Whenever one is trying to change an old habit or learn a new one, there’s a lot of practicing involved. I’m trying to hold up and not give in to chronic loneliness, with not so good results. Hormones aren’t helping these days, which adds a new obstacle to work through.
Actually, there are quite a few obstacles to work through. The shortening day length certainly affects my mood. I want to sleep more, or just lounge in bed more. I feel little motivation to go out and do anything, and I want to eat more junk. I need to get to the gym more often; the endorphins are supposed to help one feel better, right? At least I’m remembering to take my vitamins and weekly shot. When I start forgetting them I get much worse.
I realized today that it was around this time last year my marriage really ended. I went to see the lawyer during the first week of November, but we had finished our final talks about a week before then. So, I have a grim anniversary of sorts to celebrate here. Whippee.
Misty was visiting me this weekend so I had close companionship for much of it. We went to a couple live performances, ate good food, and hung out. She had to leave midday on Sunday and I went off to a graduation party for my new roommate. The rest of the afternoon and evening was just a painful mess, though. I sat and drank tea, watched terrible TV, and found myself scanning CraigsList and eventually Match.com.
Once I got in bed I called my sister for some comfort. I cried. I tried to sleep but I couldn’t, so I got up and took a klonopin. And I finally drifted off somwhere around midnight I think.
This weekend I had a conversation with Misty about pharmaceuticals and how I try to avoid taking them as much as possible. I fought hard not to take an SSRI during the divorce process because I hate how they affect me. I’ve taken 2 different SSRIs for various reasons: Paxil for panic disorder, and Lexapro for depression. Neither has been kind to my body.
On the Paxil I had what they euphemistically call “sexual side affects;” in other words, while I could feel pleasure and arousal from sex, I couldn’t orgasm. When I was told I needed to take something for a depressive episode I was having several years ago, I took the Lexapro because it didn’t have the “sexual side affects.” No, after being on it for several months I found out that its particular side affect was that it was “weight positive,” another euphemism for “makes you get fat.”
[What is with these drugs? Why do people put up with this? I fail to see how taking a drug that makes one gain weight or lose the ability to experience sexual pleasure “helps” when one is depressed. I’ve had the whole lecture about how SSRIs work, and how depression is a chemical imbalance, etc, etc. But seriously, getting fat and having no sexual pleasure cannot contribute to a successful recovery from depression, can it?]
So is it any wonder that I declined an SSRI over and over again while going through the divorce? Having just started to recover my normal weight after getting my thyroid condition treated, I couldn’t stand the thought of derailing those efforts with a stupid pill. And while I certainly wasn’t getting any action from my soon-to-be-ex-husband or anyone else, solitary pleasures were one of the few enjoyable things I had going on at the time.
I wasn’t a total stoic, though, and I gladly took some klonopin. Klonopin and I are old pals. It got me through the immediate affects of the panic disorder many years ago, and it proved to be effective in helping me with the divorce anxiety, too. Klonopin lubricated the days and nights for me, and helped them slip by with less stress. It’s non-habit forming so the doctor gave me quite a bit, and I still have a huge bottle left.
It’s been several months since I took a klonopin, so it felt OK to do so last night. It certainly did help still my mind and roll back some of the restlessness I feel when contemplating my empty days and empty nights. But I still can’t take it regularly. Even at a very small dosage, it makes me more slow, dopey, and sleepy.
I’d much rather find another solution to my bouts of blues and anxiety, which is why I want to get into meditation. Who would have thought that sitting in silence and not thinking would be so hard? First, there’s the trick of finding the right place and position. With the dogs and the roommates around, I think the only quiet place where I won’t be disturbed by creaking floorboards or whining animals is the basement. So I’ll fix myself up a little nest there and set a timer for 5 minutes to start. If I can sit for just 5 minutes, I think that would be a great accomplishment. I’ll work my way up from there.
And, as I searched around the Internet last week I found a meditation center here in Chicago that has open house every Sunday morning. If I can squeeze it in next Sunday I’ll give it a try. Until then, I’ll rely on my old stand-bys: good friends on my call list, and a little “big pharma” as a last resort.