Monday, October 6, 2014

The rollar coaster of emotions, or "getting back on my meds"

I struggle with taking my meds consistently - partly it's just forgetfulness and lack of a consistent daily routine (I can't even begin to describe my sleeping schedule, other than that it doesn't resemble a "schedule" in the slightest), and partly it's a certain lack of motivation, the same lack of motivation that makes it a struggle to take a shower or brush my teeth or eat - the simple, essential everyday tasks required for normal living. Sometimes it just feels like I need to feel for a while what I feel when I'm not on my meds.

So I go through periods of taking my meds every day, taking them sporadically, and not taking them at all. This means I'm starting to get accustomed to how things go when I start taking them consistently again after I've not had them for a while, and it's kind of interesting.

When I've been off my meds for a while (and I'm specifically talking antidepressants here; I don't take any other meds on a regular basis at this point), I feel numb, sort of empty. I don't feel much at all. I tend to wind up trying to fill my time with the things that make me actually feel something - usually Runescape, which gives me some sense of forward progress towards a large end goal; League of Legends, which requires significant focus and uses several normally unrelated areas of my brain and skillset and lets me feel excitement and achievement (along with disappointment, frustration, and anger at teammates and shoddy Internet connections but that's beside the point); and porn, which gives me at least a short period of all-consuming bliss... and exercise, I guess? It also tends to put me to sleep, which is an effective way to pass the time. For the most part, I'm just filling time; trying to distract myself with things that are less destructive than sinking into a black hole of endless despair.

When I start taking my meds again, they don't really kick in right away. It takes time for them to build up in my system and have a noticeable effect. It also takes time for all of my emotions to "come back", and they return in a specific order.

After a few days, I get more passionate and less apathetic sadness - instead of staring at the wall wondering about my life, I'm clutching my stuffed bear and sobbing. (This is not exactly encouraging, nor is it conducive to continuing to take my meds, but I'm learning to push through it.)

A few days later, and I get some anger - I actually have to fight the urge not to flame my teammates in League, whereas normally (off meds and on full meds) I don't really have the urge to do that at all. This also tends to be the period where I feel the most hatred towards my dad for inadvertently putting me through all of this.

A few more days, and I've progressed to feeling some positive emotions. This is where I am now. Today, I accomplished a handful of minor tasks (taking out the recycling, checking the mail, calling back someone who left me a voicemail and had the wrong number) and felt incredibly good about doing so, even though they were very minor things. During this time I'm also incredibly emotionally raw and vulnerable - I normally have pretty thick skin, but right now it feels like I don't have skin (in the emotional sense), which is very disconcerting. I'm actually feeling homesick, which is highly unusual. I watched a gif of a cat being adorable and it provoked major wistfulness about not having a cat; I had to hug some stuffed animals for a while before I felt better.

Hopefully, a few more days and I'll have worked all the way back up to feeling a healthy range of emotions, and participating in my hobbies more because I genuinely enjoy them and less because I need a distraction. And actually participate more in all of my hobbies - I'm just not able to read or listen to music the same way when I'm off my meds, not at all.

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