An exterior cold and plastic, a viscera of raging panic demanding that I succumb
As I sat on the edge of the bed trying to peer through my veil of imagined despair, my lovely wife, Millie, walked into the bedroom pensively, and asked, “How do you feel this morning?” She is an early riser and I am not. Millie is an amazing cook and loves the art, so a busy morning in the kitchen is her routine. Her other morning routine is to check on me around 8:00 am, I rarely sleep later. My response, “I’m ok”, was less than convincing, a dreadful dead pan answer with no conviction.
“You’re in a bad place, then?”
I responded, “Yes, I have the veil.” Millie, having received the answer, knew the next 14 hours would go one of two ways: the veil would lift around noon due to labored rationality or, an entire day and night of semi catatonic absence. I could, on bad days, be no better than a mannequin with the ability to answer simple questions; an exterior cold and plastic, a viscera of raging panic demanding that I succumb.
Millie, with true sadness and pity in her voice expressed recognition, “I’m sorry, Sweety”. That’s all she could say and do. As she returned to the kitchen, I said, speaking softly, “I have work to do today.” Staring at my feet, a repeated thought cycled once again, ‘this won’t work much longer’.
We had errands to run. Movement usually helped but in varying degrees. Today, there was no relief as I got ready to head into town with Millie. She drove while I sat silent staring out the window at everything and nothing. In the mannequin’s irrational dimension, I was dying.
I had sat with my psychiatrist several weeks before. After he learned of my diminished ability to cope, he upped my daily dose of Duloxetine from 90 mg to 120 mg and added a new drug, Buspirone at 10 mg daily. I was already on a 2 mg dose of Alprazolam XR. As he wrote the scripts I thought, with disgust, ‘more drugs more dosage’. I do not like meds but fighting for existence superseded my principled stance on “a pill for every ill”.
Sitting on the bench in the pharmacy of our local superstore, waiting for scripts to be filled, surrounded by an abundance of cheaply made stuff that is emblematic of our enlightened culture, I thought, maybe, hopefully, the Buspirone will help. The metal pharmacy bench was uncomfortable, I’m sure. That reality was not noticed, however, the veil was drawn down and untamed bad thoughts spun through my head like a dust devil.