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Part IV: Sloth

Curiouser Jane

Lately, I’ve had absolutely no motivation, ironically right as I was about to start writing about Sloth for my deadly sins series. But this lack of motivation is well beyond common, summer time indolence. I have become drained of all energy, by equal parts Mid-western heat wave and by an ever-encroaching depression. As a result, I have found myself continuously sputtering around in a sloth-like stupor.

On the one hand, as I said in a tweet a few days ago, the summer leaves me feeling utterly apathetic. When it is this damn hot outside, it is very hard for me to ever remotely care about how fucked everything is.

we have this peculiar pop culture that affirms narratives that surround a protagonist usurping the control of psychiatric medicine has over them. I’m gonna call this the Garden State Phenomenon

And trust me, everything is pretty fucked. Lately there has been a plethora of world events that should be grabbing politically minded attention: the debt ceiling, the Somalia famine, the Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers act, and more recently, the London riots. But here I am, in my underpants and bra, sitting in front of a box fan, complaining about how uncomfortably hot I am. With little to save me from the sweltering heat, it is very hard for me to pull my head out of my self-involved, selfish sandpit.

On the other hand, my emotional state has been anything but pleasant lately. About two weeks ago now, almost as a lark, I decided to “take a break” from my anti-depressants. While I am not 100 percent sure what spurred me into this experiment of self-induced withdrawal from my selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, I know that, partly, it was because I felt so completely unimpressed by the results. Despite my doctor’s assurance that my twice-a-day regiment of pills would turn me into a frolicking rock-creature, carefree and chasing butterflies, I still, after six months of treatment, am a vapid and bored excuse for a 24 year-old woman, playing Dashboard Confessional on constant loop. So I decided to stop taking them, of course, with out telling my doctor.

You know, we have this peculiar pop culture that affirms narratives that surround a protagonist usurping the control of psychiatric medicine has over them. For the purposes of this post, I’m gonna call this the Garden State Phenomenon, one were we are expected to cheer for the character who decides to take a “vacation” from their meds. Now, don’t confuse what I am saying, for some this is a necessary thing, and, in fact, I feel into this trope. I believed that I could successfully quit talking my meds and feel like a whole new woman. But we have no cultural references that show how severe sertaline hydrochloride withdraw can be. There was no scene in Garden State where Zach Braff ends up prostrated across a couch for a week, barely able to move because of the debilitating vertigo his withdrawal is causing. And with this lack of reference, how was I suppose to know that that tiny blue pill would cause such a powerful, bodily reaction to its absence? Reluctantly I came to realize that, yes, I had developed a chemical dependence on this medication, one besides the effect it has on stabilizing my moods, and eventually weened myself back on the pills.

So here I am, on the pills once again, but still feeling sluggish and listless.


  1. I’ve been there. Many times over. In fact, so many times, I would write down, “Why am I doing this again? I know what happens,” and yet would stop over and over. For me, it didn’t work. It’s an interesting question: does the depression smother our will and clarity and intent and the means by which to go out and live life, wherein stopping meds is a capitulation, or is it actually an active resistance to the depressed state, where one hopes a change might make a difference?

  2. Poison Girl

    I don’t know if I have anything productive to say. But I hope you get better some Dalice.

    • Poison Girl

      “better soon”

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  3. mumtaza

    I hear you sister! And I would like to say that I think everything you’ve been feeling is completely normal. I do think getting back on the meds is probably the right move. And you know, the heat will subside. In fact, as I write it probably already has. I think you sound like a sweet, sensitive person.

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