Friday, 11 October 2013

Two Little Pills

Every evening, around nine o'clock, I reach inside the bathroom cabinet and withdraw two thin rectangular packets. Sometimes I do this after I've sighed at my face in the cabinet mirror, or brushed honeying teeth, or exfoliated prickled cheeks in time for sleep. In each packet there is a blister foil containing little white pills of different doses. I hold two, one round, one oval, on the palm of my hand, press them inside my mouth, bend my head under the running faucet, and swallow. Over twelve months its been of this medicated ritual.


I would like to say these pills make me taller or smaller, or partial to erudite advice from a hookah smoking caterpillar. Sadly not. Their job is one of equilibrium and stiff upper lip - to boldly weather motherhood. In short, they're supposed to keep me on the straight and narrow. Happy.

I fell down the rabbit hole. I was too tired, too anxious, I didn't see. I floundered, tumbled head long into darkness, blind, inside an inky wonderland of demons and nightmares and absence of sleep. It wasn't Little A's fault. She knew no better. No, it was simply a lapse in chemistry.

The choice wasn't to be had; those two white pills in the palm of my hand.


Am I depressed still? It's hard to tell. I laugh. I cry. I feel, glad I'm feeling...something. I still ride the anxiety, ambushing in the unlikeliest of moments; during the short walk to preschool, emptying the bins, unpicking the plug hole.

But I seem to have lost my ability to think. Either clearly. Or consciously. I cogitate with the gut, not the brain. And that's how I write; with the stomach. The food goes down, up come the words, the images, belching their way into awareness. I had no idea digestion could wield such bursts of imagination. So I'm eating more, quite a bit more. More biscuits. More chocolate. The sugar helps the word count. Or I'm simply bored...

I've forgotten that vivid chamber of clarity, of having a certain mind. I think my skull is leaden with syrup. What if I were to come off the pills? What then? Would I think better? Write faster?

But I can't come off them. Not yet. I can't risk the symptoms. It's savage, matured with age. Hell is the week before my period. No, I simply can't do it. Maybe when I'm past fifty, and there's no more blood and eggs...

...Or I might try lowering the dosage.

68 comments:

  1. Gosh, I had no idea. I hope you have a good week this week and sending lots of love. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not so bad....I felt I needed a review post after last years. Whatever works eh? X

      Delete
  2. I really didn't know you were suffering from depression - like that though isn't it sometimes? Silent. I have friends who chose to slowly lower the dosage to see what the effect would be. It's unwise to suddenly stop I think. It clearly hasn't managed to get into every part of you - you still have an amazing ability to communicate through beautiful words. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, yes, I'm still kind of, it's hard to tell, my brain's been permanently rewired after Little A's birth. I only want to lower the dose a little, and I've heard the side effects are awful if you do it suddenly, so I'll be doing it very gently. X

      Delete
  3. I do actually think that it is those that are the most creative who are prone to depression. Sending you a hug xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a bit of a cliche but it does hold some truth, that there is a certain disposition to 'creative types'.... it does help fuel expression. Thank you. X

      Delete
  4. I always think of the gut as the second brain - and it's obviously there for a reason - and am glad you're using it so well. Stick with it - it'll tell you when your ready to make any changes re the fab tabs. You're amazing. Much love xxxxxxxxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sometimes think the stomach is more intelligent than the brain - get's to the heart of the truth without the filters of the intellect. Will probably be on them for some time to come. Thank you lovely. X

      Delete
  5. Poor you. I remember those feelings all too well. Read lots about coming off or cutting the does before you do though as if you don't you can end up feeling more unhinged than before. Good luck. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not too bad, I just know deep down I'll need to stay on them a little while longer yet. Currently on 30 mgs... want to reduce back to 20 mgs, very, very gradually obvs. X

      Delete
  6. Ah love. No sudden moves, eh? xxx

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think I knew someone in the distance of my mind, you must go with your own spirit and what works for you. Honeying teeth, what a great way to describe them, mine too! Bit like the silver threads in my hair :) Have a gorgeous weekend, the sun is shining again, enough to lift our spirits xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's exactly what I'm going to do... and I have plenty of silver threads. And I had a very nice weekend, thank you. X

