Medicated

I felt guilty for years for not repaying Jennifer, but slowly she slipped from my mind.

She never sent me invoices or requested money. I wonder where she is and why she kept seeing me. I arrived in NYC on way too much medication. I was taking 450mg of Wellbutrin (the max dose) and 30 mg of Adderall. This left me spinning around the city, propelled down the streets and avenues by an anxious force that sped through my heart and mind. At the time I was still drinking, so the booze helped. The hangovers slowed everything down while the meds pulled me from the mental and physical sludge. But when I quit drinking six months later I’d worked myself into a semi-breakdown. I had what was maybe a panic attack, although it didn’t feel that dramatic, it was more like an acute downward spiral that left me feeling like I was swimming in cement. I called into work at the cafe — I was supposed to work the evening wine bar shift that night. The idea of smiling and talking to the regulars, of being shiny and social left me paralyzed. I talked Reese, my roommate, into calling Calvin, my boss at the time, and telling him I was sick…that I was having some kind of meltdown and couldn’t come in. I remember crying in the shower and deciding there, in that bathtub in our apartment on East 11th Street, that I would quit drinking. That, that would stop my mind from racing and give me direction. That was fall of 2005.

I was in a very dark place when she put me on it — suicidal ideations — deep, thick greyness.

But life with Effexor was no better, just less memorable and when I finally sucked it up and found my fourth psychiatrist in Denver, she weaned me off of it as slowly as possible, but I still experienced the debilitating side effect of sensations of electrical pulses shooting through my veins and sometimes even my brain as my body withdrew from the medication. It was torture and left me feeling deeply hurt and resentful of the medical system in our country.

Living and writing in Guam. Professional Tarot Reader. www.melaniesalchemy.com

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