Thursday, February 19, 2015

I Miss the Misery

So back in January, I was having a rough time with everything.  Who the hell wouldn't?  I didn't know what I was supposed to be feeling like though.  Monday through Saturday morning was honestly pretty OK, just a few moments here and there.  I had work to distract me, and the gym in the evenings.

Once Saturday afternoon rolled around though, it was epic.  I was just in a shitty, shitty mood, peppered with bouts of crying.  Aren't weekends supposed to be fun? Isn't it sad that I would rather be at work than at home?  I would just be driving back from the grocery store or something that otherwise should be non-triggering, and it would be instant.  I had to actually pull over less than 100 feet from my house one evening because I couldn't see.

When it hit me at the gym, which has served as my only sanctuary from the grief, it was the final straw.  I was able to recognize that I needed some professional help.  I contacted the psychiatrist that helped Megan when she was hospitalized.  He went private practice soon after her death, so I had the perfect person to already know my background and situation.

We set up an appointment and I met him about a week later.  We talked through some things, and ultimately, he prescribed me prozac.

Fuck.  Prozac?  I need a fucking pill?  How are some magic beans going to help me?

I've never taken any "mind altering" substances (well, since high school at least), and I damn sure was skeptical about taking this one.   Who am I to argue with a professional though?

So I filled my prescription, and started at 10mg/ day, half of the "minimum therapeutic dose", as he requested.  By the third day, I didn't really feel any different.  However, on day four, something changed.  I was in a general decent mood, but I couldn't get excited or worked up about anything.  After a few more days of this, the mood swings had stopped completely, but the intensity and enthusiasm for anything had also stopped.  Holy shit, I was falling back into the fog.  The same one I was in the day she died.  I didn't give a shit about anyone or anything.

I actually missed the misery.

I went through the motions of getting Shelby ready for school, going to work, going to the gym, and coming home to do it all over again the next day.  On Saturday and Sunday, I stared at mindless TV for hours.  Eventually, I stared at pictures of Megan, and read old letters she had wrote, in a shameless attempt at making myself cry.  I couldn't fucking do it. I was just "existing", and it was worse.

After going to Tampa though, something changed again.  I had a biblical flood of emotions come out, primarily after I got home.  Ahhh yes, the "Camp Crash"  A switch was flipped back on for me down there after being with people who get it.  I'm back to writing these notes (and now even sharing them with others).  I'm already functioning better at work.  I woke up this morning, and the first thing I thought about was Megan, and I had a little weep.  I'm fighting off the drug, and I feel like I'm winning.

You know what though?  I like it better than being numb.  Having heavy feelings means that my brain is working properly.  In order to build muscles, you have to tear them down and let them rebuild themselves.  The brain is the same way.  Taking prozac, at least for me, is not allowing my mind to tear itself down properly.

For now, I'm still taking it until my follow up on Saturday.  I don't want to just stop taking medications, because after 12 years of watching 18 or more pills a day go into my wife, I know that just quitting something when it's not on a doctor's advice can make things worse.  I had a follow up with him on the Monday before Tampa, and I told him all this.  I had no depression, anxiety, or sadness, but I also had no enthusiasm, drive, or desires.

I think I'm really going to push to be taken off of it.  I can't go to Camp Widow every other weekend to be snapped out of the fog, and I can feel it starting to return again.  In my case, I can still function as a father and human being even with the mood swings, so I'll just deal with them as they come.  I made some good friends recently that get what I'm going through, so if a particularly bad one rolls in, i have someone to vent to that isn't going to be scared off.

I'm not saying that Prozac and other anti-depressants are a bad thing.  They can really, really help people get through tough times or chronic depression.  In my case though, I need some depression just as much as I need enthusiasm for life, and Prozac has killed both things off.

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