Feeling better.

I’m feeling a lot better these days, laughing more and yelling not at all. The Effexor seems to have a short half life, so I wake up grumpy and sad and then I take the med and things seem brighter and more manageable for most of the rest of day. After the initial couple of doses of the med where I felt almost euphoric for a weekend, it has settled down. I’m mostly happy with it, I don’t think I’ll change it to Lexapro, my previous med, because it’s doing the main thing I wanted it to do which was to control the daily rage I was feeling.

My doctor mentioned that federal workers get some therapy sessions through work. It turns out that I get six free sessions and I don’t even have to take time off to go to them, I get 6 hours of time to go to the sessions and there was availability within two days of calling, so I went to a federal building in Rockville to meet with a social worker – I’m doing the first two sessions in person and then, I think, I’ll switch the last four to virtual – though I think you lose something when it’s virtual. I’ll see. It’s not too far from the house, maybe I should just go to them to get out of the house. I dislike therapy because I feel like I’ve spend a lot of time thinking about my emotional states and listen/read to lots of psychology things (cognitive behaviour therapy and other various approaches to negative thinking)- so basically I think I’m pretty self-aware – so when things are going smoothly, I’m pretty unflappable. And I’ve not been on meds for the past decade or so! Very proud of myself. And I worked through many, many things when I was younger and depressed – like wanting other people to change, wanting things to be “perfect”, jealousy, caring about what other people think, being anxious about things not going “correctly”, etc. I feel like I’ve put all these things to bed and when I’m well, these are all fine and I have no trouble with it – I’m even keeled and generally roll with it all. But when things are not going smoothly, all the tools I have psychologically tend to fail me – and trust me, I try because I really don’t want to take the meds. Therapy – at least starting out – tends to rehash all these exercises that I’ve done for a long time. But I’m open to it, I’ll try. (Also, sometimes I think talking about things too much tends to focus one’s attention to it when it’s better to, as Elsa says, let it go.). That’s all therapy is, to remind you over and over again to just – let it go, let it go and don’t hang on too tightly.

When I fall into these tight, constricted holes, I tend to think my behaviour during these moments are my “true” self and that when I get onto my meds, I’m my medicated “fake” self. And that my “true” self is an angry, selfish, sad sack of a person. Jeremy was like – no no no, when you are angry every eight hours or can’t stop crying or can’t get out of bed, that’s you in the grips of a mental illness – not your true self and when you control your mental illness with meds, your true self is allowed to come out. Sometimes I don’t even know what is true anymore.

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