      Delete
  8. really feel for you, and know on top of everything, you're on your own a lot during the week - but none of this has dulled your wonderful, vibrant writing, and like the thought that food seems to help the words flow. Know I find great comfort in food when the dark clouds come. Sending you much love xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you... Little A and I have our own groove going on during the week, and it is very peaceful, and I am a little more liberal with the TV. And yes, now the days are getting shorter, I am really craving those carbs! X

      Delete
  9. I could have written this myself and very much relate to it. I found I was my MOST creative when battling through depression. Now that the happy pills have kicked in, I find I'm willing the creativity to come more often than not. It seems to leave me lacking.

    Big love to you, your words are beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to say... I am the same - depression can be very good for my creative muscles. But then the pills fudge my thinking too. Thank you.

      Delete
  10. Thinking of you. Depression is so hard. I hope you are ok xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am okay.... just thinking about the clarity of my thoughts (or lack of). X

      Delete
  11. If two little pills make life easier, then I wouldn't worry about how long you take them for. Your writing from the gut is amazing. Perhaps in a weird way, if you hadn't been in this place, you wouldn't even have found writing as an outlet, or the amazing voice you have now? I dunno, just a thought. Sending hugs (and cake) xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hugs and cake kindly received :o). You are quite right, common sense tells me to stay with what works. And if the PND had never happened, chances are high I might never have found my way to writing - scary eh? X

      Delete
  12. Sending you a big hug... and I agree with the sugar helping the word count... Lots of love x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you... just so happens I had a lovely slice of birthday cake this afternoon. X

      Delete
  13. You need to right the imbalance at the moment, don't make any decisions to stop without GP discussion. Don't feel bad about taking them it's very common. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thing is, the imbalance is still there and I'm not upping the dose. In fact, I think I'm on too higher dose and need to come back down to 20 mgs again. I don't think I settled very well into a higher one. X

      Delete
  14. Beautifully written, if it means you write more I'll come round and feed you hobnobs myself x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! :o) Yes, please do come round and feed me hobnobs, that'll keep me running on the writing wheel. X

      Delete
  15. I am just about to go on medication for PND and I am really scared. I hope you find a way to feel confident about reducing your dose xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't be scared. It's fine, it really is. And it does make a difference. Be gentle on yourself to begin with, they do come with some side effects that do subside after a couple of weeks. Best of luck to you. X

      Delete
  16. You write so beautifully Sarah. I see great clarity there - even when you don't xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, that's very kind. Glad you can see the clarity - you can be my glasses. X

      Delete
  17. Sorry you are going through this but you give a clear picture through your beautiful words. You do what you have to do and in time, with doctor's advice, the medication can be reduced. Feel well. be strong :-)

    ((xx)) Jazzy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am actually okay, on a fairly even keel, it's the brain cells I'm worried about, their seemingly lack of activity. Maybe I should put my finger in a socket, jack start the grey matter? X

      Delete
  18. I read this on Friday, and couldn't comment straight away. I needed a couple of days to come back to you. It really resonated with me for a whole host of reasons. I just wanted to reach out to you and say how very brave you are. The journey to come off such medication is one that should take time and be approached with a huge serving of gentleness to oneself. You will know when the time is right. You will know when it is time to feel that depth of feeling again. And you have all of us here when, if, you are ready. I also agree with one of your other commenters that often writers are those people who feel so acutely that they can turn into the most exquisite of words. And you, my lovely, can certainly do that xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much for your support lovely. In all honesty, I will probably stay on them for some time to come. And when I do decide to come off them, then that will be a process that will take at least six months. And it's quite nice to have a respite from that strength of feeling.... just wish I had a clearer head! And you are very right, writers often fall under the depressive category. X

      Delete
  19. Sometimes life can be so hard, sending my best wishes to you

    ReplyDelete
  20. You write so beautifully and so movingly, always. Sending big hugs xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very, very much. Hug received. X

      Delete
  21. Sarah, this is very brave and your post is amazing as always. You have already written 40'000 words of your novel... No need to write faster, I would say. Hugs. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much lovely. Mirroring how many words I ave written, I'm actually feeling rather proud of myself. I am getting there, plodding away, a few hundred words everyday. X

      Delete
  22. You have written about my brain fog so well - so much better than I ever could. I have 3 of the pills, yellow and green capsules - mine go down with a mug of milk. Sending you love - and will bring you cake, you just have to shout.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much. Brain fog is a royal pain in the arse isn't it? Cake... sounds like a fabulous plan.

