This is not my normal goofy post. Just a warning. This is a personal post, and if you feel squiggy about taking a glimpse into my personal life, flee now.
Like many artsy-fartsy folks, I struggle with clinical depression coupled with crippling anxiety. It might be cool if a creative person battling with inner torments and emotional pain was unique — but let’s face it, it’s so common it’s cliche. If I were like any other self-respecting starving artist, I’d man up and turn to drugs and alcohol. I’m pretty sure that’s what we’re supposed to do. Since I have a family, however, that oh-so-also-cliche option really isn’t on the table. So I opt for the other type of drug: The kind prescribed by a doctor.
Since I also struggle with migraines, and have a severe reaction to most drugs (See! I am super special!), it’s challenging to get a combination of drugs that treats both depression and headaches while not making me gain weight and have other *ahem* embarrassing side effects. BUT, since mid-summer, I’ve been on a combination that seems to be working! Yay!
My moods have been fairly steady. I’ve had very few fits of dark, ominous, soul-crushing depression. I’m still not comfortable in large groups of people, but I haven’t had any anxiety attacks. I haven’t lost weight, but I stopped gaining. Heck, even my insomnia has mostly disappeared. I’m more “normal” than I have been for years. What a happy ending, no? But…
That’s not really a fair thing to say. I’m still me. I’m still the funny guy in most crowds. I’m still smart enough to solve most problems at work. I’m still weird enough that people aren’t quite sure how to take me. I’m still really good at Balderdash. The part of me that I most love, however, seems to be sleeping. I have no motivation to create. Anything. At. All. And that bothers me.
Can you remember the last time I made a silly video of myself? I can’t. Can you remember the last time I did a tech tip video for Linux Journal? I can’t. Heck, even blogging — I’ve averaged one post a month since July. One PER MONTH. Who does that?
It gets worse though. Since I’ve been on this “working” cocktail of medicine, I’ve missed every writing deadline I have. I’ve completely failed to produce web content when I’m supposed to. Heck, I’m in the middle of writing a review now that is so boring, reading it might kill people. My creativity is seemingly gone. And I miss the crap out of it.
So there is my conundrum. I could continue to take my crazy-people pills, and live a perfectly ordinary life. There are many advantages. Heck, I’m even budgeting now — surely a sign of the end times. I could likely exist like this for the rest of my life, and my family would be happy, comfortable, and not worried about me. But it would be just that… existing.
But what is the alternative? Depression? Anxiety? Suicidal thoughts? Pain? Misery? Is it worth facing those things for the chance to truly live? I dunno. I’m happy now, I guess. At least I’m not unhappy. I certainly don’t want to try switching drugs again. It’s been literally years of trying different combinations, and this is the closest to “normal” I’ve ever felt.
Anyway. Wish me luck. Maybe I’ll try a prescription of light therapy, treadmill, and meditation. Maybe I’ll do nothing, it’s hard to say. My blog has the subtitle “The Thinks I Think”, it’s never been more true.