Friday, March 2

me and my brain

I’m in a dream- like state today. Last night I was still awake at 3 am, pleading with my mind to quiet itself and let me doze off. The night before I was begging my migraine to respond to the ibuprofen and paracetamol I had given it. The hours passed by so very slowly, and I grew tired of the music that played over and over in my head while my fingers played the tune on my imaginary keyboard. “Stop. Okay, imagine a beautiful field with yellow and mauve flowers covering’re lying there, feel the sun on your body and let your muscles release”......Part way through this relaxation exercise, there it was again: that piece of music I had listened to over a hundred times already since hopping into bed. Please! I’m just asking for a vacant mind, why is this not possible? My fingers are busy playing the tune again without me realising, and I feel myself become frustrated. I stop them, and enjoy a second’s peace. Barely a thought hangs in my mind, and then in the blurry background I hear the strains of the music....and a conversation I’m weary of re-visiting. I’m infuriated. How many hours do I have to play this game of stopping the ceaseless noise inside me, to have it automatically restart seconds later? I wish I had some kind of control over my mind so that I could stop losing this battle. Sprinkled among these thoughts are fears for the following day – how will I manage on so little sleep? I tell myself that rest is good for me and yet I barely believe the words I have just pronounced. 

I could go some help right now...

This mental battle is one of the reasons I decided to go on anti-depressants...alongside panic attacks, depression and generally feeling overwhelmed. It was only in the past 6 months that I started to open myself up to the possibility of going on medication. Before, I thought I could manage the mental side of life with counseling alone, learning strategies to deal with myself – my post illness self. I feel that I was fresh and optimistic about how much I could improve without needing drugs. I didn’t want drugs. I didn’t want to be dependent on a medication to alter the chemicals in my brain for me to be OK. I saw that as a cop out.
Something changed, gradually. I became wearied by my mind and the toll it was having on me. I desire relief, even just a small reprieve from the fears and obsessive thoughts. Some peace, to simplify my life, to give me a chance at coping. Before I thought that learning a deep breathing technique for when I started hyperventilating was help enough, but now I am dreaming of not hyperventilating in the first place...not crying so often....even having a still mind from time to time. I know the meds won’t eliminate these things, but just a reduction in intensity would be good enough for me, especially as I work out the core issues with my psych.
I have started a new drug because the last one had side effects I wasn’t so keen on. The following warning was on the information sheet:
Persons taking this medication may be more likely to think about killing themselves or actually trying to do so, especially when first started or the dose is changed.
Admittedly it was not what I expected to see on an anti-depressant. Surely it was supposed to do the opposite?! But fear not, I haven’t experienced any such thoughts. I’m just listening to Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto’s and drinking English breakfast tea – and I find it hard to believe I could feel suicidal while so pleasantly occupied. The fact that even that warning and all the possible side effects didn’t put me off show me that I really am quite desperate for some help. And so now I must just wait and pray that this one is a good match for me. I hope we’ll do very well together!

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