Mourning The Weekend

I’m in a strange mood tonight.  I guess I first noticed it after watching the season one finale of The Newsroom.  It took me awhile to put my finger on it.  I wandered around, sat on the couch, went out to smoke, and did it all with this contemplative air of introspection, but I wasn’t so much reflecting as just wondering what the hell this mood was.  I’m not sad, anxious, happy, angry, brooding or horny, so what was it?  And what the hell did it have to do with The Newsroom?

As I sit here at almost one in the morning writing this, I think I may have figured it out or, at least found a few pieces to the puzzle.  It’s a weird, disjointed ride so try to follow this but it all has to do with the weekend.

My weekend, like most people’s, just ended and tomorrow morning I’m back to work.  I sleep too much on the weekend because the work week, complete with ridiculous demands and impossible deadlines, sucks the life out of me.  Sleeping that much cuts my waking weekend hours down and I don’t accomplish the long list of things I plan for the weekend.

All week I dream that my weekend will be when I’ll finally get to work on the artistic projects I dreamed of during the week.  The Newsroom was about people who bucked commercialism in journalism to focus on real news.  I’m not a journalist but I do make TV and tomorrow I’m back at it again and it’s pure commercialism.  I want to buck the system but I can’t, I have bills to pay and kids to raise, so I save my art for the weekends even though I know it doesn’t work that way.  I have family and need to spend time with my kids and there’s housework and repairs and besides, I sleep too much on the weekends and so the art doesn’t get done.  Now the weekend is over and for five more days, so am I.

None of this is new, I go through this every week.  The only thing that makes this weekend different or special is that this weekend I skipped my twenty year high school reunion.  I don’t regret that but it does make you think about your life whether you go or not.  During the week I practice my craft but not my art and so I’m not who I hoped to be.  On the weekend I get to reflect on that and I think that if I could only make my art I’d be happy.

I’ve learned over the years that art alone doesn’t make me happy.  Nor does family, friends, sex, mindless entertainment, or lofty intellectual pursuits.  Happy for me comes a bit at a time, here and there, when I’m lucky.  I’m never lucky during the week so I spend it hoping I’ll get lucky on the weekend.

So what was this strange mood?  It’s mourning.  I’m mourning the weekend because that’s when I hoped I’d save myself or, at the very least, catch moments of happiness.  It’s opportunity to finally be, lost to the ether of the passing days.  It’s the end of the movie and time once again to stumble out of the theater and into the strange daylight of adult life.  It’s mourning the dream of who I never was but secretly believed I could be.  It’s midnight and I’m turning back into a pumpkin without ever having gone to the ball.  It’s the hangover, the funeral, and burial.  It’s mourning.

Or to put it all another way?  I’m sad because I have to go to work tomorrow.



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I Need My Drugs

Ok, it’s been a long time but since I’m coming around PC again I guess it’s time I dust off ye ol’ blog.

Yesterday I needed to fill my prescription for Zoloft and ya know, I called it in etc., but my assumption that their Saturday hours are the same as their Monday through Friday hours was totally wrong.  I showed up a half hour after they closed and my heart sank.  I knew what this would mean.  My last dose had been noon on Friday and it was Saturday evening.  I wasn’t experiencing withdrawal yet but to quote Trainspotting, “I don’t feel the sickness yet, but it’s in the post.”

I woke up today feeling like shit.  At first it was just the nausea but then as I moved through the first hour of my day I got the brain zaps and the remote control body thing too.  For those not in the know, brain zaps feel like quick jolts of electricity through your brain and the remote control body thing, well, it feels like you’re slightly behind and above yourself and driving your body by remote control.  As an added bonus these withdrawal symptoms also triggered high levels of anxiety and worry and I felt like I was going to cry (which I never ever do and not just because I’m a guy.  I just don’t think my tear ducts are properly hooked up).

I went straight to the pharmacy, scored my new round of pills (yes I know it’s silly to apply drug lingo to Zoloft but I’m amusing myself here so please back off), and went home to take them with a bowl of cereal (gotta eat or they give me an upset stomach).  I spent the rest of the afternoon a useless, anxious, nauseous slug.  See anxiety meds don’t just kick in like aspirin, it takes a while and for me, I was basically screwed until after a late afternoon nap.

