Sat, 10 Jan 2004

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plodding onward

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This entry was, for better or worse, inspired by today's entry on Incidental Findings (scroll down or browse the archives, as there are no permalinks.)

On one hand, I am somewhat disturbed that my thoughts don't ever reach this level of discourse. I am not thinking of relationships not because I've reached some sort of spiritual peace, but because there are even more basic issues to consider. (Bear with me.)

Now everyone should now that health care professionals are the worst patients to take care of, the least compliant, the most recalcitrant, the unhealthiest, etc., etc. So it should be no surprise that I left the house without taking my meds today. (Of course, there was that unmarked white van that seemed to be observing me as I left the house today, making me want to get away from the house as quickly as possible, but we will get into my paranoid delusions later.)

I was OK for maybe a couple of hours. I had a bizarre craving for Chicken McNuggets. Instead of going to the MickeyDs (Hmmm. How do you transliterate that properly?) that I usually go to, I spaced out and completely overshot it. So instead I decided to go to the one in downtown Glendale. After getting my grease fix, I went over to the Marketplace, and had what I considered an out-of-the-ordinary exchange with the barista at the Starbucks (Have mercy on me! I'm just a fallible human, after all!)

Barista: Do you want room for cream? Me: Nah, it's OK. Barista (incredulously): You drink your coffee black? Me: (for some reason, reticent) Err, yeah. [Usually, I do take cream, but for some reason I didn't want to argue about it] Barista: All right. You want anything to eat with that? Me: Nah, I'm good. Barista: Are you sure? Me: Yeah. Barista: Maybe next time? Me: Sure. Barista: Promise? Me: Um. (amused uncertainty) Promise.

In any case, I left the Starbucks and sat down at a table outside. (Again, note the unhealthiness.) I then proceeded to have a cigarette, except my lighter wouldn't work, so I had to borrow a light. One cigarette turned to two, and I sat staring, thinking. About what, I can't exactly remember, but at some point I realized how extraordinarily tired I am. Not necessarily physically tired or drowsy, but psychically weary. The kind of soul-weariness usually reserved for survivors of horrific tragedy. The kind of inability to rest and heal that Frodo Baggins experienced (for those people familiar with The Return of the King, book or movie.) After thinking to myself, I'm so tired, I immediately also thought, I'm never going to find anywhere to rest.

Now granted, I've been through a lot in the past year. Or two. Or three. Or four. (I mean, if you had the wherewithal to read through this blog from the very beginning, you'd see what I mean. Now my writing style is not necessarily the most lucid, and I have this annoying habit of refusing to give names to people, even imaginary names, so that I tend to begin stories with pronouns without ever giving an antecedent, and I also have this annoying habit of getting sidetracked by irrelevant details, so that I ramble on and on until most people wonder what the point is, and I tend to talk about sensitive issues rather obliquely, but, yeah, read my blog. Hehe.) But I mean, realistically, I really shouldn't feel like this. Like Sisyphus, with no joy in whatever I do, just rolling that stone up that hill, only to watch it roll down again. At that juncture today, if you asked me what made me happy in the past four years, what made it worth enduring the rigors and sometimes outright torture of medical school, I would've been at a loss. Nothing would've come to mind. All I would've been able to remember is the intense, often self-inflicted, mental anguish, the bonecrushing loneliness, and the bitter, bitter cold, both literally and spiritually. Only the darkness, the emptiness.

Oh, it gets better.

I finish my second cigarette, and hoof it over to the Borders, whereupon I get enthralled by all sorts of linguistic books that I can't afford and will never have the time to even open the covers of, much less read. Nonetheless, after a couple of hours of aimlessly wandering the shelves and a lot of zoning out, I ended up buying them. Then I headed out to Fry's in Burbank. Right about now, you might discern that I have some sort of penchant for punishment.

Nothing is worse than trying to stave off a mental breakdown at an electronics store. For starters, there are a lot of weird people there. The last thing you want to do, particularly if your self-esteem is flagging, is to be the weirdest one there. I make it through the returns line OK, despite some inexplainable self-consciousness. I start browsing through the networking section, looking for a PCI wireless card. And then it hits me. The tears start welling up, and if I weren't so morbidly depressed, I might have laughed at how ludicrous I was being. Objectively, I could tell that there was no reason for me to be sad at this point, but nonetheless, I felt like the weight of the world was collapsing upon my back. My inner self-dialog (no, I was not having auditory hallicinations) started to tell me that I wasn't going to make it.

I ended up wandering through almost every square inch of that godforsaken place, in search of what, I don't know. Maybe salvation. Heh. Unlikely. At the end, I started feeling a touch of agoraphobia, and for some reason, I kept running into some serious weirdos, so it was a good time to make my exit.

Needless to say, I felt rather ragged, like I had been dragged across an asphalt-covered parking lot strewn with broken glass. And of course, all I could think of were negative thoughts. For example, like, my god, the day isn't even close to being over.

The waning sunlight did nothing to ease my cares.

Still, I made it home without mishap. The white van wasn't waiting for me. I hurriedly took my pills, and decided to go for a walk around my neighborhood until they kicked in. By the time I got back, I was feeling decidedly better. Not happy, to be sure, but at least not suicidally depressed. I suppose the state that I'm in when I do manage to take my meds is what they call "serotonin fatigue." I find myself somewhat apathetic and unable to efficiently organize my time, but there is no emotional component to it. I'm just numb, really. Which is, sad to say, preferrable to what happened today.

(I figure I should get to the white van before you think I'm a stark raving loony. Let's just say that I posted something on the Internet that wasn't exactly complimentary to our reigning commander-in-chief, and I started having paranoid vibes that They were coming to get me. Seriously, if people are being visited by state troopers for inquiring about the availability of Microsoft Flight Simulator at their local Staples, and people are being treated as social lepers and evoking the mistrust of their fellow citizens by the simple act of reading an almanac, I don't think it's completely paranoid to worry about getting carted off for bad-mouthing the president, U.S. Constitution notwithstanding. The verb to disappear, in its transitive form, comes to mind. Of course, I suppose they could've been just robbers, or, wonder of wonders, legitimate repair workers. The latter being doubtful since I drove off away from them, circled around, and tried to catch them from behind. Needless to say, by the time I had gotten back to my house, they were gone. I know they were there, though, because my dogs started barking like maniacs. I suppose I could've hallucinated the entire episode, but, despite everything, I'm not that crazy, at least not yet, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed.)

Anyway, back to my depressive episode. I remember being appalled at how much it hurt. If that's how I've been feeling for all this time before I started taking the happy pills, no wonder it's been a long and arduous climb. I mean, seriously, it would be the psychic equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest with shackles and weights attached to your ankles, and no supplemental oxygen to boot. And I remember thinking that, if I have to live with that horrific pain and sorrow again, I am clearly not going to make it.

Ah, me. Better living through chemistry.

I wish I knew what the hell is wrong with me, but knowing the cause is not going to help. I've just got to keep believing that some day, it will all be OK. Not perfect, but at least better than this.

So, yeah, this is the reason why I can't even seriously consider getting involved with anyone, because I am such an emotional and psychiatric train wreck at this point. There's no need to drag anyone under the water with me.

Still, I've got to say, I'm so much better at giving advice than taking it. For some reason, I can give hope to other people (yes, really, I can, I've been told so, so don't worry, I'm not going to be a hazard to the people I treat) yet I can't take any for myself. I don't understand it.

Jesus sweet Christ. Things have to get better. I am seriously feeling stretched out and worn down.

00:50:48 10 Jan 2004 > /soul > permalink > 0 comments

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