i have one of those lives where i can’t quite believe what i’m living is real.
does anyone else have that experience?
the past two weeks have been really wonderful, and really terrifying; full of realizations and emotions at full-pitch…it’s been exhausting, and fulfilling, and beautiful, even in its pain.

last month, when i finally got to a doctor to get help for my depression, (again), she helped me figure out that the anti-depressant medication i was on wasn’t working for me. that seems a bit obvious, in retrospect – what with the sleeping for 20 hours a day, the lack of focus, the crying, the panic attacks and constant waves of anxiety – but still, i hate the process of changing meds so much that i was willing to stick with what i had, over starting something new.

when i’m in the middle of a depressive episode (which sounds so plath of me), i don’t realize that i don’t have to be feeling that shitty, but in the middle of december, i was ready to throw in the towel. it exhausted me, and when i had to answer the inevitable suicide question, i said i wasn’t in any danger, simply because i was too tired to take action.
i started on a sample of the new medication, and everything was (i thought) going fine until christmas eve, when i had to get my prescriptions filled.

it took so much longer than normal; i was pacing that fluorescently-lit cage like a tiger, and then the pharmacist called me up and gave me not the two prescriptions i was expecting, but just one.
“you shouldn’t be taking these medications together…it’s really dangerous. as your pharmacist, i can’t fill the old prescription – i could lose my license. so here’s the second.”

if any of you know anything about anti-depressant meds, the first one (the one that wasn’t working solo) that i was taking was effexor. the average dose of effexor is about 150 mgs., at that time, on christmas eve, i was taking 300 mgs.
going cold turkey off effexor (which i’d done before, recklessly, but at a much lower dose) is STUPID – hard for one’s body, and it’s widely accepted and understood that if you are not careful, you can go even MORE psychotic than you would have been if you mismanage it.

so i was a little nervous, and basically challenged the pharmacist: “you KNOW what cold turkey does to people, and you’re going to turn me out of here without any? especially when the new drug (wellbutrin) i’ll be on will take 3 weeks to kick in?”
making a long story short, he gave me a week’s worth of generics…which meant that i had to quarter my weaning time (what i mean by that is they suggest taking a month to wean off effexor…i was taking double the dose and i stopped taking it within a week.)

i came back to montreal on boxing day (the 26th), with my sister having flown to newfoundland for two weeks the same day. (ie: i didn’t have much of a support system). the day i got home i checked my email and found a note from the university in my inbox, telling me that the class i’d petitioned to get removed off my record was denied. what that meant/means is that i’m at this moment not able to graduate in my degree/program of choice – my g.p.a. is too low.

i sank low. very low. i’ve talked briefly about how much succeeding academically means to my notion of self-worth, and if you add to that the instability of changing meds….eeek.

to talk about the weaning period….it was brutal.
i was hearing things, (a constant clicking, like a gun shot or a heartbeat),
feeling things (it felt like bugs were crawling on my skin, it also felt like every extremity was full of pins and needles),
it was like i was coming down off a bad ecstasy trip for two weeks.

i was irritable, (if that’s even what to call it), exhausted, stressed out, and going crazy. i couldn’t find the words to communicate to anyone really about what was going on, and when i tried, i failed miserably. field got most of the brunt of it (my rage)- and by that time, he was pretty fed up with me (i can be very good at making people feel very bad. i can also play the victim really well). he kept telling me that it would get better, and that i had to get out of my depression myself, when all i wanted him to do was make time for me to have cuddles for a few hours.
at my lowest point during that week, i was talking about dying. i knew it would end, on an intellectual level, but my body felt crazy, and it felt like my mind was trying to reject my spirit.

besides, i did a HUGE detox after i stopped taking the first med. i guess i was scarily close to an unintended overdose, and while my liver was getting rid of all the extra toxicity, i looked a right pretty jaundiced shade of brown.
exhausted.
i’m working with that too; taking supplements (cell therapy) and wheatgrass shots and not drinking as much coffee and tripling my intake of water, but wow, when i think about how my body AND my mind almost crapped out on me, it makes everything that much extra shiny and beautiful when you wake up.

beyond THAT, at work things got very intense. i work for a couple who are notoriously hard to work for – their reputation precedes them. i’m very much their longest standing employee, because apparently i’m somewhat of a masochist. but if you think that i was hired in september 2006, and at this moment the next longest employee (crush-boy) was hired in may 2007, you have some idea of their turnover. in an SMALL store.
one of my bosses, the wife, used to be a drill sergeant in the army (i’m not kidding) and is a self-confessed obsessive-compulsive perfectionist – someone who hired a mediator to help with the conflict between the employees and her and her husband, but who made the mediator cry and quit in frustration.
i got back to work with just having discovered that i couldn’t graduate, going crazy because of my medication (being able to keep things in perspective was not my strong suit), and when i got there, i found out that crush-boy had fallen on the ice and slipped a disc in his neck and would be not at work for a month. at least.
there is normally a team of 7 or 8 people working where i work. up until a month ago, there was two people of longer-standing between me and number 2, but they both quit. so we effectively lost 3 people in a month – and my boss, good lord, she took it ALL out on me. and continued taking it all out on me, non-stop, for two weeks.

which pretty much brings us up to right now. (lol). i almost ended my friendship with field because i was going nuts, (issuing him the stupidest ultimatum which equals out to “come over and hug me right now or i don’t want to know you anymore”), but thank god he accepted my almost immediate apology. (and knows me well enough to know how not-myself i was.)

