Unbreakable's Pearls of Wisdom...

...and Foolish Mutterings


Down the rabbit hole, Texas,
December 06


JULY 26, 2010 4:27PM

It's Been Real, But It's Not Been Fun

Rate: 52 Flag


I’ve been gone from OS for so long, I feel I need to write one of those papers. You know the one: What I Did on My Summer Vacation. Except summer is far from over (especially here in God-forsaken Houston where it’s officially summer ten months out of the year) and it hasn’t been much of a vacation. Quite the opposite, actually.

So, where have you been, you might ask. (Written with the unrepentant shamelessness of a truly self-involved writer – yours truly.) In short, I went to work in April, lost fifteen pounds (yet, I have miles to go before I sleep,) started on a new medication prescribed by my doctor to help control my depression, discovered my new job was OH-SO-BORING, what the hell was I thinking(!), wrestled with the new medication to find the correct dosage and finally found my way back out of the rabbit hole I fell down. If there is one thing I do well, it is that I get back up when I fall down.

The medication my doctor put me on was great at first. I was Superman, I could leap tall buildings in a single bound, I was bullet-proof. After about six weeks, though, I noticed that I was increasingly anxious, which I wrote off to settling in to the new job – not bright, since it was the same kind of job I had been doing for fifteen years and could do with my eyes closed. Then, I noticed that my powers of concentration had become non-existent. I first recognized that on OS. I found that I couldn’t read blogs for more than ten or fifteen minutes at a time without becoming incredibly distracted. This was a real change from the hours I spent previously, reading, commenting and writing. Weeks went by without even the slightest inclination to write anything. My brain was full of thoughts, but they were spiraling off in every direction, refusing to be corralled.

I told my doctor that I felt like I wanted to crawl out of my skin. He reduced the dosage. Okay, fine, but I still couldn’t sit still, and writing and/or reading anything at all was out of the question. I was still just shy of wanting to crawl out of my skin, which is the only way I can describe the intense anxiety I was feeling. Every day, I just wanted to get through the day and go to sleep.

After dealing with the effects of depression for too many years to count, one thing I have learned is that this disease robs one of perception. Therefore, yes, I knew I was anxious, but did I want to risk another dance with the devil to be rid of the creepy crawly feeling of anxiety? Was it normal to feel anxious to a certain degree? How much was too much? Oh, I had questions. I just didn’t have answers. As for my inability to concentrate enough to read or write on OS, I decided maybe I had just outgrown my infatuation with the site. Somewhere in my muddled brain, I knew I was fooling myself, but I couldn’t quite grab hold of that elusive lucid thought.

I’ve always been a reader, reading two or three books at the same time. Suddenly I was unable to complete even a few pages. No subject held my interest. One day, I happened to spy my beloved camera sitting unused in the top of my closet and realized that I hadn’t taken a single photograph of anything or anyone in months.

I kept telling myself that I should go back to see my doctor to discuss how I was feeling, but I had done that once and he told me to stay on the medicine. So, I stayed away from him, too. Finally, I just stopped. I quit taking the medication (the additional one, not the original anti-depressant, which I still take.) I quit the job I hated. I stayed at home and tried listening to what my body had been trying to tell me.

It has been a month now and finally I am starting to feel more like myself. I no longer feel the sharp undertones of anxiety with every breath. I started (and finished!) a new book this weekend. I spent the whole weekend at our deer lease with nothing but time on my hands and I enjoyed it. I didn’t go stark- raving mad the way I would have had it been a month or six weeks ago. And, wonder of wonders, I woke up this morning with a desire to write.

Whatever that pill did to my brain chemistry, I want nothing more to do with it. I know there are people who struggle with feelings of anxiety daily and I’ve never understood what that must be like until recently. God help you if that is your cross to bear.

Hopefully, I will continue to feel more and more like “me” and you’ll start seeing me around here again. I’ve missed this place and I’ve missed all of my friends here. So much for What I Did on My Summer Vacation. I think I may try a real one now.



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glad to see you back! hope you continue to regain your "self" as your body and brain get balanced.
Rated for coming back to yourself. Had been wondering where you been!!!! Welcome back, slowly but surely!! :)
if you hadn't already, i was gonna yell: stop taking that crap!! right after you said it was making you not want to write or read our stuff and comment on it. we can't have that go on now, can we?

so glad you're back, that you don't have the heebie-jeebies anymore and that it's still hot in houston. at least there's one constant in the f'ed up global weather. ;-D
Glad to see you back...take care of yourself....love and love....xox
I'm happy to see you writing on OS again. I thought maybe Tink did something to piss you off :-)
Finding the right med, finding the right dose can be such an ordeal.

If it makes you feel like Superman, it's night right. You should feel OK, just OK. And believe me when I say, that's enough.
So good to see you! I've missed you - and wondered!
maybe I had just outgrown my infatuation with the site
don't even joke about that.
Seriously, though, so glad you've worked things out with your meds and are on the upswing.
lemonpulp - and I am glad to be back. It was a strange, wild ride!

