean very swank “cottage” owned by friend’s wealthy father.  I think it still qualifies though.  I’m sure somewhere outside the vast and gorgeous kitchen there must be rabbits and squirrels and stuff.  Or at least a bug or two.  …Do bugs come with expensive granite tops?

I jest.  Kind of.  Sort of.  Okay, not really.  But we are near the water, and the air smells amazing, so I think I can suffer through the luxury somehow.  I know.  I’m terribly selfless.

On the plus and down side, Friend-Who-May-Or-May-Not-Like-Me wasn’t able to come up.  Which if he really is okay with me now is a shame, because he’s a nice guy and fun to be around.  But if he isn’t quite okay with me is a relief.  I’m calling it a victory.

And yes, there are four of us currently sitting in the living room, three one laptops and one playing video games on the big screen tv.  In the middle of the afternoon.  At a cottage.  With a gorgeous day outside.  We’ll be outside lots too, and there’s a fantastic lake-scented breeze coming in, but yes, I acknowledge some of the irony of travelling hours to do this.  I never claimed not to have rather geeky tendencies at times.  We should probably just go ahead and learn Klingon.  We’re not fooling anybody.

A quick conversation with a friend of mine who has also struggled with depression also confirmed my already-huge resolve to make a change in psychiatrist.  His guy, like, does therapy and stuff.  And discusses lifestyle changes.  And is willing to fill out paperwork.  And chooses medications based on specific symptoms and reactions to other drugs rather than chronologically.  And, you know, takes notes, and records what he’s prescribed him from time to time.  I’m tempted to see if I could get in to see him even just for a one-type consultation so that I’d have a plan of which medications might be a good fit for me if I ever decided to go that route again.  If I actually thought there was some reason to hope for a better result, I might even be willing to consider it.  …Eventually.  …Once I’m starting to go senile and my memory of the last year and a half has failed.

I should probably comment eventually on the SAM-e (aka SAMe, aka A-Adenosyl methionine) as well, as it actually seems to be doing what it claimed to, and though there were a few side effects to start, they seem to have faded down now.  I know that some people do have significant side effects from the SAM-e, but it seems that I, whose body seems to generally roll over in close proximity to any medication, am not one of those people.  Score!  I’m just now getting up to the suggested minimum starting dose of 200mg/day (which is still only half of the suggested minimum therapeutic dose), and it should take another week or two to know what this dose is doing, but so far so good.  Of course, as with everything else, it’s tough to tell sometimes whether changes are the result of the pills or of other natural life changes, but I am finding that I’ve got WAY more energy than I did.  And energy means motivation, and capability, and other good things.  Still have the occasional meltdown, but I’m hopeful.

Of course, I’m one of those people who gets quasi-euphoric from a cup of coffee, so I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that feeling slightly hyper all the time has improved my mood.  But it’s pretty great.

In addition, we on the way up here, we passed a vending machine that sold bait.  With a great big, very fecal-looking worm on the front.  Now who’s mood wouldn’t be improved by that?

If I was in an empire state of mind, I would probably invade Bermuda. …First.

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

We gave my much-younger sister and her friend (who we met that evening) a lift back to their town of residence after a family event on the weekend (it was a cousin’s post-topical-wedding reception, but that’s not really important).  The friend sent me a very polite Facebook message the day after asking if she had perhaps left her cell phone in our car, and if so, could I mail it back to her.  I looked.  She had.  Being a hip University student who I’m sure has…you know…friends and stuff, I asked in my reply whether she was suffering cell phone withdrawal yet.   This is what she sent me.

I think she might be awesome.

So I sent her an envelope containing the phone and two surveillance photos with a request on the back of one of them to “take care of this” by mid July, payment to follow.

The pictures were supplied by Google, so I’m not sure who this woman is, but I hope she has good life insurance or some decent body armor.

Around these parts, things are becoming progressively more stable as my body adjusts to the lack of foreign chemicals (and it does, indeed, look like I’m actually free of the Luvox for good!  Yippee!).  I’m fighting the urge to push myself too crazy hard now that I’m “better.”  …”Better” meaning pretty much right back where I was when they decided to pull me from work in the first place.  ;)   I’m still not handling stress well, but for the moment I’ve gotten pretty good at avoiding all possible stresses in my life.  So things are going okay.

