So…Going on week two with no antidepressant.
The lamictal keeps the mania and severe mood swings at bay. Sort of.
Sometimes, I can manage to stay in a decent mood for a couple of hours.
It inevitably crashes. Starts out as sudden mood crash. Then turns into a depressive state.
Which lifts. Enter stable or good mental state.
I am impatient, irritable, easily agitated and quick to snap if not have a mini tantrum. Which is humiliating and makes me feel ashamed of myself. But there have been days the last week or so where I feel so crowded by everything, and the panic has been creeping in for no reason, causing me to be weird about making phone calls or running errands, because it triggers the panic further. I don’t understand if it’s coming off Cymbalta or if it’s a mixed bipolar state or if it’s the untreated depression.
I’m clueless and pretty fucking lost.
But the last week there has been a silver lining for me.
I have been writing again. A vampire novel. And I have written 128 pages in five days. I can barely get out the door with all my clothes on and my hair brushed because I am so unfocused…and yet when my writing is “on”, I am focused within an inch of my life, to the point where existing outside the story is excrutiating torture and every minute of the day revolves around the moment I am free to return to my writing.
Last year marked the four year anniversary of when I had last worked on a novel. Busy raising my kid, helping another marriage fail because ya know, truth be told, I never wanted to be married, it’s just what society expects you to do…Drowning in an insane state of bip0lar mood states and crippling panic and depression…For four years, I could not think straight and felt no inspiration. There were times I questioned whether I would ever write again (even though deep down, under all the despair, I knew I would write again because I have written since I was years old, it’s not a hobby, it’s a compulsion that possesses me completely).
Last summer, I began to write a bit. Finished six or so chapters.
The brick wall. Writer’s block.
Two weeks ago, I forced myself to open an Abiword document. And I stared at the blank page and blinking cursor and felt absolutely terrified. Paralyzed, even.
But once I had strung the first few sentences together, it poured out of me, so fluid, so easily, just like it used to. It felt like home, to be writing again. Unfortunately, reality takes precedence at least Monday through Friday, forcing me to bed earlier than I’d like, robbing me of hours I could be writing because I am trying to exist like the 9 to 5-ers. It is grueling for me to be on a roll and have to force myself to stop because I have to be up in five hours and be gone all day and even when I am free from that, there’s being mommy and housework and taking care of cats and errands and…It all seems insurmountable, and irritates me, because it is keeping me from doing what I love.
Weekends, though…Last weekend I wrote 75 pages in less than 3 days.
I can’t do it like I used to,where I would hole up for ten hours if that’s how long the streak ran. I can’t lock myself in a room sans distractions because my kid comes first. Initially, it felt like a stranglehold.
Then I realized the problem was me, failing to adapt.
Now, I write whether my kid is asleep or not. If the urge and the creative drive are there…I write. Sometimes, I am lucky to get a page and half written with all the necessary distractions.
But…in spite of my mixed states, in spite of being demoralized and depressed because the meds never fucking fix that which fucks up my life in every way…
I’m writing again.
I am me again.
And yet, that darkness in the pit of my stomach, that all encompassing depression that closes in on me sometimes…I don’t want that to be me.
Part of me desperately wants to find an anti depressant that will work.
Part of me is paralyzed that maybe the reason my creativity is flowing is because my senses aren’t so completely dulled by an anti depressant.
And it makes me sad that it would come to that, be creative and suffer the mental stuff, or give up that which you love so you don’t entertain notions of walking in front of a bus.
It shouldn’t be that way.
But then again, I shouldn’t hyperventilate at the shop on some days when R asks me to make phone calls for him.
There is nothing about my existence that doesn’t feel like a clusterfuck. I’m not entirely convinced any pill will ever change that. Because I have so many mental things going on-bipolar, depression, panic attacks- the odds of finding a trifecta of meds that help with it all are pretty slim.
For now, though…I am writing.
And I’d much rather focus on that.
Except I can’t entirely because I’ve been asked to go in tomorrow and make cold calls, which is a trigger for me. So with each moment that ticks by, I am pulled further away from my writing towards the dread that accompanies reality.
And the more reality seeps into my head, the more exhausted I feel and the more I just want to escape into sleep.
THAT, my friends, is the lovely mixed state of anxiety-depression.
Creativity killer from hell.