Quetiapine Diary: 1 Month

May the mindless verbiage resume; I have once again found my voice. The last three weeks have been rather interesting, and have indeed thrown a number of challenges my way. Firstly, for about a week I found myself faced with an illusory barrier that was rendering me linguistically incapable, at least in the written form, to the extent that a simple task such as composing a shopping list became a daunting endeavour. The concept of object association was disregarded as my brain replaced the words ‘potatoes’ and ‘kitchen roll’ with ‘socks’ and ‘cactus’. My envisioned future as a domestic goddess was rightfully put on hold. Such confusion was rather uncharacteristic as I rarely struggle with the difference between kitchen utensils and desert shrubbery, although I’m pleased to say it has proved to be a temporary infliction. I have yet to explain why it was I was having such difficulties when it came to writing anything down, it simply felt as though I was trying to use my entire vocabulary at once in an extremely disjointed and oddly random manner, resulting in pages and pages of notes that make little sense but are rather entertaining.

One significant improvement I have noticed over the past month has been that my mood swings have levelled out to a far more manageable rhythm. The raging waves that I was once at the mercy of have calmed to a far more pleasant ripple. However, amongst the calmer waters I have developed an abnormally short temper which tends to flare up at the most inconvenient of times. Despite this and previous hesitations, I have thankfully been able to return back to work which has been both a blessing and a curse. Being back is great; I love the people I work with and being a waitress can really be great fun, but living and working in a village in which I arguably have such a tainted history with has thrown up its fair share of surprises. Within the past few shifts alone I have served ex-boyfriends, ex-bullies, and even a man who was convicted of assaulting me after he beat me up while I was walking home from school one day. I was 13 at the time. I’ve changed a lot in the last 7 years so naturally he doesn’t recognise me anymore, but unfortunately I can’t say the same about him. Emotionally speaking you could say it’s been a rough week, but I’ve found I have a lot more control over my swings and can overcome even the most painful of circumstances to maintain a relatively level head. The secret seems to be to keep myself busy, active, and focused on the positive, allowing myself to indulge in all the little things that make me happy such as playing my guitar and doodling to my heart’s content. Sometimes life is all about the distractions.

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Quetiapine Diary: Day 6

Depression is doing its utmost to eclipse the happiness I so desperately cling to. Each day feels longer, and the sleepless nights drag on as I am kept awake by disturbing hallucinations. The mood swings have become vicious and more frequent, meaning that within a matter of hours I can hit rock bottom maybe two or three times. During this time I’ve found myself re-living  painful memories that are brought ever closer to the surface in vivid detail, leaving me broken and inconsolable. Going back to work has become unrealistic, and even the comforts of volunteering will have to be avoided until I can maintain some control over the side-effects. It’s exhausting, but rather than push me further away from my eventual ambition of emotional stability, it’s ignited a resistance to the illness that I never knew I had.

There’s a determination now that I’ve never felt before. Every time I’m thrown into the depths of depression I know that I can pull myself back, just as I have done on countless occasions before. This hasn’t stopped me struggling, nor do I expect it will, but rather it keeps the light at the end of the ever growing and increasingly formidable tunnel very much alive. For that I’m grateful. Sometimes I forget just how fortunate I am; there’s a roof over my head, food in the fridge, and I’m surrounded by people I love. Sure I face some hurdles, but they are barely comparable to the challenges faced by many. As I continue my treatment, enduring the pills I have grown to resent, I maintain a motivation to get back to a position where I know I can be relied upon and indeed be able to give back to those who continue to offer nothing but support and kindness. A thank you feels rather insulting due to its complete inadequacy, but for now I have no other way to express my appreciation, for you are the ones who have saved me time and time again.

Quetiapine Diary: Day 2

There is a definite numbness that has swept over since starting the Quetiapine, which has gradually deteriorated from a slight hazy sensation to the feeling that I am becoming disconnected with the rest of the world. The day is spent acting by default as I do nothing more than drift from one meaningless task to the next, all purpose behind them lost to an abyss of insignificance. Other symptoms of depression have been close to follow. In particular I’ve become irritable and short-tempered, making it more and more difficult to socialise with those around me without lashing out in a fit of frustration. I certainly don’t envy those who get caught up in the aggression.

Exhaustion has become an overwhelming presence of each day, but I’m attempting to fight against it. I find it’s helping to build exercise into the foundations of my daily routine, the adrenaline allowing for a momentary window of relief in the suffocating enervation. Yet despite spending the day feeling tired, attempting to sleep without disruption has become quite the challenge. At night I am woken by a tightness in my legs which then spreads to my chest and arms, not in a painful pursuit, but one that is rather uncomfortable and more than enough to keep me from the pleasant virtue of slumber. In the mornings I have been awoken by something quite different. It began yesterday morning, when I usually get to enjoy the peace and quiet of an empty house, but instead I was stirred by the sound of footsteps leading up the stairs and into the bathroom. In my sleep deprived state I thought nothing of it, and as the taps were turned on, the soothing sound of running water quickly sent me back to sleep. It wasn’t long, however, before I was disturbed again by the same sound, this time the footsteps leading across the hallway and into my bedroom. As I lay there, eyes still shut, I listened until the steps could be no more than a metre from my pillow before curiosity got the better of me and I turned over to see who it could possibly be. No one. I was alone, both in my room and in the house. The noise I had been so convinced was real was nothing more than a deceitful, yet utterly fictitious, hallucination.

The combination of side-effects is taking its toll, even on more trivial matters such as my ability to write articulate and coherent sentences; this post taking far longer and omitting a significant amount more than it should, however I maintain a positive attitude. If this is the lengths of what must be endured to get my life back on track then I consider myself a fortunate individual, but unfortunately one that may be of rather unbearable company for a little while longer.