Archive for April, 2009

April 30, 2009

taking stock of things

I’ve been incredibly tired lately. It is taking effort to write a simple paragraph, either on the computer or by pen. But for the sake of recording events and clear my mind about this, I write.

Today, I took the Beck Depression Inventory. My doctor gave me the set of questions because she knew how hard it is to read me from the exterior.  In the past when I’ve had to take this 21-question depression questionnaire, each question topic weighed on me as if the categories knew what was going on inside me. Everytime I’ve taken this test the score came in the range indicated as having severe depression. This time was different. As I read each set of statements, I just didn’t relate to them. I hadn’t realized just how much really had changed since January, but I immediately recognized that the score was going to be completely different from every other time.

And it was. Dr. A told me that the score was incredibly close to what ‘they’ called reaching remission. She and I are working on addressing the fatigue and the really bad mood dips at night through medication tweaking and adding some night-time stuff to do (e.g. less being alone for an extended period at night. I guess watching hours of ‘In Treatment’ or political TV by myself isn’t very good for the soul). We’ll see what happens in the next week.

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April 28, 2009

my first 100 days

Yes, President Obama marks his first 100 days since the inauguration tomorrow, but today marks my 100 days since the very first ECT. (The Inauguration date has made it a very convenient little tracker since the first ‘little spark’ was a day before his swearing-in.)

On this occasion, I don’t have much to say at the moment. Maybe I’ll have something insightful to say by the time night comes around. But here’s how I chose to view this moment as I thought about it last night.

Life has to go on. In the grand scheme of things, the ECT treatments took only five weeks out of well over a thousand weeks of my life. Despite this time, or because of it, life goes on. And well, life has gone on.

April 26, 2009

Cutting on the room floor

One thing about having depression or bipolar disorder is that you end up doing something you thought you would never ever do. I’d hear stories about people cutting themselves, and I once would just think that I would never be able to do that to myself, even when the depression got worse.

I’ve cut myself several times.

When you first slice into your own flesh, the blood doesn’t pour out like one might suspect. Instead, the straight line you dragged into the cream-colored skin looks more like perfect ruby beads, jewels perhaps. Maybe I never cut in too deep. I don’t know. I sliced these perfectly parallel lines, first forming them on my wrist, then moving on to my ankles. I had already numbed myself with Ambien, but I can still recall many of the details. In fact, I have mementos from those moments.

I took photographs.

cutI captured the images of these beautiful red lines like if they were some work of art. A piece of art I created, only that hours later, you are too scared and ashamed to show anyone else or to yourself that creation. Those red pearls no longer look like art; it just looks like what it is: self-mutilation.

All it took was a simple craft knife and a woman’s razor, one that’s used to trim your eyebrows. How cruel it is that the tool marketed to make you beautiful is being used for something so ugly.

These red, red beads are all strung up with this beautiful red thread. Eventually, the beads mesh together and turn in to a bloody mess. And then come the physical pain. Maybe it’s just amusing to watch at first. That actual pain doesn’t register until the beads disappear.

You’re now all cut up, and you scramble to find a bandage that will cover the entire area that you’ve cut. Unless you’ve done this once before, you don’t own bandages that big. Actually, you can never own a bandage big enough to patch up the reason that led you to cut in the first place. The blood just runs, smears, drips, so you attempt to keep that liquid off the carpet.  There is no glamour. It’s horrible.

I never thought I could ever cut into myself.

April 24, 2009

Repligen licenses patent rights for bipolar disorder drug from McLean Hospital – Regulatory Affairs : News

Repligen licenses patent rights for bipolar disorder drug from McLean Hospital – Regulatory Affairs : News

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April 23, 2009

gratitude for ‘This (Asian-)American Life’

I usually work on the weekends at my retail/gift wrapping job, so I catch a glimpse of several of my favorite shows on public radio on the way or after work. It makes me excited to get in the car to listen to the end of  ‘Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me’ just before I have to go into the store, or when my shift ends at a certain time, it’s a nice treat to have “Car Talk” on the radio as I drive home. I confess that I have a 6-CD set of “Prairie Home Companion” for when it used to take 5 hours to get to my hometown. Sometimes, I sit in my car for an extra few minutes just to hear the buttermilk biscuits jingle or another news from Lake Woebegone.

