Little Magics: Used Books

Guys, I just want you to know that I have TEN drafts in my jnjnkmn  yuhjjm,.  n mjnmmmnmmmnmnnnnjmmmmjjjjjjjjjjjjnm vbnm,./

Ahem.

Sorry, I spilled coffee on my keyboard and I was trying to clean it off.

ANYWAY – I was trying to say that I have ten drafts for new blog posts just sitting around, looking sad. Will I ever finish them? No one knows.

Today I really wanted to write about why I love used books. I’m currently reading a used copy of The Silmarillion which I’m pretty sure someone brought over from England. I mean, the price on the back is only listed in pounds. It’s like a cursive Q with a line through it. I don’t have that symbol on my keyboard. I would know, I just got all up the keyboard’s grill trying to get that little drip of coffee out of the tiny space between the N key and the main plastic chunk.

This used book is cool because A. England and B. crazy illustration from the 80s on the cover. As I’ve been reading, though, I’ve noticed something else.

Whoever read this book before me was one of those people who dog-ear pages. THAT’S RIGHT YOU HEARD ME.

I can’t do anything to books. It makes me squirm. I can’t dog-ear pages, I can’t write in them, I can’t even use bookmarks that might cause dents in the pages (I’m lookin’ at you, adorable magnetic neko bookmark from Japan that I ordered off the internet). The only thing I can do is highlight and I can only do that in non-fiction, made-for-learning-a-thing books. And I can only use the bright yellow highlighters because other colors bleed through the pages and that is not okay.

I’m not mad that Previous Book Owner dog-eared the pages, though. I didn’t do it, so it doesn’t bother me. It’s the act of doing that causes me stress. Though I do have a habit of breaking spines horrifically, usually because I don’t know I’m doing it. I get all into whatever I’m reading and twist my hands around when I’m holding them. Hardcovers don’t suffer, but paperbacks get a little mangled when I’m done.

In fact, I really like finding the little creases that indicate a page has been dog-eared. I’ve noticed that Previous Book Owner, whoever he or she may be, always stopped where the text breaks, even if it isn’t the end of the chapter. You know, when the scene changes so there’s an extra space between paragraphs? That kind of break.

I usually like to finish a chapter, but if it’s super long and my alarm keeps telling me it’s bedtime (curse bedtime alarms why do I torture myself thus), I will stop in the middle of a sentence if necessary. Then I might start the chapter over or at least the page, in case I’ve missed something.

I feel like I’ve gotten to know Previous Book Owner in an odd, anonymously intimate way. Reading is very personal for me. I get wholly involved in the story, emotions and all. So it’s like I get to share, here in the future, the same pages that Previous Book Owner read through and maybe the same emotions in reaction to the story. I also get to share that little moment when they pressed down the page corner to save their place. It’s a unique feeling. I’ll never know who that person was. There is simply no way for me to ever find them. And that’s part of what makes it special.

There are many little things in life that reinforce my belief in magic and this is one of them. If you have yet to experience it, go buy a used book or just rent one from the library. There’s an untold amount of people who have read a library book. And all of you will be connected by the story you shared.

(PS – I’ve decided to turn this type of post into a series called “Little Magics” in which I document the little moments of magic that I sometimes come across.)

Why I’m Not Taking the Goodreads Challenge

Ahhh, a new year! The perfect time to COMMIT TO EVERYTHING including lofty reading goals!

For the past three years, I have signed up for the Goodreads challenge. For the unaware, this is where you choose a certain number of books that you plan to read for that year. Doesn’t matter which books or anything, all you choose is the number. Then you track the books on Goodreads as you read them so you can see how close you are to your goal.

I reached my goals, but the problem I noticed is that I would avoid BIG THICK BOOKS because I knew it would take me way too long to read them. My fifty book goal would be at two by the middle of the year. That is no good. A thousand page book and a twenty page book both equal one book.

