12 June 2007

The music in my head isn't soothing to sleep to.

So often when I begin to write these brain dump posts, I start in one place and end up completely another, straying far from my original intent. That IS part of the point of the Tuesday posts, that they're meandering, a walk through what's going on in my head. Don't think, WRITE! But today I have a whole lot of disjointed issues to talk about that I'm going to try to make a cohesive whole. We'll see how that ends up working out for me.

First up is a bunch of things related to my mental health, which is so much better than it had been. After feeling like I'd been locked in solitary, in some dank and miserable place where no light ever shone, I'm back to feeling like my sixteen-million-projects-at-once self. And while this is an enormous relief, it is also frightening. That fear is entirely a product of the Catholic guilt that is instilled in every practitioner of Catholicism, or, if you like, a bit of that old Roman or Greek saying, that the gods don't like to see happy people. As if I were tempting Fate by being back to as normal as I ever get. Waiting for the other shoe to drop. But at least I'm no longer living in utter terror of that shoe dropping, as I was.

Today I was in my car after stopping at a local bookstore. I can't ever go into the bookstore and not buy ANYTHING, and this visit was no exception. I picked up two trashy brain-candy novels, the sort of thing that's perfect for reading poolside or at the beach. Typical summer fare. At the cash register, I grabbed a very small chocolate bar, an impulse that I'm rarely able to restrain. Buy me books and chocolate, and I'll be yours for life. It must be DARK chocolate, just in case, you know, you ever got the urge to buy me some. Once I was driving down the highway, I opened the white wrapper of the one-point-two ounce bar, peeled back the inner silver lining, and broke off two tiny squares, then broke those in half. Savoring the taste, the richness, the deep intoxicating scent and the feel of it in my mouth, I was struck suddenly with a sense of wonder.

I reached for my ever-present bottle of water, which had been sitting in the car for nearly an hour, and was stunned to discover that the water was still cool, even though the car was about 140 degrees F. (Yes, I'm such a geek that there is a thermometer inside the car. Don't ask why, you would only giggle all the more at the answer.) My sense of wonder deepened, amazed that the water had remained cool despite the day's blistering heat, and I took a deep breath, glad to be alive.

And it was then that I realized that I've been in a very, very bad place lately. Yes, I've scribbled and droned on and on here about how the depression was crippling, but that barely does the feeling justice. I wanted to, not die exactly, because I was never suicidal throughout this whole ordeal, but to not exist, to become invisible, to disappear. I know that I wasn't suicidal this time around because I've been there before and I wasn't there this time.

I felt for a little while like I was running around in a fog, when the medication started working. I wasn't despondent any longer, but I wasn't feeling anything else, either. Numb may or may not be preferable to the sludge that resides inside your head when you're depressed, I haven't made up my mind about that yet, but I know I didn't like it much more than the depression.

I know that I'm better now by leaps and bounds because I can feel other things now. My sisters are coming home to Oh-hi-ia later this week from New York City and the Los Angeles area, and I am so excited about that, excited in a bouncy, kid Christmas is two days away feeling. I haven't had a sense of anticipation about the future for an extraordinarily long time.

Several people in my real-world life have told me that I'm better, among them DH, friend K and my mother. I can tell that I'm better too, and since we each have such trouble recognizing change in ourselves, that is perhaps the best barometer of all.

I ate just those two small squares of chocolate, not needing, for once, to scarf the whole thing down without taking the minute you need to truly appreciate expensive chocolate. That's another great indicator for me that things in general, not just my mental health, are better. I need to eat less these days. That is ABSOLUTELY not to say that I'm not still hungry all the time. I am hungry all the freaking time, and I suspect that I will always be. But it takes less to satisfy that hunger, less to satiate me.

I remember someone saying something very close to that in one of the thousands of Weight Watchers meetings that I've been to over the years, and I inwardly rolled my eyes and thought as loudly as I am able to think, "Whatever, you bitch, you've lost three times the weight that I have." You never, ever, ever say such things aloud at Weight Watchers. I'll say them aloud to my friends who are as catty as I am, but I would have never said that aloud to the woman in my group. Bitchy I am. Cruel and that tactless, I am not.