One of the weekend shows that I am sometimes fortunate to catch on the way from work is “This American Life” with Ira Glass. It’s like a listen-only documentary (Apparently, they now have a TV version on Showtime, but I’ve never seen it). The stories have an uncanny way of capturing the essence of everyday America, and often times opening my eyes to think about issues in a way I never have before. So, when I heard that they were doing this one-night “live” show at the movie theater, I asked two of my college friends, who also happen to be married to each other, if they, one, knew of “This American Life,” and two, whether they had any interest in going to see this show. They instead made it an occasion to celebrate my birthday and took me out to dinner before the show as well.

It was a really wonderful night with friends, food, a radio show on film, and even a pint of gelato during the show. (Btw, they are showing this again in the theaters sometime in May and also on radio.)  As “This American Life” always does for me, it made me rethink and re-evaluate. Maybe it’s that deadpan yet charming voice of Ira Glass, but the show ultimately always make me appreciate parts of my own American life.

And that’s what happened. Tonight, what I found was gratitude for these friends.

It’s not that I didn’t have gratitude for my friendships with them before. But I think I have not properly honored that gift of friendship. I don’t even think I deserve to have their friendship with the way I’ve treated it in the course of nearly ten years I’ve known each of them. In fact, I’m surprised they are still willing to be in contact with me. However, they are the few that stuck it out with me with my ups, downs, and down-right shut-outs, and have always been there for me.

I re-learned just how important friendships are. I think one of the crucial parts of post-ECT care is the TLC around you. They have lifted me up and reminded me that good things about life don’t just exist in what’s within you; good things often come from those who surround you.

April 23, 2009

The first attempt

I didn’t think I would be talking about this today. It’s certainly not the greatest way to kick off the morning, but I guess I’m not as uncomfortable about bringing this topic up now.

My thursday morning starts with an hour-long visit to Dr. A. She has been my Dr. Melfi for almost six years now. We talked mostly about the events and thoughts that happened over the last week, much of which are already committed to this journal. She wrote me some refill prescriptions at some point.  Near the end, we began to discuss my parents (lots to say, but always hard to write out, something I’ll do when I feel like it). In this discussion, we talked about my father’s CEA numbers (the tumor marker) that are coming up quite high. Though my mother had hinted at this result a few months ago, I haven’t been told yet exactly why that may be or if my father’s been checked for any cancer. The thing is that my father is a physician and my mother, a former midwife, so you’d think we would be a bit more upfront about our health conditions. Maybe it’s the culture, but I think my family’s moved beyond that cultural boundary, too.

Dr. A said she’s come to understand why I had such a hard time telling my parents anything, especially when it came to be about my health. As the time wound down, I mentioned how I will probably never tell them about my second suicide attempt simply because at this point, it just adds to their self-blame for my own illness. Then,  I began to speak for a minute about the very first suicide attempt, the one I told them about over a fax – a week after the fact.

When I bring up a story about my suicide attempt now, it is usually about the one that happened in August 2004. That attempt in 2003 hasn’t been on my mind lately, so it actually caught me by surprise.  I really don’t remember much of what happened because I was ‘caught’ in the middle of it by my college suitemates. I must have taken some pills and cannot recall making that trip to the ER. What I do remember is being told that I had to go straight from the ER to the psychiatric hospital. The stay at the hospital wasn’t very long, but I was pretty determined to not act like a ‘typical’ patient. I convinced my attending psychiatrist that I wasn’t trying to die. After the psych stay, I remember my therapist at the university counseling center telling me that she was mad at me for not telling her about how I felt. I remember that conversation making me feel like I wanted to die more than before the first attempt. It wasn’t like no one knew that I had suicidal ideations prior to the fact. For a good month, she and other therapists at the counseling center knew. To this day, I don’t think they thought I really meant it.

It’s odd to be remembering the night I “crossed the line” from just thinking about suicide to actually trying it. It’s a time I cannot take back; something in you just changes. I suppose I can write more about February 16, 2003, and the time surrounding it, but I stop here for now because I don’t need to be consumed by it for the rest of the day. In small doses, I can take this story. Maybe this is why I don’t think about this day that often.

I need to go to Target and buy conditioner.