As a Nerdy Nerd, I like to read fantasy books. And fantasy books tend to come only in Medium (400-600 pages) and Large (800-1500 pages). And that’s just the first book of the Trilogy, Quartet, or Series (which also only comes in Medium (5 books) and Large (20 books)).

So I decided this is the YEAR OF THE FANTASY EPIC which is really just LET’S SEE HOW MANY FAT BOOKS I CAN TAKE OUT IN ONE YEAR IT’S PROBABLY GOING TO BE MAYBE TWO.

I thought about making my Goodreads challenge two books this year, but I thought that might hurt my Internet Literary Nerd Cred, so I decided against it. Instead, I’m writing this ridiculous blog post about it.

First up on the list? The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien. I know, right? How can I possibly call myself a Lord of the Rings fan if I haven’t read that one? I’ve had a copy of it on my shelf for at least three years. I got a really cool old version with a beautiful cover from a used bookstore for cheap. I get excited about this kind of thing, don’t judge.

Anyway, I have to finish the two books I already started last year first and then I shall begin the epic tome. I have a list, but it’s not in order since I’ll likely just choose whatever I want from it as I go, but I have A Game of Thrones on there, too. It’s been on my Kindle for at least six years.

I have a couple on there that aren’t technically considered fantasy, though it seems 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami is a bit genre-defying and could be categorized as such.

TRUTH: I am a slow reader.

I like to take my time and really immerse myself in what I’m reading, which is why it takes me much longer to read books than peeps might think.

So wish me luck, fair blog reader. If I complete The Silmarillion only, I will consider it a success. I guess we’ll see how often I get caught up in Japanese and Korean food dramas on Netflix. ‘Cause it’s been a lot lately. OOPS.

Literary Mayhem

BA HA HA HA HA HA.

I AM BACK.

That’s how I feel right now, full of villainous laughter and the feeling that I’m back to being who I’ve always been. IT FEELS GREAT.

I seriously considered ending this blog post right here, but then I thought that would be kind of mean. Though “kind of mean” totally fits with my vibe right now.

Okay so let me start with this: it’s about writing. You should not be surprised. It’s always about writing. Okay, it’s almost always about writing. The next post is gonna be about not-writing, I promise.

ANYWAY.

In case you didn’t already know, I have been really strugglingwith my writing for the past forever. It had less to do with writing and more to do with my outlook… maybe go back a post and read about Sisyphus, then you’ll get what I mean.

Basically, trying to write filled me with agony and pain and suffering. Every word, every sentence, felt like a punishment. And so whatever I wrote was also really bad. Really bad and really sad and just not at all what it used to be like when I was young and joyous and free.

Now what do you think I mean when I say I AM BACK?

Normally I write a lot of blogs during NaNoWriMo, but this year I didn’t. There were a couple of reasons. Reason number one was that writing was still painful and I honestly didn’t think I’d do much of it. Reason number two was that the story I was writing was nothing but a single character. It has since evolved into a few different things, but I was starting with practically nothing. It had been a long timesince I had done such a thing – starting a story with nothing to go on but a character. So I figured that I wasn’t going to get far and there was no point in blogging a ton about my barely there NaNo efforts.

I was right. The goal? 50,000 words. My ending total? 13,033 words.

More than I was expecting, but nowhere near the actual goal.

So I think I made the right choice not blogging about NaNo this year.

Now that it’s over, though, I’m really liking where my story is going. So I decided to keep working on it.

I just finished writing a scene for this story. And the feeling I got when I had finished was the feeling that made me want to be a writer back when I first got serious about it sixteen years ago. I get a little shiver of excitement down my spine that makes me feel like an EVIL MASTERMIND OF AUTHORIAL MADNESS and all I want to do is Evil Laugh.

Thus the BA HA HA ing at the beginning.

Not only did the scene turn out better than I expected, but a connection I needed showed up quite nicely for me.

That one character I started with? Not in this scene. This one was about a completely different character that I had made up during NaNo because I was getting bored. Their stories didn’t collide in any way that I could see. But I wasn’t trying to make it all work. I was trying to just go along with whatever happened.

