It’s been creeping up on me, this lethargy, this heaviness, the fogginess in my head. First it was the day after I did much of anything, then it was part of every day, and now… now all I do is lie around in bed. Maybe I read the New York Times online… but maybe I can’t finish the article. My concentration is terrible. Maybe I sort a few of my digital photos… but maybe I can’t focus on it, and soon I find I’ve been staring into space for the past five minutes.
I have thought that it could be good to force myself to do something. So on Thursday, I scheduled my day more fully than usual. It didn’t help. Even with a lot of caffeine, my eyelids were made of lead and couldn’t resist the pull of gravity. I was dull company to the friend I met for tea. I was an absent-minded (but lucky) driver.
I know it doesn’t make sense to other people when I say, “I can’t get out of bed.” Of courses you can, they think. Your legs work. All you have to do is move.
And they are right, of course. I get up to walk to the bathroom, to feed my dogs, to grab something from the refrigerator, occasionally. But I lack all motivation to do anything. I’m just floating in an in-between space, waiting for things to change. I don’t know how to make them change myself, or if I do know how, I can’t really remember or I can’t summon up the will to do them.
I did put on semi-clean clothes this afternoon to go and see Tabitha, my psych nurse. She thinks, and I agree, that this is a reaction to the big drop in Effexor I made in late December. It’s a bit like my old depression, though not exactly the same. I don’t hate myself (though I’m not happy about not accomplishing anything). I am not despairing (though I am discouraged). I am not harming myself (I thought about it but it wasn’t hard to resist the impulse).
So what to do about this? For now, we are bumping up my dose of Cymbalta. I’m agreeing to this, even though I don’t really believe in anti-depressants anymore, not as a long-term solution at least. I guess I am agreeing because 1) I don’t know what else to do and 2) I am hoping for some short-term relief that could allow me to implement the things I think help more: yoga, exercise, structure, meditation, companionship, healthy eating. Right now I don’t have the energy to do any of these. If pharmaceuticals can give me that, I’d be grateful.
CREDIT: Photo by Jessica Castro on Unsplash