I worked at the grocery store today. I work there again tomorrow. Tomorrow night I’m committed to Tae Kwon Do. Friday morning I leave for Louisville, KY for the weekend to see my son, daughter-in-law and grandbaby. Tonight I skipped my beloved depression and bipolar support group in order to write. This is my one window in the next several days where I can get some writing done and by God I’m going to write. I’ve not written on this blog for 11 days and I’m half-desperate to get something written.
I’ve got about five topics queued up, some of which would be short and sweet – but it feels required that I first write about what has been going on while I’ve been offline. People may be assuming – or at least concerned – that I am super-super depressed, which I’ve not been. My not writing, however, does involve my mental illness, and I feel a little vulnerable writing about it. It also has to do with medication, which really makes it sound like mental illness – which it is.
I have been depressed for the last two weeks, but not as depressed as I have frequently been during my depressed cycles over the last many years – and this may well have to do with my new medication. I changed medication around eight weeks ago, weaning myself off of two drugs (Saphris and Seroquel) and adding in Zyprexa. My shrink – whom after about two years I like and respect – said he felt optimistic that this might ground me better than the meds I am coming off of.
It was a kind of a funny business, getting started on this drug. At my regular 3-month meeting with him, I said “My friend Toni says she is taking Zyprexa and Prozac for her bipolar disorder and this combination is really helping her. I parroted to her”, I told him, “what you and previous shrinks have taught me – that anti-depressants are dangerous to bipolar people, can spike dangerous manias. But she reported that her shrink says that this particular combination really works well for people, and that he’s having a lot of success with people who didn’t respond so well to previous meds.”
My shrink did not surprise me when he said, “No way I’m going to put you on Prozac when you are cycling as much as you have been. But Zyprexa – hmm. That’s actually a pretty good idea. Let’s try that. If we reach a point when you are level – not cycling up and down – and depressed, we could talk about Prozac, but not when you are going up and down this much.”
So Zyprexa maybe is helping. My last round of ups was not as up, and this round of downs is not as down. But it’s been messing with my writing even more. Every time I sit down to write, I doze off. This has been happening for a week and a half now. Drowsiness is a common side-effect with psych meds – including this one – but not one that I have ever experienced with meds before.
So if drowsiness has kept me from writing for almost about 11 days, how is it that I am writing tonight? Am I starting to cycle up again? Maybe – time will tell. Maybe my desperation to get back to writing – and to offer stuff to you my readers – is bigger than the drowsiness.
This has been a long down – longer than the two weeks that has for many months been my typical cycle. It has now been maybe 2 1/2 weeks. If it goes on a long time, it might not seem like such a good deal. If it continues to mess with my writing, it might not be such a good deal. At work – on my feet with a rapid pace of transactions – it doesn’t make me drowsy, but I think it makes me stupid. Depression makes me stupid – actually about as much – but when I’m up I’m pretty sharp. If I start being low-level depressed – and drowsy and stupid – more of the time than the half-time that has been typical, it might not feel like such a good deal.