I still couldn’t help trying to figure out where their stories crossed, though. I thought about it occasionally, as I went about my normal days. I even thought I might have to separate the stories.

And then tonight, as I worked on a new scene for the second character, one word that I added on some kind of whimsical writerly inspiration connected the stories. One word was all it took. And that’s when I started feeling a bit like a VILLAINOUS MAD SCIENTIST.

It didn’t help that the word also kind of made this second character really dark.

This is a feeling I’ve had before. Back when writing wasn’t painful. Back when writing was more like experiments in a lab coat with a hunch backed flunky. Back when writing was like a dark cauldron bubbling over with neon goop. Back when all I wanted to do was be a Word Wizard that would Cast Spells of Fiction over all my Unwitting Readers.

I missed this feeling. It’s why I write. I thought I lost it forever, but it turns out I just had to dump my PAIN AND SUFFERING by being my own Word Wizard and not someone else’s idea of a Word Wizard.

I’m a discovery writer, folks. That’s the long and short of it. I don’t plan. I don’t create outlines. I can and I have and I tried to make myself do it. And I was miserable.

BUT NOW I AM BACK.

Maybe one day you’ll get to read my Spells of Fiction. I know some of you have been waiting a long time.

Fear not for I sense the day is nigh! My wizardly word fingers are tingling like they haven’t tingled in years! My villanous laugh is deeper and truer than it has ever been! Prepare for literary mayhem!

BA HA HA HA HA HA!

Don’t Be a Sisyphus

Seriously, don’t do it. Sisyphus was apparently a big jerk so he got doomed to an eternity of pain and suffering.

Okay, okay, I’ll summarize Sisyphus, just in case y’all don’t remember your Greek mythology.

Sisyphus was a King in ye olde Anciente Greece. Known to be the craftiest of all, he had a habit of killing people, defying the Gods, and doing all in his power to avoid death through trickery. Eventually, though, the Gods were like, “Nuh uh,” and managed to drag him down to Tartarus after many shenanigans. Once there, Zeus enchanted a boulder so that Sisyphus would have to push it up a hill only to have it roll back down again… for all eternity. ‘Cause the Gods don’t be foolin’ around.

Sisyphus was the worst. Does he truly deserve an eternity of boulder pushing? I don’t know and it hardly matters since this is mythology we’re talking about here. Whether or not Sisyphus was an actual person, I have a hard time believing he’s still pushing a boulder in a non-existent Underworld.

However, there are loads of people who have their own metaphorical boulders that they’ve been pushing for years only to have them roll back down again. Unlike Sisyphus, they don’t understand that what they’re doing is completely pointless. They have a firm belief that they will eventually get to the top and that the boulder will someday remain there.

Allow me to crush your hopes and dreams. Your boulder? Ain’t never gonna get to the top of that hill.

The good news is that who gives a fuck? I mean, seriously. Let me give you an example of the no fucks given that should be employed in this situation.

Using my own life is always easiest, so let’s go with that.

Hello, my name is Christina, and I’m a writer. I’ve been trying to finish a novel for ages and yet have never managed to do so. My boulder always crushes me as it goes back down the hill. Very painful. I have to wait for my broken legs to mend before I can get back up to continue pushing.

My boulder? Writing a novel.

My legs? Actually my confidence in my own skill as a writer.

While I wait for the legs, I study up on boulder pushing. Or in this case, on how to write a novel.

The problem? Everybody has their own methods of boulder pushing. So I end up pushing my boulder using bits of methods from all of them. Every time I start pushing again, I change the method based on what I’ve read recently. Or sometimes I just start over and do it exactly the same way.

The result? No results. Broken legs.

Guess what, though? That boulder is really made of my insecurities. All these years, I thought I was pushing my novel up that hill. Wrong! My novel is the hill! And it’s completed manuscript is at the top! That boulder is just a wad of doubt and outside influence. That boulder is me clinging to the idea that a writer has to do things a certain way and has to be a certain person.

