Sunday, December 20, 2009

Restart the world, I might want to get back on again

Another good day round Cardiff Drunk's neck of the woods (do woods have necks?)

Last night Mrs CD and I had a chat about what I should do with my medication next. I'd been on the internet looking at fora about anti-depressants and side effects and so on and managed to quite scare myself with what I was reading about Prozac/Fluoxetine - 'I'm in hell', '21 days in and I want to stop' and the like. I didn't have too many problems the last time I took the stuff; in the end I was taken off it because of very bad nausea but the mental effects as I remember them were pretty positive.

I can even vividly remember telling my then girlfriend that I was feeling better within hours of taking the first capsule - so quickly in fact that I wonder if it must have been a placebo effect of 'doing something'.

But, this lower dose of Trazadone is suiting me very well, and it's got me thinking about completely coming off all this stuff - or as much of it as I can manage.

I feel lighter, less lethargic, less despairing. Bitter experience makes me cautious of this, but I wonder how much of a self-fulfilling prophecy that is: I expect things to go badly, so they go badly.

I'm certainly, tomorrow, going to cash in my prescription for 18 100mg Trazadone capsules. When I last saw the doctor she was very keen that I should start the Fluoxetine as soon as I finished the Trazadone - although it was my keenness to make the change quickly that persuaded her that I shouldn't stabilise for longer on a lower dose of the latter.

I think I'm going to take her advice on that. "Come back in if you find you're struggling," she told, and was very insistent on the matter. I'd come in in a pretty low state and reporting suicidal feelings - "Although not with any serious intention of acting on them," I said in my stock response to questions about these thoughts.

It sounds dramatic to say that thinking about killing myself is a constant, but it's true - I'd go so far as to say I'm obsessed with death; what it means, what it feels like, and that's mine, yours, loved ones and so on. How to do it, do I have enough pills to do it, when will I do it, what will I do first and so on and so on.

But, it's rare that I feel I'm actually moving towards acting on these thoughts - why am I so fricking absent from my own thoughts and opinions that I don't even know this for sure, that I talk about it in such a distant and observing way? Don't know, does everyone think like this? I'd love to know.

Enough of the mordant tangent (good name for a band I think you'll agree), let's accentuate the positive. I'm calmer, I'm enjoying things more - things like music and the company of Mrs CD appreciably and almost exponentially more.

We talked the other night about what had changed about me - I would have said not very much - and she highlighted two things she thought were massive: "When you began to talk," and, "When you gave up coffee."

"Talk about what?" I asked.

"About what you think and feel," she answered.

Crikey. This is news to me. But, I suppose it's good news isn't it?

Six months alcohol free. Let's not forget that. I'm further away from a guaranteed downer I'd been drowning my brain in every day, I've been on six months of Campral and vitamins, I've been eating OK and now I get at least some exercise every week. Maybe contacting X helped to exorcise the most significant ghosts in my mind?

I'm not swinging from the chandeliers, nor any closer to earning money with which to buy chandeliers from which to swing when the time is appropriate, for example I was low this morning, but came out of it.

It can't be anything but a boost either that Mrs CD is on holiday and feeling bright and breezy herself. She's in quite a good and confident position with her work and the changes she plans to make there and we both seem to be coping with the idea of the Christmas influx OK. (I have my fears but they're less insistent than usual.) The house is together and tidy and we're pretty much on top of everything. She's been on her own new antidepressant for about a month and, although she was reluctant to go back on to any mood medication, she seems to have benefited from it.

But for me, it looks like a period of stabilisation for me at the moment.

You'll have noted that I still believe myself to be fascinating, so expect more updates of stunning mundanity as the days pass into 2010.

If you spent it, thank you for your time.

The Cardiff Drunk

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