I especially hate this kind of thing because it’s unfair to my wife.  We have kids, it’s the weekend, and here I fucked it all up with my crazy pills (or lack of crazy pills, in this case).  To her credit she was very patient, she didn’t say anything about my nap, and was just kinda low key about it all.  She’s normally kinda abrasive about most things so I took the silence as love and understanding.

For those of us who have been on meds for years and years, you can forget that you are on them.  They are invisible drugs, like blood pressure medicine, but man you quickly recognize their benefit once you stop taking them.  I don’t think I’ll do that again anytime soon.

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High Anxiety In Triplicate

For the past week I’ve been trapped in what can only be described as bureaucratic hell.  I had my “meeting of the creditors” this last Friday (essentially a court appearance as part of the bankruptcy process), I had to get a bunch of documents to the county for my application to get medical assistance for my son who needs dental work, I had to fax a mess load of documents to my mortgage company as I try to get homeowners assistance, and oh yeah I also had to meet with my tax guy.  I would think this would stress anyone out but for someone with my anxiety issues this has been torture.

I’m sure when a normal person thinks about checking their bank account or digging out some tax documents to fax to someone they just do it.  No big deal.  In contrast I experience absolute dread that is more than capable of preventing me from doing anything.  My saving grace has been Lorazapam (Ativan) and some half assed breathing exercises.  I do that, swallow my fear, and suffer through it.  More suffering, just what the doctor ordered.

Actually I met with my pdoc today (shorthand for psychiatrist for the uninitiated) and what she wants to do it increase my Zoloft dose.  That’s fine I’ve anticipated that and am looking forward to it.  You see I’ve been on Zoloft before and had to go up to 200mg before I got real benefit so I knew 100mg wasn’t going to cut it.  Now I’ll be up to 150mg, which may show some results.

What’s funny though is she keeps saying she can’t just dose me until I feel no anxiety at all.  The implication there is that I’d be an emotionless zombie and I always chuckle and say “yeah, can’t do that.”  But honestly I’m thinking, sure you can!  Dose me to the gills!  Turn me into a drooling vegetable as that just sounds peaceful and lovely.  I know that wouldn’t be healthy but the fact that that’s my first thought speaks volumes about what it’s like to live with generalized anxiety (or whatever the hell it is that I have).

I’m going to try to do better with this blog thing.  Time is always in short supply in my life and instead of writing here I’ve been going on the Psych Central message board and while that’s fine, it can be a time sinkhole that leaves no time for this.

Ah well, tomorrow is another day, like it or not.

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I Wanna Be Sedated

I’m lying in bed next to my wife and one year old and I can’t sleep.  This is horribly ironic as last night I was unable to take my Trazadone setting me up to wake over and over again, each time noting the dwindling hours and minutes I had before I had to get up for work.  Without that sleeping pill both my mind and body tensed and contorted until finally I had to give up on sleep and start the day.

The morning was typical for me: anxiety, worry, and pressures of the impending day looming over me until I threw up.  For the past four or five days my mood got better as the day went on but running without sleep today I couldn’t pull out of it as easily.  My head swam and swooned until I was dizzy.  Aches and pains brought about numerous worries about my health and particularly my undying fear of dying from lung cancer (my chest felt tight and irritated all day).  I thought about taking a Lorazapam to break the anxiety but I was so tired and those pills make me drowsy, I just couldn’t risk it at work.  I had to drag myself through to the end of the day.

When I got home I had to crash.  I felt bad, falling asleep at 6:30 as my wife dealt with the kids, but I was so exhausted I was shaking.  I crawled into the soft warm reprieve of my bed and was out like a light.

I woke up at 9pm.  I helped get the kids to bed and planned on going back to bed myself.  I popped two Trazadone and logged onto Psych Central and expected the pills to knock me out.  They haven’t.  I’m awake, saddened by my own consciousness, lying in bed next to my wife and one year old son while mulling over the bitter irony.

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Morning Sickness

For the past three days I’ve been doing pretty well.  By noon I’m relatively stress free (as stress free as I get anyway) and I’m able to deal with things like bills and the mortgage company.  I didn’t even spend my weekend fighting off emotional crisis and instead was enjoying my children by the early afternoon.  It’s almost like life is coming back to me and maybe it is somewhat.  It’s just too bad that it’s not the whole story.  It’s too bad that I wake up every morning in agony.

