better living through chemistry

I can’t pin­point the exact moment I start­ed to feel bet­ter, which is a very pecu­liar feel­ing in itself. There has­n’t been any event to which I can attribute the fact that I’m not so anx­ious about how scary the future is any­more, or how I’m not depressed about every­thing that’s hap­pened. The only vari­able has been the med­ica­tion, which means it’s work­ing.

The side-effect that still affects me most is the insom­nia. I sleep for two hours, do some­thing mind­less for two hours, then go back to bed. Lather, rinse, repeat. I don’t feel rest­ed until night, at which point I’m soon ready to sleep again. It’s wreak­ing hav­oc with my moti­va­tion — not to men­tion my col­i­tis — which is why I haven’t start­ed rebuild­ing my life yet. For now, I try to do one thing every day that will make me hap­py, so I can say it was a good day. Baby steps.

But I’ve also lost all inspi­ra­tion, and I’m left won­der­ing if this is anoth­er effect of selec­tive sero­tonin reup­take inhi­bi­tion. When I walk the streets, it feels like a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent world from what I knew.

I used to pick up my gui­tar through­out the day and noo­dle. I used to car­ry my cam­era with me every­where in case some­thing caught my eye. I used to write almost every day. Creativity was a dri­ving force in my life, and a huge part of how I used to define myself. Now I nev­er feel like cre­at­ing. I used to be ter­ri­fied of going on med­ica­tion for this exact rea­son, but I’ve dis­cov­ered that the med­ica­tion makes it all okay. It’s like Cipralex is both the cause and the cure.

At least I can go out­side now. I can face the world, and start fix­ing what needs to be fixed.


  1. That’s what med­ica­tion for depres­sion does. It’s a form of men­tal lobot­o­my. It keeps you pret­ty sta­ble, which some peo­ple call it a bum­mer cause you become some kind of Vulcan.

    Good thing is that it’s always meant to be tem­po­rary, until you get your leg up with the rest of the world. I guess, from expe­ri­ence always tell your­self that you’re not going to rely on this per­ma­nent­ly. That you are going to even­tu­al­ly get off this crutch and walk (even if it is with a limp) on your own two feet.

    Baby steps. I’m proud and hap­py for you all the same.

    • I can’t wait to get off this med­ica­tion, but at the same time, I’m trep­i­da­tious about the process after find­ing out about all the side effects and risks asso­ci­at­ed with com­ing off a dose. I can only hope that things will be sta­ble enough for me by then.

      Thanks for the sup­port. With your unique per­spec­tive and expe­ri­ences, you’ve helped me in this more than I can explain.

  2. I was real­ly glad to get to spend time with you yes­ter­day. You are good to talk with. And you have the best can­dies. AND I want to re-start that con­ver­sa­tion that almost was right when Molly woke up!

    Point being, I’m glad to have you in my life, at this moment, you are part of that explo­ration. Thanks.

    • I don’t even remem­ber what we were talk­ing about before Molly start­ed stir­ring, but you can bring it up next time we hang out. It must have been pret­ty juicy.

      I’m glad to have you in my life now too, and I don’t think it’s a coin­ci­dence that we’re going through sim­i­lar expe­ri­ences. You’re who I need you to be at exact­ly the right time, and I hope I can fill that role for you too.

  3. It’s been about a week since you last blogged. It seemed like a month to me. Good to know that every­thing is now under con­trol. I hope you’re tak­ing some health food for your col­i­tis, med­ica­tion is always bad for the intes­tine.

    • I did­n’t know med­ica­tion is bad for the intes­tine. Is that accord­ing to tra­di­tion­al Chinese med­i­cine? For me, a lack of sleep is what gives me the worst col­i­tis flare-ups.

      It’s a com­fort­ing feel­ing to find out some­one is wor­ried about you. Thanks for let­ting me know.

  4. Yeah, it’s accord­ing to tra­di­tion­al Chinese med­i­cine. Western med­ica­tion is like send­ing in an army to fight a war, and in any war there is always col­lat­er­al dam­age. It most­ly comes in the form of con­stap­a­tion. Modern Chinese med­i­cine does­n’t always oppose west­ern med­ica­tion though.

    But you’ve been say­ing you sleep a lot. You sure it’s the lack of sleep that’s caus­ing the col­i­tis flare-ups? Maybe it’s the irreg­u­lar­i­ty of the hours of rest, maybe it’s the med­ica­tion.

    I don’t know. Perhaps being con­soled by friends who have had sim­i­lar expe­ri­ences is the best med­ica­tion of all.

    • I have been sleep­ing a lot, but it’s not rest­ful sleep, because my body can’t get into a deep sleep cycle. My stom­ach churns the whole day.

  5. Really, real­ly hop­ing that your present dis­in­cli­na­tion to cre­ativ­i­ty is not a side-effect. That would be hard.… But I will take it right now, for what you have as calm, since I was doing a men­tal pac­ing cir­cle sev­er­al times dai­ly since you’d stopped writ­ing.

    I’d not real­ly wor­ried about some­one I’d nev­er met except once before. He was on a hill­side in Bosnia dur­ing its war. And I felt same about you.

    (He’s home now and has a baby.)
    (I do work thoughts toward set­tling things into har­mo­ny, it’s just in my nature, I hope you’re not put off by that.)

    • I’m hop­ing the lack of cre­ativ­i­ty is a side-effect, cause that means it should come back when I stop tak­ing the med­ica­tion. But maybe it’s just a bunch of things com­bined.

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