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Thursday, March 06, 2008

regaining interest in life

Trying to act normal, to re-wire my brain to believe I am normal is a feat indeed. Everyday that I have the energy to, I try to fill my day with some sort of activity based on Elaine's interests, which I still feel rather lukewarm to in general - yes, all of them, even books, even men, even WoW.


I have been exercising. Like maybe for an hour a day, I reckon (not a clock-watcher, me). I tried running but like the last time I did that, I got an asthma attack. So I am sticking to yoga, stretches, and free-weights, crunches push-ups etc at home. Brisk-walking worked for me too, but I did that at night, and it can be rather lonely to do thirty minutes of brisk-walking around Ubi by myself.


I guess then, shopping counts as walking too! KL shopping was awesome, shopping and transport and F&B was sponsored by my Dad and my friends. I bought some youngish looking clothes to go to church in, since my new church is very youthful. Older people sit at the back rows. I sit at the last row. Thank God for streetwear.


My novel-writing, alas, has come to somewhat of a standstill. I feel like Charlie Kaufman in Adaptation, only calmer because I am medicated. I have so many false starts, so much to say, I am at a loss on how to stitch it together and how to blend my research into it. I guess all that is part of the fun.


Music - I have been playing the guitar and singing more often now. My mom suggests I do a recording of all my acoustic renditions for my Dad, as a surprise-love gift (something we learned in church recently). It will take a while. And it makes me contemplate about buying an acoustic guitar instead of doing acoustic on a classical. But I listen to music a lot more now. It helps distract me (Mona's advice, too, on dealing with anxiety). Still mostly electronica.


I think as for art, my next step will be to visit SAM which I have planned to with my ex-student Aly, sometime next week, amongst other things. I have barely any art materials in my house anymore anyway.


Reading is still a chore. I have turned from a voracious reader into a tedious one. I can hardly trawl through a book of chick-lit, let alone the kind of books I am used to reading. Even magazines are tedious. I speed-read the biz mags for the main points; I hardly feel excited about girlie mags. My interest in books is now shown mainly through lending them furiously to friends to read.


Some of you know I love Josh Hartnett - he is like my fave Hollywood man. He doesn't turn me on anymore, and I just finished watching Black Dahlia. He is handsome, but I am more fascinated by Scarlett Johansson's make up instead. I view men and women alike as art, not as objects of fancy or lust anymore. I find Bruce's Springsteen's Kitty's Back played by the E Street Band in 1975, as good as sex.


I eat for the sake of eating. No longer crazy over foods I was used to, perhaps only coffee, and chocolate. Coffee is an obsession for me when I go out, because I need to keep awake from my meds so that I will watch where I am going, and also so that I don't keep yawning.


Strangely, I no longer crave for alcohol that much now. Maybe because I drank some on Saturday over at Velvet, sans medication. (Sans medication! I actually felt happy and calm and not-stressed while on holiday, with my two bezzie mates, I didn't need to medicate.) Needless to say, I drank very little - half a beer, some whiskey green tea, a Johnny Walker OTR, and was hardly high for the piffling amount I limited myself to. Alcohol really does cancel out the effect of the anti-Ds I take, because by the time it was time to sleep at night, I felt like my serotonin effects were cancelled out. I took lesser sleepy meds than usual, and fell asleep more slowly than my high and happy girlfriends.


Does my cat count as an interest? We have converted her into a full-time house cat, which involves more pet ownership responsibilities such as cleaning her litter box and such. She hangs slink-slunk around me in my room most of the time.


All that, while I am on:
2 anti-Ds (total 20mg a day)
3 X*anaxes (total .75mg a day, sometimes I go up to 1g a day)
2 Lorazepams (total 1mg a day, down from 2mg)
1 Seroquel (total 100mg)

a day. These are what help me resemble normalcy on the outside. On the inside, I feel calm and un-sad.


(Oh by the way, the rubbish about anti-Ds only having a placebo effect - doesn't work on people with my depth of depression. It is referring to GPs doling out Pro*zac in small doses to random patients who seem stressed or mildly depressed. My dose isn't small. I am not mildly depressed.)


A lot of people tell me not to keep thinking I am sick. But if I thought otherwise, I would have nothing to 'get better' from. This is why I am trying hard to recover. I think accepting that I have major depression and coming to terms with the fact that I need help and I need to recover from my sickness, is an important step. Sorry, screw the 'think positives'. Living normally is one thing, denial is another plane altogether. I cannot wish this cancer away.

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