03 8 / 2012
Without going in to the specifics of how my drugs work, other than being miraculous, I’m going to let you in on the dirty little secret my doctor never really explained to me: If you stop taking your meds, you will lose your mind. While I had been instructed to keep up with my meds, checkups, and blood work, my doctor didn’t mention what would happen if I stopped. It’s kind of like that movie The Little Mermaid:
Ariel: I want to walk around on land. I’m gonna see the sea witch!
Everyone in Atlantis: Don’t do that.
Ariel: Will it be bad if i do?
Everyone in Atlantis: Just don’t…okay?
No one told me about the feeling of numbness or the inability to focus I would experience if I stopped my daily drug regimen. They just told me not to. The biggest thing they forgot to mention was the agonizing insomnia! Anyone who knows pre-medicated Samantha knows that sleeping from 8pm to 1 pm is normal. That Samantha loved sleeping! So, consequently, insomnia is new for me.
Let me be more specific. It’s not that I can’t sleep and I have all of this energy and I’m taking advantage of excess hours to get chores done or something constructive like that. No, I’m just in my bed, staring at the wall, thinking, thinking, thinking…
This lapse in medication was caused by poor scheduling on my part and the inability to understand the world of American health insurance. So, I still have my lithium, which is good because I in no way intend on changing the name of this journal, but also I’m out of my antipsychotic prescription.
(Doesn’t that just sound great! That’s what you wanna see on an e-dating site personal ad: I’m friendly, outgoing, and I’m out of my antipsychotic.)
My meds are like this scenario:
Mom’s got a kid that’s running around everywhere in anticipation of getting a piece of cake. The kid’s screaming and skipping around the kitchen. Finally the mother yells, “KNOCK IT OFF!” The kid then sits quietly at the table and waits patiently for their cake. So mom cuts a piece and presents it to her child. The child is instantly delighted, so happy that the kid doesn’t make a peep as he eats. He’s just so content.
My moods run rampant and lithium says, “KNOCK IT OFF!” And then the antipsychotic is like the cake to top it off. It brings me an overwhelming sense of peace and contentment, which is something everyone deserves in life.
My days, now, are like that kid waiting for cake. That kid is just waiting, and waiting, never moving, never sleeping. He knows that cake is coming and that he really wants cake, but for now, he’s just in this limbo.
Before anyone lashes out with advice about mythical roots or special yoga poses that make me sleepy, let’s keep in mind that my brain is having a chemical reaction to not having a chemical reaction. I tried a few remedies. I went jogging. I watched Midnight Cowboy. Nothing is putting me to sleep.
We’ve all probably seen or read Fight Club by now and know that Palahniuk did a bang up job describing what it was like to have no sleep. I would say it was like that, except that I’ve been off work this last week. So, instead of my life jumping from one moment to the next without a connection, I’m just ceaselessly staring my boredom in the face.
I’ve also been exhibiting strange paranoia-like symptoms. The wind feels like a hand on my shoulder. My shadow looks like an axe murderer. And the sound of the cat walking through the living room sounds suspiciously like Michael from Halloween on his way to murder me. My sleep has been sporadic at best this past couple nights. If I do sleep for an hour or so, it feels more like blinking, then I’m wide awake again for a few more hours.
Here I am, middle of the night, nothing left in the house to read and no one to talk to. Luckily, there’s a golden realm where you can have both of those things. In preparation for what I’m about to expose, let me remind you that I never give out personal information to strangers or go to the seedier parts of the internet.
The last few nights of sleeplessness I have been in chat rooms! Did you know the internet is insane!?
Now don’t shake your head at me, I don’t go to those rooms where people expose themselves on web cams and make sweet RPG love to their cyber lovers. I’ve been to a few Christian ones where people just talk about how Christ was reborn in them. I’ve been to Final Fantasy ones where people just talk about how they will never find true happiness. Sometimes I’ll go to various music related chat rooms. But those can be quite elitist. The fun thing about those is coming across the realization that there is someone, out there in the world, who is lonely, staring at their computer, and angered beyond all reason that someone would consider With Sympathy Ministry’s best work. (That person was me, by the way.)
Have I adopted some sort of alter-online-ego these past nights? Am I one of those nerds that somehow gets brazen when they’re armed with a keyboard and a lack of physical being? You bet I’m not! I’m still as spineless and accommodating as ever.
It’s important to remind you that none of these faceless strangers know my name, address, phone number, place of employment, family members, location, or license plate number. If someone asks you ASL, YOU MUST ALWAYS LIE! This evening’s insomnia goes out to all the wonderful pieces of text that are bouncing back in forth across the world wide web, connecting nerds everywhere.