Meds & Writing


I have a fairly standard routine in my life.  I take a couple of daily medicines to keep me from breaking all my teeth out (I am an extreme teeth grinder – which has a name: bruxism) and I have anxiety issues, but I’m very sensitive to anti-depressants, so I take clonazepam because SSRIs, SDRIs, MAOIs, and the fourth kind all make me a little crazy and stop me from sleeping.  Even Tramadol, a low dose narcotic that effects your seratonin levels to help with pain can make me stop sleeping.

However, when I go off my normal regimen, like I won’t take a gabapentin at night with my muscle relaxer and clonazepam because I don’t need that many drugs that make me sleepy, I have trouble writing.

I can’t take my clonazepam during the day, I turn into a zombie.  Not one of the cool fast ones, but one of those that can’t really do much but shamble about and turn their head from side to side.

However, with the sciatica, I am shaking up my routine a little.  The Flexeril I take for bruxism also helps with sciatica.  I’m taking the gabapentin to keep some of the burning and tingling away and it is working fine for that.  It has also helped with some of the other pain, so I have started doing the stretches that the ER gave me to do.

However, last night, I found myself falling asleep watching TV and I only wrote about a paragph.  My story suddenly jumped the rails and went into La-La Land.  I think it will recover fine, but I’m not sure if it will be satisfying or not.  We’ll have to wait and see.

What most people don’t understand is that medications and alcohol can seriously impact a writer’s creativity.  If you’ve ever read biographical writing books like On Writing by Stephen King, you’ll be shocked to see most of them discuss drug and alcohol use.  King goes in-depth however about how he doesn’t remember writing Cujo because he was drinking and taking drugs all the time at that point.  He also explains how scary it was to write a book without drugs or alcohol in his system.

This is why there are jokes about writer’s being drug addicts and alcoholics.  Everyone thinks a little differently on these things.  Sometimes, I think writer’s are more affected because it either stimulates or kills their creativity center.

Part of the reason I didn’t get much written last year was because I spent the year taking things like Tramadol, gabapentin, and I can’t even remember what else, trying to deal with my chronic pain.  I also think Botox impacted the way I thought and not getting the injections seems to have helped with my creativity coming back.  It’s part of the reason I haven’t gone back and gotten it with my new insurance.  I don’t think I need it, the injections in my back have actually lessened my migraines significantly and I write better without it.

The point is, the mind is a strange thing that can be impacted very easily.  Most of the time, my creativity center is fully functional and going full speed (the rest of my brain doesn’t seem to work very well, but that’s part of the side effects of long term clonazepam use – my memory sucks).

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