Antidepressants, Day Zero

After 13 1/2 years, I’m going to try the same meds I was on in high school, namely Wellbutrin (bupropion, a dopamine agonist) for depression and Seroquel (quetiapine, which helps prevent a runaway dopamine reaction) to take some of the nervous edge off the bupropion.  I’m a little nervous about taking a pill to treat the side effects of another pill, because at some point it becomes like the old lady who swallowed the fly.  But if my theory is correct, my particular depression/anxiety is largely a matter of dopamine regulation and keeping it within a comfortable range is the goal of treatment.

There is one pill (Prozac/fluoxetine) that I was also on in high school that I won’t be adding.  This was to boost serotonin, but I suspect it was responsible for mood blunting.  Instead I will be controlling my serotonin naturally by upping my intake of tomatoes, which are high in serotonin (and particularly vegetable juice, which is also rich in a number of nutrients including vitamin b).

On most of my public face social media sites, I’m bullish about the outcome.  I don’t feel like I can be honest about my reservations any more.  But the fact is, my chemistry has changed since high school.  My condition, cognition, and insight have changed since high school.  I’m a profoundly different person in some ways.  And the medications I’ll be taking could lead to serious and debilitating side effects.  I’m honestly still skeptical that psychiatry is a real science because its predictions are so inaccurate and its methods are so haphazard that it could potentially be said to have killed more people than it has saved.

I keep thinking of David Foster Wallace, relying on antidepressants to stay productive until, inevitably, they stopped working and he had to undergo ECT which messed with his ability to write and process language.  He wrote about the desperation of the severely depressed, who would rather have the part of their brains that gave them pleasure, mirth, and wonder permanently crippled so that they can be free of pain.

Wallace hanged himself.  Psychiatry failed him.  I’m seriously worried it will fail me too.

It’s funny, I’ve done cannabis, psilocybe mushrooms, salvia divinorum, fly agarics, and a number of legal highs, but none of them scare me as much as the stuff that’s legal.  I don’t trust the pharmaceutical companies.  I don’t trust the FDA.  I don’t trust the DEA.  I don’t trust psychiatry or any attempt to reduce a human being to a machine that you can just tinker with and not expect severe pathos as a lasting consequence.

I don’t want to do this.  What have I gotten myself into?

I wish psilocybin was legal and easy to come by. That’s the only thing that’s really been effective.  The foot-dragging by researchers and legislators is going to kill people like me who need that medicine now.

If I become a victim of psychiatry, I want a portion of sales of my books donated to MAPS.

Well…

At least it would appear we’re not appreciably closer to WW3 than we were a couple days ago.

I have no stomach for the weak-kneed neolibs siding with Trump on his meaningless airstrike though.  So much dick wagging should be punished, not praised, not egged on with fear porn pictures of dead children, not obfuscated with so many distortions and lies.

Coming down off the sheer terror of thinking I’d have to literally run for the hills to escape getting blown away by a nuclear bomb and then fight for my life to survive the aftermath, it was like being back there again, in the trenches, waiting for the shell with my name on it.

I don’t know how much more of this I can take.  Three more years of this kind of brinksmanship, assuming we survive that, will probably undo a great deal of the healing I’ve gone through.

I wish our society was one that believed in reincarnation.  I wish they’d listen to the words of those of us who died on the battlefields for nothing but another paycheck for some war profiteer.  When will it end?  When will we see that this hyper-rational society is destroying itself because it can’t acknowledge the real damage it’s doing?  How many more souls have to carry that ugly stain on them, or be consumed entirely by this madness?  How long will it be before we acknowledge, collectively, that the spirit of war and its profiteers is real, sentient, predatory, and malevolent?

You might well laugh at me because I’m a random nutjob on the Internet who thinks she’s the reincarnation of a WWI soldier.  Guess what? I’m saner than every last one of you slaves who sacrifice yourselves and your children on the altar of Mammon.

Sorry for that

I have extremely strong feelings about war, having died in one.  I really don’t fancy dying in another.

I don’t want to end my day (it’s Friday Morning technically but it’s still Thursday Night for me for all practical purposes) without something nice so I thought I’d share something that will make all the difference for me if WW3 doesn’t piss on my parade.

Today I received a rare English translation of a medieval text in the mail, which I intend to use to write my first straight historical fiction novel.

It’s exciting because once I finish my current crop of SF/Fantasy stories (I still have a bit of a queue to clear), I can give my writing a new lease by shifting my focus.  I proved that I could still write a damned good science fiction novel, and now I’m ready to tackle new challenges.  My SF material has already become more and more historically oriented anyhow and I feel it fits where I am in my current life better.  I don’t plan to give up SF completely, I just want to try something different.