Tink - Slowly but surely is right. Thank God for small favors, right?

femme - even though it took me too damn long to decide to stop taking that infernal med, thank God I finally came to my senses! Another life saved by OS! Think of it!

Robin - good to be back. And you take care of you - I hear you've been having some medical issues. My thoughts are with you, dear friend.

Boomer - Ha! I was too confused to be pissed off at anyone! :-)

David - yeah, I should have known that initial Superman feeling was too good to be true. And you're right - "okay" is a good thing.
trilogy - I know - blasphemy, right? "Outgrown my infatuation with the site" indeed! What the hell was I thinking??
I was worried about you, I'm so happy you are back! I'm glad you found your way "home".
Sorry to hear about the time you have been having. Sounds as though you are finding your own way through and that you are moving into a better place. Good for you. Glad to hear your voice.
I so "get" what you are talking about. God, it was like sex when the writing came back for me! So happy to see you back!
LL2 - Me, too. It's good to be home!

annaliese - I was worried about me, too. It was a dark place. Glad I'm not there anymore. :-)
Linnnn - THANK YOU! I was afraid this post wouldn't "translate" well and that no one would really "get it." I felt like I had lost ME. Thanks for getting it. :-)
Welcome back to the REAL rabbit hole! I am so happy you are back to yourself and your literary senses! There is no better healing agent than your own imagination and the joy of friends who've missed your voice here clamoring for your return! Keep on whatever track you're on and hold onto yourself....:)
It's really good to see you back here. "this disease robs one of perception" Amen. I think it's one of the most long last psychological effects of the disease, that constant distrust of one's internal messaging system.
Congrats for finding yourself again, and recognizing it.
welcome back and remember: you're unbreakable
I am glad you're back and feeling a lot better. This place is not the same without you.
Finding yourself, what joy!
SOOOOOO happy to see you back!
Glad to see you...-r
I have missed you so much! i confess, I have not been on OS as regularly as most. My life has interfered with my fun. I can relate to the drug induced dementia-like side effects. I couldn't remember an appointment I made 15 minutes after I made it. that and what day it was or where I parked my car or who I was driving to see for my work. Dropped some meds, added others and learned to have a calendar in my pocket at all times. My neurologist said I had a choice, deal with the forgetfulness or be in pain and never sleep. If I remember to write stuff down, I can actually have a life.
Susan - what a lovely comment - thank you! It is truly a wonderful thing to be back. I've missed you all so much!

h-Julie - "that constant distrust of one's internal messaging system" - yep, so true, so true.

Nikki - that's right - Unbreakable - that's me! :-)

scanner - my dear friend - I have missed you. Thank you!

Abby - What joy, indeed!

Duane - thank you!! I've missed you.
Joan - so good to see you here. I've missed you, too.

Rainee - Oh, I feel for you so much. Meds are such a double-edged sword, are they not? And when they give them to you, so often they neglect to mention the possible side-effects or they rattle them off so fast you can't understand them. Such a Catch-22. Thank God for calendars, right?
Hey there! Happy to see you back! I'm so glad you're feeling more like yourself now. I've known that anxiety feeling, and it is exactly like wanting to crawl out of your skin. I HATE it!
Good for you for listening to your instincts. At least you tried. You may still yet find something that really does work better. It's trial and error with meds.
Missed ya, Kim. That was one helluva vacation, and I'm glad you're back. Looking forward to seeing more of you here.
Caroline marie - thank you - it's so good to be back - to be reading, commenting, to be writing...

j lynne - true - this was the worst trial and error experience I've ever had, though. Made me a little gun shy. Right now, I'm feeling great, hoping to hold on to that for a while. :-)

Matt - missed you, too, Matt. It feels good to be here without that constant feeling that I need to move, move, move! Ahhhhh. It's good to be home. :-)
Isn't the 21st century bizare?! It's always something.
Deborah - SOOO bizarre! The things we deal with now - sheesh!
Yipppee! You're back!
Welcome back! We missed you. Not a fun journey you have been on--good to know you are finding yourself again.
You know, I was starting to worry about you. I am so glad you are feeling better. I'm looking forward to reading your great stuff.
I'm glad you're feeling better! Since you've been gone I've developed anxiety/depression and so am on a medication. Haven't decided if it's the one for me, but I for sure didn't want to deal with depression like I did about five years ago. As you well know, it's no fun. Welcome back.
The explanation I give for my anxiety is I feel like peeling the skin off my face. I feel constantly on edge and twitchy and there is no escape from the feeling short of being drugged into numbness. Yes, it does make it impossible to think clearly and I find myself forgetting what I'm doing. This year I had my first panic attacks and finally went to the ER thinking I had a heart attack when one got so bad. You were smart to listen to your body if it gets worse like that. Glad you are here again.
Good for you, getting off of that crap. It was pushed by big pharma. I kept asking "what chemicals are out of balance?" and the ducking and dodging is still going on.

