Friday, January 6, 2012


I feel stuck. I feel like this song.

"Nude" by Radiohead, lyrics:

"Don’t get any big ideas
they’re not gonna happen
You paint yourself white
and feel up with noise
but there’ll be something missing
Now that you’ve found it, it’s gone
Now that you feel it, you don’t
You’ve gone off the rails
So don’t get any big ideas
they’re not going to happen
You’ll go to hell for what your dirty mind is thinking"

I am skeptical of Big Pharma's long term role in the treatment of my mental illness, so I tapered off my psychotropic drugs. I took my last Clonazepam a couple of months ago and my last Sertraline about a month ago. I've continued taking my fish oil pills and vitamin D, going for walks, focusing on the moment, trying to multi-task as little as possible, enjoying more time with my friends and family, eating fruits and veggies, all those natural things that seem to promote mental wellness. But I'm off the drugs for now.

Yet I feel stuck. I've been worried that my anxiety, which leads to an overwhelmed feeling that mimics depression but is actually a sign of posttraumatic stress disorder, is creeping back.

I've been losing interest in things I usually enjoy. Like writing. I've felt very blah about attempting to get my novel published. Amost like giving up. But giving up is still an action: deciding to stop actively seeking an agent for my novel. I'm not even motivated enough to decide for sure I want to stop. Like I'm in a holding pattern. Like I'm stuck on a grounded plane and I've lost interest in my destination. I can't fly.

Writing helps me get unstuck. When I write, my thoughts and feelings are no longer a jumbled mess inside my head. I gain insight into my life by writing.

So I'm forcing myself to do it now. I don't even really have anything to say.

I'm not going to go back on drugs, yet. I've been thinking about why I feel stuck, and I realize I have a perfectly legitimate reason to feel this way: My plans are not working out as I envisioned. Why should I medicate the truth?

I found out this week my daughter doesn't like it when I come to her class to volunteer as the reading helper. When her teacher asked for volunteers to come to class once a week to work one-on-one listening to kids read, I thought, who better than me, a librarian. So I didn't even ask Katie what she thought. Of course she'd love to have her mother in school with her.

Apparantly not. This week when I asked her if she likes it when I'm the reading helper she said as a matter of fact, no, that it makes her feel like a baby to have her mom invade her zone. That my daughter would feel that way had never crossed my mind.

So I woke up this morning with a horrible sore throat and congestion in my chest. I have a chronic cough due to an allergy to mold, which is nearly unavoidable in this world. But this morning I felt less well than usual. So I called Katie's teacher to say I wouldn't be in to volunteer today. I didn't want to get the whole class sick.

But now that I'm up and about and I took an antihistimine and feel a little better, I wonder if maybe I called in sick to my volunteer gig subconsciously because my daughter hurt my feelings and I wanted to spite her. Am I really that immature? Possibly.

I love my daughter so wholly I can't imagine I'd do such a vindicitive thing. "See what you're missing! If you don't want me there, I don't want to be there, so nanny nanny boo boo, stick your head in dog doo!"

Really? Me?

Maybe. I hope not. But maybe. I really did have a sore throat. But that's the weird thing about psychosomatic illness: it feels real.

I'm not a good mama bird. I don't have it in me to kick my baby out of the nest. "My" baby. Possessive. She's her own person. I must let her go and quit worrying that sometimes life will bring her pain. She's healthy. Let her fly.

See, just writing about this, I feel so much better.

When I feel stuck, I start questioning my decision to cut my hours at the library so I could get my writing out of my head and spend more time with my kid because I still haven't found an agent for my novel and my kid tells me to back off. Just keep writing. Not for an agent. Not for my kid. Not even for you, although thank you for staying with me on this rambling ride.

For me.

See, now I'm unstuck.