Saturday, December 13, 2008

Running To Stand Still

It's been two weeks since I wrote my last entry.

but it's felt like Forever.

It's time to come clean a little bit here. I've been seeing a shrink again. Two, in fact (because one's never enough, right?). It's been since about September, actually...something like that. I see a psychiatrist--an MD who has been in the biz for 30 years or so to prescribe medication--and a therapist to talk through whatever issues I'm having/going through. In other words, she's trying to help me figure my shit out.

I decided to go back for many reasons,
a few of which I'm no longer at liberty to discuss on this blog. Mainly, I'm just not a happy camper. Sure, I have days where I'm content with The Way Things Are, but the space between Being Content and Being Happy is a wide one indeed. I have high highs and low lows. It's the way it has always been.

But then, that's just one of the many symptoms of my diagnosis: Bipolar II.

I'm not going into details about Bipolar Disorder II or what it feels to be diagnosed with it (relief, to be honest--it's something that I can put my finger on, something that can finally be dealt with!). What I am going to talk about here is the medication I'm on: Sertraline.

It's taken a while for it to kick in and on the way there, some of the side-effects have been downright nasty. They would include increased sweating (at first, anyway) sexual side-effects (adios orgasms! You are sorely missed) and, worst of all, Writers Block.

For the life of me, I couldn't figure out why, every time I started writing, I'd completely draw a blank and/or get drowsy. And then I's the medication.


It has taken me two days to write this. I began on Saturday night. This is how it goes: I start and I begin writing...and then I start to get drowsy. Like, really drowsy [BLOGGER'S NOTE: God, Hal!! That's usually what happens to the people who read your shit, not the other way around, man!!!!]. And then I kind of just...blank. And then I give up. I close the window and lay down or read my book.

On the plus side, it's been a while since I've actually been able to concentrate long enough to read a whole book. I've already read one ("Watchmen") and now I'm 100 pages into a new one: "Case Histories" by Kate Atkinson. Great stuff. Pick it up, but only once because, after that, you won't be able to put it down.

Needless to say, it's been a mixed bag of emotions, conflicting feelings. I'm happy that I've been able to Ya know? I just feel really mellow, chill. I'm not quite as jittery, tense. I like not worrying about everything. It's nice. But I'm frustrated and scared, too, because what if I my ability to write wasn't a talent...but a symptom? What if it was just a more subtle, functional biproduct of a hypomanic state, an inbalance?

In other words, have I lost my mojo? Did I ever really have it? Is it worth giving up in order to be at peace...or do I give up the meds and continue doing the one thing I know I'm good at, my one "discernible talent" as I've said, regardless of the the Quality of Life that I'm living? Is it ever possible to have anything both ways? Why does everything have to be so black and white? Why does everything in this goddamned life have to be a fucking tradeoff?

It's starting again.

I can feel the drowsiness washing over me. I'll have to lie down soon. But this isn't over. I won't let it win. Being a writer--good or bad, depending on your own tastes--isn't just something I do anymore. It's who I am. And I've had many different identities over the years. I've been many different variations of Hal to get to where I am, to get to this point.

This is the one I want.

And like so much that has come before, it won't come easily. I'm going to do what I've always done whenever there's conflict, whenever there are obsticles in my way that I need to overcome, whenever I'm on the verge of losing something I love.

I fight.

Tooth and nail, I fight.

1 comment:

-Erik- said...

You'll be alright man. How long are you on the meds?

Also, I updated finally! YAYAYYAYAYA!

Writers block sucks, especially when you have things due! FUUUk

I'll be in town here in a few days. We should chill! :D