Thursday, April 27, 2006

There's Got To Be a Morning After

So after running manic for several days, it was inevitable that I would plunge into a depression, even though I'm back on my meds and taking them faithfully every day. At least the Prozac is keeping me from the weepy despairing kind of depression... instead, I am just a little droopy-feeling, I'm tired all the time yet don't sleep very well, and the occasional suicidal ideation pops into my head. No big deal.

Still, it's making me wonder what to do next. I mean, the not-sleeping thing has been going on for a while now, and it's wearing me out. I'm strongly considering the Depakote that my doctor prescribed for me along with the Prozac. It was only in case the Prozac made me manic, which it didn't at first; does not sleeping qualify as manic enough to start taking the Depakote? The first thing it's supposed to do is knock me out at night; but what if it also makes my moods flatline into blah grey dullness? I'm leery about starting it.

Especially the side-effects. If I start taking the Depakote, I have to go have a liver screening after the first three weeks to make sure it's not poisoning me. And then there're the threats of weight-gain, hair-loss, and sexual dysfunction. I've already gained twenty pounds since I've been on Prozac, and am counting my blessings that the sexual side-effects have been negligible; might I gain another twenty pounds, and might the Depakote wilt my bone where the Prozac failed? And then to have to deal with hair-loss on top of twenty pounds and a limp dick? I don't know if I'm down with that.

But one way or another, the sleep issue has to be addressed. I'm considering going the prescription route and looking into Lunesta or one of those things to ensure my sleep. I've been taking Tylenol PM for the last month or so, and it works fairly well, though I worry about the addiction factor. I don't take it every night, only on "schoolnights" when it's absolutely essential that I get my eight hours; but on the nights I don't take it, I don't go to sleep for hours and hours after I get in bed. Melatonin is no longer enough, it helps me get to sleep but doesn't help me stay asleep... I always wake up three or four time in the night. And no sleep-aids at all has simply become a torture.

Last night is a good example: I ran out of Tylenol PM last week, and since I keep forgetting to get more until it's time to go to bed, I have had to do without it; so now I'm averaging about five or six hours of sleep a night, none of which are terribly deep; by last night I was so sleepy I could barely eat my dinner, so sleepy I couldn't even watch television; I went to bed before nine, and was so sleepy I couldn't even focus on the words in a book; so I turned off the light, lay on my side, and stared into the darkness... for three and a half hours, my mind running around in circles (though very slowly), my limbs aching whenever I lay in one position for more than a few minutes, and my teeth clenching up and biting my tongue.

As you can imagine, five or six hours of sleep, three or four nights in a row, is not quite enough for me to bring my "best" to work with me... I've been sitting here the last couple of days hardly doing anything at all, my workload cut down to a level that actually embarrasses me, as I simply stare off into space for minutes at a time. It's very sad, and rather irritating too.

Especially now that the job is starting to get a trifle boring. I mean, you can only do so much data entry before the little names and numbers start swimming together. You can only look at so many manila folders before you develop a serious aversion to the color and texture of them and want to start shredding them and setting them on fire.

Ah, well... like I always say, it could be worse. It has been worse. Just read down a ways and you'll see.


So, let's see, what else have I been up to? I did a drag show this past weekend, and rather enjoyed it. Actually, I did two drag shows, about a block apart from each-other. But though I enjoyed performing again, and though I really relished the positive feedback I got while I was in drag (Oh, Marlene, we love you... you're my favorite performer... etc.), it was a lot more effort than I had expected.

I mean, first of all was trying to find dresses that would fit. I mean, I've gained almost twenty pounds since the last time I was in drag, last September, and most of that is on my torso. I had a few undefined things, what I always called my "fat dresses," things I could throw on easily without cinching my corset too tight; there were enough that I was able to put together three outfits in a black and silver color range; and so I picked out some music, packed up my bags, and was ready to go.

But come the show, all sorts of unexpected problems turned up. For example, though I knew I wouldn't be able to get into my smallest corset anymore and was glad that I had a larger one at hand that I'd bought by mistake last year, it never occurred to me that I wouldn't be able to get into any of my bras anymore. I simply no longer wear a 38, and cannot get into a 38 anymore, not even with a crowbar. Fortunately the corset I did have was high enough that I could attach my boob-pads to it instead of wearing the bra, but I was quite taken aback by the oversight.

It also took me over an hour to put my face on, when it used to only take me twenty or thirty minutes... I had sort of forgotten how to do everything; though it's like riding a bike and you never really forget, you still get rusty, and I had to go very slowly to make sure I did it right. And then I used the wrong rouge for contouring and had to do a hell of a lot of blending to make it look more natural.

Then of course there were people everywhere. I was kind of braced for it, I kept myself calm and didn't let myself get worked up by the energy around me; but I still got a little (what's the word) demophobic every now and then and had to close my eyes and take deep breaths.

Still, despite the discomfort and strangeness, I did enjoy myself immensely, getting to spend time with friends I haven't seen in months and months, and getting out into the public eye again. Of course, that was just the first show, the Living Sober Spring Fling... as you'll no doubt remember, I had committed to two shows that night. So after packing up my goods and chattels, I schlepped on down to Harvey's for Cookie Dough's Monster Show.

Though the show was a great one, I simply did not enjoy myself. I was able to see friends I haven't seen in a long time, but I wasn't able to spend time with Cookie because she was busy with the show, and I couldn't spend time with anyone else because I simply could not stay inside that bar... it was hot and airless, but most importantly it was jam-packed with people, many of whom were noisy and a bit rowdy with drink. I spent almost the entire time there sitting at the door with the doorman; and though I could see the show from where I was, and could judge its high quality, I was too distracted by sucking in fresh air and wishing I could go home.

Feeling a bit ashamed of myself, I left the minute my performance was over... I got out of drag as fast as I could, very rudely left the bar without saying goodbye to anyone, and went back to my car as fast as my tired old legs would carry me. I felt horribly guilty for bailing like that, but there was nothing else I could do... the phobia had got under my skin and I had to be alone.

Well, I wasn't entirely alone. I went out and got some food with Shiloh after putting my luggage in the car and reparking in a more convenient spot, and happily got all caught up with him on our various doings. But I still would have rather been alone, or better yet alone with Shiloh and no restaurant full of people. They were all getting on my nerves something fierce... so much that I did something I almost never do, I faced the wall when we sat down so I didn't have to see the people.

I wonder how much of this demophobia is new, and how much of it I had simply talked myself out of in the past. Is it a side-effect of the Prozac, or is it something that just gets stronger with age? I don't know, but I'm getting where I just can't be around very many people for very long at a time. If this doesn't let up, I am going to have to start planning my outings more carefully so I have some downtime in which to recover in between populous events.

And I'd really rather not... planning is not my forte, you know.


So anyway, that's what's going on in my life these days. How's with you?

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