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have you seen my muse?

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have you seen my muse?

I was staring at the monitor, and then the keyboard, trying to summon up the muse to create today's post. But as has happened a few times over the past few days, the muse seems to be sleeping. Hence the penis posts.

I'm nervous that the Paxil is dulling me. It could be just the natural ebb and flow of my cycle, where sometimes I am creative and prolific and sometimes I can't even write a limerick. But it worries me that it's something else.

It's been a week now, and today my dose gets doubled and I am taking stock of the past week. Well, the past two days. Because honestly, in the last two days I have felt subtle changes. I feel calmer, more relaxed, like the "ants in my pants" that my mother always complained about are gone. I can sit and play a game of Scrabble with Justin and not feel like I need to be doing three other things at the same time. I have a bit more patience with the kids. I don't feel like I am living in a constant state of rushing off somewhere.

People have noticed. People who have no idea that I am taking anything have commented that I look more relaxed or I seem happier. Happy? Me? No one has ever called me that. Is this what I want? I mean, I've always been happy for the most part, at least in the last three years. But I always had that cynical edge to keep the pretty bunnies/happy flowers part of me from taking over. I like the simmering anger part of me. It's what keeps me motivated. It's what keeps me creative and keeps me writing and makes me want to change the world.

What I want is to lose the anxiety without losing everything else. Perhaps I am looking too hard into things. Maybe my cynicism and sarcasm are still there, but just not present at the moment because I am tired. It's been a long two weeks, I am still having bizarre dreams every night that keep me feeling exhausted, so maybe that's why I sit here to write and my mind can't find the words I want to say.

I'm still nervous about losing any part of me except the part I wanted to get rid of. I don't want to lose my passion for the things that I love. If I lose my ability to write, I lose me. Everything I gain by taking that little pill each morning will be overshadowed by the fact that I can't write anymore.

Of course, I may still be in that old mode of making mountains out of molehills. The worrying part of my is not going to go away overnight. That's just my nature. But if one more day goes by where I can't think of anything interesting to say or an interesting way in which to say it, I am going to have to seriously rethink my options.

I don't want to be selfish. I know the small changes that have appeared in the past few days are things that have made a big difference to those around me. I just don't want my creativity to be dulled. I don't want the words to dry up. Because without these words, I am only part of me. I've been writing since I'm old enough to hold a pencil. What if I wasted my whole life saying "I'll become a writer tomorrow" and now tomorrow is never going to come? What if the words have dried up already?

I know, I'm over reacting. That's just a part of me that will never go away, no matter how many pills I pop a day. At least, I hope I am over reacting. I hope that I'm just tired or going through a lull or my brain just wants a little break. I hope my muse didn't pack up and leave town. I mean, what if my anxiety was my muse?

I don't even want to think about that.

Comments

Hmm. I don't know that this is something you'll want to hear, or if it will help, but I'll tell you anyway. My mother was always a good artist... she did fantastic water colours, and wrote poetry. Then for reasons that we won't go into, she had a nervous breakdown, and the doctors filled her with so many emotion repressing pills that if you shook her, she'd rattle. Did this change her? Well... yes, in a way. I guess she's not the person she used to be, BUT, she'd already lost that person anyway, and without the pills, she wouldn't be here at all. Thing is... for a while, it looked like she'd lost her talents too, she couldn't handle a paintbrush at all... but then she found new tools, making the most wonderful art, burning images into wood. I don't mean just "not bad" art, in a patronising "oh you're making such good progress" way. It's on a par with what she used to do... just different. I guess what I'm saying is, your perspectives and priorities may change, but at the core, you are who you are, and even if that means a change of style, it doesn't negate the quality of your work.

Are medications like Paxil permanent? Or is there an exit strategy? I know this is something on which doctors may disagree. Also, I would imagine there's a study out there somewhere on artists/creative output and anti-depressants. I'd love to see the results of that.

Hang in there. Sometimes it takes several weeks for your body to regulate to the meds. I too have gone throught this medication thing and it took almost a month before i was thinking like myself again. Your muse will come back it's just medicated right now.
take care.

i agree with kat -- it takes some time before things settle down. after a week on celexa, i was all giggly and smiling and so happy that everyone wanted to smack me. but i calmed down as the drug got used to me.

i was also on zoloft once and i had a long-term reaction that is similar to what you're describing now -- i felt no motivation, because i was just content to be doing whatever it was i was doing. i sat on the couch and watched a lot of tv. then one day i decided that i had become someone else, that i had lost something and it wasn't worth it, even if i was happier. so i stopped taking it. and within a month or so, i went back to my normal angst-ridden self.

keep in mind that if paxil isn't right for you, maybe something else will be. but to be fair you probably have to give it a month or so before your brain chemistry settles down. but ask your doctor what s/he thinks. and keep thinking/writing about what you think about it, cause that's a lot more important than what the doctor says.