In other news, that New York song “Empire State of Mind” with Alicia Keys and Jay-Z was playing on the radio on my way home today.  I have no idea what most of the lyrics are, which isn’t unusual for me, but one line came through crystal clear and I don’t think I’ll now be able to hear it any other way.  Tell me that at the one minute mark, she isn’t singing “concrete fills my red dream tomato.”  I dares ya.

Empire State of Mind on YouTube

Whoa Nellie

Friday, June 11th, 2010

So…yes.  It is definitely the withdrawal.

I wasn’t entirely sure at first.  It’s a tough thing to decide whether a particular period of increased emotion is the result of external circumstances, or chemical changes, or just a normal passing mood.  At least, it’s tough until it runs you over like a weepy freight train and then starts gleefully juggling your remains.  At that point, it’s pretty much easy to tell.

The day before yesterday I was so physically sensitive to sensations I was getting aroused by the feel of the keyboard under my fingers.  I couldn’t keep my hands off my husband.  I spend the better part of yesterday sobbing on the floor over a mixture of reactions to an e-mail from my boss, the ignorance of my psychiatrist, the frustration of dealing with these side effects, and any number of other things.  Truly, sincerely, heart-breakingly sobbing.  My eyes were so swollen last night that I could barely see.  Today, I have been touched so deeply I’ve been brought to tears roughly every ten minutes or so.  I have cried over people hugging, people winning prizes, animals requiring rehabilitation, television commercials,… You name it, I’ve cried about it.  Because it’s… *sniff*…just so… *sniff sniff*…sweet…that… *ugly snort*…the animals …they…got help… *reaching for yet another Kleenex*

I’m like an entire pregnancy condensed into a three day period.

I think I’m going to have a party when I finally get clear of these meds.  A big old extravagant “I Can Have Normal Reactions Again” party.  You’re all invited.  And wouldn’t that be a blast?  If I was independently wealthy, I would totally fly all of you out here if you’d come and we could hold the first annual Umbrellafest.  We could drink, and talk, and do interesting things, and totally not cry over t.v. spots.

…Except for those animal ones.  Because really, the people took them in and rehabilitated them.  And they’re animals.  Dude.

Honestly, NOBODY could be any worse. That “Weakest Link” woman would make a more supportive ear.

Friday, June 4th, 2010

For some reason every time I cut or paste anything into Word recently, it adds “A FAIR AND EQUITABLE DISABILITY TAX CREDIT” to the top of whatever I’ve inserted.  Just like that, in all-caps.  I can’t recall ever adding that phrase to my clipboard, but it is apparently something my computer feels strongly about.

More power to you, computer.  More power to you.

…Just not too much at once.  That’s what the surge protection power bar is for.

So my psychiatrist is still an asswipe.  I was not as firm in my conviction after the previous appointment as you all were.  I make a lot of excuses and allowances for other people, and do a lot of analyzing over any potential biases or misperceptions on my part.  Nope.  Definitely an asswipe.

Perhaps a well-intentioned asswipe, but an asswipe nonetheless.

Beyond the priceless “Meh, just continue to take the disruptive and ineffective medication forever” comment from last time, I’ve added a whole new level of wrong from the most recent appointment.  Like, seriously, unbelievably, kick-in-the-teeth wrong.  A wrong so sparkling clear that even I can’t justify it away.  …Which is probably a good thing, since it’s given me the certainty to ramp up the timeline on looking for a replacement.

I went into my last appointment with a pretty good idea of the direction I was hoping to take with things.  The way I figured, if I do manage to successfully finish getting clear of the Luvox, I am never, ever, ever going to want to go near another SSRI again.  …Which is probably okay all things considered, since even ignoring the side effects most of them seemed to make me much worse rather than any better.  Still, though, if I was going to give anything along those lines a shot, this would be the time to do it.