At first there are no particular thoughts, just the faint awareness of who and where I am and that I have to get up.  Moment by moment I become aware of the sensation of a body that’s tense and twisted.  I start to feel the chill of worry curled up my spine and I can hear my heart beating against my compressed lungs.

I’m up!  I start to get dressed and I pull on articles of clothing like worries for the day.  Pants are the things I have to do at work.  My shirt is the uncertainty of where we’re going to live should the probable outcome of losing our house come to fruition.  Each sock is a money worry and my glasses are the sudden ability to see everything that’s currently wrong in my life.

I try not to think about it as I get my two school aged kids out of bed.  The physical sensations keep pulling me back and as my younger son gets dressed I start to gag on a lump in my throat and I’m suddenly in the bathroom throwing up.  Lunging and undulating, my body tries to painfully purge the nothing in my gut.  Finally there’s some small relief in a half-cup of bile and a head covered in sweat.

I get the kids to school, shower, and head to work.  I pop a Lorazapam and smoke.  I used to drink an espresso but those days are long gone.  You don’t drink concentrated caffeine when you’re emotionally hot-wired.  The commute takes an hour or more and I secretly wish someone would just institutionalize me.  Just pull me out of this life and give me peace.  I realize these thoughts are bordering on suicidal so I shake them off and turn up the radio.

At work the plan for the day is as soul crushing as a foreclosure but I’m good at what I do so I focus in.  I check in with the shooters or editors or animators I’m working with that day and we crack jokes and discuss the project of the day.  I do meetings, emails, graphics copy, shot lists, and before I know it it’s lunch.  The anxiety is a faint ache, an itching scar after painful stitches.  Outside smoking the sun feels good and food has replaced the pit in my stomach.

The rest of the day has a good shot at being pretty ok.  My muscles ache a bit but nothing upsetting.  My mind isn’t cluttered or racing, it’s organized, creative, and productive.  I’m not happy but I can spot slivers of hope piercing like rays of sunlight through the clouds.  I light a second cigarette and wonder, “so what the fuck was the problem this morning?”

I wish I knew.

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Establishing The Habit

Ok, this blog is getting away from me.  This has happened to me before.  They’re so easy to start but you have to keep coming back and actually writing in it.  Grrr, stupid blog.

The trick here is that I have to just start writing about the stupid crap happening to me day to day.  It doesn’t have to be award winning, it doesn’t have to please my one reader, it just has to get written so that I develop the habit of updating this thing.  It’s important, I think this blog could really help me…Sometime…Eventually.

So that’s what I’m going to do, write about my day…Which I’ll start tomorrow.


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Better Than Yesterday

Early blog entries are problematic.  My initial impulse is to want to share everything, supplying context to events and explanations for thoughts and actions.  Unfortunately that’s really time consuming, I’m tired, and I just want to fulfill my promise to myself that I’d write something about my day.  So here it goes.

My day largely sucked.  The one good thing I can say about it is that it didn’t suck as much as yesterday.  Yesterday I woke with horrible, gut twisting anxiety and was throwing up before I got as far as my morning shower.  Today, in contrast, I woke with gut twisting anxiety but managed to shower and get dressed before I threw up.  In both cases I went to work tied in knots and the Lorazepam I’d taken did little to help.

The other advantage today had over yesterday is that today was sunny and 30 degrees whereas yesterday there was a blizzard.  I also gave myself permission to not deal with the bankruptcy I’m going through, our attempt to refinance and subsequently stay in our house, schedule my son’s dentist appointment, or deal with any bills (I tortured myself with that stuff yesterday).  All of that stuff I decided early on would be tabled until tomorrow.

Tomorrow is going to suck.

As each day wore on the anxiety was masked a bit by the pressures of my job and the demands of my family.  I never seem to feel ok or good but I have come to appreciate the benefits of being stupid busy and subsequently distracted.  That this is my only escape makes me fear the weekend as those have been particularly bad lately but who knows, if I get all major tasks out of the way tomorrow I might just find I have nothing to obsess over.

Here’s hoping.


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Why start this journal?

I’m starting this blog to serve one simple purpose, a place to talk about what I’m going through on a daily basis.  I can’t do this on my real life blog (yes, I have one) because the things I go through and the things I need to share would just worry my friends and family.  Nope, this blog exists specifically because you don’t know who I am and people who know who I am don’t know Cyran0.

I hope someone out there reads this blog, maybe gets something out of it.  Either way, I’m hoping it helps get me through and helps me hang on.


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