A Day Without

I was not going to write today. Today is a day without. If you are on any kind of regular medication, you know what that means. If you are on pain medication, you know exactly what I mean. I am managing: keeping as busy as I can, my mind as off of it as is possible, and simply riding it out when those fail. 

We filed taxes today, which meant talking to a stranger about being officially disabled. And of course, because I look the way I do, I get the look - of just enough socially acceptable disbelief without out and out accusing me of fraud. And I just sat there, paralyzed by all the available options of anger and ranting and pontificating stretching out before me, knowing I could touch none of them if I wanted my taxes done today. And the moment passed as quickly as it came, with no acknowledgement that it had even occurred.

Hell if pain meds are not a double edged sword. Without them, I am more alert, more bright, more capable of feeling. But with that comes not - because the thing I am most alert to, feeling the most, is pain. And not a practical, productive pain - no, a lingering, heavy, valueless pain. We put up with, even court, pain for certain reasons: athletic excellence, child birth, rights of passage. There is pain for good reason.

Annabelle River's picture

Experiments in Neurochemistry

Since the last time I wrote about my premenstrual dysphoric disorder, I've had a couple particularly bad episodes of it, and I finally took all my friends' advice and went to a psychiatrist.  Then, for the past month, I've been pondering what took me so many years.  Part of it, I'm sure, was a general distrust of doctors and pharmaceuticals - anyone who stands to earn money by convincing me that my brain is "wrong" and that they can "fix" me.  But some of my resistance has also been existential.  As horrifically unpleasant as PMDD feels, it remains an intense passion.  If my strongest feelings can be erased by taking pills, then what am I anyway?  What does that mean for the rest of my emotions and for my personality?  Is my entire consciousness mere hormone levels and neurochemistry?

Luckily, my psychiatrist earned my trust after asking if I've ever experienced panic attacks.  I answered that I think I've had a couple in my life, but they're not a regular problem; I think the last one was a couple weeks before my wedding.  She laughed and said, "That's normal; that's just part of being a bride."  She didn't pretend that she could make me rational and happy all the time, or even that I should be rational and happy all the time.  So I like her.

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