Sunday, April 26, 2009

Addition to the Last Post: I Don't Want to be a Zombie

Appropriately enough, something that I forgot in the last post is that I seem to be having some cognition problems since I started the lithium. Even after the fuzziness faded, for the most part, once I got used to the meds, I still had memory problems. They weren't as bad as when I was on the effexor, but they are still there. I really can't remember names at all. I blank on movie titles and the names of actors. I'll have a word on the tip of my tongue, I can even see the object or person in my head, but I can't remember the name of it. It took me two weeks of mulling it over in the back of my mind to remember that it's the lead singer of OH FUCK I can't remember it now. So yeah, it sucks. And if I had to do this while taking a class with a good deal of memorization, like either of my art history courses, I'd be completely screwed. Guess taking any foreign language classes are out now.

But what is probably even more troubling to me is that I seem to have lost some of my ability to make connections between ideas. I keep telling people that this medicine made my IQ drop 20 points. Everyone seems to kinda laugh this off, but it is genuinely how I feel. I have a difficult time making the connections needed to understand some Newsweek articles. I keep thinking of my Rhetoric class, reading Foucault and having that light bulb moment. There's no way I could even understand Foucault now. I couldn't even read the text, much less make the needed connections. And I can't seem to get any fiction writing started. Even when I think I have an idea to start with, I can't come up with what follows. It sucks.

I once saw an interview with the author of a (non-fiction) book about the connections between bipolar disorder and genuis in creative/artistic pursuits. In laying out her case in the book, she brought up several great artists who, though undiagnosed in thier lifetimes, usually because there was no such thing as a bipolar disorder diagnosis, have reportedly displayed symptoms common to bipolar disease. She also studied several living artists with a documented history of bipolar disorder. It's interesting to wonder if what helps make one an artistic genius, or even just creative, also makes one bipolar.

Now, I'm not disgnosed as bipolar, but I am on a combination of drugs typically prescribed to bipolar people. I also don't think I'm going to create some great masterpiece. But I still wonder about the "is it worth it" question. If we had these drugs then, do you think it would have been better for Van Gogh to have his mental illness under control if it meant he never produced Starry Night or any of his other masterpieces? Do you think he'd have taken the medication if it meant he wouldn't paint? The same question could be asked about so many people now famous for their artistic endeavors. Hell, even about non-artists. Someone, maybe even the author I wrote about above, said that Winston Churchill was probably bipolar. Can you imagine how different history might have been if Churchill was on lithium, instead of just self-medicating with alcohol?

I'm not really looking for any concrete answers. I'm not going to run off to my doctor to ask for a med change. And I'm certainly not going to just stop any medication. All that said, I still would love your thoughts and opinions.

1 comment:

TyRoy said...

Hello All,

I know our humble narrator pretty well and would say that she is not a zombie. Although I understand where she has that fear. It is not happening as much as she thinks. She is very much present. And still very quick. In fact, I think it is very good to have the thoughtfulness that she does have.

I know that there is a change in the quickness of Ava’s thoughts. She definitely puts more time to put together her thoughts now as in contrast to when I met her a little over a year ago. She makes comments about not making connections or making fewer connections. I don’t see that myself.

And I would definitely say she puts more thought into what she says. Like she would start quicker before but now, she is kind of “slow out of the blocks”. The thing is, she is still plenty fast and “runs through the tape” with the best of the them.

I think it frustrates her a lot. But it is all still there. It is just a different way it is presented to the world. But I am sure the frustration comes in that she is doing a whole different way of thinking.

She is still quick with the quips though. That hasn’t stopped. But I think it is the bigger issues that she thinks more about. At least, to me, she comments after more time has passed. This is hard to explain without an example. Like, she doesn’t start to comment until 30 seconds into a commercial break when before it would start ten seconds in. Anyone would notice that type of change. But I don’t notice that she is any less insightful. She still comes up with multiple angles, none of which occurred to me.

As far as the sex stuff, I am mostly the benefactor of that. And I enjoy every minute of it. Even being the aggressor. I have likened myself the porn star Rocco Siffredi in that I am not dominant [in a traditional BDSM sense] but aggressive.

She always was dressed sexy. And makes an effort to wear things that will please me specifically not just general sexiness. I think she believes I don’t notice because I don’t comment. Or my comments aren’t overwhelming. There are more in the vein of, “That’s nice.” And I cut right to the hanky panky. I do appreciate the sexy little things she wears. I do appreciate the effort. But really, I just want to take them off and get down the hanky panky. She is good at the hanky panky too which spurs me on. Plus, I have zero patience. I am definitely focused quantity on sexual encounters. My quality probably suffers as a result. But, with quantity, I have an opportunity to try again.

I am not sure what to say about Obsedian. Probably shouldn’t say anything since I have never met her. But, I am more than willing to offer my services and yes my body if needed to crack the code on this one. It is tough job but I will sign up for it and do the best I can. Someone has to make that sacrifice.

I know that our humble narrator worries a lot about her shaking. I do notice it. But more than anything, I notice it because I knew her before it got to this stage. Moreover, I know how it makes her feel. And I am worried about her. I worried that she is worried. It is vicious because neither of us can really do anything but be calm about it. That is just easier said than done though.

I worry about our humble narrator and in the end, I think that will be the thing that oddly keeps us apart. Because I want to be there and surround her in pillows like she is an egg. And oppose my will on her like a dictator. And not being able to do either, I would rather stay in the background. But I don’t know how much good that is really doing either of us at this point.

I will take what I can get though. And try and be a good friend to our humble narrator. I hope that she continues to realize how special she truly is.

Homeboys make some noise,

TyRoy Washington