{playing Taps}

She'll be missed that Uber-bitch from Hell... but today, in our moment of loss, we welcome the new and improved Michele. A bastion of femininity and joyous emotion in an otherwise cynical world.

Yes she may be softer and more caring... she may treat her kids like human beings from now on, but she stands as tribute to that snarky bitter woman we all grew to love...

{sniff}

...none... more so... {sniff} than me...

Anxiety is not a muse. I believe it is possible to be happy, pathology-free and still creative.

Well, you could always create a 'fictional' persona, not that I'd ever lower myself to doing something so pathetic, right Bread?

"Shut up, loser."

Ah, the happiness that is Blogging...

A fly-by comment here--

Listen to your dreams, they're trying to tell you something.

Give it some time Michele. It takes a good 2-3 weeks for your system to get adjusted to the meds. Paxil is not like Prozac which completely levels all emotions. After feeling shit for so long, feeling good and in control feels alien. You will be able to say "I got better." (sorry, I just watched Holy Grail for the 100th time last night)

I got nervous after two weeks of Paxil and shut 'er down. I didn't like the way it altered me at all. I'm doing something natural now and it's helping. Diet has had so much to do with the way I feel, as well as stimulus. Too much TV and I'm all wonky. Not to take anything away from what you're doing, I just think it's too bad that doctors are so willing to prescribe a pill as opposed to treating the actual problem. I guess they're not really trained for that.

That said, good luck with this. I hope it works for you, the way that you need it to.

i can relate to this... the drug-dulling of thought and emotion. i noticed the same changes in me about two weeks into using Zoloft. i no longer feel the fire i once did, the burning creativity, etc. Zoloft left a great abscence of thought. as time has worn on (nearly one year on the drug), that creativity and fire has seemed to come back slowly, but in a more.... calm way. i'm totally rambling at this point.

Bring on the cat pictures.

your post still shows the fire of the writing muse. write about the changes, and ease into a less panicky life.

you still got it, no doubt about it. just, adjust, it's a beautiful thing to read and watch.

I love your work. This is my very first visit to your blog, and it will be a regular stop from now on. Would you mind terribly if I posted a link to your blog on mine?

Not at all. Thank you.

I found this by looking up Paxil and creativity. I was looking for anyone who had found a way to get their creativity while on antidepressants. I too have wanted to be a writer since I could hold a pencil. I wrote nearly everyday until starting Paxil. It has now been 9 years. My life is so much better now, but I have been mourning the writer in me. I have to say that I haven't even really tried to write. I just figure it's not there. I tried to end Paxil last month, but no go. I just keep praying for an answer. Sorry this is probably not helping you.

Paxil has been good for me. I was fortunate to get in with a good doctor who started me on the liquid and go up very slowly which I think is so important. I do think Paxil dulls you a bit, but you have to weigh the benefits of being more relaxed at work say or able to cope with tough situations in life. Sometimes you really need help. I wouldn't want to believe that taking Paxil is permanent, and it's important to address those issues of why you need to take it in the first place. This is the 'danger' of medication is that you think then you alright, when the underlying problems are still there.

I was started on Zoloft about six weeks ago, and I, too, find myself completely lacking in the brain-spin of imagery to which I used to awaken each day, and which was the source for my writing/poetry. Oddly, my 'initiative' is similarly sapped, so over all, I don't care much. Put me to a physical task and I happily wash dishes/re-pot plants/do laundry. I'd make a great wifey. But when I stand back and look, I see that the med has changed who I am in an essential way, a way I do not like. I think I would rather stand on the edge of the abyss than continue this way, and have decided to get off it. To anyone with an idea for balance, I would love to hear from u. K

so i'm NOT crazy!!! i knew these antidepressants were doing something to my creativity. i'm a composer/writer, trying to finish a book (which ironically is about depression!) and a master's in music. most of the time, unlike my pre-medicated days, being creative seems PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE. it seems to be the most frustrating form of torture to put an artist through. anyone have any good web links on creativity and paxil? thanks for the support. hang in there guys. don't give up.

Hello, have fun with easy blogging!

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