April 22, 2009

The New Yorker: The World of “neuroenhancing” drugs

Brain Gain: The underground world of “neuroenhancing” drugs by Margaret Talbot

A young man I’ll call Alex recently graduated from Harvard. As a history major, Alex wrote about a dozen papers a semester. He also ran a student organization, for which he often worked more than forty hours a week; when he wasn’t on the job, he had classes. Weeknights were devoted to all the schoolwork that he couldn’t finish during the day, and weekend nights were spent drinking with friends and going to dance parties. “Trite as it sounds,” he told me, it seemed important to “maybe appreciate my own youth.” Since, in essence, this life was impossible, Alex began taking Adderall to make it possible. Adderall, a stimulant composed of mixed amphetamine salts, is commonly prescribed for children and adults who have been given a diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Read the rest

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Talbot was also interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air on April 20.

April 21, 2009

PMS post-ECT

This entry is about a woman’s monthly cycles.

One part of this ECT process that I thought I need to write about but hadn’t is how women’s menstrual cycles may be affected by ECT. (I guess this is a good time since I suppose how I’ve felt and acted these past seven days could probably be tied to being a woman.) I should note that I did have my period during the ECT, which I was hoping I didn’t have to deal with, but it was fine.

Basically, my cycles took an one-month break after the little sparks, as if it needed to be reset. I did get a little worried by the time second month rolled around, so I tried to research about any effects on menstrual cycles and ECT. The only scientific articles I found were all published in the 1950s, so apparently, any links between ECT and menstrual cycles are scientifically negligible. But that didn’t make me comfortable.  Sure enough, my cycle eventually came roaring back after a week-long, lovely prelude that almost made me wonder if the ECT stopped working. I was relieved to know that this part of my body still worked after the little sparks, but I did wish that the PMS part had been subdued.

In my last session, my doctor decided to up the dosage of Abilify by 1.5 mg to see if it’ll augment some of the darker thoughts I had in that past week. As the days passed (and as it became kind of obvious in the stuff I wrote), I began to feel irritable, tired and started to eat almost non stop. By the time Monday rolled around I confided to a friend that maybe it’s the damn Abilify. Today came, and most of it was wasted away on sleeping on the couch, which made me wonder even more if I shouldn’t have had that medication increase.  But then I also realized that perhaps my insane craving for chocolate –enough to start melting the hot chocolate mixes so I can eat it — has more to do with PMS than really anything else, and therefore other issues surrounding the past few days also are related to PMS.

And I’m guessing that for the most part, it did.

So now, I do have to reset my evaluation of the Abilify increase. I really, really hope that the slew of symptoms were all tied to PMS, because the days had become increasingly worse lately.  I am glad that at least I do have something to blame the weight gain from this past week, thank goodness.

April 20, 2009

“Lucky You”

…says the zipper area of my pair of jeans, a label sewn on that reads, “Lucky You.” It’s a cute little touch, though I’m not sure if it means I’m lucky to own these jeans, or if I’m just lucky.

Since the ECT, I’ve been slowly trying to plan out what exactly I’m going to do with my time. The very general plan was that I would get back into the swing of things by taking a class or find a part-time job (in addition to my current one) like freelancing.  I had applied to an unpaid internship for a nonprofit several weeks ago, not completely realizing that the resume was being handled through “Alice,”  who happens to be a staffing person at a different company (They do health care stuff…I’ll call them, oh, “Initech”). This morning I get a call from Alice asking me if I was interested in a job at her company.  Initech is currently creating new positions so that they can keep up with the new U.S. administration’s policies. She apparently thought my resume fit one of those new positions well, and I am supposed to get back to Alice when I finish looking over their web site. (It’s still not an offer, but she was quite eager to set up a meeting with Initech’s  senior vice president of corporate strategy…)

This isn’t supposed to happen in this economy! I did want a job, but I hadn’t been actively looking for one just yet. I really had just finished filling out an application to  a community college.   I had no real plans to get a fast-paced job, much less a full-time one.   It’s an potentially amazing opportunity, but I have real reservations about whether I am capable of handling a real job. This is just a really odd time to be in this position.

Upon telling a college friend this story, he wrote me the following:  ” in the wise words of me… in the biz world, you keep on going until someone else says ‘no’.. NEVER be the one that tells yourself ‘no’.”

Lucky me.


April 18, 2009

delusion of seduction?

There is a strange seductive power in the dark mood. Though one may not want to be depressed, I admit that depression has a certain draw that I wonder if my living in that mood is sometimes a choice.  Maybe I come back to it because it’s just so familiar. I don’t know how to stay simply content when I’ve never really been in that state of mind.