The only time that I’ve noted a significant improvement while on medications was over a year ago, when for a brief period I was taking Cipralex and Wellbutrin.  I was also meditating and taking good care of myself, and in quality therapy, so it’s hard to say what was the defining factor in the improvement, but if it’s possible medication has helped me, that would be the time.  The Wellbutrin by itself this time around has been…different.  I think it’s making at least a small positive difference, but it hasn’t been nearly the dramatic experience of those few weeks last time.  So if the medication was responsible for the improvement, it was either a difference in my reaction to the particular generic brand I was taking that time (which the doctors seem to think is impossible, but I have heard from others has been their experience too.  I had way different and harsher side effects last time too, which I find odd if there is apparently no difference in how the body reacts to them), or it was the combination of Wellbutrin and Cipralex together (the Cipralex by itself gave me nothing but side effects).  This seems possible.  One of the major random changes at that time was that I didn’t give a crap what anybody else thought of me, and Cipralex is often prescribed for social anxiety too.  So if I was going to give something a try, it seemed to make sense to try out that combination again now that I’m on a version of Wellbutrin that doesn’t give me hives.  …Right?

I’ve also now amassed an unfortunate quantity of evidence that “average” doses of these medications are WAY too much for my particular chemistry.  I’ve also come across a number of cases in my research in which too high of a dose of antidepressants has had a huge negative effect on a patient’s mood, while a lower dose actually helps them quite a bit.  So I’m thinking, since we’ve reached the stage of “throw random pills at it in case something happens” anyway, why not try a smaller-than-conventional dosage of an SSRI?  And since I’m on the Wellbutrin anyway now, and the Cipralex might have been helpful in combination, why not try that?  Add a little dose of Cipralex.  If it works, great.  If it doesn’t, I haven’t lost much, and I can just wean off that one instead.

…Except this is how the appointment went down.

-First thing, P-doc asks how things are going as he usually does, and I mention noticing abnormal and dramatic anxiety (almost certainly a side effect of the corresponding doubling of my Wellbutrin dosage). He asks for details and examples.  I explain my barbeque meltdown.  He proceeds to spend ten minutes or so telling me why my reaction to that situation was illogical (and not in a “change your thinking about the event or reframing” kind of way, but in a “that’s dumb.  You make no sense” kind of way).  I tell him that, yes, I recognize that.  That’s why I’m calling it “abnormal” and “dramatic” and am thinking that it needs to be fixed.  He continues to tell me why it’s silly that it upset me at the time.  I grit my teeth and try again to tell him that I realize that.  If I was anxious because there was a bear in my house, I would not have mentioned it as a problem.  He again tells me why my reaction makes no sense.

-P-doc asks me what I plan to do from here.  I ask for clarification of the question.  He seems to be talking about work.  I tell him that depends on what kind of a difference there is in things once the depression in under control.  I’ve likely been depressed the whole time I’ve been in my career, so it’s hard to say what difficulties are a result of the job and which are a result of the depression.  I say that obviously I wouldn’t be able to handle it now, but that I hope it might be different once I get into some treatment that’s working for me.  He looks confused and gruffly says “what do I mean I couldn’t work now?”  Um…that I’ve been curled up on my sofa the last several weeks, so nauseous I was afraid to move?  That just before that I was sitting in a parking lot literally for hours, crying so hard that I couldn’t drive myself home?  That until recently I haven’t been able to stay conscious for a consecutive six hours during the work day?  …And that’s if you ignore that whole “depression” thing that they pulled me off of work for in the first place.  You  know, the part where envisioning killing myself was calming?  We’ve talked about this…  He brushes me off.  He asks me why I would want to change my job.  I detail all of the ways that it feeds into my biggest problems and stressors, and how I end up working myself to the bone.  He says clearly I need to change my job.  What did I like about my job?  I detail the thinks I really liked and found fulfilling.  He says I love my job.  I say…um…refer to previous list.  I alternately love and hate my job.  He asks me what I dislike about my job.  I repeat my previous list.  He brushes me off by telling me every job is stressful.  I try to tell him that I thrive on some types of stress and give some examples, but that the particular stresses of my current situation aren’t good for me.  He brushes me off by telling me every job is stressful.

