I have been noticing the subtle transformation going on in my head. It's as if someone simply turned down the volume on my inner dialogue. A voice once so loud it could drown out 80,000 screaming fans at a football game if I was, even for an instant, drawn into my own head. I could drown out even the biggest of sensory inputs and run down pathways in my mind. This medication stops all of that. I speak more slowly, I can carry on trivial conversations with others. I can get out of bed in the morning the first time my alarm goes off. I can go to sleep without feeling antsy about going to bed (as if I might miss something interesting). I am generally on (or close to being) on time without rushing. I can patiently do boring and tedious tasks without being antsy. I can express my thoughts with more organization (mainly because I have so few of them). I almost feel in a perpetually meditative state. Leveled off is probably a good word - not sad, not happy, just sticking to whatever I tell myself I need to do in a given day. I also don't have much interest at all in the opposite sex - its not as if I am disinterested - I just keep reminding myself I don't have time for it right now because I have school work to do - I guess this is what normal people do.
I walk to my car and I don't think anything at all. I just see trees, I feel my breathing, my cold feet. I see the people walking around campus and smile and nod. My brain is still. I take the world in like a poorly edited scene in some ordinary film. I wrote about this before when I was sick.
Part of me wonders how I managed to get anything done over the past 26 years, much less manage to graduate college and hold down a job (even if it didn't work out perfectly because of this very reason). The other part of me misses the ups and downs, the tangents I would wander off on, my perpetually new obsessions and curiosities and the speed at which I processed the world (I can TOTALLY relate to that guy - and he is not exaggerating on the three seconds). I am truly amazed at how much I was able to process in a minute, much less a day.
I think the medicine is doing exactly what it is billed to do and is great for the requirements of the modern world (job, family, school) but even though I don't have emotional responses to pretty much anything anymore, the idea does not appeal to me. I just see myself turning into everyone else. I like the idea of making the world my oyster. I look at myself in the mirror and see why people always told me they were amused by me and admired my energy. I look back at myself just a week ago and see some sort of novelty. I smile at that bewildered kid. I also don't see nearly as much joy or opportunity in the world. I feel less creative and insightful. Things that once excited me now seem bland (and I don't have confidence in my ability to do them - I don't have much of the grandiosity that I had before actually). I also notice I am much less critical of the world (I can patiently wait and listen - I don't find myself finishing people's sentences in my head either).
I spent the first week sort of feeling like I'd had a pain killer or two beers but interestingly, yesterday I doubled my dose as scheduled and most of the negative side effects went away. I am going to stick on this medication for the remainder of the month and then take a month off over Christmas break to compare, but I did at least want to say that the results have been striking.