maybe I should dream without my medication more often.
I have been on Effexor XR 150mg daily for about 5 years. I could no longer function anymore, thats why I started taking it. I would have anxiety attacks on a daily basis. I would be driving in traffic and suddenly think to myself: "what if I had an anyuerism right now?" Now that is fully possible at any moment, really. But a "normal brain", I would assume, has a defense mechanism for that. Some kind of voice to say, "why the hell worry about something like that? Can't do anything about it." But my brain would fixate and obssess and eventually drive me into the nearest gas station to lock myself in the restroom until someone (like my oldest sister, bless her heart) could call me on my cell to talk me down. I couldn't control my racing morbid thoughts.
I once dated a guy with a 2 year old son who would run around the joint with hard candy in his mouth. As he had wonderful and memorable moments with his son, I would have terrifying visions of the child choking to death or tripping and jamming a sucker deep into his esophagus. He mostly just ignored me and/or shushed my gasps and warnings. One particular year, his best friend came back on Army leave and seemed deeply concerned about my behavior. He put one hand on my shoulder and looked me in the eye: "You know, if he does choke, I'm trained in the Heimlich. I'll just pop that baby right back out. It will be scary, but life will go on." It was the first time a man ever acknowleged my fears instead of being appaulled, angry or exasperated by them.
I can no longer imagine life without the drug...until i get the stomach flu and cannot hold it down. Guess what? no choice in the matter any longer. Today I'm living life in explosions . The drug has not fully worn off so I have this satellite dish in a storm experience. Picture is good, regular program is clear. Suddenly the pixels break up. Stop action. no sound. Choppy motion. Imagine all that, but with all of your senses...and as your reality. Its very cumbersome and horrific sometimes, but its really just the real me slipping through cracks in the Effexor-barrier and becoming exposed.
Anyway, my dream...
Part of my dream was rollerblading with my nephew. We were extremely good! We zoomed through the icy Minnesota streets over by the Target store where I grew up. We played seemingly un-dangerous Knievel winter versions of rail-slides and wheel-grabs; stuff that I may have seen in the X-Games in the late 90s. His aunt Julie was there, don't ask me why, with her proverbial pink glass of rose wine. Seeing her, I immediately realized that what I was doing may have lead him to a very untimely death at 15-years-old. I sat down and starting unlacing my skates. "What were you thinking?" I asked him, as if he were the adult and I wasn't responsible for his well-being. He argued with me as most children do. Nothing about that was dangerous, per se. "Go back to that semaphore and try it again," I said. He did: rail-slide, pop-up with wheel-grab, toe-tap, trip, slide on face straight into bowl. "No!" auntie Julie yelled jarring and spilling a bit of her wine. "Don't do that! Don't second-guess him. If you do, he will surely fail and hurt himself."
In the Target store, everyone with whom I went to high school was employed. They looked exactly the same as I remembered, except air-brushed and sporting hip haircuts. It was like The Hills version of my high school; a god-damned nightmare. Jennifer Hutchins with a cute little black shaggy bob laughed as she pointed out how I had taken to drawing my eye-brows in ebony liquid eye-liner: a nice subtle arch over the eye, then a dramatic swoop and dive down my hairline, finishing with a swirl to end with a flourish. Jamie Bren, fifty pounds lighter and glowing with peachy sheen, had joined a new worship community. She snapped her fingers and out of nowhere popped a diarama like in a Comcast commercial showing how her newest husband fought her physics exam on a white horse; weilding a guilded sword: A giant morphing sand creature changing and shifting into equations and symbols....My vocabulary fails me.
My point is, this whole thing makes me want to stop the drug. I am WITHOUT A DOUBT more creative and focused. I'm like a meth addict for creating. I paint and write and art like there is no tomorrow, because without the drug, there IS NO TOMORROW. Its like I have traded in my talents and gifts for a normal life:
1. the ability to maintain a relationship....even though I don't necessarily want to get married. The thought of it scares the straight shit out of me.
2. the ability to maintain a 9 to 5 job for longer than a few months.....although I don't really mind my job and even enjoy it from time to time....I make decent money and have a decent level of flexibility.....it seems mediocre and unimportant sometimes.
3. the possibility of not totally disturbing and destroying the happiness of a child and/or children that all women in our culture (or world) are believed responsible to bear sooner-or-later in there lifetime. again, scares the roarin' devil out of me.
I feel like I am at a very crucial time. I'm at a cusp or a turning point. I have a decision to make:
1. Keep up the drugs. Buy a house. Get married. Love my job. Have a baby. and hope I never lose my health insurance or that Effexor XR is never pulled from the market....OR....
2. Stop the drug. Lose the boyfriend and the job and the shot at a "normal life". and finally be able to write a novel. Probably many novels. Maybe a few multi-media peices, a collage or two....a sculpture. I don't have this kind of inspiration or vision when I am on the drug. I wish I did.
I am torn.