After being fed up the dr and psychiatrist never listen to me I decided to reduce my medication anyway, I was tapering due to the usual being disorganised with repeat prescriptions and felt ok. So far I am feeling my mind is more alive but I feel a bit up and down but I’m not sure if that’s meds or the result of life stuff, being very busy then having not very much to do; I always tend to feel a bit weird when that happens. Time will tell as always. But I’ve been able to write creatively again which is amazing, less so when it keeps me awake at night but I have missed it really having a brain instead of porridgey lumps.
One of the side effects of my medication (venlafaxine) is the dullness I get everything seems muted and I’m not quite sure I feel like myself anymore. I have no spark, my brain is so slow, everything just crawls along. People comments on how stable I am, I just feel beyond bland and useless as if my brain has been medicated into some sort of submissive porridge.
It’s why I haven’t blogged for ages, I just can’t think of anything, or I can think of things but I can’t transfer it from my brain to the page. Work has been a struggle too, even after a lovely holiday I now feel this big lump of grey sludge descending as I spend hours trying to do the simplest tasks and concentrate beyond five milliseconds.
It’s just so draining trying to be ‘normal’ I feel like I don’t have any energy left for anything else.
There is a fish tank in psychiatrist’s waiting room (on the nhs too, gosh!) and I have blogged in the past about how my favourite resident of the said tank, orange gravel moving fish, sadly passed away, or perhaps made a brave escape attempt into the water cooler. From my latest visit today it seems the whole tank has been repopulated (some sort of powercut disaster? an aggrieved patient? or just the short life cycle of fish?) and now includes a very depressed looking fish. Maybe it’s some sort of empathy fish, or an especially sensitive fish and atmosphere of the place has got to her/him. I have a new favourite psychiatrist fish, I hope it survives.
In other news I am really not comforted by the fact my psychiatrist is umming and ahhing about my medication again, saying he’s not sure if a higher dose (I am already on a pretty high dosage as it is) would work or a change of medication either, apparently I’ve been on most types of anti-depressants before. I’ve been on fluoxetine a.k.a prozac and paroxitine a.k.a seroxat a.k.a the highly ironic branded name of ‘paxil’ , which haven’t worked so he seems doubtful a new one will. The anti-depressant I’m on now, venlafaxine again with a bitterly ironic branded name of ‘effexor’ which also manages to sound like internet slang, isn’t really working. It keeps more stable than some others but I feel so lethargic, it seems to have a definite numbing and sludgey sort of effect, a veil of clammy, stifling grey-beige apathy, the sort of nihilism that’s absolutely no fun. I still suffer hideous depressive bouts, suicidal thoughts, self harm all that malarkey so I have no idea if it’s helping much, and yet again the side effects (depression, suicidal thoughts, yadda yadda) listed are pretty much the same as the symptoms I have anyway so how on earth can I tell what’s what? It’s like ridiculous post Kafka joke; ‘this is an anti-depressant but the side effects include depression so good luck figuring that out and if you’re not mad already ha just wait!’
I have been given two months to think about it. Yet again it’s the same old same old nothing seems to work no one knows what to do and ‘experts’ look confused, oh living with depression what a circuitous existence. I’ve been here so many times before I’m starting to wonder what the point of anything is if my life is akin to constant repeats of Top Gear on Dave, an infinite loop of irritation.
I’m here again. I am taking a lower dose than normal as I have yet again misjudged how much medication I had left and won’t be able to last on a full dose till I can get more.
Every time I miss or reduce a dose I start to feel parts of me creeping back in. I start to feel parts of my mind waking up again. I feel alive. I feel my creativity sneaking back; I believe it is not coincidence that since I have been on higher and higher doses of anti-depressants my creative output has gone down, its almost zero these days. I used to be kept awake by thoughts I needed to write down. I used to be able to think in rhyme, poetry would just spin around my brain like a free-verse beat def jam open mic conga line. I’d carry a camera round everywhere and photographs would spring out at me from unlikely places. Now I just seem to see the world like everyone else, a dull blank canvas of unremarkable pebble dashed beige that needs no further inspection. Like out of town suburban sprawl, retail parks of hangars selling shit sofas and drive through edible composite cardboard food. I don’t see those little glimpses in shadows and corners.
Yet this life is unstable. This life in me has it’s downside, the depression. Yet I am starting to wonder if I am not better off dealing with those downs when they come than living this half life, a life where I feel I may never get the drive to do anything of interest or worth and just trundle on being ‘stable’ but an epitome of mediocrity and dullness I might as well be Milton Keynes.
Yesterday after what has felt like aeons, I had an ‘up’ mood. I felt euphoric for a bit, I wanted to do stuff, I wanted to party till dawn; but alas (or perhaps for the best) a miserable Tuesday night is not prime party night. Though it swiftly lead to insomnia and frustration at staying in, and the return of a bad habit.
Now I feel rather mixed, I still have a bit of a buzz but due to the insomnia that comes with these moods I’m not very awake. It’s like when you have coffee to stay awake and it leaves you buzzed but sleepy at the same time. That frustration at wanting to do so many things yet not having the means, or energy, to do so.
But god it’s good to feel something after so long! I have feelings beyond ‘meh’ and ‘humphpppwhatever’! I’m alive! I’m a person!
Though in these moods when I finally have an urge to do something, it’s never anything on the list of ‘important stuff I should really get around to’.