Friday, October 26, 2007

that was just the Zoloft talking

After a winter/early spring hiatus born of the seriously misguided notion that I could function just fine without it, I started taking Zoloft again about four months ago. Within a few weeks, I was feeling less anxious, less irritable, less angry, less depressed. Within a few more weeks, I was actually feeling good.

But Zoloft had some side effects that I had a hard time dealing with. I had zero feeling in my mustn't-touch region, which made doing the nasty seem like more work than it was really worth, especially when I could be watching The Office instead.

And while the Zoloft kept me from feeling lousy, it also prevented me from feeling much of anything. Gone were the cathartic crying jags, when I would turn into a blotchy, blubbery mess lying in bed at night thinking about the prospect of Ezra losing his first tooth, or watching a woman give birth on TLC, or listening to a report on the radio about some new horrors in Darfur.

I'm a crier, and when I see a picture of a newborn and don't well up, something is seriously wrong.

So a few weeks ago, I switched to Wellbutrin, an antidepressant that's celebrated for its lack of sexual side effects--for not giving people that numbed up, zoned out feeling in general.

It was a miracle. Suddenly, I was crying again. I wept watching this documentary; I wept listening to people talk about the things they had lost in the San Diego fires. I wept after having sex. Which I was having! Awesome! I was back inside myself.

But along with that, all the other stuff has little by little been sneaking its way into my life as well. I'm panicky, irritable, hostile, depressed, seriously pissed off about one thing or another at any given moment.

I've come to a realization: It's not that the Wellbutrin has allowed for a greater emotional range; it's that the Wellbutrin just isn't working.

The regular old me has returned.

You get into a routine with these drugs, and you forget that they're responsible for whatever shape your personality is currently taking. You're no longer "feeling better"; you're just you. Remember how astonished I was recently to discover that I had become nice? That wasn't me at all. That was me on medication.

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