Saturday, December 28, 2013


Hi there.

How was everyone's holiday? We went to Southern California to visit my family (6 days. 12 adults. 5 kids. 3 bedrooms. 2 toilets. 1 shower. No matter how you do the math, things don't quite add up. It's a good thing we get along rather extraordinarily well, no?).

Anyway: whatever holiday you celebrate, whether it's over or continuing or hasn't yet begun, whether you've been filled with the spirit, frolicking in sand or snow, or find this a joyous, pleasant, or just mildly tolerable time of year, I hope you and yours are well and your wishes have all come true. 

In the words of Charles Dickens, "God bless us, every one."

I wasn't sure what I was going to write about today, so I went back and read my last post, and now I know.

I talked last time about that raw feeling, that in-the-moment feeling, that wow-I'm-really-doing-this feeling that I seem to get at the top and bottom of my med arc. 

I guess it makes sense for exactly the reason I said: it's the flip-side of the same coin. Feeling is feeling. Feeling bad, feeling good, feeling whatever. Whether I'm getting a tidal wave of chaotic emotion-salad or a clear channel of manageable micro-feels, being able to interpret and experience them in real time is something to treasure.

Well. At least appreciate on its merits. I mean, let's not go CRAZY.

So I try to do that. I do, don't I? You saw me. I do.

The middle part of the arc, though? SUCKS.

I am there right now.

I am not used to this. I've never been on the med circus train before. This ramp-up-ramp-down thing? Um, no thanks.

I feel foggy, exhausted, forgetful, creaky, vacant. I can't remember conversations. I can't remember things I did two days ago. I feel... like I'm on drugs.

The irony is that now that I'm back in the muddle of the ramping again, I realize that I'd actually begun to get to a good place with the Cymbalta.

Granted, there were many things about it that were not good for me. It was causing more problems than it was solving, although the problems it was solving, it was solving really well. I just realize that I'd begun to feel creative, as I said last time, I'd begun to feel motivated, I'd begun to make plans, I'd begun to get excited.

That was fun.

I want to get back there.

I don't feel like that now. I feel... well, I forget. Sigh.


Here are a few things that have happened since I started the ramp-down-ramp-up. I'll give you an abbreviated list in the order of occurrence, starting with a couple of weeks ago, when I first began. I detect a trajectory. See if you can spot it:

  • Tired and muddled. Vacant. Forgetful. Occasional flash of hopeless overwhelm. Remember feeling like that all the time. Hope that isn't going to get worse.
  • Tired and muddled. Vacant. Forgetful. Lorazepam not helping much. No more hopeless overwhelm.
  • Tired and muddled. Vacant. Forgetful. Lorazepam helping. Need one every day.
  • Tired and muddled. Vacant. Forgetful. Lorazepam helping. Prefer but don't need one every day. Occasional flash of creative enthusiasm.

It helped a lot to write that down. That shit is TRUE. I left out a whole lot of "tired, muddled, forgetful, tired, muddled, forgetful, irritable, tired, forgetful, what the fuck, tired, shut up, tired, leave me alone, forgetful, tired, muddled, tired, tired, tired."

But those are the main themes. That last one ALL HAPPENED TODAY.

Okay. Okay. Good. Yay me.

I've got a long way to go with the ramp-up for this Amitriptyline-- it doesn't reach full potency for 6-8 weeks, like most anti-depressants (because if there's one thing we depressives have, it's time to fuck around) (and okay, yeah, I've added depressive back to my resume, reluctantly, but with a lower-case r and in the fine print, because fuck you depression you're not the boss of me, that's why).

Ahem. Anyway, long ramp-up. As is to be expected. But there is more progress to report: 

Today was my second official "Day 3 of no Cymbalta" day, as I shifted from 20mg every other day to 20 mg every 3rd day.

And guess what? Unlike last time, I woke up this morning and I felt... 

Just fine.

I mean. Tired. Muddled. Vacant. Forgetful. 

But I've gone all day without a Lorazepam with no problem. And I've been feeling some genuine flashes of creative excitement about clearing out the room that is going to be my office and designing the DIY desk/storage system that is going to wrap around two walls in there and allow me to set up space for writing AND space for sewing projects in one room without having to set up and tear down every time I want to do anything.


I spent some time on the long drive from Southern California the other day thinking about paint colors for said office.

And get this:

While I was down south I met with the friend I mentioned a few posts back-- the one who asked me to collaborate with him on the screenplay project-- and he very kindly and generously (not to mention handsomely and intelligently and hilariously) lent me his time and talent and did a photoshoot with me so I could have some real, live, grown-up head-shots for author bios, ahem, should the occasion arise.

Because I thought of it during my Cymbalta high-point (see? SEE?!) and immediately asked him and my uber-talented hair-and-make-up-magician sister, the newly-married Liz, if they'd be interested in helping me out, before I had a chance to second-guess myself or otherwise self-destruct.

I've learned to undermine my own efforts to undermine my own efforts. This ain't my first rodeo, people.

Whoa. You see that? That's two and a half goddamn years' worth of therapy co-pay well-spent. Damn. That's worth the price of admission, right there.

Holy shit. It's a Christmas miracle.

In the words of Charles Dickens, God bless us, every one!

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