Before work, I ordered a planner for the year 2009.  A red Moleskine book, the color matches my large, red L-shaped couch. (although the couch isn’t red on the edges anymore since I covered up all of the scratched areas with Kerry-Edwards stickers.) Yes, I know the year’s, like, third of the way over, but it was a big step for me to finally switch from a makeshift pieces of paper to an actual calendar that’ll allow me to write down my, well, plans for the year.

I thought I felt okay all through the afternoon, but I suppose that wasn’t meant to last  for the rest of the day. It wasn’t the best thing that I chose to watch ‘House’ instead of SportsCenter during dinner (I should have stuck with ESPN; they’re starting to speak about NFL). The ‘House’ episode happened to be the one where Kutner kills himself, and watching that show undoubtedly raised questions within myself. I began to evaluate if I was glad to be alive. I honestly couldn’t answer, and that scared me. How desperately I wanted to say yes to that question, but that really would be lying.

Later that night, I picked up Simon, held him and walked to my bedroom. As he purred in my arms, I wept. I didn’t know why, and I didn’t know what I needed to do.  Droplets landed on Simon’s striped fur, while he tolerated my embrace and just purred. Maybe this isn’t depression but a genuine fear of what’s to come.

I looked at myself in the mirror. Mascara had run with the tears. This is why I rarely wear mascara, I thought to myself.

I believe I prefer being able to have some level of introspection than living without it. However, my friend asked me if my constant self-evaluation just masks the symptom of depression. I don’t know. Am I just fighting to keep a part of what I thought was me, but it really wasn’t? I’m trying to hold on to something (as in the thought process) that I know will kill me. It’s become painfully clear that what I thought was being perceptive has turned into a paralytic.  “You can’t stop being who you are because you’re afraid, right?” says Carrie Bradshaw. Well, what if you’re afraid that the extremes of who you are become detrimental to your own life? Where is that line? What’s the limit?

Need to revise this one later. Time to go to bed.

April 17, 2009

In the News: Bipolar symptoms have impact on day-to-day tasks (as if we didn’t know this already)

Saw this on PR Newswire. The study was sponsored by National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare and AstraZeneca (who, btw, makes Seroquel).

New National Online Survey Says Bipolar Depressive Symptoms Have Impact on Day-To-Day Tasks as Well as Social Activities(1)

Ninety Percent of People Being Treated for Bipolar Disorder Say They Have Difficulty with Day-To-Day Tasks Due to Depressive Symptoms (1)

WASHINGTON, April 17 /PRNewswire/ — A new national online survey of more than 2,000 people living with bipolar disorder and 500 physicians who treat patients with bipolar disorder identified that the greatest concern among people living with bipolar disorder (73%) is that their symptoms will impact daily life, such as family, relationships, or job.(1) In particular, about 9 in 10 patients (89%) said they have cancelled social engagements because of bipolar depression.(1) In addition, people with bipolar disorder reported that bipolar depressive symptoms affected their ability to manage housework (73%) and run errands (59%).(1) This online survey was commissioned by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare and AstraZeneca to better understand the impact of bipolar depression on people’s lives.

Bipolar disorder may affect approximately 8 million American adults.(2,3) People with bipolar disorder experience extreme mood swings from lows, called bipolar depression, to highs, called bipolar mania.(4) Many people with bipolar disorder report spending more time in the depressive phase(5) — which includes feelings of sadness and emptiness, depressed moods and inability to concentrate — than in the manic phase.(4) This fact was confirmed in the online survey, with 61 percent of people with bipolar disorder saying their depressive episodes last longer than their manic episodes.(1)

“This survey clearly demonstrates that many people with bipolar disorder are feeling the effects of bipolar depression in their day-to-day lives,” said Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare. “Bipolar disorder is a manageable disease, but there are a number of factors that can get in the way of successful treatment.”

In fact, the online survey revealed some communication challenges that people with bipolar disorder have with their physicians.(1) For example, forty-one percent of patients said they wished they could be more open about their bipolar depression symptoms with their health care professional.(1) In addition, 72% of physicians agreed that many of their patients don’t know how to accurately describe their bipolar depression symptoms.(1)

“Strong communication between patients and physicians is one of the most critical factors in effectively managing bipolar disorder,” said Rosenberg. “From a patient perspective, it’s important to share all symptoms and experiences so your doctor has a detailed picture of your day-to-day life. In turn, physicians can encourage patients to be true partners in developing an appropriate treatment plan to successfully manage their bipolar depression.”

