Sunday, August 28, 2005

Unshockability and awelessness...

I started taking an anti-depressant daily in late April. I had been feeling listless and depressed and hopeless, and that month started with what could be described as a 1-2 punch that turned into a raging cluster of fuck-uppedness. The first few days of medication were a glorious jolt from what had become the norm: I felt speedy and super-motivated within hours of the first sacred tablet. This was a nice transition from the perennial blues to a more remote, don't-give-a-shit phase. Oh, I still feel everything, but I feel it all differently now. The troughs have been resined in and the tops have been lopped off the peaks. While it's difficult for me to feel the depths of despair but not impossible, I don't think I could muster true euphoria if I won the lottery. I got a new vehicle a month ago, and it was not even "woohoo-giddy-new-car-smell-yippee" but more of a "oh, ok, alright, whatever, I guess it feels nice." Likewise, I was leaving work on Friday, and two women had a wreck impacting their vehicles about 10 feet from my bumper, and I was watching as if in slow motion thinking, "oh, they're gonna hit me. huh." They didn't hit me, amazingly, but my little heart gave nary a flutter, no rise in blood pressure. I don't get that shitty fluttery pre-diarrhea feeling when I drive by a police car. Nerves of steel, baby. Of course if you've read my humble blog previously you know that I have been devastated by the loss of my beloved grandmother, but other than a few protracted crying jags, that has been more like ripples spreading in a pond, the daily realization she is not there saddens me but I have to move on. There has been another shocking death in my family I'll tell about soon here, but it didn't affect me so deeply. Getting on Lexapro didn't fix everything that was wrong with my life, and it didn't make the people around me less assholian, but it did make life's stresses less emotional-rollercoaster and more navigable rocky road. After those first few giddy days, I settled into a feeling of normality for the first time in years, not haunted by constant negative thoughts. I almost never drink alcohol, I've lost a bit of avoirdupois, generally been more active and more motivated, and more in the mood to be around people occasionally. Work has been more tolerable. Better living through chemistry. I have settled into a ritual of getting an almond steamer daily from Starbucks (blessed be) and then I take my pill with that yummy drink. I feel drowsy nearly every afternoon, and if I don't get a midday nap a couple times a week, things can get a bit rough around the edges, but I can still cope. If the trade-off for feelings of despair is an overwhelming urge to sleep at times I must deny myself, I'll take that trade any day. I don't know how long this will be effective-- anti-depressants are notorious for needing tweaking right out of the blue-- but I know that for now I'm closer to contentment than at any time in a very long while, and I am resolved to be on them as long as I feel the need. If everything else on the planet falls to shit, I pray that my pharmaceutical provider holds it together for my sake. Momma needs her medicine.

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