Upon discovering the boulder was useless, I was able to fling my fucks out the window. Unlike Sisyphus, I can leave the boulder at the bottom of the hill. I can just walk around it and climb up the hill boulder-free. And eventually get to the top, where I can hang out with a finished novel.

There is actually a second option, too. I could walk away from the hill entirely. I could decide that writing a novel is not something I care to do. I could say, what the hell why is this so tied to my own identity, I give up goodbye. I’m gonna go be a bus driver, which turns out to be my true calling.

Not really, but my point is that you could do that with your own hill if you so desired.

My recommendation? Don’t be a Sisyphus. Get rid of your boulder. Walk away, walk around, or hire a burly construction worker to jackhammer it out of existence.

More often than not, the boulder is not something you need to contend with. You don’t need to take that thing with you anywhere. Whether it’s your insecurities, as in my case, or someone else’s expectations saying you have to do this specific thing or maybe your perception of what the world wants you to be. You don’t need any of that. Look seriously at your hill. Is it something that you chose for yourself? Is that hill representing something that is a true part of you? If so, realize the boulder is just doubt trying to keep you back from being your full self and walk around it. If not, realize that this is not the hill for you and walk away.

It’s okay. It’s okay to choose your own path. You aren’t a jerk like Sisyphus, so there’s no need to torture yourself as though you were an angry Zeus.

Fat & Happy: My Reality

My grandma always used to say “Be fat and be happy!”

I don’t know if she truly believed that sentiment, but as a kid, I thought it was perfect.

However, things changed. I got older. I got different messages. I changed my outlook.

For a long time now, I’ve been trying to reconcile the ideas in my head and the feelings in my heart with the message I’ve received from the world for my entire life.

Head says, “You’re healthy. All your tests come out fine. No doctor has ever told you you’ll die if you don’t lose weight. So what does it matter? Also, have you looked at how expensive those diet programs are? Those peeps are bajillionaires so of course they’re going to tell you that your weight is a problem. Just go your own way, you’re totes fine.”

Heart says, “Yeah, what’s it to anybody else how you look? You’re beautiful, baby! Your curves are part of who you are! Why hate on yourself because you can’t maintain a supermodel body? Most of which are photoshopped anydangway? Have a donut, it’s okay.”

The world says, “Nope. Being fat is deadly, you are obese, you are lazy, you are incapable of restraining yourself from eating all kinds of foods that will obviously kill you. OH BUT here, buy some more of it because guess what it’s actually heart healthy, you know! Now hang on, don’t eat so much of that, here buy this book and this exercise program and this gym membership, that should help you, you ugly cow.”

Then my head starts saying, “Wait, what… I’m an ugly cow?? Oh my god, I’m an ugly cow, what is wrong with me, I’m the laziest and the fattest and no one will ever love me or find me attractive.”

Then the heart chimes in with, “OH GOD I FEEL BAD NOW WHERE ARE THOSE COOKIES.”

I used to care a lot about my weight because of that message from society, but lately, I’ve been really questioning it. I don’t feel unhealthy. I feel fine, physically.

 

A year ago, my doctor told me I had high cholesterol. My previous doctor had told me the same thing and she told me it was likely genetics that caused it. When my current doctor told me, my immediate response was, “Yeah, I know I need to lose weight.”

You know what she said?

She said, “Oh, it might not have anything to do with your weight.”

And guess what? It didn’t.

For the next year, I figured out what I needed to do to eat healthier. I stopped eating as much fast food. I started cooking a lot of something healthy on Sunday so I could freeze it for the whole next week or even two. My cholesterol? It went down by twenty points. (That’s a lot. My doc was impressed.) My weight? It stayed the same.

I did not lose a pound. And yet, my cholesterol (and other things that might’ve been creeping up) went down and I was healthier. So why does everybody say being fat is bad for you?

