Saturday, March 21, 2009

"Which came first, the internet or my intimacy issues?"*

One of the reasons I went home this weekend was so that I could see my therapist and he could refill my prescription for antidepressants. Unfortunately our little chat turned into him convincing me it's time to wean myself off of them- not really a suggestion I wanted to hear considering I'm currently freaking out about my life's trajectory.

I've been taking antidepressants for 3 years; long enough to be completely adjusted to (and perhaps reliant upon) them, but short enough for me to remember what a complete terror I was off of them. Blackout crying fits, uncontrollable anxiety and OCD, frequent lashing out. I was literally a completely different person. I started taking them when I was 18, so who knows how much of my poor behavior back then stemmed from pure teenage angst. But it was awful enough that I would not willingly return to that place. It's not even for myself: I could NOT put my friends and family through that again. And no one at college knew me before I went on them, so I think it would be difficult and strange for them to have to go through that harsh period of adjustment I'd undoubtedly have to endure.

When I was 18 I didn't really consider the repercussions going on antidepressants at such a young age might reap. I was just so... blank. I couldn't stop doing all of my little rituals, I couldn't stop crying for no reason other than pure frustration over minuscule things like being unable to find a lost sweater at 7am before school. Everyone knew I was kind of fucking crazy but I didn't talk to anyone about it, because I have this wall up, and ugh my therapist totally was all, "you know that wall relates to everything in your life?" like how I'd prefer to type all this into an unemotional little white box instead of confide in someone personally about it, or how I date assholes instead of nice guys because I'm afraid of actually *liking* someone and having that turn into something real, and how I completely shut down when anyone in my family attempts to discuss something serious. I have been like this my entire life, using the pen and the fucking keyboard to keep everyone at a safe enough distance. Try talking to me about any of this in real life and I will probably RUN from you, like, physically ESCAPE. (No but seriously please don't try talking to me about this IRL)

Soooo my therapist wants me to work through all of this shit, and he thinks I need to do it not on antidepressants. I've tried to go off of them before and let's just say that did not go well. I'm putting it off until the summer so that I won't have school to worry about, but I'm already incredibly anxious about it. When I went on them I was a robot for three months but I eventually adjusted and learned how to write on them and how to feel a relatively wide breadth of emotion. I guess I always thought I'd take them my entire life, but the truth is that they're so new that no one in the world has really been on them for a long enough time for doctors to say what long-term use will do to me.

I just know I'm terrified of losing everything I've built by going off of them, things that I would never have been able to accomplish had I not had a little chemical help. I find myself swinging into these terrifying lows even on them, where I strangely regret attempting to regulate something so fluid and natural as emotion. When it comes down to it, my brain is diseased! But doesn't that kind of seem like a cop out?

Whatever I guess I'm just trying to say: worst spring break ever. LET'S DRINK.


*For the record I posed this question in jest: as in, I asked if I could set up my next appointment via e-mail so I wouldn't have to go through awkward phone appointment-making, and then he tied even THAT into my fear of human connection, and so I asked, jokingly, "Which came first, the internet or my intimacy issues?" and he responded "I think we know the answer to that." But like, I don't. I have no fucking idea. And who even cares???


Anonymous said...

"But the truth is that they're so new that no one in the world has really been on them for a long enough time..." That's what your major should be: Addiction. You're in the Gallatin School, so that's perfect. All the newest data has come out just in the last ten years. In eight weeks you can come up to speed just by reading Spark by Dr. John J. Ratey, and by viewing HBO's Addiction (all four dvds). Total cost for the book and documentary: $40. You yourself have written that "I have a brain that doesn’t work right." Exactly. So far as new media, you can keep up with that on Mashable. So far as getting published in the future, the ability to turn in articles on addiction is going to increase your chances of getting published. Besides, we've all seen the contents of your creative well on this blog. Not really much there for a career in fiction, y'know? Furthermore, instead of being lost in the pack of wannabe writers, you can move to the head of the pack. You can be a conduit between the brain researchers and the reading public. They're better scientists than you are. But you're a better writer than they are. An NYU B.A. in Addiction Studies might open some doors. A B.A. in New Media? Get in line--behind the Classes of '09, '08, '07, '06. Oh! And '05, '04 and '03. You also have inside being you. Whether you're on anti-depressants or off anti-depressants, you're going to have to struggle with this problem till you're ninety, should you live that long. Four years from now, when you're 25 and living at home, you might be motivated to study the advances now being made in addiction and the brain. Or you could do it now under that auspices of NYU. Looks better on the resume. Anyway, this suggestion I'm making is better than ANYTHING you came up with over the weekend, or the last six months, for that matter. Cheers.

Jess and Josh said...

I feel like you think critically about my life better and more frequently than I do. Unfortunately it's kind of too late to change my concentration but def an interesting idea.

Vanessa said...

Jess that was a very nice response and I don't know if you know dogboy or not so perhaps I'm missing something, but honestly, I think he is kind of mean.


Jess and Josh said...

@Vanessa: Yes, the comment verged on completely obnoxious and you are not the first person to point this out. But our comment policy is to accept comments as long as they're not overtly assholey, so I couldn't in good conscience reject it. And while it was not the response I was hoping for on such a soul-splaying piece, I've gotten worse, trust me.