I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham
or feeling flattened, like I am.
In the most literal sense, I’m doing a lot better since I started my new drug “cocktail”. I’m calm, cool, and collected, and I sleep like the dead. I drift through my days feeling neither elated nor depressed, and nothing really bothers me except my disappointment with my job. But even that doesn’t call for drastic measures, despite the fact that I was ready to pack up and flee the state a week ago; in fact, I’ve turned my attention toward learning as much as I can while I’m still at it.
There’s just one teeny, tiny. naggy little detail: I don’t feel much of anything.
You’d think that would make me happy. All my life I’ve wished to be less emotional, less impassioned, less “out there”. I’ve even tried to imagine what it would be like to lack fire and intensity and all the other stuff that gets me into trouble, but I never grasped the concept until now…..and I don’t like it.
I knew something was very definitely ‘off’ today when I was alone in the office and listening to my iPod, and a song came on that has never failed to make me cry (“My Immortal” by Evanescence). I may have sniffled once, but didn’t even come close to tears. So I tried another one, a Josh Groban song that gives me goosebumps every time I hear it, and that didn’t happen either. WhaFUCK?!
I know I haven’t really given this new regimen a fair chance yet. But I’m already wishing I could stop the Zyprexa. Yes, it was necessary to bring that mixed mood episode under control, and I’m really glad Dr. Awesomesauce was so decisive about it, because I didn’t know which way was up and it wasn’t getting any better. Still, I’m not used to being so sluggish and slow, and I’ve got the stupids again—today I forgot how to do a simple maneuver with the computer program I’m learning, even though I’ve done it a hundred times before. But I couldn’t even manage to work up my usual frustration over that……yes, boys and girls, there’s definitely something rotten in Denmark.
It’s almost like I’m overmedicated, even though I know that’s not really the case. I’m not falling asleep on the john or slurring my words; I have enough energy to get through the day, and I can even focus on things for a little while. But like I said the other night, it just feels like I’m wading through a river of peanut butter. I’m quiet, reserved (how often does THAT happen?) and more or less resigned to the fact that this isn’t the best time of my life. That would distress me under normal circumstances, but somehow I can’t find the wherewithal to get upset.
Which is, I suspect, the way it’s supposed to be. I’m certainly not on five psychoactive medications because my doctor likes to prescribe them (he doesn’t); I’m on them because four weren’t enough. It happens. I’ve pretty much given up on ever getting off antipsychotics—or anything ELSE for that matter—but I don’t imagine I’ll be on two of them for very long. I’m trying not to get too hung up on this issue because it really doesn’t matter; I need to get well and stay that way, and if that means taking another AP or other drugs to tame the beast, then that’s what I have to do.
But every so often, I’m tempted to chuck it all and see if these pills are really doing what they’re supposed to. I think sometimes that I wouldn’t be any worse off…..after all, I got along without them for fifty-three years, and I certainly didn’t become bipolar overnight. Would I just go back to being the way I was before? Or would I end up totally psychotic and need to be put away? It’s like the choice between the lady or the tiger: guess wrong, and you’re screwed.
I am, of course, not giving myself that option, and not just because there would be people lined up to the California border to gang-slap me if I did. On some level, I know perfectly well that those pills saved my ass and the results of not taking them would likely be catastrophic. And I’m not willing to risk my life on the presumption that my illness would be polite enough to return to its once-dormant state.
I know better. I still don’t like the way I feel—or more accurately, DON’T feel—but I’d rather be a little ‘blah’ than a hot mess like I was the past few weeks. I think.