I am not going to lie. I will not even sugar-coat the truth for mysel,f or anyone else bothering to read this. I remember now that life without antidepressants is hard.
At the time of my diagnosis, I fought hard to avoid all meds. It took a year before I went on Copaxone, and another year before I finally committed to taking Effexor for depression and anxiety. I think the thing that finally brought me to the Effexor was my anxiety. I found myself absolutely incapable of being present. All I could focus on anymore is the stuff I thought I needed to do. I also felt guilty about not being able to shake off the bad feelings enough to even do the stuff I was worrying about.
Being on antidepressants was like taking a two year vacation from worrying about anything for more than about five minutes. I learned to let go of my anxieties and to just enjoy and trust in the present. I found tools for coping with challenges, but with the help of Effexor, it was easy to use the tools. All the stuff that had previously gotten me down, just quit bothering me. I learned to worry less about what others thought, and to ignore my imaginary grand score-card in the sky. I stopped really being concerned about my ability to take care of stuff. I just trusted that I would take care of things effectively when I must. I did not waste any energy worrying about how and when I would take care of stuff. I even learned to feel better about just relaxing and hanging out. I was less driven by the nagging feeling that I must be forgetting something.
Now, drug-free, I am looking at my world, my future and my mounting to do list, and I am not quite so confident. I am doubting myself more. I indulge in moments of "crazy" where I feel guilty about not running one more errand, or doing one more chore before I "reward" myself with a break. What the hell happened to all my positive momentum toward self-acceptance, happiness and actualization?
I am glad I can still remember a bit of what life felt like on Effexor. It often helps me talk myself down from the crazy, but I admit to losing some sleep. I wake up in a sudden panic with ugly things in my mind, like competition or comparison of myself with others. And yet I know, down that path lies only bitterness and discontent.
Lately I discover that I am again giving myself points or demerits on that imaginary score card and I hate it. Then I turn around and hate myself a bit. That too is a vicious cycle. Remembering life on the Effexor cloud is harder. Does this mean I will go back to the Effexor? Not just yet. I wanted to remember what it felt like to live life with out anything to block the "realness" of it. Now it's real, and sometimes it is hard, but I am not ready to give up on my current course yet. I really do believe I can do this!
Not all that much to report here. I imagine the picture on this post will be by far the most interesting part.
Still busy but I do have a few vacations looming.
from last Thursday to the end of this one, I have a lot happening. This past Thursday, I performed at a gallery for Dia de los Muertos. This was my first "paying gig." Problem is, I have yet to get paid...
By Saturday, I was completly exhausted. I slept 12 hours, got up, did dishes and then went back to bed for 3 more hours until it was time to go to tech rehearsal for my Saturday night show. At rehearsal, I was the only one still sipping coffee at 2:30pm, and the only one who skipped actually practicing for the show. It took 20 ounces of coffee and two Aleve before I could even bring myself to take a good stretch. Luckily, adrenaline, friends and my aerial idol (my sister Alex) got me through Saturday night's performance. I even went to the cast party, after which it was back to bed for another sleep marathon.
I wanted to take yesterday off completly but I needed to rehearse for this week's show (Denver RAW Awards, I am up for performing artist of the year for Denver). I also had to run some errands, but then it was back home to sleep some more. I dragged myself out of bed for dinner and then I went back to bed for another 11 hours.
Today I was still tired even after all that sleep and we have parent/teacher conferences until 5:30, so I am still at work, sipping my 4th caffeinated drink of the day (don't lecture me, it's that or Provigil, and it is not a daily thing, lol).
The week is just beginning and it is not about to slow down. When I leave here I still have to go teach aerial dance. Then, extra early on Tuesday, more conferences, teaching school and then teaching yoga. Wednesday, repeat, stay late at work and then go rig for Thursday's show. Thursday, another extra early start, teach school and then go to the venue for a long night of face painting and performing. Friday, extra-early start after show, regular teaching day and then, a really, really epic nap that may not end until sometime on Saturday. I am excited to spend Saturday creating a permanent indent on my couch.
Here's the good news. I love all the stuff I do these days so even the busy is not so bad other than the fatigue. Thanksgiving week I am going out of town for almost an entire week of yoga and nature retreat. December 4th, I leave for the Dominican Republic for an entire month. So even in the midst of the insanity, I have some great time off to look forward to.