Yep. This time last year, I made the choice to go (back) on anti-depressants. There are a lot of reasons why that was the correct decision at the time, and my life over the past twelve months or so has been made easier by the comforting fuzziness of dulled feelings. And at least now I know a bit more about the effects of both going back on and coming back off. The first time I gave up on the Citalopram (three or so years ago), I did not get the apparently common side effect of feeling 'electric shocks', but this time I think that's exactly what I did get. It's a bit like what you get when you've got a bad cold, where you suddenly become really aware of everything touching you, your heart leaps a bit, and you just generally need everyone and everything to lay off for a few minutes. My short-term memory has shown some remarkable lapses, as though a new train of thought is able to completely derail a previous one to the extent that the earlier does not leave an impression in my mind. I think some of that is down to my specific strategy for dealing with all those competing ideas jostling for position, which is to focus on one to the exclusion of all the others. It leads to black holes of dwelling if you're not careful, but it quietens the noise. I learned previously to step away from the black holes, and I think that's something that I will never be cured of but something I will need to be aware of for ever, that I am prone to harmful and pointless dwelling.
But there's a difference between letting my thoughts run away with me, and letting my feelings through. I don't want - and I don't think I ever wanted - the anti-depressants to stop me feeling grief and sadness, but I did use them to stop that grief becoming all-consuming. Being sad about someone dying is not a bad thing in itself, nor is being angry about the circumstances and the hypocritical things that people say after the fact. To give just one relevant example...
Last night, for a bit of light relief on the last day of the half term, I watched X2 (as in, the second X-Men film). Now, I can remember having watched it before, and I knew what was going to happen, but for whatever reason the bit at the end (SPOILER ALERT!!!) where Jean Grey 'dies' really got me. Tiredness contributes, no doubt, but this was the first time in a long time when something fairly basic in terms of storytelling did that thing: the thing that those Christmas adverts I wrote about once did. I think Jackman as Wolverine contributes as well, because he's so convincing in the role and the thing he shares with Jean Grey - they obviously have a connection - is itself equally convincing. It's impossible for them to be together in the way that he wants, and anyone even vaguely familiar with my writing will know that I have explored that in great depth and continue to do so as I finish book IV (yes, it's coming!).
So... What? I'm happy to be that person again, the one that my friend, colleague, boss, sparring partner and mentor saw in me, the one that is 'so human', to use her words. It's not comfortable or easy, but it's right for me at the moment. We'll see if that lasts through the winter...
Is it right still to be angry when someone is described posthumously as 'highly respected' when that definitely wasn't the case (for some) at the time? It certainly still hurts to think about it. For anyone reading this who knows what it means, I'm sorry if I have made you sad.
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought