Down the Rabbit Hole

I’m feeling pretty low. That’s why my last few posts have been about things I have learned either through experience or reading. I think it’s important for you to either learn something new or feel uplifted after reading a post here. I’ve gotten to the point where my brain isn’t working well enough to come up with something. I’m falling down the rabbit hole, but unlike Alice, I’m not going to land in Wonderland. There is nothing wondrous about the place I’m going. It’s dark, lonely, hopeless and usually doesn’t make much sense. Well, maybe Alice and I have that latter part in common.

I can usually tell when I’m falling. I start getting really tired for no particular reason. Then I start to lose what little motivation I have. That’s how this spell started, but there were a few added perks. I changed the dosage on my medication and I’m having a hard time adjusting. The first few days I was really nauseous and shaky. The nausea went away, but the tremors stayed. It makes it extremely hard to draw which seems to be the only thing I can do without having to jump over the giant hurdle of dread. These symptoms, along with the lack of motivation have kept me from going to work. I think I feel guilty about not doing any work, or maybe I just think I should feel guilty, I don’t know. I don’t care enough to figure it out.

Yesterday was particularly wretched. I haven’t been sleeping very well and the night before last I pretty much didn’t. My lack of sleep has accumulated into that nauseating, photosensitive, headache-y feeling that leaves you stranded in bed or on the couch in the dark. So that’s where I’ve been for most of the day….and night.

While I was rotting on the couch, I got confirmation that my husband will definitely be out of a job for the next school year. There are no full-time science contracts in the school board he is tenured with. All these questions are swirling through my brain. What are we going to do?! Will he find something else? Will I have to leave my Ph.D.? Will we have to move? This would normally start a panic which I would talk myself down from, except I don’t have the energy to panic. So instead I curled up into a ball and prayed that I’d just disappear. Since it was not likely that my prayers would be answered, I needed a new strategy.

I’ve been told that when I start to fall apart I should try living life 10 minutes at a time so I don’t get overwhelmed and can stop thinking about the future. There was nothing I could do about my meds, my work or his job at the moment anyway. What could I do right now? Try to feel better. How? I have a list of things that usually cheer me up. I have it written down for times like this when I’m not rational. Starting at the top of my list is my husband, who is not currently home, next… Find Ewok (my cat). Check. Sweatpants. Check. Cup of coffee. Check. Put on the Phantom of the Opera. Check. Watch until I feel better.

The Phantom played through five times. I still feel the same. At least I haven’t completely lost hope yet.

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