-In addition to the anticonvulsant he has now prescribed for the sleeplessness that was a side effect of the Wellbutrin, p-doc now wants to prescribe an antipsychotic medication as well, because it sometimes has heavy sedative effects and might counter my anxiety.  I tell him that the anxiety was so strong only since the increased dose of Wellbutrin, so since he has agreed to lower the dose back down, I don’t think I need more medications to deal with the side effects of other medications.  He tells me to take the antipsychotic.  I tell him I am not really comfortable adding another medication unless absolutely necessary since my body seems to be so sensitive to side effects.  He tells me to take the antipsychotic.  I tell him I am not sure I want to add another medication to the mix while my dose of Luvox is still not stable, since it’s still having a significant effect on my physical and emotional situation, and I wouldn’t be able to distinguish whether problems or benefits I noticed were related to the changes in Luvox, or to the addition of the new drug.  He tells me to take the antipsychotic.  Then he tells me the effects of the Luvox are all in my head.  I remind him that we did not one, but TWO double blind trials which he had previously agreed determined beyond reasonable doubt that I was sincerely reacting to the Luvox and not imagining things or creating them for myself.  He brushes me off.  He taps his index finger to his temple with a condescending knowing look.

-I explain the reasoning I outlined above, and ask if it would be possible to try a very small dose of Cipralex.  He asks me if I want to try a full dose of Zoloft.  I repeat my reasoning about Cipralex in particular, and smaller doses in general.  He asks me if I want to try a full dose of Zoloft.  I say no, but that if I was going to explore the Cipralex option, I would like to do that before I go to all the work of getting off the Luvox completely, because it has been unpleasant to say the least.  He taps his temple.  All in my head.

And my very, absolute favourite,…

-When I begin to get frustrated that he is not in any way listening to what I am saying, or addressing my clear level of discomfort with the treatment he is suggesting, he tells me in the most patronizing way possible and with a “pat pat” hand gesture that I should take the antipsychotics because they will “calm me down.”  I am in no way hysterical or anything.  I just have some concerns that he has not yet addressed.  I continue to present very rational points that I would like addressed before we proceed.  He gives me the condescending knowing look of “see, you’re agitated” and tells me again in that placating way to “take the antipsychotics.”  I continue to try to ask about concerns.  He cuts me off and tells me to “take the antipsychotics.”  I explain to him that the levels of uncomfortable anxiety I’ve had have come from the Prozac and the Wellbutrin, and are not an intrinsic part of my personality without those drugs in my system.  He cuts me off and tells me to “take the antipsychotics”.  He did this several more times, all with that look on his face that said clearly I was irrationally anxious and not REALLY FUCKING FRUSTRATED because the outcome of all of this is kind of important to me and he was being an insensitive douchebag and would not even HEAR OUT WHAT I WAS SAYING.  I swear that man didn’t register one thing I said the whole hour.  Not that he heard me and disagreed, but just simply didn’t listen.

-Then he tells me that he’s going on vacation for a little over a month.

I am not sure that I have ever been so frustrated.  Not being listened to, especially about something important, is one of the very few things that can get me truly irate.  This is the kind of thing that I have nightmares about.  Nightmares in which I bite off people’s faces.

So in conclusion, I will be asking for a referral to see someone else, and in the meantime am hoping that my family doctor will be willing to support me in making a change and take over my medications for a while.  I’ve also started daily meditation again, which I think was crazy helpful last time.  Ideally I think I’d like to just focus on that for a while and give myself time to get off the Luvox before adding any more craziness to the mix.  I don’t even know what I’m like anymore without side effects.

At any rate, there is stands.  And I would very much like to take the antipsychotics, and shove them somewhere very unpleasant for him.

What’s a decade or two between friends?

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

So first off, holy crap is every week an eternity in blogland.  I feel like I’ve been out of touch for YEARS (how are you?  Any kids?  Are you still working at that place doing that thing?).  On the plus side, that also means I’ve apparently known you folks for centuries.  We’ve practically weathered the dawn of time together.  I miss the dinosaurs. Don’t you?

Apologies for the lack of communication lately.  I blame a combination of factors and Nicholas Cage.  …Not because he was involved in what I’ve been doing in any way.  Just because he looks kind of shifty, and I feel better having something to pin on him.

