Jagged Little Pill

There’s a box downstairs full of pills.


Having been assured that my leg is not broken (I will trust her, I will trust her, I will…) and discussed the continual waves of anxiety that has been brought on by each possibility of a physical ailment, my doctor and I talked options.

I have two leaflets to self refer to counselling, assured the waiting list is not as bad as it was last time (11 months – we’ll see!). I meant to go for counselling before I left work, for confidence issues and health anxiety but I didn’t get it organised in time. So I will follow it up. It would be good to talk about things before my mood shifts again – hopefully for the better, but with a big perilous risk of worse given the uncertainty of the coming months.

Neither of us wanted me to go back on the hefty dose of Venlafaxine I was on before I came off it about 6 years ago.  It made me sleep for 16 hours, and destroyed any residue of a libido my deep depression left me with. 16 hour sleep is not great for full time working…  And if I’m depressed at all at the moment it is because of the anxiety and insomnia which comes with it. So the anxiety is the thing – and I came away with a tentative, very low dose prescription for Trazodone – a tricyclic antidepressant (an older type of drug than the newer SSRIs like fluoxetine / citilopram). One I’ve not had before. She said this also could make you drowsy, dry mouthed.

She didn’t push them upon me, they were an option.  I filled the prescription and intended to start them that night. But then of course, I had to read the side effects. And think about whether I need to be having severe drowsiness right now, when I am trying to focus my attention on building up this little enterprise of mine.  She asked if I needed a sick note. I laughed, as for the first time, I’d have no one to give it to. And wouldn’t have anyway really at the moment. I’ve never taken lengthy periods off sick with my mental health. I’ve had problems with episodic / short term sick when things were at there worst, before I got more of a handle on my triggers and risk factors. A lot of which came because of the aforementioned side effects of the medication. I had to come off the meds, and feel worse, to stay in work.

I sometimes think I should have taken the option to have a longer period to recover – for myself, but also because I think my absence might have highlighted to my employer the sheer volume of work I was tackling, which no doubt contributed to my problems – and maybe they would have addressed it.  But probably not. Time off just meant work would be mounting up and a pile of problems building up to welcome me back. So it was counterproductive.

So no sick note for me right now.

But a box of pills. Which I keep picking up and looking at. And thinking about.

What happens if I am allergic? What if I get palpitations / arrhythmia? (I get palpitations anyway with my panic attacks) What if I forget and have a drink? Can I stay off the drink? Maybe if I were not drinking the anxiety would subside anyway…. Maybe I should go sit in the hospital and take the first pill so I am in the right place if there is a problem? What if I fall asleep in the hospital?

Of course if I just take the pill, the above paragraph might just fade away, and I would stop worrying. But that means taking the pill. And what if…

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