“Terror leaves you when you despair; once you let yourself hope again it returns redoubled.”
– Spider Robinson, Callahan’s Lady
A couple of weeks ago, I missed taking the magic pills for about four days in a row. I didn’t even really notice, actually – friends were visiting (Snazzy & husband-of-Snazzy, whom I shall call Snazzer) and everything was busy and we were all going to bed late and, and, and. So on. You see how it goes. The point is, after they left, I had a day where I drank WAY TOO MUCH COFFEE and crashed. Hard. I don’t know what effect the coffee had, but I’m sure it was part of the problem. (Does anyone know? Caffeine, anxiety, etc. – seems like there’s a clear link.)
Anyway, there I was, lying on the couch in a very old familiar way, with some dark pissy thoughts caught in a loop. It took me a few hours to realize what was happening and put it all together, but once I did I had the following thoughts:
1. PANIC. Dear god, I missed four days. FOUR. That’s nothing! I mean, it’s something, but it’s nothing in the grand scheme. Am I going to be like this forever, then? Am I going to have to take these pills until the day I die? Because as much as I spout off about how even if I do, it’s better than the hopeless spiral, I don’t want to. I want to get back to me. Gwen A! (That will only make sense if you’ve read this.) Without drugs. That’s a new truth.
At that moment, a helpful friend happened to call and said things like, “Tell me again what the highest success rate is? A year – at which point you’re supposed to go off them in a controlled manner. Right. And how long have you been on these? Five months. Have you considered calming down?”
So I did. Helpful friends are priceless. That led to this:
2. Dude. That was actually a big step. I went all spirally, I went back to the dark scary stuff in my brain, and then I recognized it. That’s huge. Massive. Monolithic. (Enough synonyms.) While I couldn’t talk myself out of the feeling itself, I was able to start putting into practice my healthy behaviours, because even when you feel like shit, you can go for a walk. And take a bath. And make a healthy meal. And go to bed early. (And take your damn pills.)
And I woke up feeling like me again.
That’s all, really. It was a bad little episode with some rays of sunshine in it. Given the stuff I took from it, I’m actually a little bit glad it happened, and I’ve been meaning to write it up for a while.
(And I’m down to one cup a day, but I will not give it up. Mmm, coffee.)
I have no wrap-up sentence, so I’m just going to –