I’m quietly freaking out at the moment. I’m sick, sick to death of coming to the end of each day and asking myself, ‘well, what was that for?’ I’ve reduced my sertraline over the past two weeks, and while the fog has dispersed slightly, I’m still struggling to feel, I’m struggling to create, I’m struggling to function as I’m used to functioning i.e. at full pelt.
And the fatigue. The fatigue is fucking outrageous. I had a blast of creativity the other week. Something clicked and I wrote my heart out. I felt euphoric. But now my creativity feels out of reach again. I’ve been trying to read my favourite anthology of poetry (Staying Alive, Bloodaxe) a book which usually has my brain sparking with ideas for my own work, but when I read I feel nothing. Nothing goes in, nothing gets absorbed, nothing gets recycled.
I’ve been reading message board after message board about the effects of sertraline. More people than not say to ‘stick with it’ and that it’s ‘changed their lives for the better.’ But it’s numbed me. It’s taken away what makes me, me. And while I know it’s somewhat irrational to think that it will be forever that I won’t be able to function as I’m used to creatively, I’m fucking scared.
Though I don’t know if motherhood has something to do with how I’m feeling too. That it might not all be down to the medication. Life is unsettled and chaotic right now and being a mum is hard work. It feels like there are parts of my brain that are frozen and I’ve no idea how to thaw them out. Before, when my ideas were coming thick and fast, I felt I could handle what motherhood had to throw at me because I had my creativity to catch me. But right now, there are no ideas, there are no sparks of creative joy, there are no dreams to act on. Whenever I get a moment to write, I’m fumbling with my pen, paper and keyboard in a blind panic, asking myself ‘now what?’
I’m hoping that by making small changes in my life – getting more help with childcare and establishing better routines – and quitting the sertraline all together, that I’ll begin to find what I’ve lost and write my life awake again.