Rosenberg also recommended the following steps for patients to strengthen communication with their health care professional:

  • Describe how you’re feeling to the best of your ability. It’s OK if you don’t know the clinical language — just use your own words.
  • Jot down any questions and concerns you have beforehand so you don’t forget them.
  • Don’t hesitate to share anything and everything with your doctor, even if it feels personal or unimportant. Your doctor is best-equipped to help you when he or she has all the information.
  • Work with your doctor to set expectations and goals for your treatment. For many patients, these may be “everyday” goals, like getting back to a regular work schedule or spending more time with family and friends.

To learn more about bipolar disorder, including additional tips for an effective patient-physician dialogue, visit http://www.thenationalcouncil.org or http://www.facingbipolar.com. Another resource to learn more about how to help someone with bipolar disorder or other mental health problems is “Mental Health First Aid,” which is a public education program active in communities across the nation (http://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org).

About the Online Survey

The Bipolar Depression Treatment Dynamic was conducted by StrategyOne, an applied research consulting firm, on behalf of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare and AstraZeneca. The online survey polled 2,005 American bipolar disorder patients (25 to 64 years of age) and 500 clinicians who treat patients with bipolar disorder (250 psychiatrists; 250 primary care physicians) to determine how they view the personal toll of depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder.(1) The online surveys, which for the patient sample had a margin of error of +/-2.2% and for the physician sample had a margin of error of +/-4.4%, were conducted using the field services of Harris Interactive Service Bureau from February 11, 2009, through February 27, 2009 and February 19, 2009, respectively.(1) As with all surveys of this type, this survey was not designed to be a scientific survey. Surveys of this type are by their nature limited due to potential sampling inconsistencies and other factors.

About the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare

The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) association of 1,600 behavioral healthcare organizations that provide treatment and rehabilitation for mental illnesses and addictions disorders to nearly six million adults, children and families in communities across the country. The National Council and its members bear testimony to the fact that medical, social, psychological and rehabilitation services offered in community settings help people with mental illnesses and addiction disorders recover and lead productive lives. For more information about the National Council, please visit: http://www.thenationalcouncil.org.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of prescription medicines and in the supply of healthcare services. AstraZeneca is one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies with global healthcare sales of $31.6 billion and is a leader in the gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infectious disease areas. In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $13.5 billion dollar healthcare business. For more information about AstraZeneca in the US or our AZ&Me Prescription Savings programs, please visit: http://www.astrazeneca-us.com.

References

  1. Data on file, 278295, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP.
  2. US Bureau of the Census. Available at: http://www.census.gov/popest/national/asrh/NC-EST2005/NC-EST2005-02.xls. Accessed on March 20, 2009.
  3. Hirschfeld RMA, Calabrese JR, Weissman MM, et al. Screening for Bipolar in the Community. J Clin Psychiatry. 2003; 64:53-59.
  4. American Psychiatric Association (APA). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision. Washington, DC: APA; 2000.
  5. Calabrese JR, Hirschfeld RMA, Frye MA, et al. Impact of Depressive Symptoms Compared with Manic Symptoms in Bipolar Disorder: Results of a U.S. Community-Based Sample. J Clin Psychiatry. 2004;65:1499-1504

Website: http://www.thenationalcouncil.org/

April 16, 2009

Don’t cry over shattered glass

There was a package at the door waiting for me as I walked up to my home. A lovely box from FTD.com, I knew my family had ordered flowers for my birthday.  I sat it down on my dining table and as I cut the tape to open this box, shards of glass poured out. The vase had been crushed, not just into easy-to-pick-up pieces, but with some pieces having consistency closer to that of a snowflake.

For someone who’s been trying to put her life together (and, on a separate note,  loves looking at symbolism) to get a package full of broken glass, it was more than mildly amusing. (Btw, the box of chocolates that came with the roses was decorated with a 2008 Christmas holiday theme). I suppose I could have gotten upset, but I didn’t. Instead, my friend and I laughed about it as I told the story on the phone. At least the gift turned out to be free, my friend said, since the company did return the money back to the sender.