As has become customary, subtle parts of my personality are shifting with the current medication changes.  It’s sort of an eerie experience if you haven’t been through it.  The most recent increases to my Wellbutrin came with anxiety on a level that defies all logic.  Near-hysterics-because-I-can’t-find-the-instruction-manuel-for-our-barbeque kind of defying.  The kind in which I sit there in the moment, watching it all happen from inside my head, with a puzzled wtf expression on my mental face.  I rather firmly requested that the dose go back down.

At any rate, in the meantime being away to see friends was nice.  Every now and then I have a moment before going to see people in which I don’t feel in any way up for the potential strain of social interaction.  …And then, of course, proceed to have a fine time once I’m there.  Another one of those things that I really DON’T WANT TO DO.  And then once I do them am like BOY AM I GLAD I DID THAT.   I don’t know what’s up with that.  In line with my unintentional genius at embodying all-or-nothing thinking, when my anxiety levels are artificially inflated I seem to want to do whatever it is that I have been doing recently.  Whatever that may be.  I think I could darn socks for several weeks if that’s what my brain happened to fixate on.  …Which is interesting, since the rest of the time I pretty much crave constant variety (and since I’m not entirely clear on what darning is exactly.  I think yarn may be involved).  I think a part of me still does in those moments.  That part is confused.

On the plus side, the Luvox-withdrawal nausea, etc. has leveled out a lot recently.  I acknowledge that apparently the crush-and-dissolve method works much better for many people when trying to get very small doses, but I don’t think it was going well for me.  I’m now back to breaking up pills into tiny little pieces instead, which makes it much harder to get an accurate dose, but seems to be agreeing better with my stomach.  While on the road, we thought it might be a good idea to acquire a sensitive little electronic scale to help distinguish which irregularly sized medication nuggets are larger than others so that I can get a more consistent tapering effect.  This has worked out okay except for the fact that at least three people in Kingston Ontario now think I’m dealing drugs.  And that I’m not, so am completely unable to cash in on their potential referrals.

Aside from the unfortunate lack of drug money and excuses to wear gold teeth and/or lurk about in alleys, things are okay at the moment.  The fixation on activities thing is a little odd, but I have grand ambitions to commit myself to some kind of pattern in which I am forced to change activities every hour, no matter what.  I have the willpower to know that if I sincerely decide to do it that I can, stupid medication weirdness or not.  So I will decide to vary it up a little more soon.  Maybe tomorrow.  I’m darning today.

Have I mentioned that withdrawal sucks ass? Because it does.

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

The last while has been…rough.  My stomach is alternately staging a rebellion and doing the Forbidden Dance.  I would give in to its demands, but I do not speak stomach, and Babel Fish is having difficulties with a translation (incidentally, when you type in ” Grrrrrark spluck gromma gromma,” it comes back with “Grrrrrark spluck gromma gromma.”  Go figure).

Anyway, if I’m incommunicado for a while, that is likely why.  We were supposed to go out of town for a few days to see friends this week too.  I will likely still make the attempt, but I’m not sure that isn’t asking for disaster.  One of my other friends is involved in Doctors Without Borders.  This means that I get to see him maybe once every two or three years, and the rest of the time he sends occasional e-mails asking if we can look up things like how to homogenize milk, or exactly how close one can get to an alligator before it will attack (seriously…I’ve Googled both of these).  He was in town Monday night and I was supposed to drive down for dinner to catch up.  Nope.  Thought I might turn green and try not to vomit instead.

I feel very helpless, and physically miserable, and completely unable to proceed with my life.  I am frustrated.  There may be some mental swearing involved.

I don’t know why some hours and days and weeks are so much worse than others.  I don’t know whether I need more frequent medication, or less frequent medication, or more food, or less food, or different food, or more fluids, or less fluids, or a prompt decapitation, as all of the above seem to just make things worse.  …Except the decapitation, which to be honest I haven’t tried yet.  But it’s next on my list.

In the meantime, I’ll write an original withdrawal haiku for the person with the best translation of “Grrrrrark spluck gromma gromma.”


