My bestie Lou and my boy
I went to Australia, as planned, with the boy, as planned. It was even more awesome than I was hoping. Brisbane was wonderful, sunny, warm and pleasant, while back at home Auckland was hit with a weather bomb. (Sadly, we didn’t entirely escape it, but I at least was both home and indoors for what remained). The trip was solely so I could attend Jesus Christ Superstar, starring Tim Minchin as Judas, and the show was amazing. I’m still singing the songs – and I’ve pre-ordered the DVD recording of the show so I can watch it again. And again, and again.
The whole trip was a much needed breath of fresh air. Yes, the boy was still slightly under the weather, but he was already improving before we started the trip, and has continued to improve steadily. At the moment he’s mostly back to full health, with only a minor lingering occasional cough. But for me, the trip was a break. An experience of running away, without any of the consequences of unplanned running away. Escapism at it’s best. I took my bestie with me, ostensibly for help with the boy. She was a huge help to me, too, though. Just the chance to relax, and giggle, and travel, and share the experience with another adult.
I have to admit, too, that I expected more of a come-down effect. Normally, particularly when a blast was had by all, I get a sucker-punch of the mundaneness of normal life once we get home, but so far this time I’ve managed to escape that. That said, I’ve had it pretty easy – one day by myself looking after the baby, with minimal interruptions from the girls due to the help of their Gran, and the rest of the time the husband has been home.
It does leave me wondering about the drugs, though. I started the paroxetine (Paxil) roughly six weeks ago. (By which I mean, I have no idea how long ago, but it was likely more than a month, so six weeks sounds right.) All the literature on the drug advises to give it six weeks to kick in – so, therefore, it should be fully in effect now.
So… the verdict.
I haven’t been so desperately hopelessly low since a week or so after starting the drugs.
I am still having anxiety – mostly around caring for the boy. I know I’m capable of it, and in practice I just get on with it and do it, but there’s a part of me that still hates being alone with him, because there’s a part of me that still very much believes I’m not capable, and that something will happen.
On the flip side of that, I’m bonding much better with him. Whether this is truly due to the drugs I can’t say – it’s coincided with him a) being off dairy so being happier and b) starting to laugh and giggle, and respond to actions / faces – generally being more interactive and social himself. Much easier to love, bond, and care for a jolly wee soul than a squally screamy thing that at best is serious, but more often than not is exercising his lungs. And – probably like most mothers – at 3am when he’s waking for the umpteenth time wanting to use me as a dummy, I still would prefer someone ELSE look after him. For at least a few more hours so I can SLEEP.
Scarily vivid dreams, often nightmarish, that I’m finding it hard to wake up from. And even when I AM awake, they haunt me.
A general numbness to life. I got in a semi serious car accident (we’re fine – car’s only cosmetically damaged – but the other guy’s car is totalled. Broadsided – me into him. His fault.) and haven’t cried. Sulked a little because my shiny lovely ‘new’ car (which we’ve had a year, but is still ‘my new car’) is all banged up and ugly (though functional!) now. Pouted. But, not cried. Not gotten the shakes like I usually do afterwards. And quietly terrified of where the logical, and sensible emotional response to such an obvious shock has gone. They say with (illicit) drug addicts, that because the drugs mask the feelings and are an escape, that during recovery all those masked and postponed feelings will both come up and need to be dealt with. I really worry that instead of dealing with anything, I’m merely shoving everything aside til later. Not fixing the problem, just delaying.
Which leads of course to the “medicated for life” issue. Which still haunts me and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get truly out of my brain, at least not while on the damn drugs. If the drugs simply push away any real emotion… maybe the only way I’ll be able to cope is to simply never quit them.
And, possibly due to the above numbness, an impulsiveness that freaks me out – in part just because it’s not like me. But the drugs lend a sort of “devil may care” attitude to me… as in, I’m not really feeling, and thus things like guilt are greatly lessened… so normally I might think X was a bad idea, but when on drugs – who cares! Sounds good in the moment, let’s go with it.
Then of course there’s the psycho bitch that appears should any doses be missed or reduced, deliberate or not. She’s so much fun to live with – even funner to be.
But the thing I hate most about the drugs is possibly hardest to explain. I don’t feel like “myself” when on them. It’s marketed – at least unofficially, when urging me to start them again – as NOT making me a different person, just helping me be the best, and happiest, me I can be. I would think the above would illustrate this isn’t true… but it’s more than that. It’s a subtle feeling like my body’s been taken over by someone else and the real me is trapped inside but merely an observer. Added to that, that everyone around me is so pushing for me to go on drugs, and so happy with me when I do. My body and soul has been hijacked by my twin – and they like her better. I have lost the only popularity contest that ever really mattered.