What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know
Goes away in the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt
Written by Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails)
and covered by Johnny Cash
Recently, I’ve experienced a lot of loss. Less recently, I’ve experienced a lot of loss. And I will continue to experience a lot of loss. The difference between drowning in grief (I keep trying to convince myself) and short-lived sadness, is that loss is a part of change and if I look hard enough, I can see the beauty in my loss and in change.
My 2 best friends from my school days now live across the globe, one of which only moved to London a couple of months ago. I realise that in the year prior to M’s physical departure from my current life, I could have been a better friend; I hardly saw or spoke to M in that year. I mourn the lost time with M in that year now that M is in London. I mourn the time that I currently don’t have with M. But I know that M is where they need to be and appreciate that M has far more courage to face change and to step outside of their comfort zone than I do. Mourning seems to me to be a selfish emotion, which is not necessarily a negative. There will always be loss in life and now I know the importance of cherishing my connections and the importance that I nurture these people: my family.
I just realised that I’m scared. I thought that that it was just normal anxiety, but the root of it is fear; the fear of taking away my safety net.
Today I started to gradually lower my dosage of the antidepressant medication that I have been taking for the past 2 years. It is the only medication that has worked; I have only taken 2 types. This transition will take 3 weeks: 1 week to gradually wean off the current meds to no meds, and 2 weeks to gradually get to my estimated new dosage of the new meds.
I have been feeling really anxious for the past month. I have been very busy with work, commitments to a men’s workshop that is now over, and also lots of assessments due for the end of term for the course that I’m studying. I had a lot on my plate (I study full time), and my psychiatrist and I have been planning this change since 2 months ago. But I submitted my last assessment this morning and I’m still feeling really anxious. My jaw is constantly clenched, the point in the middle of my brow tense. I think my tongue has been clenched too; it is now. My body feels weak and my appetite has disappeared over the last couple weeks. I hardly eat and sleep is scattered and poor.
Cognitively I am okay with changing my meds. I made the decision because I was frustrated with the side effects of the current meds that I’m on. The new meds belong to a different family of antidepressants, so I expect the side effects to be different. I don’t know if it will be better, but I don’t know until I try. Side effects affect each person differently. But I couldn’t keep going on the same meds wanting a different result. I think that I was even optimistic and hopeful about the new meds. But now I’m just scared.
Joel Robinson Photography
This post has been itching to get out of me, but I would never be in the right mind to write it. The moment when this idea hatched has passed, now only, a light glowing through the fog.
Self-love can be a skill forgotten. The ever growing things that should be, filling the basket on my back, heavier, slower. Too often though, after I push and huff, make my basket lighter, I lament how heavy the basket still is.
I try to celebrate these victories. These sometimes very small victories. Yay! I folded the laundry! I emptied the dishwasher! And on my darker days, I will celebrate that I got out of bed. I don’t do a little jig, I don’t have the energy, but I look at my achievement through a microscope to see the strength I have. The more good things that I see through this lens, I can convince myself that I have a lot, enough to nurture.
The fog around obscures my vision, but virtue glows with a dim gold light. I seek out these small gold seeds in everything that I do. Collecting one in every meal that I don’t feel like eating. Every little damned thing I do. The basket on my back is still the same size, the things that should be still fill it. Golden seeds grow within me, my basket seems lighter than before.