Monday, May 10th, 2010

Life continues to be challenging.  Not all that much becomes noteworthy when one is nauseous.  I could tell you this fabulous story about how I hugged a pillow.  Or maybe the highly entertaining one about sitting on the couch all weekend.  Or the harrowing tale of the Attempt To Eat Dinner.  That one is admittedly a bit of a page turner.

I actually thought that today was going to be pretty tolerable.  I’ve been trying to spread out my dosage even more throughout the day in case the daily ups and downs were partially responsible for some of the…less-than-stellar reactions my body’s been having.  This morning I woke up feeling almost normal.  And then slowly my skull began to shrink.  And it continued to shrink until the pressurized mass of my brain goo was displacing my stomach and thus moving its contents elsewhere.  Or trying to, anyway.  It is day after day of the Worst Hangover Ever.  …Except generally those come with something a little more entertaining beforehand.

So here I am again, confined to the sofa, with my pillow, trying to keep a steady supply of food going because from time to time that seems to distract my stomach momentarily, and the risk of upsetting it further is not something I want to contemplate.  And beyond that, because it’s difficult to tell when I’m actually hungry.  I feel hungry all the time.  And it rumbles.  A lot.  It is a bottomless void of rumbles and hunger and rice cakes and Kraft Dinner.  I am its slave.

I think at the end of all of this I am going to be such a titan that the depression itself will be nothing more than a speck of despondent dandruff that I brush away as an afterthought.  Either that, or I’ll be so completely drained that tiny flakes of sadness dandruff will pin me to the floor while I half-heartedly flail my arms and legs like an inverted sea turtle.  A pitious sea turtle.  With a pillow.

And speaking of animals that live near or in the water (does the smoothness of that segue not overwhelm you?), did you hear that a bunch of Albertan beavers got together and built something grander than the Hoover Dam?  It’s visible from space, they say.  Overachievers.

Things on my mind

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

1)      We were returning from a friend’s house this weekend and in the car realized that an ant from there (they had just noticed the beginnings of an invasion force) had stowed away in our bag.  We live around two hours away.  So it occurred to me, what would have happened to that ant if it had made it home?  What happens to an ant in isolation?  Would it feed itself?  Where would it live?  Would it attempt to build a new ant hill all by itself?  Would it just be lost without its peers?  I don’t know.

2)      I think I have some kind of crazy Mutant Virus.  I’ve been feeling generally unwell, and my glands have been swollen for at least a month now.  And I have confirmed this week that in the times I’m feeling especially ill/shaky/feverish, I do actually have a bit of a fever.  But it only happens sometimes, for an hour or two.  And the rest of the time my temperature goes back to totally normal.  What the heck is that??

3)      I had to help out my University-age sister this weekend, as she’s run out of credit and hasn’t yet found a summer job.  …Not because she’s irresponsible, just because student jobs are a little scarce, and she wasn’t able to find part-time work during the school year this year, so her cash situation is absurdly tight.  Our situation is not good either, but at least we still have some credit left.  My mother has mentioned that maybe someday my step-father will be willing to sell the house they’re in and move back to Canada.  It’s very close to the water, and worth a pile of cash as a result.  If they bought a pretty nice house here, all of our financial troubles would just vanish.  Just like that.  Poof.  Theirs, my sisters, and mine.  I can’t even imagine.  Damn, it would be amazing to be able to get on with our lives looking towards the future instead of paying off the past.  I sort of think it would be better in the long run anyway, since eventually one of them is bound to have some kind of medical problem, and taking advantage of the health care their taxes have been paying for would probably be a good idea.  I’m not sure there’s actually any chance of it happening, though.  I am trying not to get my hopes up.

4)      I have determined that if I am able to continue at my current rate, it will take about a month before I’m free of the Luvox.  A nice, long month of feeling sort of crappy, if this week is any indication.  Just right on that line of crappiness where it is very crappy, but not yet so crappy as to be too crappy to continue.  Good times.

5)      When we moved in there were some…puppy-related stains…on the living room carpet.  After several cleansing attempts, I ended up dousing them solidly with enzyme-loaded pet stain and smell remover.  Very effective. …Except that the resulting moisture left them smelling kind of musty instead.  Noticeable again now that the windows are open and there’s a breeze blowing across them from time to time.  So a couple of days ago, I doused them with anti-mould spray as well.  …Except the dampness of the anti-mould spray seems to be generating more mould.  How is that even possible?  It’s like soap getting dirty.

