“You’ve certainly been scarce lately,” you say.
“Sorry. I plead a medical exemption.”
“You’ve been sick?”
That’s a good question. I’ve been on SSRI inhibitors for a few months now, and it’s been a bit of a struggle. The first ones made me both groggy and bitchy (exactly the opposite of how they affect most people). The second ones made me so sleepy I couldn’t tell whether my mood had improved or not. We’ve been fiddling with the dosage, and I’m now at a dosage where my symptoms are manageable, but the side effects are apparent.
I’m always thirsty. I get headaches often. I procrastinate more than I used to, because I just don’t worry about the consequences of not getting things done. None of those things is great, but they’re not fatal.
The worst is that I just don’t have the urge to create anymore. I don’t care so much about writing. I haven’t written anything new in quite a while, and I can’t seem to motivate myself to get started. It doesn’t help that my most potent source of story material seems to have dried up.
I’m not dreaming anymore.
If you don’t know me, you don’t know that my dream life is almost as important to me as my waking life. Google “virtual bank line” (with the quotes), and the first few results will be me talking about my dreams which are action-packed, specific, and detailed. It would be easy for me to believe that this life where I’m sitting in a coffee shop and typing at a computer is my dream life, and that the other one is my real life, it’s that detailed.
Without dreams, it feels like my days are incomplete. Like I’m missing half of my life. All those things I do in my dreams feel like they’re going undone. Like somewhere, there’s a world where I have a job to do and I’m not doing it.
I discussed this with my therapist, and his response was “There’s no free fucking lunch.” (He’s that kind of therapist.) He’s not kidding – not only are my dreams gone, but I’m paying for the privilege of having them taken away.
I feel now that if I’m going to keep taking these meds, I have to figure out how to rebuild my life, including the dream life. I’m not sure it’s worth it to let that go.