Chemical Chaos

I tried to sleep again.  I hate PTSD.  The name doesn’t really cover it.  It should be called “Trying To Function While Existing In Your Own Private Hell”.  I’m so tired.  Nightmares are kicking my ass.  I’m afraid to try sleeping again.  I hate that I am so vulnerable when I’m asleep.  I can face down my fears when I’m awake, but while sleeping, I have no control.  I’m going to design an experiment.  I want to figure out how to control my mind when it’s asleep enough that I can redirect my dreams away from nightmares.  I’ll think on how to accomplish this.  Ironically, if I could sleep on it, I’d have a better chance at figuring out a solution.

I’m going to lower my dose of Prozac.  My next appointment is in December, so I’ll inform my psychiatrist of this change then.  He trusts me to suggest the proper dosage based on how I’m functioning.  It was my idea to increase it by 10 mg.  It worked really well for a few months.  The risky thing when increasing it to this level is how it effects me.  It’s truly bizarre.  If I stay with 20 mg’s I do fairly well, but it requires me to rigidly stick to a low carb diet, exercise daily, and avoid viewing anything with suspense.  While that sounds like a cinch, one migraine headache can completely derail me.  If I miss one day of exercise, or if I forget to eat, or lose too much sleep to nightmares, my chemical balance gets thrown off kilter.  It’s very noticeable to me.  It directly effects my ability to fend off the Depression Monster.

Switching to 30 mg gives me some leeway.  I can skip a run, or a meal.  I can go for a few days on very little sleep, and still manage to keep the Depression Monster at bay.  The risk, is that at 30 mg, suicidal ideation becomes a concern.  It’s wickedly strange.  It’s like my brain chemistry becomes too steady, which makes it far more vulnerable to the slightest onslaught of stress.  I’m always a bit back, observing while these changes take place.  I can’t seem to become inured to the process.  It blows my mind every single time.  I can barely comprehend what my brain chemistry is doing when I encounter the Depression Monster while on the 30 mg dosage for more than a month or two.  It’s illogical and surreal.

I think I tried the higher dose again because part of me was unwilling to believe such a small change in dosage could be fatal.  It’s hard to accept that being on the higher dose is like being suicidal without feeling it.  Without the pain and despair.  Until suddenly, one seemingly minor stressor rips away the mask and races me to the edge of the cliff.  It happens so quickly it frightens me.  I catch myself seriously contemplating suicide.  Formulating a plan in my mind with an odd sense of urgency.  Then when it passes, it’s obvious to me that my thoughts and plans were ridiculous.  It’s scary.

It’s not like feeling as if I’ve lost control.  It feels like I’m being rational, and making logical choices. That’s what scares me the most.  The inability to recognize the fact that my thoughts are betraying the shit out of me in real time.  The knowledge that a chemical reaction in my brain can so easily lead to my untimely death.  I’ve figured out how to prevent this from happening.  That was easy.  I simply never allow myself to act on any life changing decisions for 48 hours.  Logic saves me from tainted logic.

It bothered me a lot at first when I realized how much of ‘me’ is due to the chemical mixture in my brain.  Now I’ve accepted it.  After having surgery in the past, I noticed my tastes in food changed immediately afterward.  A permanent change.  It’s fascinating to me.  Whenever I’m put under anesthesia, when I recover, I try foods I previously rejected, and have found that I’ve liked some.  I hated any kind of melon all my life.  After surgery, I love it.  Especially watermelon.  I have to wonder what other traits are so easily altered by undergoing the administration of powerful chemicals.  I won’t be doing any experiments to find out, but I’m still curious.  Once I’ve been on the lower dosage for about a month or so, things will return to normal for me.

I do better in the winter.  I suspect it’s because allergens are less prevalent.  I also like the cold.  I’m always hot, so it’s nice to get relief.  It’s 36F right now, and windy.  I have a window cracked and am wearing pajamas and it feels great.  If only I could sleep.


2 thoughts on “Chemical Chaos

  • Look up lucid dreaming. I recently read an article that you need to exhaust yourself and lay down, relax but keep your mind awake. Your body will fall asleep and you can control your dreams. I’ve done this plenty of times but I didn’t realize what it was. Now that I try to sometimes, its more challenging. Good luck!

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