Thursday, August 14, 2008



I'm "unmedicated" right now, due to general insurance fuckery, so my mood is low and limited. Actually, I feel like I should be given a medal for having eaten food this afternoon, and an inspirational book written about my plans to take a bath this evening. Big things. We are the champions, my friends.

I don't like taking Prozac (or "hitting the 'zac" as we call it on the street), but I really hate not taking it. Remember the multiple tracks in my brain that I talked about? When I'm not hitting the 'zac, they all go fuzzy and my head hurts, and basically everything else hurts too. It's too irritating to do anything and I am generally nervous and jittery most of the time, while wanting to punch a hole in the drywall out of irritation. And my mood is black.

Hiromi once talked (on her now-defunct blog) about wanting to stay off meds in order to remain herself, and Jonathan Richman has a song on his new album with the biting line, "When we refuse to suffer, then the Prozac wins". I understand the desire to feel everything, and it certainly irritates me that so many people use psychotropic drugs to disengage from their lives instead of fixing them. The threshold for psychological normality is dangerously low these days. Frankly, the way that most of us live our lives sucks, and we shouldn't be medicating in order to maintain an idiotic schedule of work-shopping-sleeping-work-shopping-sleeping unto death.

And yet, there's a need to romanticize my panic attacks that needn't be there. The reason I'm on drugs is simple- I realized at one point that my symptoms weren't really connected to anything in my life. Many days, I wake up and start to panic, even though nothing is wrong. Or, I wake up and start to feel like life is shit, even though nothing is wrong. Then I try to attach the feelings to something tangible: they are free-floating until I can blame them on something. So, I decide that I am feeling suicidal because I hate television, or driving, or cuisine in North America. I really do hate all of those things, so it sort of makes sense. However, one day I just owned up to the fact that I was walking down the sidewalk on a sunny day and nothing was wrong- but I still felt overwhelmed and miserable. I decided the symptoms might be more akin to fever delusions than to actual psychological responses to the world.

I decided that the symptoms were getting in the way of being myself and living my life, and that medication would negate that. Actually, it's not much different for me than taking cold medicine to remove the symptoms that are preventing me from functioning. It definitely has nothing to do with "functioning" in the work-related sense. It's more like experiencing the full spectrum of emotions- when I am wonky, my emotions are limited to 1. wired/irritated and 2. crying for no reason. That's about where I'm at now. I could kill the fucking bird that is singing outside of my window!

Other things help me in these times: art helps, booze helps, sex helps. I understand why some artists need to stay this way to create and why my mother drinks so much. These are the doors that let them out. For me, the trick is to take a very small dosage of the 'zac, which rids me of the free-floating panic attacks. My daily dosage is lower than anyone I've met. Otherwise, I'm actually unmedicated most of the time. But there's a big difference between being generally unmedicated and being totally unmedicated. So, if I post on here about how *#&$@# much I hate driving a *#!%! car, for no apparent reason, just shrug your shoulders and say: "Ah, yeah- he's unmedicated!"


Holly said...

Go here and click the little triangle to hear a song about this. You might like it, and it could cheer you up, or you might hate it, thus distracting you while the bird makes a getaway.

Is there hope for a correction to the insurance fuckery (one of life's redundant phrases)?

Hiromi said...

Well...I'm getting back on the meds soon. I simply don't like how I feel when I'm off them. I still haven't totally come to terms with it, but I decided I can't live this way. You're right -- it's about feeling the full spectrum of emotions. When I'm like this, I don't feel everything; I just feel everything shitty.


Rufus said...

Holly: That's a good song. Thanks! The fuckery is really related to the health center at the school, but the insurance limits who I can go to. Not a problem in Canada though and I'm getting my health card soon. Hell, even if I have to pay out of pocket, I'm going to get back on the happy pills.

Hiromi: Exactly. For me, I really want to go for a walk and enjoy the nice weather and not feel like sitting down and bitching to myself while getting a sunburn.

gregvw said...

Am I allowed to post here if I'm not on medicine? Is it good enough that I should be? Certainly not antidepressants though. That would be worse than crossing the streams.