The epistemological question I have raised a little lately as to whether much is happening in the world to piss a body off or whether this body is at present predisposed to be pissed at anything is the product, over six months or so, of my effort to stop taking the anti-depressant called Effexor. Why I might not want to stay tanked up for the rest of my natural or unnatural life on anti-depressants is a question itself. Isn’t it really six of one, half dozen of another? One is tanked up on something all the time biochemically speaking—caffeine perhaps, or sugar, sugar, sugar, and so on and so forth. In any case, not taking anti-depressants is no more natural than taking them. Why in God’s name in any case would I want to know what I “really” feel like at age 60?
But that’s another question, as I said, maybe for another time. For now, I see those moments lately of a pure and clean anger that come on fiercely like a summer squall and then are gone as symptoms of withdrawal. I thought six months ago maybe these moments would just dissipate like yesterday’s cold leaving no permanent scar on the psychic tissues. But I was wrong. I kept cutting back and cutting back on the drug from an original high of 375 milligrams, and for a bit things would flatten out and then wham! Up aside the head again.
Finally, I was down to the smallest dosage they have of this nasty stuff. 37.5 milligrams. I should have known something was up when my psychiatrist suggested I split this up even for a while. This required pulling apart the capsule—not easy to do with my eyes going—and dumping its contents of tiny white little orbs of something or other into a bowl. Then with my fingernail, I would scoot one half of the orbs over to one side of the bowl and like a dog tongue out the other half of orbs, and later in the day tongue what remained. Then I started throwing out some of the little balls and dividing up whatever remained for the course of the day.
But shit! Say I. I got the feeling I was just prolonging the misery and decided to flat out just stop. The act of gradually tapering off as I had over the last six months just didn’t have, as far as I was concerned, the intended effect of lessening one iota the final scream of withdrawal like some malignant ghost that just refuses to go over to the other side. I was caught so by surprise I went online to see what others might have to say about Effexor withdrawal just to confirm to my enfeebled brain that I was not going nuts, because that’s what it felt like.
What I found confirmed what I felt up to and including reports of the mysterious brain shivers. I had not thought of it that way exactly; the word shiver implies a shiver, I think, as a reaction to coldness. Whatever it might be that hits my brain at odd moments is not a reaction to coldness but to darkness, a palpable, right there behind the eyes darkness, that is almost, if one could just completely give into it, a restfulness beyond all restfulness, that seems as if it is lightly sucking at you, like a current or undertow pulling you down and back. But doesn’t. As if getting just to the relaease of orgasm one can’t get off. …. Maybe that’s the shiver part.