The last few months I've felt very out of sync with everything. My blood, which betrayed my body last year, is back to what my specialist considers "normal levels". As I tapered off medications which were keeping me alive I decided I wanted to taper off medications which were keeping me sane, mind you sanity is a relative term. I can't say it's a good decision. I also can't say it's medically approved. But I can say it's my way to feel alive again even if the place I end up in is bat-shit crazy-town on the banks of delusional bay.
Mood stabilizers had been balancing out my dysphoric episodes. They lightened my mind and rounded the edges of my feelings. However after awhile I felt terribly blunted. The vitality I gained was sanded back down by the meds leaving me feeling shapeless. Since my ego wants me to be unique, the only feelings I had were frustration which led to depression. I hate being flat.
Several weeks have passed since I took my last bit of brain candy. Marked differences were noticed immediately. I've become snappy and confrontational. I get choked up at silly things. I shed a tear the other day watching a video of a munchkin kitten, not because it was sad, but because the kitten was so cute. On the flip side, I now can belly laugh at more than just schadenfreude which makes me seem, if only slightly, less like an asshole (that is at least when I'm not confronting people).
There probably is never a good time to go off medication. Too much happens in modern life to make it convenient. I still have to earn a living and can't check into a hospital, not that I'd want to anyway, or that it's necessary. This is all about freedom from the drug induced bars in my head. Coming off the prescriptions made me realize that if I weren't to take a vacation from work, as it's been five years since my last one, I might end up like some Hollywood movie loon, in the middle of traffic in just my underwear, brandishing a gun and honestly, no one needs to see me in my underwear.
Taking time off from work is tricky. I'm out of PTO to use for vacation having used it all up getting blood transfusions and the alike. I told my job I was taking one week off unpaid to visit my family in Idaho. The reaction was mixed. My supervisor told me that I could work some Saturdays to build up vacation time before I left. I decided the responsible thing to do was to take him up on the offer. It actually is killing two birds with one stone: I'm accruing hour-for-hour PTO and I also have something to do on Saturday mornings so I'm not laying in my bed being flat.
This past Saturday I worked for seven hours. I realized before coming into work that Courtney and I had tickets to see Carrie Fisher's one woman show "Wishful Drinking" at the Berkeley Rep. Despite reading very favorable reviews I didn't feel like going. I was tired and cranky. I emailed Courtney hoping she wasn't up to going— but she was. I decided to bite the bullet and go.
On our drive over Courtney filled me in on her recent trip to Spain. The site-seeing and coquetry were enough to make me a little jealous of her trip. I was glad she enjoyed herself and it seemed like it was a transformative experience. As our time together passed I lost most of the apprehension I had before leaving SF.
Carrie Fisher was fantastic. While her life experiences are truly her own I found myself relating to much of what she’s gone through. Fortunately I've never had a gay republican die in my bed from a mixture of Oxycontin and sleep apnea. She has a very dark sense of humor and a gift of writerly detachment that allows examination of her life (sounds familar.)
After the show, as Courtney was driving us back to the city, we chatted about the usual things. But in a moment of silence, out of no where, Courtney and I sang the same note for five seconds.
"What the hell was that?" Courtney asked me.
I cursed, “I have no fucking clue!"
We laughed. Courtney laughed so hard tears blurred her vision. It was the first time in a long time where I shared a synchronous thought with someone and acted upon it. It was as though we were taken over briefly by a puppet master, his left hand on Courtney his right hand on me (and not up our butts, sheesh.)
Had the note been sung earlier in the day, when I was alone and grumpy; I would have called it a B♭. But seeing as my mood was brighter and I felt as though I could relate to both Courtney and Carrie, I think the note most definitely was an A♯.
Yes, I'm using B♭ and A♯ in an enharmonic way and do know on the diatonic scale they are really different notes. Suck it music nerds.