An interview conducted by me with me.
JTI: It's been a week since you drove to Oregon, how was it?
JTA: Well, any fleeting fantasies I may have had about being a long-haul trucker are now gone.
JTI: Long drive.
JTA: Very long. More than ten hours long. Minus ten minutes to buy a burger and pee, I never exited my car on the way up. On the way back, I did get gas in Oregon and stop to pee in the woods, once.
JTI: Oh... Kay. So, why were you up there, again?
JTA: My brother got married on the first.
JTI: Nice wedding?
JTA: Yeah. It was at a lighthouse and there was a rock covered in puffins, and their poop. The temperature was nice when the wind wasn't blowing. The preacher/pastor guy did a good job and left religion out of it, which made me happy because shouldn't a marriage be between the people getting married and not the people and God?
The reception, well, it seemed a little muddled to me, though.
JTI: What does that mean?
JTA: My brother and his wife aren't really "traditional" people, but they bought a book (or looked it up online or something) about traditions at weddings and then got into the mode that they had to do certain things.
JTI: Like what?
JTA: First dance. Dance with opposite gendered parents. (Although my brother didn't do his.) Isolated table. Speeches by only certain people. Cake cutting ceremony. Wedding party table set way far away from guests. Nothing that was a big deal, but things that didn't strike me as in character for the two who got married.
Things that were in character was the mimosas at breakfast. The tarts instead of a cake. A tray full of dry salami. The music. (How often do you hear Donovan, James Darren, They Might Be Giants, and The Traveling Wilburys at a wedding?) The time the wedding took place. The speeches given by the bestmen.
JTI: So, how was it?
JTA: People seemed to enjoy it quite a bit.
JTA: I enjoyed it as much as I've enjoyed any wedding.
JTI: And that means?
JTA: Look, I'm already not so comfortable in social situations that involve more than 5 people, and in general I'm not sure what I'm supposed to feel at a wedding.
I looked around at the ceremony and saw some tears and many smiles. All I wanted to do was crack jokes during the vows. (Which I did.) It's not appropriate, but, to me, knowing my brother and my sister-in-law, the vows were generic and, well, silly. They made those sorts of vows to each other a year ago, are they more special -- or important -- because they said them in front of some guy and their families and friends? I don't think so. Other probably disagree with me, though.
At the reception, I saw my dad get red faced and teary while he talked to my brother, alone, off in a corner. I wondered if I was supposed to feel that bitter-sweet mix of emotions, too. I didn't, though, To me, they've been essentially married for a year, other than getting some really great gifts and wearing rings, what's changed?
JTI: Christ, you must suck at parties.
JTA: I do. I really do.
JTA: Still, the wedding wasn't about me. It was about the couple and they seemed to have a good time, as did their parents and grandparents and friends and family.
JTI: Anything else interesting happen while you were up there?
JTA: My brother, sort of joking, asked me to move up there and become his partner in a coffee roasting company.
JTA: Yeah. He said that his boss is looking to sell and to get the equipment and the stock would probably be $60000 to $80000, plus we'd get the customer base that's already built up.
JTI: Did you consider it?
JTA: For about 30 seconds.
JTI: 30 seconds? Why so short?
JTA: Well, my immediate thought was could I earn a living wage, but with Oregon being so much more cheap than California, that'd be possible. Second thought was HOORAY! Third thought was what would we do? Fourth, brother would roast and talk to people and design labels and blends. Fifth, I'd end up doing a lot of the business stuff. And that's where the thoughts ended.
JTI: You don't think you'd be good at the business stuff?
JTA: I think I'd be fine. I've looked into starting small businesses as a lark, so I know some of the basics. (Even now I'm thinking about the things that I'd have to start doing to get going.) I know how to start creating an internet presence, which is needed. And I can handle any sort of math that'd be thrown at me.
JTA: I'm not passionate about coffee. I don't really like the stuff, and if you're going to run a business, it should be a business that involves something you like, right? How long would it take me to be miserable taking care of a thing, after having sunk $30000 to $40000 into it, that I don't even like? Not long at all.
JTA: So, it was never brought up again.
JTI: Anything else?
JTA: I got the feeling that I was more disturbing to people than usual.
JTI: What do you mean?
JTA: I was uncomfortable a lot of the time and I glowered in a sullen/discontented manner. I was called on it a couple of times and my now-married brother felt the need, several times, to reiterate how happy he was that I made it to Oregon, earlier than originally planned, even.
Maybe I didn't disturb them so much as it was more noticed or they were more wanting to talk about it with me, or something. Not that I really let anyone actually talk to me about how I was feeling at any given moment.
JTI: On that note, how's the fluoxetine treatment going?
JTA: Um... well... I'm sort of not taking it anymore.
JTA: Yeah, I stopped taking it, with my doctor's knowledge, about three-and-a-half months ago.
JTA: Because it evened me out in a not-so-good way.
JTI: Please explain.
JTA: Okay, let's put our days on a scale of 1 to 10:
A 1 is a day where you feel so down that you don't want to get out of bed. You're so miserable that you're willing to wallow in your own piss and shit rather than roll out of bed and walk ten feet to the toilet. A day where the only thoughts in your head are horrible ones.
A 10 is a day where you feel like your in a never ending orgasm. You know you'll succeed at everything. Everything you do feels good and right and wonderful. It just all goes your way.
JTA: Most people live somewhere in between those two extremes.
JTA: From the way it looks to me, and I may be wrong, the average person's life fluctuates between 4 and 8, occasionally dropping to a 3 and having a few times at a 9.
JTA: On that scale, I figure that my life floats between 2 and 6. I can't even remember the last day that I'd give a 7 to and I think I spend most of my time below a 5.
JTI: And the meds?
JTA: They evened me out, like they're supposed to, but I was hovering between a 3 and a 4 with dips and spikes going, maybe, a point either way. Just this side of feeling like nothing is good. Sure I spent less time thinking horrible things, but suddenly there were never any good days. Not a single day when I felt a moment of happy. Just days I got through and that made me feel even worse.
JTI: And that's why you quit the pills?
JTI: Now you think you feel more of a range?
JTI: Do you still have "horrible" thoughts.
JTI: Ever afraid you'll act those thoughts out?
JTA: I'm not ready to go into that here.
JTI: Okay... okay, then why didn't you get moved to a different medication? There are tons of different antidepressant medications out there, why not a different one?
JTA: I don't know.
JTI: Did you ask?
JTA: Of course I asked.
JTI: What happened?
JTA: The first time I asked my GP told me to talk to the psychiatrist I was seeing then. When I asked him about it he told me it was between me and my GP. When I asked her about it she weened me off the ones that I was taking.
JTA: And I went back to feeling like I felt before the pills.
JTI: Did you tell her that?
JTA: Yeah, I e-mailed her asking about other medication and she asked me how I was feeling and I wrote that I felt about the same as before and she said great and told me to talk to the psychiatrist.
JTI: Did you?
JTA: I asked him about meds and he said it was up to my GP, again.
JTA: I quit.
JTA: Quit trying. Being pushed around in circles while being confused and depressed and wholly uncomfortable is worse than just... being what I'm feeling.
They tell you that when you're depressed, you don't have to feel the way you feel because it's not normal, and I believe that's true, but when trying to feel better makes you feel worse... well, what the fuck, right?
JTI: *sigh* Sure. Anything else you'd like to say.
JTI: Okay. Thanks.
JTA: Thank you.