I wrote this the week before last

before I got sick and worse.

My head doesn’t work that well. Sometimes it fires on all cylinders and I’m intelligent, witty, compassionate and productive. Other times it almost feels like its eating itself and I become introverted, paranoid, nervous, anxiety-laden, easily distracted, unmotivated and highly unproductive.

In the novel Miss Smilla’s Feeling For Snow, there is a passage where she retreats into her depression and refers to it as closing the shutters on her house, watching the light slowly shrink to a smaller and smaller point until she is left in total darkness. This is the best description I have found of what happens when my brain decides to turn on itself.

At the moment I am returning to anti-depressants. I find it deeply ironic that the side-effects of these little white pills are heightened feelings of the feelings I’m feeling that are making me a contender to be on them in the first place. It can take two weeks for the side-effects to dissipate. I’m a day off that two weeks and instead of lessening they have heightened in the last three days.

For the past two mornings I’ve been woken by our youngest for his feed. He then goes back to bed and I retreat to mine to lie there at the hands of a massive anxiety attack. Adrenalin pumps through my body as my teeth ache at being clenched for so long and so hard. My heart is racing, and has been for what feels like the last two weeks. I know this isn’t the case but it still feels like it. My neck is so stiff that if I move suddenly a hot hard pain grips my neck and right shoulder. My skin feels uncomfortable. I’m so tired, so very very tired, even if I get a full nights sleep. I simply do not want to get up. I want to shut the door on my life and just make the world go away. The impact this would have on my family, on my boys, makes tears instantly spring to my eyes. I want and need to be near people but I hate being touched. I am craving solitude.

Food and my body become my enemy when I’m like this. I find myself completely repugnant. I’m not really hungry but I eat almost constantly. Then I hate myself even more. This goes on and on. I can eat the most healthy food in the most reasonable of portions, but I will still berate myself for needing to eat it at all. I am the compulsive gambler, the alcoholic, of food. I get to the end of a day when I have eaten properly and try to punch the air in victory, but I’m so very tired I will have the same fight the very next day.

Not many people know just how hard and long this war has raged in my head. I’m scared they will look on me differently. Not give me work because they don’t want to overload me. Not tell me a joke or share a story with me because they think I might take it the wrong way or will not be in the mood for such frivolity. Not come to me for support or advice because they don’t want to stress or burden me even more. (Even though all these things are critical for me as I claw my way back to normal brain-land.) My greatest fear is that they will make allowances for me.

I hate it when my brain decides to eat itself. I try to remember what I’m like when it’s well. When I write well, have great ideas, am proactive in all areas of my life, am happy. But it feels so far away and is so fuzzy around the edges I wonder if I will ever feel that way again. I have a deep undercurrent of fear that asks what if the little white pills won’t work? What if I’m going to have to battle my brain each and every day? And that is the worst part of all.

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