I am off the drugs. For now at least. the psychiatrist found out that my heart was beating at 107 instead of 70 – something, and I was edgy and up-down and I couldn’t figure out for sure if they even were working. She suggested that I try something else but something in me just said enough, for now. Maybe later I will reconsider but for now it is great. My hair is growing back tentatively, scruffy little fluffs. I can drink a beer without feeling like i’ve been hit with a hammer the next morning, and most of all, I feel like I have my body back again. The responses are predictable, not wonderfully good and not suddenly bad. I know the kinks of this body.
Now I am off I am experiencing my mind in full flow, and trying to figure out what exactly it is that makes it hard to work. These are the things I have discovered so far. When I start researching something, I want to find out every morsel of information about it. So, while one article will do i find myself reading 5. Its like the more I know the more I realise I don’t know, and that makes me feel stupid and then desperate to cram it in. Researching so much means I then want to write about it, and a topic which should be two paragraphs (background to Web 2.0, for example) becomes 2 pages, much too weighty, which then throws off the flow of the argument, which then throws mw off.
Also, I have a zillion unrelated thoughts pinging around my mind, many of them related to things I have to do or have forgotten to do. I found with the Concerta when it was working that this is one of the main areas of my mind which quietened down, when I was busy with something it was like everything else faded away. Many of these thoughts are very anxious: you didn’t phone x! What about changing medical insurance? I always forget y…and etc. It is like the worries are on rotation, like those old CD players which hold 8 disks, and come circling around again. Its a kind of shoring-up instinct, or putting out fires. i’m so used to living on the brink of minor disaster(library book lost, fine not paid) that I just don’t trust myself anymore. The constant rotation of worries is almost a habit, like patting your pocket to see if you have your bank card (and keys, and train pass and..) probably if the to-do list was empty I would still do it.
The other kind of thoughts I have in the back of my mind are painful ones. Aching loss for my grandmother, whose birthday is coming around soon. Depression at political issues, and painful layers of memories specifically relating to xenophobia against African refugees living in South Africa, which is now being repeated in a different way in the Netherlands. The anti-immigrant and increasingly anti-poor policies of the Dutch government is incredibly depressing, and don’t get me started on the South African one. I don’t think I can be cured of these anxieties, or should be cured. (and no I don’t have a bloody syndrome or disorder.) Its just learning to live with them.
As the inestimable Cindy Crabb says in her wonderful “anti-depression guide” “There is nothing wrong with a little depression. It is a reasonable response to this fucked up world and you don’t need to hide it or deny it. But too much depression can be a real drag.”