I'm surprised, nay, astonished, to find that she was right. It does take less to make me full now that I'm thinner. Huh. Who'da thunk it? I still have a really, really long way to go in my quest to be in fighting shape, but I bought a pair of yoga pants yesterday that are size medium, and they fit. Medium! Wait, let me say that again. My new yoga pants are a SIZE MEDIUM!! I may have a long way to go, but I've come a long way, too.

Thinking about having come a very long way, it has been a very long time since I lived in Sweden, more than ten years, *sigh*, it has been fifteen years this year since I left Sweden. So why, all of a sudden, am I thinking in Swedish and having trouble finding English words for things? If I wasn't positive that my mental health has taken a turn for the better, I would think I was losing my mind. Talking to DH at home the other day, I was suggesting to him that he try to persuade a co-worker to do something the way DH wants it done. And I said, "Honey, why don't you just, what's the word, overtala honom, um, talk over him, y'know, make him see your way."

DH and I have been together for a very long time, and he's used to me swearing in Swedish, the occasional outbursts that I don't want people around me to understand, the phrases that mean 'that's stupid' and 'I don't know,' but the poor guy does not speak a word of Swedish. So he looked at me with complete incomprehension until I was able to find the word, persuade.

Over the weekend, at my parent's house, I did the same thing with my dad. Who also speaks no Swedish. WTH? And WTF? Why is this happening now? Over the years since I've left Sweden, if I get very, very intoxicated, I'm likely to start babbling bits of Swedish at you and not be able to understand why you're not following along. But stone cold sober? This has never happened. I've even had bits and pieces of dreams in Swedish lately. Again, I say WTH?

I seriously doubt that thinking in a second language is a side effect of my anti-depressant medication. How do you list THAT on a drug's warning labels? But that's the only thing that has changed for me in the last couple of weeks, my dosage has been upped. I haven't been spending time IM-ing the folks in Sweden, or composing long e-mail messages to them, or even spoken with them on the phone for about a month. So it makes no sense to me.

The meds make a lot of sense, but they are worrisome samtidigt, GAH, there it is again, samtidigt means 'at the same time.' This is what happens when you do stream-of-consciousness writing. Where was I? Oh, the meds. They worry me because I know that they are changing my brain chemistry, forcing my body to either make more dopamine or allowing it to absorb more of it, I don't remember which and I'm not going to look it up to verify. Either way, it is an artificial thing, and I don't want to take them for the rest of my life. I'm hoping to not need them for the rest of my life. That's why I'm doing talk therapy too, trying to work out some of the issues, to change my way of thinking, and some of the maybe self-destructive things that I do.

I've always had a very difficult time living in the moment, appreciating what's going on TODAY instead of worrying about what needs done to prepare for a doomsday tomorrow that might not ever come. Several friends have suggested to me that in this moment, right now, I need this help and hey, dumbass, you should just roll with it. I'm trying.

The visit from my sisters means that I will be offline for several days. Both of them heartily disapprove of my internet addiction, and since I only see them about 3 times a year and lately only get to have time with the three of us together at Christmas-time, I'm going to do my best to spend every waking moment with them, appreciating the moments that we have. I do sleep lots less than they do, so it is possible that I'll be online when they're sleeping in during the early morning hours that I'm not sleeping, but I'm not counting on it. Babysis comes home from California late Thursday and Middlesis from New York City on Friday, so at the least I'll be offline over the coming weekend.

One sister shares my SN ardor, no, that's not completely correct, one sister also LIKES Supernatural, the other one could care less, so I might even get in a few viewings of S2 episodes while they're here. Heee, heee, heee!

I hope YOUR Tuesday has been a nice one.

Listening to: Red Wanting Blue & Michelle Branch on the iPod, and a Gloria Estafan song that is stuck in my head.

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