I said yes.
After swallowing the first pill, I took a long, hard look in the mirror. Then I popped some zits.
I braced myself for a possible year of attempting to figure out the best synthetic seratonin enhancer that wouldn’t fuck with my head more, or make me gain weight, or not want to have sex, or get adult acne, or make me actually follow through with the plan that was not *really* a plan, but any day now it could have been one, maybe.
Two weeks later, I was picking up my prescription for a higher dosage of the same medication. The past 14 days had proved to be inconsequential. I felt better, I hadn’t had any thoughts, no negative side effects as of yet, so Doc set me up with a three-month prescription three days before my insurance ran out. Thank you, Doctor!
As of now, it’s been approximately 7 weeks I have been faithfully altering my brain chemistry with a pharmaceutical every morning. I was almost morally against it for a long time. My friend Michele said something that really helped get me over the summit: “With eating right and exercise, you have this much wiggle room.” She stuck out her index fingers a couple of inches apart. “With anti-depressants, you have this much.” The space between her fingers grew to a foot.
It’s all well and good to have the intention to take WAY better care of yourself immediately, but it’s hard to look at mental illness as the cancer it is and really believe if you don’t turn your shit around, you’re gonna die. Especially when it’s so easy to help yourself out with meds. I’m over the self-righteous “natural” mood lifting devices; I needed a fix. I waited long enough.
Seven weeks. And I am absolutely floating on Cloud Nine. I mean, I’m not head-in-the-clouds, but it’s like... nothing is wrong right now. I admit there is a subconscious defense mechanism that has me waiting for the other shoe to drop, but I mindfully pull myself back into the here and now and look at all that is happening to me that feels amazing.
I recently saw a picture on Facebook of a sandwich board outside some establishment and written in chalk was something to the effect of: “Be grateful for what you have because yesterday it was what you wanted.”
And I take a step back and look at my life right now: I am living with a loving, supportive man who is open to me loving and supporting him through his speedbumps, we have an amazingly sweet and loyal dog, my cats are healthy (and not killers... yet), I have a roof to protect me from the rain, I have a luxurious bed, I have air conditioning, I have my days free now, I’m auditioning, I’m interacting with many different people each day, I have time to make art, and I have written these six entries, 2,881 words at this point, the most I have written in two sittings for a long, long time. I have the creative partners I have wanted, I am surrounding myself with artists I admire and want to learn from, and I am creating the art that connects with me. I am being me.
I am effervescent with possibility. I am rife with ideas. My brain is shifting and relaxing and bathing in the shallow fluid by which it’s surrounded and doesn’t feel clenched tight like an adrenaline-filled fist. Life is good right now. And if something bad happens, which something bad will, I can only hope that I am able to handle it. That is the last test. I hope I honor it properly when I encounter it.
So, PHEW, I was gettin’ all Shakespeare or some shit in there. “Honor?” Someone call the Starks! My point is, great things are a-brewin’, including this blog, but also including some other stuff I think you’ll love if you’re not into narcissistic confessionalism (see, I already said it was “narcissist,” so now you can’t because it’ll look like you’re making this big observation, but I’ll be all, I already SAID that, jerk! So, just... nevermind).
My real point is... stay tuned. I have a whole new brain now. Who knows what will come out?
(I promised myself I wouldn't take 1000s of pics for the right one and would just post the first.)