It’s either because that’s what they’ve been (falsely) taught or making other people believe being fat is bad for you is the source of their income.

Food companies? Full of shit. Don’t believe a thing those fools tell you. They pay butt loads of money to be able to say their product is “heart healthy” or whatever. They give out awards to themselves. (It’s like Kraft giving their cheese the “Healthiest Cheese” award. Kraft cheese: the Healthiest Cheese according to Kraft! I’m not making this shit up.)

SO.

Here’s the deal, my peeps. The reality is that being fat is not unhealthy. Need you more evidence? Are you wondering where I’m getting this info from? Aside from my own personal experience with cholesterol, that is?

Read this book. It has been blowing my mind. This lady is all about the science, guys. She’s done studies, she’s studied studies, and she’s got like ten Ph.D.s. My therapist recommended it to me and I’m freaking out about it.

So if being fat is not bad for you, the only reason you have left to try losing weight is that you’re concerned about how you look.

Let me lay it out for you like this (and I know I’ve written it this way somewhere before… my old blog, maybe? I don’t remember):

A supermodel chooses to be a supermodel, in most cases. It is their job. It is their livelihood. They spend their job maintaining their supermodel body. Those eight hours you’re hanging out in a cubicle? They’re doing whatever it is supermodels have to do to stay at their tiny size. And then probably the rest of the twenty-four hours on top of that.

You know who else does this kind of thing? Elton John. I mean, all musicians, but I’m just using him as an example. Now, I don’t know Elton, but my guess is that he spends quite a lot of time at the piano. He plays and he plays and he plays that’s what makes him so amazingly good at it. The time and work a supermodel puts into looking like a supermodel, Elton John puts into sounding like an amazing musician.

Do you expect yourself to be able to play the piano like Elton John while still maintaining a full-time job and living your normal day to day life? Of course not. If you could do that, you’d be some kind of super genius or something.

So why in the world would you expect yourself to have a supermodel body (or anything even close to it) under the same circumstances?

IT MAKES NO DANG SENSE.

And seriously, all those people who are like, oh man I only date supermodels because I’m clearly super gorgeous myself la la la YEAH WHATEVER FOOL.

That person is in dreamland. NOBODY IS PERFECT. WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT. WE ARE ALL DIVERSE. AND WE ALL HAVE SOMETHING TO BRING INTO AND ADD TO THIS WORLD, NO MATTER WHAT WE LOOK LIKE, WHERE WE CAME FROM, OR WHAT HORRIBLE THINGS HAVE HAPPENED IN OUR PAST.

Why do you want to contribute to the fat shaming of our society by forcing yourself to conform to it? By trying to be thin when you’re just not built to be thin? By doing diets that are more harmful and actually cause you to gain more weight in the long run? By doing exercise you hate even though there is no scientific evidence that it promotes weight loss?

I’m not subscribing to that guilt trip anymore. According to our health industry (which is bought out by the big corporations, by the way, and unfortunately can’t be trusted most of the time), I’m considered obese. Fuck that.

You wanna know what I think? I think I’m beautiful. I think I’ve got a round belly and soft thighs and man I am like a freakin’ pillow. Cuddling with me is like cuddling with a cloud ’cause I’m just that soft and squishy. I’m also a creative, loving person who will giggle with anybody about unicorns and enjoy every ounce of coffee, chocolate, and french fries I consume. I don’t hate people who have issues with their body. I want to embrace them. I want to tell them that it’s okay. I want to tell them that they are wonderful just as they are. That they are not unhealthy and there is proof of that. That they are more likely to die in a car accident than by being “overweight”. And this includes everybody. I love all of you, each and every one. Whether you’re fat or skinny or somewhere in between. Whether you hate yourself or love yourself. You deserve happiness. Don’t let the lies convince you that you aren’t good enough.  You are. You’re good enough for me, at the very least. And if you look at those who love you, you’ll find they think you’re more than good enough for them. Love each other, yes? Love each other, love yourself.

Be fat and be happy.

