There’s been a lot going on in Casa Doyle the last few weeks. Most of it’s had an effect on my writing productivity. So much so that I have only written one paragraph in a month. *hangs head in shame*
My husband works for the government at the local Navy base. For those of you not caught up on current events, this means he has been furloughed every Friday for the last few weeks. Weekends, when my husband is home, are usually my least productive time. I prefer to spend my days with my family when we’re all home together. Also, my husband is a neat freak (OCD induced) which means I do most of my house cleaning on the weekends when he’s home and we tackle the cleaning together. With Hubs being home one extra day a week, that means one less day of writing time for me.
My kids started school recently. This means getting back into the practice of school schedules and homework and waking up with the alarm. With Princess in second grade, there’s more homework every night, and with her ADHD, it’s a battle of wills to get her work done after school. I have learned more about patience from her than I ever could from Mother Theresa. Little Man started preschool this year. It’s a kindergarten prep class, and so far he’s doing great. He’s thrilled to go to school and even begs me to take him on the weekends. He only goes three hours a day, four days a week, but that’s twelve hours of Mommy-Free-Time a week that I plan on turning into WRITE NOW time.
I discovered that I have Adult ADD and OCD (very different from my husband’s form of OCD) and my doctor started me on two medications for them. The effects of the medications have been unexpected and not entirely welcome. I’m not sure which one is causing it, but my creativity level has dropped substantially. I used to be able to think up new story ideas several times a day. Now, I’m lucky if I can figure out how to write on my current WIPs with any creative effort.
One of the medications has me wanting to get up and DO stuff, which is unusual. My dishes have never been this done. The sink is empty. The kitchen counter isn’t nearly as cluttered as is the norm. Clothes are getting HUNG UP instead of just sitting in the baskets to be fluffed when needed. I spent one entire weekend steam cleaning the carpets and upholstery… And I want to do it again right this very second.
There have been some physical side effects as well (I don’t count getting up to do things as a physical thing, but a mental thing). The oddest one is the shaking. It’s like the medication has turned on my vibrate function. It’s worse in the mornings and evenings. When I wake up, it’s all I can do to hold on to a drink of water without sloshing it all over myself. I’ve never found it so difficult to give my son a hair cut as I did recently when holding the scissors turned into an exercise of NOT cutting his ears off. I’m amazed his hair turned out as well as it did.
There’s appetite loss, which is the least of my problems. I still eat, just not as much.
The biggest physical problem is the teeth grinding. It’s a listed side effect of one of the medications. I’ve been a teeth grinder my whole life anyway. Stress increases the frequency of my teeth grinding, but on my better days I’m just a clencher. With the medicine, I grind every night and loudly. It’s enough to wake Hubs. He says it sounds like I’m grinding stones into sand. The reason this is such a big problem is because I have TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder). It’s severe enough that my jaw locks and pops every time I open my mouth. There’s also the fact that my children sucked out all the nutrients from my teeth. They are in bad shape as it is, breaking from eating just a piece of bread, so grinding my teeth is not a good thing.
These are all things I plan on bringing up at my next appointment in a couple of weeks. I’m thinking it’s preferable to live with the ADD and OCD without medication, even with the insane amount of anxiety that comes with them. Because, while it’s nice to not have panic attacks every single day (they’ve decreased by LOADS since I’ve started taking the medicine), I don’t think it’s a good trade off for my creativity. I’ve lived with anxiety attacks for years without medication. Writing helped with it. The anxiety is still there, it just doesn’t attack me like it used to, and it’s for completely different reasons.
Basically, the cons outweigh the pros. I will keep taking the medicine until I talk to my doctor, but I’m going to have to force myself to sit down and write, no matter what. Which is a little bit scary since I don’t know if this crazy lack of creativity will affect my already plotted out stories or not. I guess we’ll just have to see.