Let me tell you about the inside of my head.
Imagine Robin Williams doing stand-up, or if you’re not old enough to remember when Robin Williams did stand-up, imagine Eddie Izzard instead. He’s standing in a big empty space, talking at high speed, and everything he says leads into another connection that leads to another comedy bit, some of it isn’t as funny, but there’s so much energy and speed that the overall effect is pretty amusing. Now imagine that your stream of consciousness comedian is having an off night. Maybe he suffered blunt head trauma just before coming onto stage. He’s still talking very quickly, but it doesn’t make much sense anymore. The audience is confused (in this over-extended metaphor the audience represents the rest of the world); they start shouting at him, and every time our comedian is able to make out part of what they are saying it starts him down another path toward incoherent comedy.
That is, essentially, the inside of my head. A constant stream of remembered song lyrics, information that is tangentially relevant (and rarely useful), and completely new ideas that will be lost almost immediately. I discovered years ago that if I listen to people speaking (or singing; as long as I can sing along and assuming I can understand the words) and concentrate on a single source of input I can slow the rush of ideas down to a manageable level. The problem, then, has become focusing on those things that keep my brain quiet to the exclusion of paying adequate attention to everything else.
The low dosage of my medicine was certainly helpful in quieting the storm, but the new dosage is a night and day difference. Yesterday, I cleaned out the pantry in our house. It wasn’t a fun job; it was as boring as any household chore, but I worked on it for a couple of hours without needing distractions. Heather played music on her laptop, and even though I mostly didn’t sing along I didn’t feel overwhelmed. Today when cleaning out the kitchen junk drawer (what can I say, I was on a roll) I came across a greeting card that needed to be put away. After finding out where we keep the greeting cards I encountered a situation that un-medicated Andrew would have handled very differently. I had moved our standing mirror back into the bedroom after storing it temporarily to make room for a window ac-unit while our air conditioner was broken. Rather than putting it back in the corner by the window I had set it down in front of the closet where the box with greeting cards rested. In the spot assigned for the mirror lay a pile of decorative pillows from the unmade bed, and the window screen (removed to make room for the previously mentioned ac unit). In the past, I would have moved the mirror just enough to get in the closet tossed the card in and finished with the junk drawer as quickly as I could to get back to goofing off. Today: I made the bed, replaced the window screen, and put the mirror back before I put the card away, and finished clearing out the junk drawer properly without ever feeling like there was a
better lazier way to spend my time.
If there is a downside to go with all of this goodness it’s that when the medicine wears off completely I get Tired. When the lower dose ran out I was a little drowsy. This higher one leaves me worn out. This will be great most days when the effects should end completely around bedtime, but I may start running out of energy early on the weekends, and turning into a pumpkin isn’t usually my style. I guess that’s one for the “wait and see” folder.