      Delete
  23. Oh Sarah, I think you write with much more than your gut my lovely friend, you write with your heart and soul. Stay strong lovely lady, there are so many beautiful thoughts and words inside you that I love reading xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not so bad... I was having a moment of reflection on what the pills have done for me over the last year... and they have done me good apart from the fuzzy thinking. X

      Delete
  24. Depression is such a personal thing, a million different people suffering and million different symptoms and cures. Do what ever is right for you and enjoy every "good" moment you can safe in the knowledge that one day there will be more good moments than bad ones and the chocolate buttons will be always be there as your friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a pain in the back side is what it is... but over the last few days I've started exercising again, and it really does help. Chocolate buttons are my very best friend :o).

      Delete
  25. I've so been there as you know, but due to my belief in alternative therapy and yoga, I've stayed away from the meds, at all costs. It does mean my moods bounce off the walls sometimes, and I have been known to show the travelcard to the front door expecting it to open, but those 2 little pills are something I'd be scared to go near. I am glad they keep you on the straight and narrow - that's a place I haven't been in about 3 years and 4 months ;-)
    Liska x
    (P.S. the gut and the writing are working a treat as this post rocks as do you)
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funnily enough, I've just started doing my tai chi exercises and a few yoga postures again everyday, and they are really helping me. I had put myself under pressure to do loads of exercise like a full session of yoga, and that put me off. But it doesn't have to be black and white and just a few exercises is helping. I didn't want to go on the pills but they were a necessity at the time. X

      Delete
  26. Beautiful writing, I wish you well on your journey, be kind to yourself xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you lovely. Don't worry, I'm being very kind to myself, take today for example, I had the bestest slab of Hummingbird Cake. It rocked. X

      Delete
  27. Eeeeh I left a comment the other day but Google seems to have eaten it. I am glad that your 2nd brain (as Anya rightly calls it) is keeping you writing as you are superb at it.
    I have also been through depression at Uni and PND and both times avoided the meds, but only because they scare me. I am glad they are keeping you on the straight and narrow.
    Liska xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't worry! I still got that comment :o) Thank goodness for second brains eh? And I'm on the straight and narrow! X

      Delete
  28. Oh Sarah i feel the same 99% of the time. i am not taking pills on prescription anymore though...looking after two kids by myself and those pills didn't work as they made me feel way tired. now i am taking something homeophatic called Aconite. they help although not all the time...as sometimes i forget to take them or think that i don't need them anymore...
    but...they are still two white pills....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hard work isn't it? I'm not surprised you came off them if they were making you feel too tired. Glad to hear the homeopathy is working though, and the pills taste nicer. :o)

      Delete
  29. You write so beautifully, you really do and I think this was a very brave post to write. Be kind to yourself and don't push yourself with it my love. No pressure ok xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much. And I am being very kind to myself (had a lovely slice of Hummingbird cake yesterday) and pushing myself gently. X

      Delete
  30. Depression is an awful illness- I hope you get better soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not a box of chocolates, but as it goes, I'm doing okay!

      Delete
  31. Wow Sarah that must have been a tough post to write, a beautiful post at that. You have this incredible talent that you are able to take any subject and write the most amazing words. It definitely doesn't just come from your gut, it comes from all of you. I hope you're doing ok. Don't worry about the pills you'll come off them when you're good and ready. If it's not broken it doesn't need fixing does it. So great to read your posts again, I've really missed them :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your very kind and supportive words. It actually wasn't that tough to write.... I was kind of having a yearly review of how things are, and came to the conclusion that while the medication works, it doesn't half make my head fuzzy. X

      Delete
  32. I think it's a great thing to think with your gut rather than your brain. Those people are usually the most compassionate and true and creative.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much my dear...... I shall carry on thinking with my stomach.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...