Sep 20, 2012

The Best Intentions

One of my friends, a kind-hearted school teacher, was speaking highly of a book he had just read about homosexuality. A devout Christian married to a lovely woman, he wanted to share what he'd read with people who were "struggling with their sexuality." The book was written by a pastor and was essentially telling people they could become heterosexual through will and faith. It claimed to show the way to "recovery" in an "authoritative" and "academic" way, with stories of people he knew personally.

I was appalled.

Both my friend and this author were completely sincere. They knew and loved people who "struggle with temptation." I wonder, though, if I should put "love" in quotes -- I understand that they are concerned for the souls of their gay brothers and sisters, but it seems to me that real love doesn't involve wanting to change a person. I think about drunkards and the people who love them wanting them to get sober. For some reason that idea makes sense to me. But to insist a homosexual person be able to "cure" themselves of their "sin" seems so wrong and I couldn't and still can't quite articulate why to my friend.

He's a good person -- the first to offer to help and the last to leave when the work is done. I can't find fault in him, and could hardly believe he was even looking into this sort of material. He was genuinely concerned about his homosexual friends and wanted to find a way to fit their lifestyles into his belief system.

I can't be mad... but I just can't understand.

Sep 9, 2012


Took my happy pills early, along with an Advil. Still felt like shit for a while til the drugs kicked in, but I reached out to some friends to keep me distracted.

I've been listening to the Radiolab podcast all day (okay, more like for several months now) but it was hard to focus, so I switched to The Mental Illness Happy Hour: a podcast that, as host Paul Gilmartin puts it, is "an hour of honesty about the battles in our heads. From medically diagnosed conditions to everyday compulsive negative thinking -- feelings of dissatisfaction, disconnection, and that vague, sinking feeling that the world is passing us by." The best part is that it doesn't pretend to be treatment or anything -- he used to say "I'm a jackass that tells dick jokes." So it doesn't set me up to have expectations of "fixing" my situation and makes me laugh too.

"You are not alone," is the overall message of the show, and it is incredibly comforting. It helped me get out of my head and kept me from feeling sorry for myself, which is really what I need when I'm falling apart and feel like I'm losing my mind.

I'll probably sleep soon. Hopefully peacefully this time.

Happy Pills

I am on two different antidepressants. I have been on drugs like these since I was eleven years old.

Last night, I forgot to take my pills. I had a nightmare in which a man was trying to kill me. Normally I wake up during these fairly quickly, but a side effect of being on SSRIs (or any drug, really) for an extended period of time is your body's dependence on them. Withdrawals are a horrible experience. I sleep well while on my medication but even a single night without them, I am vulnerable to the side effects -- poor quality of sleep, intensely vivid nightmares, extreme difficulty waking and a powerful grogginess that the brain struggles to recover from.

My dear cat luckily saved me by shoving his nose into my face repeatedly, because only physical movement can cause me to stir when my brain is lacking serotonin (in addition to mood, it also regulates appetite and sleep). But when I finally got out of bed at 3 in the afternoon, I recognized that it was too late to take my missed dosage without ruining my routine -- I normally take it at about 11 in the evening. So I decided I would wait it out a few more hours til it made more sense to take it again.

While I have been able to tolerate the migraine I've had all day, I feel physically weak. I forced myself to eat a sandwich and have a glass of green tea. It tasted like nothing. I spent some time surfing the internet but my headaches cut it short. I called my mom and focused on normal things. I cleaned a little. I even tried to exercise, but with my lack of any real calorie intake today, I literally collapsed.

It is currently 7 at night and I am lying on the floor, clutching a pillow to my chest. Light makes my head hurt more so it is dark in my entire apartment. I am crying and trembling. I am scared because I hurt so bad all over. It is unbearable. I am even more afraid of the realization that this is, and will be, the rest of my life. I need those stupid pills or I am reduced to this feeble little body on a dirty carpet, choking on her own stupid tears.

God, help me.