Clearing the decks and hunkering down
I wrote you this note so that you wouldn’t worry and would maybe send me some more cat videos.
Since yesterday, I have been making my preparations. I have cleared my diary (it was fairly clear anyway), stocked up on cat food and easily prepared lunch things, put on some laundry, bought myself flowers, given the kitchen a quick clean, warned my friends I won’t be around and purchased some new pyjamas.
But you shouldn’t be alarmed. I’m not running away from my life, nor going on holiday. In fact, I’m not planning on going anywhere at all. Probably not for a few days. Maybe not for a few weeks. I am instead preparing myself to deal with drowsiness, nausea and forgetfulness as I start a new course of anti-depressants.
All this preparation may turn out to be completely unnecessary. When I first tried medication, almost 2 years ago, I was knocked sideways by the side effects. The school dance show I just about got through and the mentoring session I thought I could deliver, despite being unsafe to cross roads, were probably a mistake on Day 1 of new medication, but I didn’t know this until I was there. Luckily, a wise friend was able to talk me down, remind me to stay hydrated, make NO important decisions and to give myself time. She was right and after a couple of weeks of feeling like I had the flu, the fug did clear, the side effects settled down and the meds started to do their job.
I didn’t plan to go back on medication but I also didn’t plan to get sick again. I promised myself, after putting my family through a pretty crappy time, that I would never let things get that bad again and that I would be a lot less precious about seeking and accepting help if I needed it. I have been less well recently without medication and I have taken a decision, with my GP, that I think is the right one for me.
So, if you don’t hear from me for a little while or I fall asleep in the middle of a conversation, you will know why. Maybe this time I will sail through effortlessly but I’m taking some preemptive steps to take care of myself a little better anyway, because it can’t hurt.
Brussels, February 2017