Back at the end of November, I wrote about ropinirole, a drug I had been prescribed for restless leg syndrome. As I noted back then, the seeming worst potential side effect of the drug is that it can aggravate compulsive behaviors. The primary example being gambling.
After writing that post, I quit the drug. For a little over three weeks I didn’t take any. To see what might happen. I felt like my sleep suffered as a result, but how could I possibly know. As a friend has told me, I was born tired. When you always feel tired, how can you tell if you’re sleeping better or worse. Call it a change in the nature of my ever-present fatigue.
So, about a week ago, I started taking the drug again. Half the dosage the doc had prescribed me.
This morning, unlike Olivia O’Bryon, who woke early to the sounds of her dog having a seizure, I woke at 4:17 a.m. and decided I needed to go play Blackjack. Hide your wallets, stash your credit cards. It has begun!!
But back to what Olivia posted about for a moment … she wrote about being lost in her mind at times, including the last couple of days. All you writers out there — I bet you can relate. It’s one of those things I experience that leads me to believe I live in a different world than those around me. It’s not necessarily always related to a writing project I’m working on, but I frequently find myself lost in my mind as well.
Wednesday evening, the Midget family went out for dinner. I was distracted as I frequently am. One of my kids brought up that there is always a point every night at dinner when I get a far away look in my eye and my face kind of glazes over. The other members of my family had a good chuckle about it.
Yes, son, you’re right. It happens every night. Because every night, I spend some time somewhere else. I’m not really there with you. I’m thinking about a story I want to work on. I’m thinking about that thing at work that happened that frustrated me and that I need to figure out how to address. I’m thinking about how I got to this point, raising two boys who threaten physical violence on each other, like guns and cars, and seem bent on growing up to be the opposite of me. (That isn’t so unusual, I know, but I wonder about it anyway.)
It’s also frequently why I’d rather not engage in all the required social engagements … because, I’m lost in my mind. I’ve spent a lot of time this past week in my own mind — it’s a part of that whole hibernating thing.
One of the things I wrote a few years ago was an essay about my father, who also writes. It’s called The Shadow Man because there was a point at which he seemed to retreat from our lives and occupy the shadows around us instead. On some level, what he seemed to be doing was retreating into his own mind, on a more or less permanent basis.
I worry some times that I’m happier there, in my own mind, than I am with the outside world. I don’t think that’s a real problem, though. I still enjoy people far too much. I crave conversation — with the right people. I crave touch — from the right people. I crave and need humanity. But, I think, in response to the aspects of my life that are driving me crazy, I’m retreating further and further into my own mind. It’s one of those things that needs to change.
And, now, I’ve realized in connection with my recent post about what writing counts is that Theryn is right!!!!!! As much as I hate that my writing these days has themes (or points), the reality is that it does and much of those themes can be found scattered through my posts about real life found on this blog. But that’s one of the biggest dilemmas I face these days — I don’t want my fiction to track the themes I write about in my real life. Otherwise, it’s not really fiction, it’s just my transferring my own feelings into a character’s life.
Enough about that. It’s time to go find a blackjack table!!! (Oh, shoot, there’s carne asada marinading and a pot of beans to make.) OK, maybe tomorrow.