I mentioned on Sunday that I was on a new migraine medication. Still on it. It’s working so far as far as migraines go, which is good, because they were getting bad. My head is a very quiet place in some ways. In others, it’s sharply divided.
I don’t really know how to explain that, except to say that it’s a little like the dividedness of migraine. I am in the center; all around me is something that is happening in my brain but isn’t part of who I am. It’s a little like anxiety in that way too. It isn’t mine, but it’s right here and not leaving me alone. But this is its own thing, different from migraine, different from anxiety. Sometimes it’s like a heavy comforter, weighing everything down. Sometimes it’s like the scattered interconnectedness of dreaming.
Some of it probably is dreaming, actually, since what they put me on is amitriptyline. One of the dominant side effects is drowsiness, and I’ve got it in spades. I wouldn’t mind sleeping 11-12 hours a night/day so much, since I’ve needed to pay out this sleep debt for months, if I could only be awake when I’m awake. But I’m not there yet. Making progress, maybe, but not there. Caffeine isn’t much help.
So this drug is trying to make me sleep more than I can physically sleep in a day, which means it sometimes tries to turn my brain over to dreaming while I have my eyes open and am thinking about other things. At its best, that provides a weird stream of consciousness that can be amusing. At its worst, that means hallucinations.
Again, having had migraines serves me well here, as do similar experiences with diphenhydramine (variously Benadryl or Unisom/Sominex in the U.S., depending on whether the antihistamine or sedative properties are desired). The strange things my brain is doing don’t seem normal, but they’re a normal abnormal. They’re an “Oh, that” rather than a “What the fuck?!”
Still, this experience is new in some ways, and while I’ve learned tricks or habits that allow me to sort of think through a migraine, I’m not sure I’ve learned how to think through dreaming. Well, not coherently enough to write, anyway. Or at least not coherently enough to trust myself to make sense when I write.
Consider this an experiment in the form of an explanation in the form of half an apology. I may not be writing a ton for a little while here, while the me that is me figures out how to deal with the me that is drugged. And the me that is asleep even when I’m not sleeping. I’ll get back to this as I can.