6)      I haven’t been feeling especially internet-inclined of late, and I feel a little guilty for not being more up-to-date on everyone’s happenings.  Also, I’m craving toast.

7)      The cat pictured in yesterday’s guitar case has decided that I have been at the computer too long now, and is attempting to remove me by force.

8 )      “…I don’t wanna miss a single thing you do…tonight.”


Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

In research news, if you ever happen to meet me in person and I am determinedly reaching up and to the right, this is why.

Sometimes I cheat in writing here.  What comes out here is mostly the product of my best hours.  If I am feeling inspired and energized a little, I can write here easily.  If I know that it’s been a rougher stretch, I will most often try to find the best little window I can and force myself to write then.  I’m trying to get to it at least a few times a week. …But there are days, like today, when the self-imposed deadline is steamrollering towards me and I would like to politely decline its invitation to run me over.

Today was not a particularly happy day.  The last few haven’t been.  I have come to accept this as my current normal, but truth be told, I don’t think it’s even really coming from me.  I think it may have a lot more to do with the roller coaster of Luvox dosage I’ve been on recently.  I know the medication changes affect me like crazy.  So things are going to be a little rocky for a while.

It’s tough to write in these moments, though, because all I want to do is curl up somewhere protected and sit there until I feel better.  I want to lie on the couch, and pull a blanket over me, and hug my cat (who is very good at hugging).  Either that or hug my blanket and pull a cat over me.  That sounds good too.

The most comfortable place he could find right then, apparently.

I do not like my psychiatrist.  His solution to my super-sensitivity to the Luvox, by the way, is to just keep taking it forever.  This medication that makes me sleepy, and sometimes queasy, and makes my emotions volatile, and does not help things at all.  I told him I will be trying again to wean off.  Then we proceeded to his complete lack of understanding that sometimes it takes me a while to work myself up to taking care of stressful things (like the aforementioned paperwork), or that when I’ve extended myself to do them anyway, I sometimes need some stress-free time to recover.

The psychologist I used to work with was totally different.  I really felt like she understood where I was coming from, and had compassion for the challenges I was facing.  I had to write her this year to ask for a tax receipt.  I felt really bad about it because it would be extra work she wasn’t paid for, and had I known better I could have kept the original receipts she gave me.  I was nervous that she would be put out by my asking.  This is the first paragraph of what she wrote back to me:

You see, Mister Psychiatrist?  This makes me feel better.  Take notes.

My psychiatrist is…not like that.  We ended the session with him telling me that he will not agree to help me get the disability reimbursement I was hoping for, and making me feel (unintentionally, I’m sure) like a complete idiot for asking.  I was hesitant to ask, but apparently lots of people with extended depression are able to claim it.  The criteria do mention some crazy low-functioning examples, but also things like taking a really long time compared to regular people to make decisions, or follow through on goals.  It took me a freaking hour a few months ago just to change my cats’ water.  That sounds like a long time to me.  So I figured I was silly to be worrying that he would make me feel dumb for asking.  I figured it was one of those times like the e-mail to my psychologist.  Nope.  He sort of laughed at me.  I left the office in tears.

So no, today has not been a good day.  And I am not always great these days at shaking off the bad stuff to focus on the good.  It sort of clings to me like negative emotion plastic wrap.  But not the regular cling wrap stuff that only forms little negative emotion balls with itself.  The press and seal stuff, where you can turn dishes upside-down and all the sadness won’t fall out.  Like that.

I once read a quote from a book by Margaret Attwood that went

“’Good egg,’ he says. Small things like good eggs delight him, small things like bad eggs depress him. He’s easy to please, but difficult to protect.”

I feel like this sums me up pretty well.  I get really and truly pleased by small fortunes, and in a stress and judgment-free world, I would be the sunniest person you’d ever meet.  …But it is a very delicate, innocent, vulnerable happiness.  In a sensitive moment, it doesn’t take much for me to be totally derailed.  I am derailed at the moment.

Derailed to the left.