Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The brain says, "Moo."

I was thoroughly distracted. Between NaNoWriMo, Becky cheering me on to write, and just being in love in general, I was fooled into feeling good. The reality is that I have a mental illness, and that means treating it regularly. Alas, because I was fooled so well, I fell off my antidepressant.

It's not quite fair, in my eyes. I mean, if I forget my painkillers, something will hurt. If I fail to take my insulin, my blood sugar will rise. Heck, if I forget my Xanax, I won't sleep until I'm hit with exhaustion. But when I don't take my Zoloft, nothing happens immediately. It takes a while for me to become aware that something isn't right. By the time that happens, I can be in pretty bad shape.

Like right now. It finally dawned on me that I wasn't quite myself when we ordered Chinese food the other night. I had a craving for it, so I asked Ray and Cody if they wanted anything. Ray only had $5, and Cody was trying not to spend what money he had on hand. Rather than order for just myself, I gave them $30 and told them to order up some food.

No one said thanks. This is not uncommon. Ray often remembers to thank me for something, (but not always), and Cody rarely thanks me at all for anything. No big deal, though. That's just the way they are. It hasn't really been a problem, as this is just the way they are. But a few nights ago, when I realized no one had thanked me, I was ready to go ballistic. I wanted to scream, and shout, and pack my things, and start gathering up everything I'd bought in the trailer, and...

...and it suddenly clicked what the problem was. I'd been off my meds for almost two weeks, and that spelled trouble. And because my psychological illness is more emotional, I find my moods completely off kilter. When my mood sours enough, so do my thoughts. It then becomes a genuine fight to make it through the day without some emotional explosion. Every thought becomes tainted, and I want to speak my mind, even though my mind isn't set where it should be. (Hence, the brain, not the cow, says, "Moo.")

Thoughts of Becky, for example, are mired in depressive ideology. This is kind of what happens inside my head: It's not going to work. You're too broken to keep her happy. You don't deserve her, and should break up so she can move on and find someone worth her time. That should make her parents happy. Sure, she'll be a little hurt, but life will go on, and she'll be okay. She'll find someone better than you, someone younger. And you can go back to being the worthless, miserable bastard that you really are.

For the record, quite a bit of that is inaccurate. I might be a miserable bastard underneath the mask that my meds help me maintain, but the idea of her being "a little hurt"...? No, Becky would be devastated if I ended things with her. I am, in fact, deserving of her and the love she gives me. (G-d knows that love has certainly been lacking in my life.) Maybe there is better than me out there; I don't know, since I'm not looking. Although, in reality, I think her parents would be happier if I stepped aside.

This is just part of living with depression. I can start thinking about the best aspect of my life and manage to make it seem like the worst thing to ever happen to me. In fact, if I were to win $200,000,000 in the lottery, I'd probably see it as a nightmare come true. Instead of being happy that my financial woes are over, I'd say, "The government is going to tax me to death, and I'll end up giving most of my money to the thousands of people who come running to me with their sob story." It's as though my slogan becomes, "Every cloud has a silver lining...that's waiting to be confiscated by its rightful owners."

I fight every day not to isolate myself further. When I'm like this, talking to people is a chore. I'm afraid of the things that might come out of my mouth should I not think before I speak. In the Becky situation, I could find myself breaking up with her and sticking to my guns on that one, without having thought the consequences through. And G-d forbid she said something to anger me in the process of my delusional state that caused a possible breakup...Oh, I could EASILY say a dozen things that would leave a lasting, emotional scar.

Now that I'm aware of the problem, I'm working to fix it. It'll be four to six weeks before the Zoloft is correcting my emotional state properly. Meanwhile, I'll the lowest dose of Xanax I can muster for when I become irrationally upset. I may sleep more often, but I won't be suffering from poison thoughts a I do when I'm conscious. What's ore, being asleep will help me to avoid saying things to others that could hurt them.

In fact, a recent dose of 0.25 mg. of Xanax seems to be knocking me out. (Yes, it's THAT strong.) I'm off to rest, perhaps even sleep.

Be well, all.

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