Or maybe this one’s just plaster…it hurts to run into, but maybe I’ll break through with enough tenacity.
It’s the stucco you have to watch – it scrapes and stings. Most of your nerve endings are at the surface, after all. Beyond that, it’s a few scattered here and there, glistening white against red muscle and yellow bone.
The thoughts come suddenly, in an almost logical fashion.
There’s a delivery truck going south at 40mph. I’m headed north at 40mph. If we collided head-on, assuming neither one of us applied the brakes or did any fancy maneuvering, we’d collide with the force of 80mph. If I were to undo my seatbelt before the collision, in my car, the leather seats would reduce any friction keeping me in place, and my steering wheel is in a location that would certainly break my sternum, at the very least – if I were thrown against it with enough force, despite the airbag, facial bones would be broken. Without the seatbelt, I might even slide/fly over the airbag and steering wheel and collide with the windshield with enough force to break through it, which could either kill me instantly or nick an artery, causing me to bleed out. Aside from the pins-and-needles feeling, I hear that bleeding out is almost like going to sleep, and pain is nothing new.
After all, once you get past the surface, there isn’t much that can really physically hurt – just a lot of things that can cause severe damage.
I’ve thrown up every day for the past 6 days. I thought I was past it this morning, when I made it through breakfast and my shower without puking (it usually happens while I’m waiting for the water to heat up, before I actually step in), but then I had something of a heavy lunch, and bam, around 3pm it all came back up. Instead of feeling slightly better, as I usually do after my shower, I kept feeling worse, and apparently progressively looked worse, as my supervisor told the boss who WAS present that I was sick…and that boss subsequently ordered me to go home.
It was on the way home that I had the thought about the truck.
I know better than to listen to my brain when it thinks about things like that, no matter how well-thought-out it seems, or how many facts and science-y explanations behind the process are presented in those seconds.
What bothers me is that the thoughts are happening at all.
And it began this way with the Zoloft. So I suppose SSRI’s just aren’t the answer. I didn’t really think this was going to work, anyway, but it was worth a shot…worth a few weeks’ experimentation to see if there was the slightest possibility that this time, my chest wouldn’t feel full of hollow pain, and my brain wouldn’t tell my eyes that there are things just out of my line of sight…that my will to live wouldn’t give way to sudden, inexplicable bouts of “logical” death-wishes based purely on curiosity. There’s no real emotion behind them.
The truly stupid part is that the most effective way to keep myself from doing anything drastic is to say, “Um, so you realize you won’t be alive to see the results, right?” I am a scientist, after all – at heart, I want to see the results of my actions. Always.
I’ve lost nearly 10 pounds in the past 2 weeks. It’s not good weight loss – there are hollows under my eyes, and everything feels loose. My joint pain is back, to where I could barely walk from one office to the other yesterday to ask a very simple question – my hip locked up, and my knee followed suit, causing a chain reaction that resulted in what could have been perceived as a very poor pantomime of an arthritic gibbon.
Eating is mechanical. If food isn’t easy to access, I just won’t eat, unless I have to take my medication, in which case I force myself to make something, or let Forrest cook for me. When I have food, I finish it without savoring it. It’s just food. I don’t take pleasure in tastes or textures, and in fact, there are foods that I used to love which I can barely smell without wanting to puke, now. Popcorn is one of these. I can’t perceive mint in the mint-chocolate (sugar-free) mousse/pudding cups that Forrest bought as a treat.
It’s like pregnancy-induced psychosis, without fetal involvement. Because, as I might as well point out for anyone who’s thinking it, I’m NOT pregnant.
So I’m going to alert my doctor of these side-effects, and quit the Prozac.
I’m a husk, and that’s not an improvement on what I was before.
I have to wonder, though, with all of the trouble I’ve been going through in the past year, is my life worth it? I mean, is it worth fighting this hard when I don’t have a clear path? I’m beating through the brush and ending up an inch further forward months after I began, and despite that minor victory, I’m now covered in scratches. I have to convince myself that it’s worth the effort to get up to pee, even when it hurts to do so, and I know I’ll just have to pee again in 10 minutes. I can’t move my feet in very specific ways or else I get foot cramps that last for days on end. There are times when the sound of other people breathing near me makes me want to shove a pen through my eardrums.
I mean, this is my life. This is what I’m NOT writing about when there are days, even weeks, of silence. These are the thoughts that really aren’t worth going into, because at best, I freak people out, and at worst, I make people angry.
I can’t care about politics, Wall Street, guns, or anything that doesn’t involve the process of simply being able to live, whether I’m living well or not. And I’m NOT living well, right now. The truth is, I don’t think I could give less of a shit about anything else right now…and perhaps I’m projecting how little of a shit I give about myself right now. Perhaps I’m being selfish. Perhaps I’m truly crazy.
A year ago, I was fighting for my life in a different sense.
It’s funny how so much can change in a year’s time, but how little difference it truly makes in the end.
So, anyway, I’m quitting the Prozac, I’m looking for another job, and I’m exploring other options for my life. I’m not a hopeless case, and I’m not worthless, and for me to be in a position to feel that way through outside forces is ridiculous if I can possibly find a way out…and I plan to try, damn it.
Have a good weekend. Don’t worry – I’ll still be around. I paid for this domain, and I plan to keep using it, hopefully for more cheerful purposes in the future…or at least more constructive ones.