On One Hand

May 26, 2006


Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 10:17 pm

I have an appointment with a psychologist on Tuesday at noon. Directions are on a folded yellow napkin in my pocket. One of the first things we are going to discuss is the option of medication, so that I can be the person I want to be, not controled by my diseases. I am a good lover, I want to be better, I want to love without need and without anxiety.

On another folded piece of paper is the email address of a girl from my religious community. She’s helping me get the word out about the garden I’m hoping to put in at a community house my religious group uses as its headquarters. I’m asking board members who lead the organization if they have any plants they can donate to the cause – the yard is currently full of weeds.

Scribled on a campus flier is the time the Internet company is coming to fix the modem that broke over a month ago, so I’ll finally be connected from home. This is also tucked into the same pocket as the email address and the psycholgist’s appointment.

Finally I have the phone numbers of two contacts for potential jobs – one for a job as a Unitarian assistant minister for my religious community, another for an internship editing a literary journal next fall.

I am living out of my pockets. I am living out of my backpack and my phone. I am fumbling to find the printer, the keys, I am fumbling to to find my heart in all the wreckage.



  1. The choice for medication is a slippery slope. At least for me.

    Does it mean you are sacrificing your true self who at the time may not be in the best frame of mind or the best emotionality that society demands to be…normal?

    Does it mean you are impeding your own development for the sake of relative instant relief?

    With my own personal journeys through the world of psychotherapy, medications, and long attempts to heal my own depression I came to the final conclusion that I am living ok. Things are beautiful to me. I can love. My heart may be weak sometimes, but I can still wake up, go to work, hang out with friends, and be ok.

    For me being ok was good enough and with that I abandoned medication and am coming to my first year mark of not taking anything at all. And I was on medication for four years before.

    I am not expounding a skewed philosophy like Tom Cruise may, but I am saying the choice to medicate is a deep deep decision that may potentially alter the course of your life, for the good and the worse. I know in many ways it made my life better and in some few instances it made my life unbearably chaotic.

    Just consider it intensely.

    Comment by timberwolves — May 27, 2006 @ 7:54 pm | Reply

    • well it’s not like popping a pill is a lifelong commitment. I’m sick of knowing what I need to do and not being able to do it because the pain is too intense. I KNOW what I need to do, I know I need to relax and give people time and space, and I know that I’ve ruined relationships by expecting people to hold me when I’m hurting. I know what I need to stop doing, and then when it comes down to it, I can’t stop.

      When I’m evaluating relationships, my friends advise me by asking, “do you get more happiness or more sadness from your relationship overall.” What if you’re faced with asking that question about your entire life?

      I need something that can detach me from too much emotion. Because things are NOT working for me now.

      Comment by ononehand — May 27, 2006 @ 8:26 pm | Reply

      • You are right. The act of taking a pill does not have to be a lifelong commitment, but can become an unnecessary crutch when all may be needed is some recalibration and adaptation to the current problems of life. However, you have a valid point. I understand what it feels like to know that things are NOT working and something needs to happen to keep things marginally stable. About a year and a half ago I was in a bad break up and sank into a huge depression. I had to take three medications at the height of the depression and was nearly hospitalized. Although I felt like a zombie at the time it was worth it in light of how every time I passed by a bus to campus I would fight my mind to not throw myself in front of the moving bus. The medications killed the pain just enough to keep me going in the worst of the depression. However, when I got off of them the emotions were still there, maybe not sharp, but still there.

        Comment by timberwolves — May 27, 2006 @ 10:01 pm

      • I’m ok dealing with all the side effects. I want something pretty mild. I just need to be less emotional. I honestly don’t know if I should have given Clay more space like he wanted, in light of everything that was going on, or if I should agree with all my friends who were saying “that’s no excuse for how he treats you.” I want something that can dull the emotion enough to give me some perspective.

        Comment by ononehand — May 27, 2006 @ 11:06 pm

      • Well if you need something to numb the pain and is mild then you should opt for Celexa. Celexa was the best for numbing the pain without very many side effects. They might try to give you Lexapro and if so just keep in mind that it does work, but is incredibly difficult to get off of.

        Good luck man.

        Comment by timberwolves — May 28, 2006 @ 2:20 am

      • Why is it hard to get off of?

        Comment by ononehand — May 28, 2006 @ 1:29 pm

      • The problem with Lexapro is that it is a more refined version of Celexa that some have argued is a minor adjustment made by Forest Laboraties in order to secure a new patent and another blockbuster drug, which Lexapro has proven to be. The dosage of Lexapro after its refinement from Celexa went down to a smaller amount, thus making it more difficult to control and titrate to a more flexible dose. Celexa is usually given in a 20 – 40 mg range with ease to make 2.5 mg changes. This is what made Celexa the easiest drug for me to take since it was the most personalized to what I needed. However, Lexapro is given between a 10 – 20 mg range and is somewhat more difficult to make personalized changes in dosage. More than likely the physician will give you 10 mg pills and say take 5 mg for a few days and increase to 10 mg and keep you there.

        The Catch 22 of Lexapro is that it is the most highly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, which makes it attractive to those that support the theory that serotonin is the main culprit for biological depression. I found out with many changes in drugs that my biological depression was a factor of low norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine. So the high selectivity of Lexapro may not help you as much as Forest Laboratories advertises.

        You should also know from Bio Psych 101 that serotonin is an important neurotransmitter for mood, sex drive, hunger, sleep cycles, and overall conception of reality. Due to the high selectivity of Lexapro the weaning off process becomes somewhat challenging. Your brain will adjust after some time on the drug to a “normal state” that is a factor of the drugs continued presence. If you abruptly discontinue the drug then you may develop something called “Serotonin Withdrawal Syndrome.” It is characterized by dissociation, electric shocks that feel like they are in your brain, and a sinking depression that truly makes you question why you took the drug in the first place. Although this does not happen to everyone who takes SSRI’s but it does seem to happen to those who take Lexapro, Paxil, and Effexor than those who take other newer SSRIs or novel antidepressants like Remeron and Wellbutrin. I know that it is what characterized four months in 2005 for me. The withdrawal was worse than any other withdrawal I have had and I have been through a few hefty withdrawals.

        I personally hate Lexapro and what it did for me. I had to eventually convince my shrink to prescribe its liquid form so i could slowly wean myself off (a process that lasted 4 months).

        Ask a lot of questions if it is offered as an option.

        Also most doctors are negligent to realize the dangers of Serotonin Withdrawal Syndrome. Most of them do not take it and most of them are under the influence of GlaxoSmithKline, Elly Lilly, Forest Laboratories, and Pfizer.


        Comment by timberwolves — May 30, 2006 @ 4:15 am

      • Well, we will first have to distinguish if it’s anxiety or depression. But what you say is scary… I don’t know what I’ll do. I will def. ask a lot of questions.

        Comment by ononehand — May 30, 2006 @ 6:02 am

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