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A friend sent me a link that showed he really had been listening when we talked over drinks last month. The story is so similar to my experience in so many ways, it could have been me writing the article. Check it out; it’s well written and scarily familiar (for me, anyway): http://www.vice.com/read/pothead-vs-pillhead

The main differences between me and the author are…

  1. My mom would have said to take the pills; she believed that cannabis is pure evil.
  2. I’ve never overdosed nor attempted to do so.
  3. I’m not aggressive and I’ve never threatened anyone.
  4. I’ve never been in a psych hospital.
  5. I’ve never ridden a motorcycle at 118 mph nor been to Australia.
  6. I’ve never wanted to sever my arms. Just lacerate them.

Other than that? Yeah, that was me, more or less. Including the 3-4 jobs in college, not being able to stop working, and extreme confidence. Increase the duration of self-medication up to 15 years, though, and add continually increasing volumes of alcohol at all times, not just when manic. The long ugly scar is on my upper arm, not my forearm – but I can see 7 permanent self-inflicted scars on my hands and wrists alone. Good thing no one else is looking.

In other news…

Coming off Strattera seems to have triggered mild hypomania, instead of going straight back to a steady state. I shouldn’t be surprised, but, well… I’m not talking euphoria and the usual whole lot, just a few symptoms. Increase in goal-oriented behavior (and how), hard time sleeping, quite a jump in overall mood, massive productivity, increased distractedness – though I partially blame this on the serious shortage of stimulants in my bloodstream, and very mild…um, I already forgot what that was about. In short, it’s beginning to fade, and it took until I was starting to come down yesterday for me to recognize it. I still have a long way to go with mood management.

Over the last four days, I got started with A Canvas of the Minds, wrote 2 pages and 11 blog posts, drafted 8 more posts, got all excited about a couple other nutty ideas from which I have (mostly) backed off, wrangled a metric shit-ton of bureaucratic defense and graduation logistics, and did a little bit of dissertation work as well. I also started knitting a sweater, but I’m (rationalizing) working on a knit-down anyway.*

The downside of all this exuberant productivity is that it hasn’t been focused where it should be – finishing up my dissertation editing! Fortunately, even if I do nothing but comment until my manuscript is submitted, you’ll never notice the difference because I have over a week of posts queued up. That’s with a post every day – which is way, way more volume than I ever, ever expected to pump out. But I really have to focus on that very important task now. Seriously. I mean it this time!

* A knit-down is a concerted effort to reduce a large amount of stashed yarn by working through the supply you’ve got on hand before buying any more.