Latuda and Yurt

Today I leave to go live in a yurt for four days. This is an at-least-annual tradition in my Family of Two. Real life is suffocating and frustrating, and the way to fix it is to drive a couple hours and escape to nature. There should be internet because we’re not savages, but also a fireplace, and the building in which we stay has to be strange in some way (last trip was an A-frame cabin; the one before that was built by hand by a retired pilot for his daughter). This is how we unwind, leaving everything behind except food, booze, and nicotine. We sleep according to the sun. We play Trivial Pursuit. We have much more sex. We find contentment in the midst of chaos.

Yesterday began with a rousing game of what’s plaguing Liz’s brain? My psychiatrist (The Vet) has begun to pursue other avenues, including mood stabilizers — a big neon sign flashing: Bipolar! Bipolar! I don’t mind — whatever makes me better — but New Medication #1, Latuda, has decidedly not. 

I’m not a fan of atypical antipsychotics. They turn me into a zombie who sleeps for 10-12 hours a day and shuffles around for the other half, barely aware, barely alive, barely worth it. I never stay on them for longer than a day or two. I took 20mg last night with roughly five mini blueberry scones (as directed), and woke up dazedly, several hours late for my morning work session. Cue immediate irritability, especially when waking up means needing to stumble out into the cold for creamer so the coffee can do its job.

Next on the schedule? Abilify. Another atypical antipsychotic. I intend to have a few words with The Vet about this.

Thankfully, I have a wonderful friend who has taken everything under the sun, and who can attempt to warn me about what to expect. She’ll be watching the Little Monsters (read: cats) while we’re gone, so she stopped by yesterday to get the keys. Over two cups of coffee and cinnamon bun creamer, we talked about the ridiculousness of mental health horror stories, and it was the first time I’d seen a friend in person since our wedding in October. I didn’t have to leave the house, get dressed up, or drive anywhere. We sat on my pew, chatted for an hour, and when she left, I felt revitalized. I hadn’t expected that — people exhaust me these days. Most things exhaust me these days.

But not today. Today is about packing, and driving, and settling into a beautiful yurt with my husband. There will be writing, and reading, and drinking (hopefully I can manage that — whatever’s gone haywire in my brain has taken away my enjoyment of beer, wine, and cocktails, much to my constant dismay). There will be movie marathons of Oscar contenders. There will be a sincere and whole-hearted attempt to leave all of the bullshit behind until Monday.

Lord knows we’ve had our fair share.