Sunday, May 6, 2012

Shaken and stirred

Wobbly. In between. Ookie. Like the time I took two doses of Dramamine instead of one. Hungover. Tingly in the head, my brain loose in my skull.

For reasons beyond my control, there was a two-day gap where I didn't take my anti-depressants or my appetite suppressant.

Not that one thing has anything to do with the other.

I lay in bed and felt I was melting into the mattress. It was like being comfortable, but it didn't feel right. It's hard to explain. Sleep seized me in its grip and a dream happened.

I was standing next to a wall having a conversation with someone unknown and then a hand was over my face and I was struggling to breathe. I woke up with a start. MathMan asked me what was wrong.

Bad dream.

I was drifting again even as my heart pounded.

Another dream. Nothingness then water closed over my head. Someone held me under water. I thrashed about, struggled to free myself. I wanted to break the surface, but couldn't.

Awake again. - What is wrong with you? - Another bad dream. Was I flailing around? - No. But you look sweaty.

My will to live is alive and kicking.

I was afraid to fall asleep. I fought it, but soon enough I was in another dream. The kind that seems to last a long time, fades into the next and the next and the next. Not a nightmare, thank goodness.

A new place to live. A rental in a mixed neighborhood. A house dead center of Gated Community meets The Projects. Nice neighbors, a kitchen with a tremendous amount of storage space. Commercial areas distributed around the neighborhood with shops, bars and restaurants. Elevators taking residents and the public up and down between the residential area and the commercial areas.

A cameo appearance by a past lover. A friend from high school. Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart wearing a bowtie and sitting a couple of tables away. He looks over and smiles. Don't I know you?  Yes. I'm friends with you on Facebook. A fan.

We make a date to visit a gay bar down the block. I hope you'll wear that bowtie.

The high school friend wants to show me something. A new iPhone app that shows you how many times a person looks at you. She wants to tell me how many times my old lover has looked at her over the course of the evening. Over 300 times. I am not surprised. He never stops looking.

All day yesterday, I waited for the dream details to fade. They lingered, littered my mind. I felt the occasional zap of electricity course through me. Felt faint a couple of times. Craved a  nap.

I picked up my prescriptions and took the anti-depressant before bed. I remember no dreams from last night.

I can't wait to reverse the process and get off these pills. What are they doing to my brain chemistry?

Not that one thing has anything to do with the other.

What's your Bunsen Burner?


  1. Worry, low self-esteem, and sugar.

    1. Sarah, Can you imagine how wealthy you'd be if worrying were a highly paid skill? I'd be the Zuckerberg of neuroses.

      Ditto low self-esteem and sugar.

  2. You're golden. Really. I know no one so perfectly named as you.

    I've had one of the hardest years I can remember this past (or is it last?) year. Depression. Weight gain. Marital knock-down, drag-outs, work worries, anxiety, anxiousness, should i go on??? At one point, my husband went with me to see my therapist and, as usual, she mentioned that maybe, just maybe, this time, i should consider anti-depressants. "just to get back to level ground." i couldn't do it. the force to avoid any dolls was so severe in me that when we got home, i fell to a heaping pile on the floor, begging my husband, "please don't make me take any pills."

    i've clawed my way up from that heaping pile. the anxiety and anxiousness are gone. work doesn't make me worry so much and the only knock-down drag-outs we've had lately were over necessary disagreements, like when he bought me a mens XL t-shirt and said, " wont be that big on you."

    i'm the daughter of someone who couldn't stop taking pills way back when. starting such a prescription feels like a pattern to me. one i don't want to repeat.

    here's to getting your dreams back.

  3. Dreams are thought to be snippets of random memories ... yet we make efforts to tie thoses into some sort of rationality. My guess it will be another million years before humans evolve enough to understand synaptic mis-fires and wandering memories. Until then, use your sleep adventures for literary purposes.

  4. Isolation and altitude, apparently. I had one of my worst nightmares here, alone in this hotel room, than I've had in years. I couldn't go back to sleep, couldn't turn off the lights. Ugh.

    Take it easy as you cut back, little Golden. Let the doctor help you through it.


  5. People who ask too many questions.

  6. It's been nearly two decades since I've had the kind of nightmare that makes me awaken not just with a start, but a scream. I had them during a period when I felt, quite literally, like I was lost, hopeless, and alone. Toss on some survivor's guilt from a friend's suicide (the first time this ever happened, I was a camp counselor, in a cabin filled with 12 and 13 year old boys; in the dream, my best friend, who had died, was sitting a few rows in front of me at the movie theater; he turned to look at me, said something about how it wasn't so bad, then the skin and underlying flesh melted from his face as he laughed. I couldn't tear my eyes away, and awoke screaming so loud I had people from other cabins coming to see if someone had been injured) and it was a potent mix. No drugs involved, but a truly lousy place in life mixed with a helpless sense of powerlessness over my life caused this to happen a few times over the years.

    I am, sad to say, burdened with a memory that refuses to let either these images or the underlying feelings leave my brain. Two decades and more on, and I can recall these in detail, leaving me shaken. I don't know what they mean - I've never thought dreams were anything less than our mind continuing to work as our bodies rested - but I would be happier if I never, ever, had any such things happen to me.

  7. Anti-depressants are fine when needed, but I do hope you can rise above them eventually. You're a joy to know and I want you to feel it's a joy to be you.

  8. You know my feelings about the overprescription of anti-depressants so naturally I agree it will be better for you to be off them. Of course, I'm very mistrustful of the pharmaceutical industry anyway so you can take anything I say about the subject with a grain of salt (element not drug).

    ps: Sleep disorders are common during menopause if that a consideration.

  9. Be very careful getting off of them. I had an asshole doctor who gave me something when a friend of mine was dying (she was the kind of doctor who didn't miss the opportunity to prescribe a drug when some therapy might have been better). I stopped taking it after he died. I titrated off of it slowly, but it still was not a smooth end. That said, it was a while ago and the drugs now are probably much better, but still take care when you stop.


And then you say....

(Comments submitted four or more days after a post is published won't appear immediately. They go into comment moderation to cut down on spam.)