Once again, today is almost a polar opposite of yesterday. I’m not necessarily depressed, just subdued and tired. I can’t explain it to anyone adequately. I don’t really understand how it happens myself; all I know is that if I have an ‘up’ day, I know I’m going to pay for it somehow soon.
Who knows what outside forces may conspire to put me in this state? Yesterday’s news about the firing of FBI Director James Comey was certainly worrisome. And yet, I hate to say it, I have outrage fatigue. I’ve become sort of fatalistic about the whole state of the country which bothers me. I’ve been like that since the election. So I don’t think politics played any role in this.
Fatalism and resignation feel a lot like vanilla shit. Vanilla shit is my way of saying that every experience, good or bad, gets no reaction from me except ‘meh.’ No joy, no desperation, just meh. Look at it this way: if experiences were fudge ripple shit, it would at least be interesting shit. Does that make sense to anyone?
Brain fog is a kissing cousin of the vanilla shit experience. For instance, when I got to work this morning, I found a band aid to put on a finger with a hangnail. It took 20 minutes before I noticed that I had put the bandage on the wrong finger.
It’s shit like that which makes me wonder how much longer will I be able to function normally. I’m probably making too much of it, but I could have sworn I bandaged the right finger. It really is things like this that worry me more than anything.
So let’s worry about something else.
I read this story in The Mighty this morning: The Toll the Medication for My Mind Takes on My Body.
The author reminds me that the meds I take are no trivial matter:
Every time I visit my psychiatrist, I ask her to give me medications that won’t make me gain weight. Every time I’m on Google, I type “how to lose weight” or “why do bipolar disorder medications make you gain weight.” Every time I try to start an exercise routine or a diet, my mind won’t even let me get out of bed.
The meds change your brain chemistry while they do other things to your body that are more noticeable. I keep forgetting about the weight gain. When my meds were adjusted after a traumatic incident in July 2015, a 55-pound weight loss that I had so proudly accomplished was quickly reversed. I have now given back the 55 and added 40.
The author, Tannika Majumdar Batra, complains that her mind fights her desire to exercise. When I’m up, it’s all I can think about – like yesterday. Then today I think about spending $300 a quarter on a plan that I may not finish.
I have a treadmill in the basement. It mocks me. I can literally stand in front of it working up the nerve to try. Then a few minutes in, gasping, I quit.
Other days, I can possibly walk for 30-35 minutes. It’s the consistency that’s needed and I can’t count on my mind or body to be consistent.
I have always been overweight but never this fat.
Batra writes: People with any kind of mental illness are far from ordinary. I have been struggling with the changes in my body, body shaming myself, all the while not realizing these are the medications that hold me together, hold my brain together, so that I can’t harm myself further.
She castigates herself while saying that if she can’t accept her body than how can she expect society to accept her.
To which I say: fuck society. But that’s easier for me to say at 54. The vast majority of the writers at The Mighty are under 30.
Of course, it seems like a cop-out to blame the meds. I know however, that when my moods get dark the only drugs that really work are the kind of foods I shouldn’t eat.
The point made by many is that they can get off the meds and lose weight but the price may be your life. And if one continues to eat this way, you’ll get the same result.
I am going to try not to worry about it since either option ends in death anyway. It’s hard enough trying to keep your shit together and count calories at the same time. When they invent a psych med that works as well as ice cream, I’ll be the first in line for it.
I’m supposed to switch from Lexapro to Cymbalta soon with my psychiatrist thinking that might give me more energy. We’ll see. I really have no faith in the meds anymore to do anything but keep me from going completely off the deep end. I feel like vanilla shit most of the time but I’m socially acceptable and that’s all that counts, isn’t it?
My gut is filled with vanilla shit and my head is filled with it too. The world becomes my most boring ice cream cone.
I see my psychologist this afternoon. I no longer expect much from the shrinks either. My moods have swung so much since the last time I saw her, I’m at a loss at how I’ll recount the last 10 days in an hour.
“Today is a vanilla shit kind of day but you should have seen me yesterday!”
I hope she doesn’t roll her eyes. I hate that.