Yesterday also became the first time in a long, long time that I had picked up dresses4
a pen and sketched, and even played with colored pencils. As I indulged in the as-planned vanilla ice cream with reddi-whip and Hershey’s chocolate syrup, I watched Keith, Jon, Stephen and Dave — and just got my hands moving. The unplanned birthday became the most unexpectedly relaxed day. The cat, pen and paper, the television, and me.

April 15, 2009

Let’s have some tea!

But not because it’s tax day or because those people are doing that Tea Party deal because they don’t want to be paying for government services even if they benefit from them (and we all do in some way). Maybe we’re trying to build a giant mound called ‘national deficit’ so we can let our great-grandkids play in it…

Tax Day also happens to be my birthday. I turn 29 today. My big plan is to go get vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and a thing of Hershey’s chocolate syrup and eat it. No other ‘ambitious’ plans but to be one with a nice bowl of ice cream.

And perhaps during a little tea time.

April 14, 2009

AJ Soprano and my ‘revelation at hand’

I made it to an “Easter” gathering on Sunday night and came back to catch the Sopranos episode titled “The Second Coming” on A&E. I think that AJ’s characterization in that episode and those leading all the way up to AJ’s suicide attempt accurately captures the course that depression takes. He becomes mad and agitated about practically everything,  he can’t be bothered with the rest of life, but somehow can become consumed by something like a writing or current events at hand and think intelligently about it (like the Yeats poem). Even as he becomes disinterested in most things, he is more engaged in world events, but in such a disturbing way. Yet he drops out of class.  The depression permeates every move that he makes and what he seems to takes interest in only fuels this strange fire within. Then he sees that pool in the backyard. (My view from the condo, coincidentally, is that of an open pool.)

And he jumps.

I usually tear up and start to cry when I watch that episode, but before I cried as I watched AJ agonize and then take that dive. This time, the tears came when I saw Carmela sobbing as AJ is wheeled into the hospital. And then you see that agonized look on Meadow’s face. I watch as Tony and Carmela deal with what has just happened. That’s what I can barely shake this time around. It was really the first time I saw that episode through the lens of the family members around him and how that one incident affected them.

I’ve gained some distance between myself and having to watch AJ’s suicide attempt. I thought about something else instead. If one’s seen past this episode, we know that by the end of this series, AJ eventually becomes okay, gets a nice, new car, a cushy job and seems to forget that things are happening in the world that still should disturb him. I’m afraid that I’m somehow leading a life kind of like AJ’s.

My life has been mostly privileged, thanks to my parents and their hard work. Sure, things haven’t been great for me lately, but right now as I finish typing this out, I’m just hanging out with my cat, watching “Top Chef” in a condo that’s been given to me. I’ve never held a job that could ever pay for the life that I lead. I do come across as being fairly passionate about current events, yet that passion has never materialized to being…anything. And if it ever came close, I seem to throw those opportunities away. “He’s got the world by the balls,” Tony says about AJ’s life and what’s been available to him.  Well, everything has been handed to me, too. In the end, I felt like AJ was kind of back to being a bit self-centered and completely taking advantage of his parents’ support. And I thought one more thing.

Have I become AJ Soprano?

April 13, 2009

in difference

This is my futile attempt to write something worth even skimming. It feels like I’ve lost my thought-process mechanism for the last few days. My head is often just spinning with random thoughts and the voice in my head is constantly chatting away – but it’s mostly come to a halt. Maybe this silence should be a welcome break, but this is not a comfortable position to be in. There’s practically nothing to write about, and even if there is, I can’t put together a cogently written opinion that would accurately capture whatever it is that I thought.

But I can at least write down something I noticed that didn’t really require deep thinking on my part- just from me and the person that I was when I wrote in those journals from the past years. There’s a lot more to say about them, but there’s a state of mind I often wrote about for years and as recent as around the Obama inauguration: indifference. It’s that numb, deadened state when you know you should be excited, or at least somewhat engaged. The moment I become indifferent pretty much meant that I’ve lost the essence of myself, that passion.

I just can’t say that I’ve felt indifferent since the ECT. There are many emotions I’ve experienced since the little sparks that I thought would be gone after the treatment, but indifference just hasn’t been something I’ve struggled with for the last month or so. My mind honestly can’t seem to process anything today, so I don’t really feel much  from realizing this. However, I know that it’s a very good thing.

Now, if I can just finish writing my thoughts on feminism and Meghan McCain…

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