Jackasses. Then they started throwing anti anxiety drugs after the antidepressants with not a care in the world about the pages of warnings and side effects.

Good for you. Welcome back, too.
I was gone about the same time you were, then I came back with another screen name. I wasn't tough enough to take discussions about medications... anyway glad you're feeling better, I am too.
Nice to see your face and read your words. Yes, anxiety is awful, so is depression. Both together are truly awful.
Unbreakable, So nice to see you here. I have been thinking of you and your pretty face flashed through my brain a couple times just yesterday. I kid you not. Sorry to hear of your struggles. Your desire to write is a positive sign.
i'm so happy you found a way out of the fog. welcome back. you were missed.
Unbreakable, you were one of the first people to welcome me to OS, and then you were gone. . .

So allow me to return the favor. Welcome (back) to OS, Unbreakable. I'm so happy that you are feeling better! (R)ated.
Very glad to see you back and I only hope that you continue to go from strength to strength.
I am very sorry you have struggled, UB.
greenheron - Yes! Yippee - I'm back!

Vanessa - thank you. :-)

sophie - nope, not fun at all. But it's delightful to be back.

Bernadine - thank you. :-)

Lezlie - awww, thanks. I'm looking forward to writing again.

Patricia - I'm so sorry to hear that you are dealing with anxiety/depression. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. No one deserves that special kind of hell. Take care of yourself.

l'Heure Bleue - excellent description. I've never experienced anxiety before and it is a special kind of hell.

xenon - we are a chemical society now, aren't we? Scary, scary. I'm the first to admit that I need and have benefited greatly from anti-depressants for the depression I've suffered from for years now. But, I've been fortunate not to have suffered from any serious side-effects until this last medication was added to the mix. It's one of the new generation of "add this medication to your anti-depressant" for uncontrolled depression and I've noticed that there are now several different medications in this newest "family." As much as I appreciate the drugs that have kept me sane for years, I have a problem with the tendency to "throw more and more drugs" at a condition. Especially when the side-effects tend to be treated with yet another medication. Scary stuff, that.

Zinnia - I'm glad you're back, too, and I'm especially glad to hear you're feeling better, too. Take care of you. :-)

sweetfeet - truer words were never spoken. Truly awful.

Scarlett - I agree, my desire to write again is a very positive sign, as is my desire to reconnect and to find myself able to read and comment once again. What a scary, lonely time it was. Glad it's behind me. Thanks for your encouragement. :-)

Chuck - thank you, Chuck. I so appreciate your kind comments.

TheRealMe - don't you just love synchronicity? Thank you for the welcome back. I truly appreciate it.

Ger - "strength to strength" - I like the sound of that. From your mouth to God's ear, Ger.
JD - So happy to see you here. Thank you for your kind words. We all struggle, it seems. It's the not giving up that counts, I think. xoxo
You don't know me but boy I know that. And people don't get it. It is perception. I remember telling my friend I was depressed and she said, "But you were depressed yesterday, you're saying your depressed today too?" Uh...yeah. The pills work so great you don't know your sick until they stop working and then you don't know their not working until they are adjusted and work again--and then you think, "Oh that's why I felt so wierd." Fish Oil helps a bunch. too.
I hope you got my messages UB: I was worried when I didn't see you. So glad things are coming around, so hard this depression/meds/no meds thing isn't it? I appreciate your support for my poems and also your presence here as a writer and reader. Take care, happy to see you today!
Good to hear you, kiddo! You know we'll always be here for you.

A vacation sounds like a damn good idea!
UB, I'm so glad you had the moment of clarity that allowed you to figure out your path back to living.
Continue to take care of yourself. Good post.
Chica - welcome back! You were missed, of course, but more importantly, glad you're feeling more like you.
Christine - what you said is so true - you never know the meds aren't working until they get adjusted and you start to feel better. It's a bitch. Thank you for your very insightful comment. :-)

Rita - I did get your message - thank you so much. Your PM meant a lot to me. In fact, when I got that one yesterday, that's when I logged on and wrote this blog. So, thank you! I fully intended to PM you back and then I got all caught up in commenting and reading and just never got back to my email. I'm sorry. You are a dear friend - thanks for your concern.

Pilgrim - thank you, my friend!

CK - you and me both, CK, you and me both. :-)

a woman somewhere - thank you. I'm trying. :-)
Welcome back UB! I had wondered where you went to and hoped that you were just enjoying life. I'm sorry to see that in fact you weren't having such a good time but glad to see that things are perhaps improving. Love to you.
Love the title! My mom always says, "It's been real, and it's been nice... but it hasn't been real nice."

Glad you're back and glad you got everything straightened out. I went through a similar "Well, just keep taking it" thing with my doctor. Some times you just know somethin' ain't right.