Saturday, August 1, 2009

Insomnia on Lexapro

[I wrote the following on Monday, July 20, and just now edited it I was still on Lexapro, and would be tapering off my dose for the next week and a half.]

I can't sleep. It's 2:30 in the morning. I'm not just not tired, I'm twitchy. I'm listening to This American Life; it just so happens that this week's episode is a rerun, Fear of Sleep.

I am blaming myself. I was up until 4 the last two nights, hanging out with a friend one night and writing a short story the next. Insomnia is a heavy theme in the story. I'm questioning the things I was up late for, were they worthwhile?

I blame myself for my problems with anxiety. I would rather be interesting than happy. I've always wanted to be a genius, like Einstein or Edison. Most geniuses are a little eccentric, so I cultivate eccentricities in hopes that I'll become a genius as a result. I carry around toys in my cargo shorts, I eat postmodern food, I try to cultivate an offbeat theology. I wonder if I'm an anxious insomniac because I'm obsessed with genius and interestingness.

I know it has to be the other way around, I have obsessions because I have nervous churning in my belly and I have to latch on to something. Healthy people, I suppose, have things happen to them and then they have feelings about those things. I have feelings, whirling around, and they'll attach themselves to whatever is happening. It took me a long time after the onset of my condition for me to learn say "I'm anxious because I have an anxiety disorder, not because of X." where X is people around me or my research or my creative work or 3 billion people living on $2 a day or whether or not God exists or my finances or whether I am a good person.

I know that I didn't give myself my problems, because if I were to pick a condition, I'd have synesthesia or schizophrenia. I want to be interesting. Schizophrenia is interesting. Anxiety is boring; when I'm anxious, I most want to oversleep or read Photobomb. I know that I'm not having trouble falling asleep now because of anything that's my fault; I'm not just not drowsy, I'm hyper and twitchy. I didn't cause that.

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