Dropped Roland off to get his rental car and took myself and my car over to the Interislander Ferry. Beautiful three hour ride. I napped briefly in the middle of Cook Strait on the floor next to a window. So so tired lately. There are probably many reasons for this. One, undoubtedly, is that with all this moving around and lack of routine I have been very bad about taking my antidepressants on time. I’ve never taken any medication for depression before now, and I have been on them for about a year and a half. I finally gave in to the chemical solution in October 2007 in the midst of the worst depression I’ve ever experienced. I tried everything to get myself out of it before that. Daily excercise, good food, lots of social interaction and connection to my social network, working, going to therapy. I had already quit drinking years before. Nothing was making the slightest difference. I felt like my IQ was cut in half. I couldn’t form two sentences in a row without a herculean effort. My limbs were moving through molasses. I could sleep all day. Fall can knock me flat just like that. I’m very sensitive to changes in light. Even the grey dusk of evening, as the sun is abandoning me, can shift me into a spacey, mind-slowing, underwater state. So the macro changes of losing light over the course of a season can be devastating.
The therapist, after seeing me weekly for over a year, much of it when I was in a state unable and unwilling to put any effort into speaking, finally convinced me I might benefit from medication. Pain – the great motivator. I could go on and on about my reservations (to put it mildly) with the pharmacuetical industry. But I’m not up to it right now. It was a last resort. And I have to say it worked.
The psychiatrist says that people on antidepressants generally fall into three equally populated categories: those who stay on them for the rest of their life (hope not!), those who go on and off them periodically to deal with depressions as they come (thinking this might be me) and those who go on them once in their life for a while and then don’t need them again. I think I would be pushing it to expect I could make it into the third category. I have been very happy with them so far. Almost immediately after going on them I began to feel normal again. That normal I have occasionally, naturally experienced. Usually in the summertime. So I am coming off them now. Cutting down to half my dosage to see how I feel. Then continuing from there, eventually to nothing. Per doctor’s instructions. I had tried before to come off them, stupidly in October. It had been a year, things were fine and I was itching to try life without them again. Now I am bathed in sunshine, warmth (at least half the days) and will soon be returning to spring in New York. Seems the perfect time to give the meds the boot. I’ll see how it goes. Worst that can happen is I fall back into depression.
There might be a touch of all this effecting me. But I can’t overlook the fact that I am 9000 miles away from home, and have been for a month. I miss New York, my friends and my bed. I miss my bike. I need a break from this constant pressure to do and see things. And though I am happy again to be on my own, I had gotten used to having a companion and there is probably some sadness in losing that. Plus the strange feeling that you may never see someone again. The truth is every time you see anyone in your life it may be the last time. You just don’t know. But times like this that possibility is at the forefront. Just highlighting the transience of life that is always there, but often invisibly lurking in the background.
I invited Roland and his girlfriend to come visit New York and stay with me. Our living room could use some living. Maybe we will meet up again someday at some surf spot. Roland was certainly like a good luck charm for waves, so it would be worth tracking him down again.
I am sitting on the sidewalk near the hostel I am staying at. Actually I am across the street in front of a different hostel, a YHA one, that I still have some wireless internet time left on their nationwide network. The sky is getting gray. I will go down to the waterfront to see if we get a sunset here. Doesn’t look promising.
Berger, if you are reading this, stop here. I am going to swim with dolphins Sunday morning. I’m sorry I have morphed into this pseudo surf-hippie that you can’t even recognize anymore. I promise I will never wear tie-dye, though. If this is the last time you speak to me, I will understand.
That said, I am excited. I haven’t seen any marine life yet here. And there will be chances to see seals as well as dusky dolphins. I came to this particular hostel, the Villa, because a woman I met at the hostel in Moana said there was a yellow lab here you could take on walks. I met him while checking in. Very friendly, very mellow. I need a bit of mammal lovin’, I think. In fact, I’m going to go find him now and maybe take him down to the water with me.