[[DISCLAIMER: Once again, most of my info comes from the book Health At Every Size, as linked above. The author goes into A LOT of science and more detail. She discusses the role of money in the food industry, government health regulations, and the agricultural industry (which gave us the food pyramid). She also goes into the impact of weight on actual health, including various diseases normally attributed to weight gain. If anything I said above piques your interest (even if it’s that you disagree), I highly recommend checking out the book. You can also ask me and I will happily quote the book at you all day. I claim none of this info as my own except for my experience with cholesterol, the things my own doctors have said, and all that stuff which is obviously my opinion and anger at the entire situation.]]

 

Why I Can’t Write

Okay people. I’m about to get really real with y’all. So be prepared for that, I guess.

It’s been a month since I wrote my Crazy Town Update post. Since this post is slightly related, let me tell you what ended up happening on the medication front. Basically, I switched meds. So far, I have not had a bad reaction, but I never fully stopped taking anything. I replaced citalopram with escitalopram. I know, I know. But they don’t do the same thing. The citalopram was treating something I no longer deal with and the escitalopram is basically the citalopram equivalent for what I am dealing with. It’s like if your cold turned into bronchitis. You would start out taking whatever to treat cold symptoms, but eventually you’d have to switch to something that could treat bronchitis symptoms. 

Anyway, I wanted to write about why I’m not writing. This isn’t entirely true, since obviously I can still write some stuff. The thing is that I never seem to be able to finish anything beyond poetry and blog posts – this has been happening for years. Lately, however, I’m having a hard time doing writing of any kind. I’m really forcing myself to do this because sometimes that’s what you have to do.

It has taken me a long time to discover why this has been happening for so long.

Back in July, I wrote a post about failing. You can read it here if you so desire. I talk a lot about discovery writing and how I was using it as an excuse. I talk about how afraid I am that whatever I write is going to be awful.

I still feel that way and I doubt I will ever stop feeling that way. I’ve also recently discovered that I’m just as afraid of success as I am of failure. Yeah, I’m a mess.

These things might be good explanations for why I’m stuck, but there’s more to it than just these surface fears.

The real question is why?

To overcome fear, you have to face it. In this case, it sounds like I need to just write and that will be facing my fear. Not so. What I need to do is go inside, to my inner feelings mausoleum where I bury all the junk I don’t want to think about, open the tomb, take everything out, and hold it in my hands, my heart, and my mind.

Why are you afraid?

Why do you believe you aren’t good enough?

Why do you think you’re unworthy?

I think these questions plague many people. And the truth about creativity is that it is fueled by emotion. If you’re like me and you bury feelings away, you’ll soon find that you bury all of the feelings. And when all your feelings are buried or chained up or hidden or lost – you can’t call on them for creativity.

And that’s why I can’t write. This is why I haven’t been able to truly put all I have into my writing. I don’t allow myself access to all I have. I allow myself access to just enough to get through my days.

The reality of life is that while our society generally prefers people to “put on a happy face”, that advice is total bullshit. You’ll be miserable forever if you pretend that you’re not miserable.

What is the true key to happiness? It’s two fold. The first part is realizing that it’s actually impossible to be happy all the time. That’s not how life works. By living, by putting yourself out there, you are committing yourself to both happiness and pain. That’s what risk is. If you never take a risk, you will never experience either of those things. They come together. The second part is acceptance. You can’t just take the happiness and leave the pain. Embrace the truth of how you feel. Do you feel sad? Worried? Angry? Upset? You want to cry? Eat all the chocolate? Stuff it down with alcohol? No. Don’t stuff it down. Let it out. Talk about it. Be honest with yourself. Say, yes I’m hurting. And it’s okay! 

It is okay to feel ANY feeling. Sadness, anger, defeat, failure, depression, frustration, fear, lonliness. IT IS OKAY.

Never let anyone tell you your feelings don’t matter. Never let anyone tell you to “suck it up”. Never let anyone tell you that you need to hide your emotions.

