emotional void - depression at its best

emotionally flatlined. that's how my drugs make me feel. for the sake of clarification, i am taking effexor and geodon, with a side of ambien to sleep. all generic. i am now of "normal" affect, and reasonably sane. the racing, repetitive thoughts and bipolar mood swings are subdued. i don't know how to be "normal". i'm not unappreciative, but i really feel hollow and absent.

the most frustrating issue i have right now is that my creativity is also absent. i sit to draw and stare at my journal. it's almost tedious to make lines. this is what i count on and thrive on. it's all but gone. then i have these depression jags that are unbearable. i have had two in the last month. for about 3 days i weep uncontrollably and become suicidal. i can't eat or sleep. unless i take lots of ambien, then i can comatose myself for 18 hours....
reading this back to myself i can't help feeling guilty. obviously, anyone on the "outside" would say "hey, your biggest issue is that now you can function as a parent...as a wife! shut it and go live!"

i have no answer for that.
i imagine it's kind of like being completely paralyzed, and having to learn everything all over, from the beginning. who the hell am i? what am i supposed to do with all that space in my brain? a joyous time, right? a time when i can reinvent myself for the better! a time to celebrate and enjoy just having the chance to feel ok!
most people strive to be happy....and to become happier. i strive to protect myself. i know that all at once it will all shatter and a deeply stabbing depression will overtake me, making me immobile. and yes, i will get through it, hopefully, because i have kids who need me. but at some point, as it has been for 27 years, the meds will quit, and i will be back to my worst self- the one who cannot function and the one who has to start all over. going through a med transition is serious torture. physical illness, mind-wrenching thought processes and exhaustion tear me down for weeks, 2 months this last time....

that said, i know there are people, even in my own family, who doubt the instability of my illness. everyone wants to believe that i take medicine, i'm better, or i get off the meds, i'll be fine...my best friend- who lives across the world- says we americans see happiness as a right, and become bent if we aren't happy on any consistent level. i see that. and i feel like being on prozac or any other anti-depressant has become almost "cool" in some circles. perhaps it's a way to feel less alone, or maybe we just like the excuse. either way, i'm not on that road. i don't even think i have the ability to be happy anymore. in fact, i truly believe i will be just content to not feel hopeless and sad. if you are one of thousands who think that i talk myself into falling over and over again, i hope you never feel this reality. and the most positive attitude in the world cannot fend it off.

what it comes down to is that i take meds to not have severe anger and depression issues, and they do not work consistently. having been on 29 different medications, i know the routine. up to 2 months transition ... feel ok for 9-24 months at best ... crash ... transition....all the while protecting myself from the next hill and it's delicacy. i don't want pity, i just want understanding and perhaps support here and there. i want to share what i experience so others can better understand their loved ones or even help themselves through art. :)

drawing: journal page 11



i sold my first prints! thought i would chat briefly about the experience, it was stressful to say the least. i was physically not well for 2 days afterwards...perfectionism came out and frightened me, i thought i would completely misspell my name or drip a tear on one of them. had to quickly order some sleeves and post mailers, had to decide how to sign and make receipts, i want to do it personally and yet quickly....the price had been decided, but i mulled over that as well, especially when i couldn't find any print stores to do the archival prints. referred to one downtown, i had samples made up of the least expensive and the more expensive papers (only 2 types were acceptable to me), which took a few days...

the signature i decided needed to be in permanent, archival ink not pencil, because that's how i want it. i struggle with permanence with every detail, using permanent markers, etc, so i could not sign in pencil. then i added my thumbprint to the lot, scars, cracks and all, to highlight the print number.
all of this, i realize, sounds like i think i'm some very sought-after artist, and believe me, i do not have that in my head, but i tried to be professional, and make it how i would want to receive it. so, there it is. 
things kept going "wrong" according to me, and it was hours just to get them ready, and i was pleased after all.

 i guess in addition to the strain of not fecking up, i was feeling weird letting go of pages from my journal, which is stupid, because i post them here and on flickr for anyone to see....then write about them..but i still feel like the receiver will be all "what was i thinking?!" when they see the final product. it's actually quite nice to think someone wants to look at something i made for longer than just a scroll down a computer screen. ;)