Day 50: The Irony.

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WARNING: excessively melodramatic post, but I’m fine 🙂 

It’s 7:30 AM here on the East Coast, and the birds are singing like our forests are on fire. It’s that time of year when if you’re good at waking up early (I’m not … shoutout to Wendy!)  you get to see the sun rise. My new apartment faces East and I can see the sunlight gradually sweeping over the windows of the people across the street, behind the trees. The trees are orange and red. The people are nowhere to be seen. Everything human is quiet. It’s bird time. 

I fed my cat, whose favorite activity is to torture humans by meowing like she has been starving for months and it’s all your fault. She’ll eat, then ten seconds later start begging for more. Entering the kitchen has become a dance of willpower: who will be the first to give in? The vet said: be firm, and ignore. Just ignore. Ignore the urge to repair, to take away suffering. A wonderful exercise in wrathful compassion. Just say no. How did we humans end up in control of such things when we lack internal control ourselves? Giving in to all forms of urgent pleading -internal or external, human or animal-, is not always the right thing to do. So I ignore, and sing her little made up songs in which I am really also singing to my internal cat. I sing like I would to a young child, to feed the nonbiological starvation with sound, and distract myself from the guilt of saying “no”. To delay, in the name of the long term and its primacy over immediate satisfaction. To know and do the right thing, and stick with it. Just ignore.

Yesterday something strange happened. On an impulse, I booked an appointment at my university Health Center to inquire about smoking cessation resources. I walked into the MD’s consultation room and said I wanted to know about Chantix: my meditation group instructor recommended it, as it worked for her. The MD said no: she doesn’t know anything about Chantix and has never prescribed it, and is uncomfortable doing so, especially as she doesn’t know my psych history. I said I tried patches and losanges and it hadn’t done it for me. So she went to plan B.

And here I am, sitting with a bottle of Wellbutrin on my table. One every day for three days, then two a day, for three months. I have’t done it yet. Instead, I’ve been reading, and some of the side effects are scary, but rare. Some sad humans have tried crushing the pills and snorting or injecting them, earning it the label “the poor man’s cocaine”. Most of them ended up in the ER with tonic-clonic seizures. Wellbutrin is prescribed for smoking cessation, but is also an antidepressant, which acts on dopamine levels, not serotonin. Wow – dopamine… that’s my thing.

From this little bottle, memories start flooding out. My 2015 breakdown. Alone and overseas. Clueless as to the avalanche of unaddressed shit suddenly hitting the fan and spraying me in the face. Telling my mother I was suicidal over Skype. My little sister crying, worried to death. Psychiatrists. SSRIs. Losing the use of language for two weeks. Saying “I can’t drink” for the first time, “I’m on antidepressants”. Feeling like a walking wound. Having trouble crossing the street. The first human on earth to ever had suffered. Snorting addrerall. Snorting Cocaine. Therapy, for the first time ever. Writing the worst collection of poems, ever. Putting myself back together, slowly. Finding resources. Finding strength. Building self-esteem. Discovering the human community of sufferers. Offering to help. The tremendous growth of the last five years. 

And now I sit and stare at this little bottle, these little things, which tap into the mysteries of the human brain -which are also prescribed for seasonal affective disorder-, and think about how easily meds get prescribed in this country. How so many opioid addicts start out with a simple toothache. How I have been a kind of covert anti-psychiatry advocate for a while now (for those who are able to do the work with psychotherapy), with all my rambling about psychodynamics and hypnosis and meditation and yoga. Yet here I sit, facing a bottle of antidepressants, after several years of learning how to cope without them. The irony.

And then a thought creeps up: maybe this will do me some good? Maybe I should seize the opportunity? So I bargain with myself: if it’ll help me quit smoking. I can always stop the meds after a month. I can let go of my pride and desire to make it through the winter with “no crutch”. Some crutches are healthier than others. A seizure probably won’t kill you [LOL]. Etc. One possible side effect is it can give you crazy dreams: good material for your journal. You can also keep smoking – if you want- for a week when you first take them. I can work with that. Slowly, I give in. 

I take a pill. It is purple, larger than I thought.

I guess I’m back on antidepressants. This was unexpected.

It is now 8:30 AM and the humans have awoken. One lady stands on her front porch in her nightdress, screaming angry obscenities as her partner walks away, head lowered. They don’t turn back. A car whizzes past, blasting equally angry rap music. Sigh. May all beings be happy. 🙂

Published by nomorebeer

Learning how sobriety helps you ENJOY life.

8 thoughts on “Day 50: The Irony.

  1. Those were some hard times for you! I’m sRory you had to go through that!
    I sure understand about antidepressants, and I hope it helps you to stop smoking.
    Big hugs and I got up at 7:45!
    But still in bed with coffee!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Anne… so many beautiful things in here. Such an honest and giving post. You are really lovely… I hope the antidepressants work. I’ve got no experience with prescription meds. Was always a self-medicator. Wink-frown.

    “The vet said: be firm, and ignore. Just ignore. Ignore the urge to repair, to take away suffering. A wonderful exercise in wrathful compassion. Just say no.” Sigh. That’s what it’s like having kids. And why I am likely failing at being a good parent.

    I love your cat-songs from the heart… yes, this must be the best way. Absolutely. Keep singing.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I loved this raw and honest post. I graduated from pharmacy school and I was still apprehensive to taking SSRIs and another psych med. I tried to “get better” on my own but found myself going deeper into more problems. So I caved and tried the meds despite the stigma. Surprisingly, it has made such a positive impact. So kudos to being open minded and trying the Wellbutrin! Like you said, you can give it a try and stop if you experience negative side effects. Just make sure you don’t stop abruptly without consulting your doctor. Which part of the East Coast are you from btw? I’m originally from Philly. As always, loved your post! Xoxo 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Melissa !!!! And yes I definitely won’t abruptly stop without warning my doc 🙂 I’m a couple hours away from Philly (that’s where my ex is from). For confidentiality/being shy reasons I’d rather keep the city to myself though, if that’s ok 😉 BUT if you ever come to this side of the country lemme know !!! xxx Anne

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Anne, you have this mix of strong and vulnerable that just makes me want to reach out and give you a big virtual hug. (I hope that is not inappropriate!) It’s because you are lovely and real and authentic. I’m with you on the concern about over prescription (Don’t get me started on ADHD and Ritalin- thanks USA!) but then if giving up the fags is important and it helps well go for it and monitor how you feel. Sorry for what you have had to go through but like Nietzsche said, “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” Haven’t been on WordPress for a few days so sorry it took me so long to catch up with your post. Oh and aren’t we both doing well on the booze front. We started together, we stick it out. Brilliant stuff and massive achievement given all that’s happened to you. Stay strong Anne. x


    1. thanks Jim ❤ I realize how sad my post must have sounded, but I think it was really about processing and integrating a part of my life that I still worry about sometimes try to push away, worrying that it might come back. I think that acknowledging its reality – that it happened- is a big step towards letting go of that past identity and moving on. To a happier, healthier life 🙂 Thanks for your comment, which means a lot as always 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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