If you do that, you will never be able to set those feelings free. Instead they’ll sit inside you and fester. They will mutate into monsters. And then you’ll have a lot more shit to deal with.

If you can’t talk to someone – at least be honest about your feelings with yourself. And be gentle with yourself. You are doing the best that you can, even if it feels like you aren’t.

I would like to say here that I am learning a lot of these ideas from Brene Brown and I highly recommend her books Rising Strong and Daring Greatly.

In conclusion, I’m learning how to be honest with myself about my feelings. I’m learning how to access them again. And while it’s rough going sometimes, it’s also a relief to finally let them out. I have a feeling it won’t be long before I’m writing again.

I’m learning to say: I am enough.

And so are you. Know that you are loved and know that no matter what you are enough.

Crazy Town Update

I would like to start by saying thank you to everyone who commented on my last post, both here and on Facebook, giving me encouragement and letting me know that I’m not alone. It means so much to me and I love you all for being so supportive.

Now, you may recall from my previous post that getting off of this medication caused me to experience something called “head zaps”, which while annoying, weren’t painful. That was the case for the first few days of the week. Thursday, not so good. Friday, getting worse. Saturday, unbearable. Not only did they become far more frequent and intense, but they were getting painful, too.

Saturday night, I’m desperate for relief, but I’m SO DETERMINED not to take the pills again. So, as I always do in times of crisis, I turned to Google.

I was looking for advice on how to reduce the effects – anything I could do or other things I could take that might make the head zaps less horrible. I think my Adderall really does make a difference, which is why I was able to function at work at all this week. The problem is that I can’t take Adderall at night if I want to sleep. Plus it’s not like I use it to treat head zaps and I still need it for it’s actual purpose, so it isn’t really a good solution.

The only thing I could find was people recommending fish oil supplements. Although I don’t understand how that works, I didn’t give a shit and was willing to try any damn thing. If they had said to smear peanut butter all over my body, I would have done it.

So I slowly make my way to Smith’s which is open 24 hours and super close to my house – I don’t think I would have made it too far – and buy me some fish oil. That mess is expensive! What am I paying $25 for? Some guy scraping oil off of fish? I’m sure that’s not how it works, but fish oil just doesn’t seem like something that should cost so much.

Anyway, fish oil prices aside, I went home and took some. No change, but I’m not sure how long it takes to make a difference, so I go back to my Google search to see if there’s anything else I may have missed.

And then I find a tapering schedule recommended by a doctor specifically for Celexa (I take the generic citalopram, but it’s the same thing).

This schedule? EIGHT WEEKS. 

The one I did? Three.

Now, I made up my own schedule, so perhaps that was part of the issue. It’s not that I’m not seeing someone for these meds – I am, but our focus was on the Adderall, not the citalopram. She recommended I try to stop taking it, that some people experience head zaps, but she didn’t say much about it beyond that. 

The thing is, I’ve been taking this medication for years, so of course I’m more likely to have severe side effects when trying to stop taking it. I thought I was helping that with my three week tapering schedule, but it turns out you need to give each dose reduction a LOT more time so your body can adjust. 

At this point, I realized it would make a lot more sense for me to start taking the pill again and try this longer tapering schedule. I would rather do that with the chance that I can successfully get off the pill with minimal withdrawal symptoms than try to suffer my way through the horribly intense ones I was having. 

Stage one is taking my regular dose for a week, letting myself get used to that again, then alternating days with the lower dose for a couple weeks. Then you just kind of do that while reducing each dose until you get to the end. If I follow the schedule I’ve got set up now, I won’t be fully off the drug until mid October. Which is perfectly fine with me because I woke up head zap free and I haven’t had one all day. 

I took the Knight Bus out of Crazy Town, but only for a week’s vacay. I’ll be stuck behind the world’s slowest sloth on my way back in, though, so it should take me seven weeks to get back to where I was. It’s cool, speeding in on a moped was clearly not the way to go. I’m more than happy to try again.