818 years ago today…

I don’t really make it a point to remind myself of anniversaries any more (it was simply too painful) but someone brought it to my attention.

This is the 818th anniversary of Richard’s death.

I didn’t even know that.  But I’d been feeling anxious and depressed the last 24 hours, and it almost seems like I might have been aware on some level.

I contacted the fellow who reminds me so much of him to tell him how much he means to me as a friend.  I don’t think I’ll ever know if he’s the same soul but at least I won’t ever feel like I’ve taken him for granted.

Come to think of it, April is always a bad month for me.  April and September, as a matter of fact.  Both of those months are also really significant to Jack’s life.

Even when I try not to think about all this, it still bites me.  I have centuries of baggage and I guess even though it’s not as bad as it was when the memories still broke, it raises its head now and then.

Emotional Baseline

Since I haven’t had any new memories or confirmations in a while and I want to keep this blog alive until I can travel to France and get some closure, I’m probably going to be sharing a lot of my own thoughts and memories from my current life in a more candid way than I do on Facebook.

I’ve never mentioned this before, but when I say that a piece of music that may be from a past life feels familiar, there are a few songs from my present life that I think of when I need a frame of reference for feelings of familiarity.

One of them in particular is a song by the Spanish band Mecano called No Es Serio Este Cementerio (this cemetery is not serious) from 1986.  This is a song that I’ve probably been exposed to regularly since I was about 3 years old (about the earliest I can remember in my present life before the memories become sparser and less clear).  It’s a song from my era that I’ve heard frequently because not only was it on Spanish TV when I lived there as a toddler, but my father bought the CD and I’ve had an .mp3 of it for more than 12 years.

Then there’s one from later in my childhood, that came out around 1993.  “Will You Be There?” had all the ingredients of a favorite childhood song: it was Michael Jackson first of all (back when a new Michael Jackson video was an event that you gathered around the TV for).  It was the theme to a movie about a little boy and his orca friend.  It was even easy to play the main melodic riff, which made piano class fun when our teacher transcribed a simple version and handed it out to the class on roughly-xeroxed sheets.  This song takes me back to my old bedroom, the desk with the light-up globe and a nice red-bound set of Children’s Brittanicas.  Back when I was an avid reader of “Ranger Rick” and would go out in the back yard and catch toads under the dog house, only to stumble on the occasional snake.  But the snakes didn’t scare me; I was a kid in love with nature and brimming with intellectual curiousity.  It’s a happy, safe, comfortable place this song takes me to.  If any song can make me feel even a little like this, it stands out for me.

There’s one song here that predates my current lifetime, but its significance in my life is so profound that no other song in the world makes me feel quite the same way.  The song is “And You And I” by Yes.

A bit of background: I first heard this song as an incomplete cover version that my husband had shared on an online message board we both posted on and ultimately met each other through.  We bonded over that song.  The Yes album it’s on “Close to the Edge,” was one of only two albums I bought while in the UK (the other one was a copy of an opera by Janáček).  I had never really paid progressive rock all that much attention before, but “And You And I” was my gateway drug and my husband is the one who got me hooked.

This is why, even though it’s from Phil’s time, the date doesn’t run the risk of being a confounding factor because it’s so deeply associated with my current life.  As far as I can tell, Phil was never all that into prog, and neither was I until I met the man I eventually married.  This is our song.

Another Thought

Wow, two entries in one day!  That’s become a rare event, hasn’t it?

I just had a thought a moment ago, while listening to Vaughan-Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (it’s still playing as I write this) and looking at photos of Salisbury Cathedral, which if I am correct I laid a foundation stone for and heavily financed in an earlier life.

It occurred to me what the message was in Salisbury Cathedral, and the fact that it has stood in superb condition while the castle I once held nearby has fallen into ruin.  The message was that what I do in the service of myself and of worldly aims will never be as lasting or as beautiful as what I do in the service of the Divine manifestation.

I suppose that’s been the message all along, the big picture I’ve missed.  And now, as my long-standing depression begins to subside (thanks to some positive changes in my life lately), I feel like I’m on the right path with my studies to enter the clergy, in a church that allows me the freedom to live and learn on a path that works for me while giving me just enough structure to hold my thoughts in order and have a clear frame of reference.

I needed to reaffirm that in myself and it feels good to keep coming home to that, no matter how many times it happens.  My depression always tries to sabotage me but something greater than my weaknesses is growing inside me.  The powers of entropy and despair try to stomp out that spark but it’s growing, it’s fanning into a light and even if it flickers in the wind, it will not be put out.

Count William is said to have seen a vision of Mary shielding a taper from the wind.  That flame was strong in me even in his life.  It remains, it grows, and I will keep it until the end of days or until I am called home from this cycle of rebirth.