The Bad News First:
The last few weeks my emotions have bounced about like an eternal game of table tennis. Trying to sit still, breathe steadily and not scream or curl up in a ball and commence bawling like a smacked newborn was a struggle. What's worse has been that none of these ping-ponging emotions have had anything to do with something concrete that I could pinpoint. Instead, they were due to reluctant withdrawal from the drug Cymbalta. I hadn't meant to quit – was actually quite pleased with what it was doing for me. Due to my caseworker's lax attitude toward renewing my medical benefits (when I talk to her, she tells me she's been “swamped”) and my mousy inability to respond as anything other than polite and understanding, I have been off my antidepressants for over two weeks. Much of the time was spent feeling irritable, sobbing at ungodly hours (much to the chagrin of my sleeping cat) or trying to hold onto my head as a result of what the forums call “brain zaps.” This is basically feeling like you're in motion while stationary. I seem to have finally made it out the other side of these symptoms, but now I'm not so sure I want to return to Cymbalta even if I do get my medical card (I say “if” because my caseworker is truly useless, I'm sick of DHS and I'm starting to wonder if taking chances with my health would be the better bet). Cymbalta withdrawal was the worst I've ever experienced and I have to admit, it frightened me.
The Good News:
I'm happy to report that lately I have been going out more, discovering new places. Back in August, my 19 year old nephew, J.D, Kathy and I got to check out Subterranean for a small local show featuring The Record Low, Fake Fictions and Flatbear. That night out set off this restless urge in me, a longing for a time when I was getting out more, seeing Chicago and feeling alive, on fire, my stomach full of electric eels. I think hipster joints get a bad rep but I love them – they're so unlike anything that would sprout up in my hometown. I don't miss much about my former roommate but I do miss how, when we were still friends, we did a lot of exploring the city on foot. I saw so much and damn, my calves never looked better.
Since Subterranean and my nephew's visit, there have been craft fairs (and stumbling upon Alliance Bakery, which I'd only heard of before), Rainbo Club farewell parties, writing group meetings at The Common Cup and Pressure Billiards, a training session at New Wave Coffee in Logan Square. The more I discover places I like, the more I want to find more. Thus, I am declaring October my month of fresh, brand-new experiences and discoveries (and here's to hoping that it won't end when the month's over). This may seem a little unwise as my gainful employment has been not-so-gainful lately, my hours and wages have taken a nosedive, but I have faith in my ability to work around this.
This begins tomorrow – 100% for sure and even if it kills me (which it surely won't!). I am getting myself out of bed to head to the thriftstore. Later in the day, if all goes according to plan I will be donning cotton candy pink streaks in my hair. And next weekend, I am going to be sure to wake up bright and early each day to visit the gym again. The fact that I've had this membership since July and have only been once is just insane. This month, there is also the Chicago Book Festival – which I hope to get to some of the events of – and as part of that, I will be seeing Sister Spit for the third time (but the first with Kathy alongside).
I just want to wipe out my gray weather, Cymbalta withdrawn moodiness with a fresh start. There are so many things I have always wanted to do that I've always been to scared to pursue – this is my attempt to move toward it. Next up, maybe I'll tackle my fear of cars as I've had this sudden, strange urge to drive. Maybe voice lessons – something I've always thought about and that's been reinforced by my obsession with Glee. And then there's burlesque performance – something I definitely plan to take a class in soon.
All this seems to mean something, seems to point to something I need desperately and that somehow, I have to find a way to get: we can either do this the easy way or the hard way, Louise!
In other news, I spent over four hours writing today - reviews and personal narrative and then, this blog. I have to try not to worry about who is going to want to read what I have to say, where could I publish a piece- all the things that leave me anxious and feeling like a failure. Just get the writing done.