Sunday, March 29, 2009

The joys of being Homer

I've been taking Cipralex now for close to a year, and this afternoon on a long sloppy walk after a big rain, I toted up all the benefits and changes I've noticed.

I'm definitely less hyped about certain things, although things that normally bother me still bother me; the difference is that I'm not seared by them.

An example: last night I screwed up Earth Hour. Got the time wrong, thought it started at 8:00 (which would make more sense; I mean really). Not a big deal, even though I rolled my eyes at myself for criticizing the Rio Can folks for not turning off their stupid bright light until 8:25. I could contrast it with how I felt a year ago on Earth Hour. The big difference? I mostly remember the intensity of it all. Having to turn off everything in the whole place that sucked up energy and making sure it all went off as quickly as possible, since I knew Hydro was recording the demand drop.

(Both years, mind you, keeping it so dark has freaked out Charlie, proving the apple doesn't fall too far from the anxiety tree.)

But I now haven't had a "problem" with working fulltime since getting up to speed on this drug, and that's good. Of course, I also think the cognitive behavioural therapy was invaluable (even tho it cost a LOT).

I do still sometimes get unglued, like I was after I found out my dad had spent a night in hospital. And I think it's fine. It wouldn't be normal to not react. And I'm not mortally petrified of shedding tears in public because I know I can explain them away if I need to (again, thanks to CBT).

Other Cipralex differences: I've become Homer S*mpson.

I'm hungry almost all the time. I eat a lot more. Of everything. I've gained weight. I sleep easily and I sleep waaaay more. I can fall asleep after waking in the night. I have a cotton mouth about 80% of the time, which means I drink a lot more water. I no longer need BeneF*bre.

I belch like a 12-year-old boy about 50 times a day. Before last year, I don't think I'd belched since I was 6 months old.

And sometimes I crave the smell of cigarette smoke For example, I dreamt last night I was walking through an old-fashioned cocktail lounge, sorta like the one in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (the movie) and I could see these beautiful patterns of cigarette smoke rising from each table, and I practically swooned (in my sleep) over the scent of all that lovely smoke. As an aside, has anybody been to a pub lately, since they've gone smoke free? P.U.!!! Old beer smells so gross without the scent of old smoke to temper it.

I'm also less paralyzed. How to explain? Um. I think I've always been somewhat agoraphobic, to varying degrees at varying times. Now I just find it easier to get up and go, whether it's on the weekend, or in the morning before work. It's not like it's nothing. It's just easier.

I also don't have so many disaster scenarios playing in my head. I still get them, but not as often and not as horrific and I don't end up sitting in the dark in my son's room as he sleeps, weeping over an imagined tragedy. At least not as often; in fact, hardly ever.

All told, even with the cotton mouth and the extra weight? Having a brain on drugs is worth it.

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