i found out/he told me that the one girl he might have been interested in after me and who definitely was interested in him, ended up going out with someone else…but that made me feel FUNNY. for 2 years, even though we broke up almost a year ago, we’ve not really changed our relationship – it’s stayed the same, except we know there is no wedding or children together in our future. i’ve been the alpha female in his world, and he’s been the alpha male in mine. (it’s pretty obvious, from how much he appears here and how little anyone else does). and so, in a very poignant way, i’ve been coming to terms with the fact that i’ll be supplanted one day. it’s coming, and soon.
i’d suggest though, if you’re going through a similar transition, not to look through all the romantic correspondance you’ve saved while listening to ben harper’s cover of the drugs don’t work – it hurts a little more than you should make yourself hurt to read i had a dream last night that we were walking hand in hand through a neighbourhood looking for a house to buy, where you could have your veggie garden and our kids would play in the backyard, miss ‘we’ll probably have twins’; or come home to me, so we can both know the completion that comes from being with our soulmates; or But with you it’s consistent and PERMANENT. it’s thoughts of how close we are to one another that is so intoxicating… such an aphrodisiac. it’s knowing that I am in LOVE with you that makes me want you all the time; or any of the other things that makes it so hard to realize that one day he’s going to say these things to someone else. and that something happened to change us. which, even though i know NOW how different we are, still fucking hurts like a sonofabitch.

i really want to think that someday i’ll be over that loss, that my soul will understand that he’ll be my best friend forever and that’s just as good as my ‘soulmate’, but i’m worried that because i took our vows so seriously and feel so deeply betrayed by our break-up that i never will.

god help his next girlfriend….

what’s INSANE is that i’ve started dating again. and i think i’m READY to date again, which makes this whole place that i’m in so very strange and new. a guy that i met in my poetry workshop last semester (which, if you’ll recall, is exactly how field and i met – i’m shaking my head at my dating trends of musicians and poets, and poet/musicians) who i had a crush on – well, he finally admitted to a mutual crush, and even though he’s 7 years younger than me (!) we’re spending time together.
crush-boy and i reconnected this week. even though things got nuts during the fall, that look-of-longing thing that we were doing never completely went away. as i mentioned, without putting the two together, he’s off work for a month, which has been hard for me because i know how much pain he’s in, and i also realized he’s more important to me than i thought. he’s got a lot of things on his plate which makes him think that he’s messed up, but when he invited me to an impromptu ‘get better’ party that he was having this week, he kissed me the second i got there, and kept kissing me. and then asked me if i would stay and cuddle with him after everyone left.

the heart is a complicated muscle.

i’m doing a lot better. the new med is working for me, giving me the focus and the energy that i missed back. i’m able to make the simplest decisions again. i have been feeling really good, except for last night’s perusal of love letters which made me a bit more melancholy than i was comfortable with. (i’m like a kid poking at a bruise with a stick. poke poke poke)

i’ve come to so many realizations about myself and the world just during the past few weeks, it’s kind of nuts. the scales were literally falling away from my eyes as i was literally being born again. as field told me yesterday, “sweetie, you got to stop thinking that the future will work out a certain way. try to just think of the present.”

i am SO much stronger than i was a year ago. i know this. maybe that’s why i am able to cradle this sense of also being completely vulnerable.

when i came back to my blog, i checked the search engine terms that helped people find me…and they seemed really amazing.

doctor get the blood
peace hippie
strong woman cartoon
relax
poem: waiting to let go
silverfish and crawlspace
reconnect to your heart
reconnecting to my heart….i like that someone found me through that phrase. it feels so true, to what i’m trying to do. as i say to myself every day when i pass over my body with the sage smudge, “please, let me stay connected. let me stay engaged. i don’t want to miss out on the beauty.”

i missed it here. i’m not sure how frequent my postings will be, but it feels right to return.
thank you so much for letting me know how much you missed me…really, it meant so much.
i missed you too.

here is the last ‘complete’, real thing i wrote. please let me know what you think, if you’d like. i’m too close to it to have an accurate idea (and this is a reworking of an actual event. field’s pseudonym in my writing is always either max or charles, for whatever reason.)

The Best of Intentions
The unnamed Indian grocery store was advertising
a sale on breadfruit, $5.99 each;
their grey heads trapped in Ziploc bags,
swimming in water,
little spores sticky-kissing the sides.
Just two weeks before, at 2 am, Max and I had lain
width-wise across his double bed, the sheet twisted
around our backs, and he had told me
all about Bridgetown:

the beaches scything into ocean;
the cousins pouring
onto his grandmother’s porch after dinner
to drink Mawbys and play dominoes.
He told me about the breadfruit his uncle would halve
on the chopping block with his machete,

how he watched for the signal to move in,
scoop his hand into each belly, pulling
out their delicate seed spines,
so they could be slipped
into boiling water and later, formed
into onion-laced patties by his uncle’s fingers.

I picked out the roundest one, brought it
to the counter, angled my wallet out of my purse
and refused the grocery bag.
At my apartment,
I put it on the top shelf of my fridge
between the milk and the strawberries,
and when Max stopped by to pick up
his Law and Order DVD, I made him
shut his eyes, so I could watch
the surprise sneak over his face.

I gave him the fruit, and his brow furrowed
as his palms tried to read its globed ridges.
When he looked, it was bewilderment that
made his lips look cruel, his hands
fluttering along the Ziploc seam as he asked,
“So…what is this, exactly?”
When recognition settled, he said,
“But baby, this is mouldy.”

Then I saw the ropes of rot sprouting
from the breadfruit’s skull,

and wanted to go back to the girl I’d been,
and crush the memory out of her.
 

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