It is a sobering thought that when Samuel Taylor Coleridge was my age, he had been dead for three years. This thought occurred to me when I was pondering his addiction to opium, and the possible effects it had on his poetry, and on his state of mind.
Other drugs have a more beneficent consequence on ones equanimity though I wonder whether they are good for one’s art. If one has an art. I know one very talented person who suffers the black dog considerably and manages without medication. Her writing and her art are inspiring.
I mention this because I am returning to a regime of Fluoxetine (Prozac). I was in hospital this morning visiting a friend who had a wee heart attack yesterday and I spotted that my favourite GP was back again. He is only here a few weeks of the year, and I found him to be the most considerate and open of all the doctors I have seen up here. I made an appointment straight away to see him this afternoon. I was glad I did. He is really easy to talk to and does not mind the tears. He heard me out, then assured me that I should indeed be on medication and that it will be most sensible if I remain on it for the rest of my life. The drug will do me no harm, and will stave off the worst of the anxiety and depression that I have allowed to infiltrate my life again. Considering how much better I felt when I first started on it so long ago, and how shitty I feel now, I should have worked it out sooner.
Advice to those who need it: Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. and take the pills!
I wonder if it will allow me to be as creative as I want to be, though it is probably a moot point as I have not been particularly productive anyway. So many half-formed ideas and so little to show for it. Can I blame the illness for my apathy? If so perhaps I can catch up.
I need to rid myself of this double albatross of anxiety for the present and future, and depression about the past, and look again for my own Xanadu.
Could I revive within meHer symphony and song,To such a deep delight ’twould win me,That with music loud and long,I would build that dome in air,That sunny dome! those caves of ice!And all who heard should see them there,And all should cry, Beware! Beware!His flashing eyes, his floating hair!Weave a circle round him thrice,And close your eyes with holy dreadFor he on honey-dew hath fed,And drunk the milk of Paradise.
The Pharmacist who filled my prescription and I have been on chatty first name terms for a long while. Today he asked if I would like to go fishing on Sunday. Of course I would. I should be in a good mood by Sunday morning. Even if not, having made a such a commitment to someone else, there will be no room for the apathetic postponement and displacement activity I usually pull when I decide to do – and then not to do – something like this. Even that thought cheered me up considerably. I hadn’t taken one yet, and already the pills were working.