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Friday, January 10, 2014

What does the brain say? FIZZ FIZZ ZAP ZAP ZAPZAPZAP APPLIQUE

Update on the stupid bloody depression thing: I am slowly weaning myself off Cymbalta. I've been leaning toward doing this for some time because I'm not convinced it's doing much good. I think I've given it a pretty good try (well over six months, at this point). Also, after going off all hormonal birth control a couple of months ago and feeling like that might have made more of a difference, I have a notion that maybe I should try resetting to no meds to see what it feels like. I would be both relieved and kind of pissed off if it turns out that NuvaRing was what was making me depressed all along. Like, really? I went through seven years of garbage brain and pill-popping because of a fucking baby-preventing vaginal jelly bracelet? And nobody bothered to suggest that it might be the source of my problem?

Anyway, as it turns out, getting off Cymbalta is fairly annoying. There are plenty of posts on the internet that describe exactly what I'm going through, so I won't bore you with the details, except to say that I get brain zaps like woah. And also to mention that I think this might be affecting my computer.

OK, not really. Superstitiously. But ... I mean, the thought is there.

I have always sort of vaguely half-believed—or at least been fascinated by—the notion that you might be able to affect your computer with your brain. I read about fringe-y studies that show some kind of mind-effect on computers back in 2001, and I used to joke about it back when I worked in IT. What else could explain how some people seem to have such trouble with computers, while others don't? Haven't you ever had an experience where you do something over and over again on a computer but can't the result you want, and then someone comes over and does the exact same thing, and suddenly it works? (No, don't ruin my train of thought with you skepticism and logical explanations LALALALALA.) I swear I've seen this effect in action so many times. I used to demonstrate it with printers pretty regularly when I had an office job. I would just kind of hang out with a troublesome printer for a while, peer into its guts maybe, and the next thing you know, it's printing without a hiccup. They called me the Printer Whisperer.

Anyway, I have gone through periods of my life where my computers have refused to behave as intended; generally, these have been pretty dark periods for me, mood-wise. There was one ex-computer in particular, a Compaq Presario I dated, I mean, owned from 2000-2002, that regularly brought me to tears, and which I credit for teaching me how to build a computer because it broke so often. As I mentioned in a post last month (coincidentally—or not!—around the time I started stepping down my Cymbalta dose) my current set-up has started to give me grief after 18 months of very smooth sailing. First, it was the capacitors in my speaker. Then the battery in my UPS completely bit the dust. Soon afterward, my desktop refused to boot; actually, it refused to even POST. After exhaustively disassembling it and testing and retesting every single damn component for hours, I narrowed it down to the motherboard and bought a replacement. Hooray, it POST-ed, but then came hiccups with the BIOS, and now the video card, which is causing the system to freeze and shutdown automatically without error codes. I'm currently waiting for a replacement video card to arrive.

In other words, since beginning to experience Cymbalta withdrawal, I've had to buy new capacitors, a UPS battery, a motherboard, graphics card, and thermal paste; I'm out well over $250.

It feels like the ghost of that Compaq is coming back to haunt me. Or maybe my serotonin-starved brain, zapping away every few seconds, is doing bad things to my electronics.



I got away from my desktop today, since I seem to be breaking it with my mind constantly, and instead taught myself how to do applique. Behold! My first applique, which now adorns the front of an old sweatshirt with toothpaste stains on it:


I used a pre-made llama from Etsy and gussied it up with teeth and a saddle and the Andes and shit.

Other things I did this week, that give me hope that ditching Cymbalta will turn out OK:
  • Watched some opera, via the Metropolitan Opera On Demand service. I forgot to mention in my previous post about depression that it also makes me not really want to listen to any music at all, so this was kind of a big deal.
  • Popped some Dramamine to tone down the dizziness and stumbled out of my house to visit the kung fu place. I officially start training tomorrow. This is probably an even bigger deal.
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