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3 May 2002

Exhaustion? Boredom? Depression?

I don't know what it is, but I've got it. An odd switch for someone who has been on such a high for so long. But that's why my therapist gave me an SSRI to begin with, to help control mood swings.

Since I started Wellbutrin nearly 8 months ago, my mood has remained deliciously even. I knew the medication was working when I could feel the familiar beginnings of a black mood and realize that I had the ability to control it...that things weren't that bad...that there was no point in working myself up over things I couldn't control.

So this state I'm in right now has taken me by surprise—especially because there is no precipitating cause. I can't say, "I'm depressed because....." It started a couple of days ago. I couldn't figure out why I was having to force myself to go to the club in the morning, why I didn't leave the club feeling better, why I took my after-club bike ride through the greenbelt because I told myself I had to, not because I really wanted to. (But I will admit that being at the duck pond this morning when several mother Canada geese were out with their babies made the ride today worthwhile!)

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When I found myself doing nothing this afternoon but sitting at my desk, holding my head in my hands, trying desperately not to listen to those voices in the kitchen whispering "eat me! eat me!" I finally figured out I must be depressed.

I think it's just feeling overworked. Dr. G's practice is picking up. We're having full days now, so that keeps me running at full tilt during all my hours working at the office.

However, when I get home, my work day is only half over. Normally things aren't so bad, but all three of my "after work" jobs have suddenly exploded. Not only is the psychiatrist seeing more patients, the psychologist, who often goes months without doing any dictation at all, is suddenly churning out reports like an automaton. And Dr. G, who may dictate four chart notes a day, is now trying to finish a book for publication, and even Dr. C, who has, to now, handwritten all of her chart notes, has left me a tape to transcribe.

So my stack of work to do when I get home from a long day at the office (especially on "afternoon days," where we start at noon and go till 6:30 or 7 p.m.) just seems insurmountable.

Add to that trying to have a life (attending a weekly movie class, going bike riding) and guilt over being on the award committee for this quarter with no time to do anything, and a clear picture begins to emerge.

In the past, I've worked until midnight or 1 a.m. or later, but now I try to transcribe at night and I can't keep my eyes open, or my brain on anything that makes any sense at all. I'm so sleepy, I conk out by 9, which means getting up at 3 or 4 a.m. to do the work I didn't do the previous night.

I think I'm coming to the end—thank God. I asked the psychologist to take the last of his reports to his bookkeeper who helps out with transcription sometimes. I'm coming close to catching up with the psychiatrist (until Monday when his patient week starts again), and that leaves only Dr. G's book, which thank goodness is easy typing (though today I had to clean my office to find some corrections he'd given me a month ago, which I'd forgotten about!)

But tomorrow I've promised to take Priscilla to visit her mother—that 6 hour round trip which I've grown to hate—which will put me one day behind again.

The problem is that it becomes a self defeating cycle. When I get like this it's literally paralyzing. There is so much to do that all I can really do is just sit and stare, which puts me further behind.

At least, thank God, there are no shows to review this week.


Quote of the Day
(in honor of Marn)

In the early days all I hoped was to make a living out of what I did best. But, since there's no real market for masturbation I had to fall back on my bass playing abilities.

~ Les Claypool ~

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