1127/10th February 2023

“No, don’t write about that!” counseled the doves.

They apparently read my mind and did not approve.

My mind keeps dragging me back to that subject I touched on yesterday. Sometimes it’s good to write what you feel and let it out, but it doesn’t do to let it overwhelm you.

‘Brain’ behaves itself as long as it is kept on a strict regimen of chemicals. Doctors tell me to regard anti-depressants in the same way I regard my thyroid supplement.

They simply adjust my chemistry to what is “normal”.

When renewing a prescription previously authorised by a different physician, there appears to have been a failure of communication resulting in a slight lowering of the dose.

It can be sorted out next week but in the meantime, I decided to see what difference might result from the lower dose. Why take more medication than is needed?

In fact the drug is used for nerve pain, but originally back in 2016, it was prescribed by my psychiatrist to boost an anti-depressant.

Apparently it is quite effective.

A lowering of my mood exhibits in tendencies to find grief hiding in every corner.

On a bright, sunny, quiet day, why would the image of a bird bring a tear to the eye?

Bird = budgie = the many pets long since gone to their final nest.

(It’s insidious, you see.)

In this manner, ‘Brain’ tries to drag me off down a hole where no amount of reasoning can persuade me I should not be.

Telling myself in how many hundreds of ways I could be infinitely worse off, merely deepens the pit under the weight of the world.

For many long years I lived “down that hole”, convinced that I was a very negative and horrible person.

This notion came from the fact that I was not happy with life in general at the time. So when finally that situation changed….

“Why was you not singing and dancing?”

Why, indeed. When I couldn’t stand myself anymore, I decided to consult a psychiatrist. There was such a stigma attached to the whole notion of psychiatry. So what? I had to try.

That was over 40 years ago. It was a long bumpy road that involved all sorts of therapies, most of which did not really work for me.

But because of the way my brain works, I was afraid to tell my therapists that their techniques were not helping.

“How do you feel?” they would ask, after whatever the exercise was.

“Better, maybe. Lighter.”

But it simply wasn’t true.

It was more important for me to please my therapist, than for them to know the truth. I didn’t want to be a nuisance.

Not a healthy relationship to have with a psychiatrist!

To be fair, more than one of these therapists fell asleep during a session which felt a little like rejection.

Medical professionals are human and subject to their own stressors, which I fully recognized. So I felt guilty that I was burdening them with my “stuff”. Oh dear.

Establishing a relationship with a psychiatrist is very difficult and it takes time. Unless you can feel completely comfortable, it won’t work.

Everyone is different, of course. I didn’t want my therapist to think badly of me! And there were limits to what I would speak of , so I was effectively withholding parts of the puzzle.

Which made the journey a bit of a stagger.

However much I try convincing myself I am not just weak-minded or a mental cripple, deep down that is what I still feel.

What I used to think was that once you had uncovered all your hidden screwed up emotions, found the reason for them and confronted them, you would be free. Certainly it can help.

But if your chemistry is “off” that deep pit of despair is something you are lumbered with.

Actually, I thought of it as a horrid little man in my head. The moment he perceived a lifting of gloom, he would stomp about in my brain:

“No! No! No!”

Picturing that nasty little gnome, I was able to focus. I drew pictures of him then encircled it with thick lines.

“You bloody well stay there!”

Then I assembled, virtually, all the memories of bad experiences and placed them in a box, sealed it tightly and placed it in storage.

Most of that baggage got left behind in Washington and the gnome is back there guarding it. After all, it really belongs to him.

The year leading up to my move from Washington was intense and tearful, but something shifted, apparently. Maybe I had finally unearthed enough buried “stuff” and found the right combination of chemicals to keep ‘Brain’ quiet.

One day in the Spring of 2018:

“I’m going back to New York!”

Talk about distractions.

These days I recognize the difference between sad and depressed. They are not at all the same thing. I let myself cry when I think about my dear departed pets, but if it start to become a wallow, it is a sign I pay attention to.

Time to sort out that prescription.

9 thoughts on “Adjustments

  1. You tell those doves to mind their own business and tidy up the grass a bit. I think, as we get older, sadness creeps up on us far easier than it used to. All the woes of the world conspire to make things worse, recycled time and again by rolling news and social media, no matter how much we try to avoid them! Big hugs to you all – even the doves!

  2. You describe it so well Carolyn … that gnome who guards the baggage in Washington. You are probably your own therapist – who knows your feelings better than you yourself! I’m sure your photos have a lot to do with your mental state – I always have a feel-good emotion after looking through your pics … like today, the landscape and animals, it’s truly beautiful. Here’s a hug from me my dear blogger friend 💌.

  3. Are you talking about Pregabalin, by any chance? They wanted to prescribe that to my wife for nerve pain associated with Fibromyalgia. She declined, as it can be addictive.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. No. I was on Lyrica which is the same as Pregabalin and it was a help but I had side effects, can’t remember what exactly. What I take now is Gabapentin. The anti-depressant is Cymbalta(Duloxetine..why can’t we have one name!). My feeling is that I should have avoided all the drugs that have been thrown at me since I came here. I am sure I would be better off. My parents never took anything but the occasional Veganin (which is regarded now with such suspicion!) and they lived long lives. As you said the other day, Pharma is big business. I should have been paying more attention.

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