in which our hero has issues

2 04 2012

It’s been awhile since we talked. In fact it’s been awhile since I talked about anything other than writing projects, honestly. So, I felt the need to summarize the question of “Yo, WTF happened to you lately, man?” Those of you following my Twitter/G+/Facebook feeds already know the basics. Here’s the complete compendium.

So. For the last few weeks, I’d been struggling with occasional anxiety incidents.

I mean, I’ve always had some background anxiety — am I using my time effectively, am I living up to my obligations, am I doing what I should be doing, am I making mistakes with my life, all the usual worries and manias of someone who’s been high strung since birth. And for years, I’ve dealt with it to varying degrees of effectiveness and varying degrees of silence. I’d like to think it wasn’t all that bad, really, since I still had plenty of fun in life and success and such. I’ve endured okay.

But a month ago, I started having a handful of outright and genuine panic attacks — like not getting enough sleep, or not being able to fall asleep, my mind racing. It was messing with my life to an new and unacceptable degree beyond being mere background anxiety. So finally I said Screw it, I am going to do what my family’s wanted me to do and get professional help. I’ll end up feeling better, right?

To start with I saw Doc-A, who gave me a scrip for Unspecified Drug 1 and Unspecified Drug 2. (I am not going to go into details. It’s risky enough I’m just talking about it online.) And in taking that step, getting some real science going, that felt good — I was finally going to feel totally and completely normal!

Except… for the next two weeks on UD1 and UD2, I had a perpetual rolling chain combo of complete mental breakdowns that would last half a day long. Stuck on the couch, freaking out, depressed, etc. I was doing WORSE than I was before UD1/UD2. In fact, it was the worst I’ve ever been in my entire life, I kid you not. I’ve had SPINAL SURGERY and had less emotional distress from that experience. (“Scalpels slashing through my ribcage? Whatevs.”) Even before I went to Doc-A, I was maybe 15% of the wreck I was now that I was on the drugs that were supposed to be making me better.

After further consideration by Doc-B, it was apparent that UD1 was not reacting well with my chemistry, inducing the perpetual doom state. And as we found out when things continued to not improve, UD2 was ALSO not reacting well with me. So, Doc-B adjusted things, and now I’ve got UD3 — a single purpose tool drug. Logically its technique makes a hell of a lot more sense than UD1 and UD2 did. I need to get UD1/UD2 purged from my system, which is gonna take a few days, but… I have some confidence about not being a gibbering madman going into the future, at least.

I’d never have gotten through this week and a half of disaster if not for my friends and family… and the well wishes on Facebook and Twitter. The long chats with friends who have gone through similar in their lives. I am confident that going into the future, I can recover from this nadir. It’s gonna be a little rough on the way up, but with their help and support, it will work out.

(Oh, and, uh, I’ll have Stars Fall finished at some point. This is a very roundabout way of saying I’ve been a wee bit distracted, I suppose.)

I’d like to think that I did the right thing, seeking professional help for this long term problem. Even if the short term was a flat out disaster. And as this year goes on, I want to improve, I want to write again, and I want to feel better about things.

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7 responses

2 04 2012
loopychew

Glad you’re getting back up to speed. I’ve done basic runs on sf02 and 03, and now I’m running them through the Kindle Test to see what I’ve missed. 00 and 01 have a few tweaks I need to make, 02’s fine but for maybe two things, and diving through 03 again now.

Hopefully all of them will be final final by the time you’re 100%, and we can keep moving.

2 04 2012
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

That’s the plan. I have some milestones to get over first — stabilizing under UD3, going to PAX, doing some work in Second Life for my sister. But I only have two more Stars Fall chapters and the bonus, so they’ll be along after.

2 04 2012
lucilleliu

I’d rather you be in a healthy emotional state than anything else. Yes, I love your writing. But I think everyone understands you have priorities.

I went through something similar. The hardest thing about getting help is that you have to try many different drugs/drug combinations before you find something that works for you. Same with therapists. Not every therapist is a good fit. You need to shop around.

2 04 2012
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Yeah, I’m not seriously expecting anybody to go “Sanity be damned, I want my Stars Fall bonus chapter!”. Still, personally, it’s something I’d like to close out and move on from at some point.

I’m undecided about the postmortem story idea, after. It’s a neat idea but not sure if it has potential as a series. So at this point I’m just focusing on A) wellness, B) stars fall, then C) probably more wellness.

2 04 2012
Lirazel

See, this is one of the only things that makes me sad about not using Facebook or Twitter. (Call me paranoid, but I don’t trust ’em.) Not that I can do much except to intone, “This too shall pass,” and “Do what you need to do,” but I want to add my voice to the chorus of support, you know?

And yes, I think you did right by yourself, first by seeking help and second by not shutting up when “help” wasn’t helping. And I’m glad you found a doctor you can work with.

2 04 2012
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

If it helps, you can follow me just by bookmarking
http://twitter.com/twoflower
and reading directly. No need to get an account or anything. And my email box is always open if you wanna talk.

I can intellectually KNOW that it’s a process to work through, that it’ll pass, that this is the way to go. But during a full on emotional crash, it’s hard to really believe that. S’why I’m hoping to have less of those now that my UD3 approach is in place.

3 04 2012
StClair

Yowch. I’ve not been keeping up with your twitter, so I hadn’t realized it was this bad. Glad we were able to give you some respite/distraction this weekend, and hope you feel better and get back on an even keel soon.

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