Conversations With My Psychiatrist | Dealing With The Aftermath

My psychiatrist prescribed Trintellix for me in October of last year. One of my problems over the past ten years and more, has been sleeping. Basically I do too much of it, and I’m still tired all the time. The Trintellix, taken soon after I woke up, was supposed to keep me up in the morning, instead of me taking four-hour naps after I got the kids off to school.

We started at 5mgs, with the idea being that we would increase the Trintellix over time, while decreasing the Abilify — dropping the Abilify from 20mgs to 17mgs made sleeping difficult for the first couple of nights, but I took a Trazadone on the third night, and I’ve been sleeping great at night ever since (I was only supposed to drop the Abilify to 18mgs at first, but I made misread the label on the bottle).

So I took the Trintellix for three weeks… maybe a little less, but taking it did nothing to make me less tired, it just wouldn’t let me fall asleep for a nap… and if I could nap, my head would be buzzing. So I stopped taking it, cold turkey. I’ve been sleeping a lot during the day recently, even for me, so I had been thinking of restarting the Trintellix. My psychiatrist agreed that it’d be a good idea, so I’ll start again tomorrow morning.

My Aunt died recently. I’ll write more about that, and her, later. I’m still trying to figure some stuff out. Basically she helped raise my brother and I, along with her two kids, while we were in the Cult. She had escaped early on in its existence, but was convinced to come back… she negotiated her way back in, with the criteria being she wouldn’t take part in day-to-day activities, and that she would live, with her kids, in a house separate from the Cult.

…separate but close. She ended up across the street and down a few houses.

The deal was, basically, if everyone left her alone, she’d mind her own business.

The reason she escaped the Cult was a decision had been made that, since no one person was to have a bond with the kids over anyone else, she would not be able to breastfeed her baby. So she saved up her pennies and nickels, hiding them in her underwear drawer, and when she had enough for train fare to her parents home town, off she went with her daughter.

She had only been a member of the Cult for about two years at that point.

When she came back she became our babysitter, and her home became a safe place for the kids to be in. After the Cult collapsed in on itself, she helped my mother escape with my brother and myself. So we were pretty close after that. For my mother, my Aunt was the only person she could relate to when it came to those years. In many ways, my Aunt was my memory-keeper for those years as well. We would visit with her once or twice a year, and she was always willing to answer my questions.

My mother took my Aunts death pretty hard. Because of the Pandemic, we hadn’t seen her since 2018. Basically the cause of death was ‘she just didn’t wake up’. She was a few years younger than my mother, and a confidant of my mother’s for many, many years.

About a week after we learned of my Aunt’s passing, I was driving my mother to and from her office. On the way back I asked how she was dealing with the death, and she opened up about it. Which surprised me. She said she’s at an age now where the circles are moving in… she’s losing friend’s to old age, and now she had no one to share her memories from large pieces of her life.

…the day after we found out my Aunt had died, one of my mother’s longest and dearest friends had a heart attack, and was in the hospital for a little over a week. Another long-time friend is in the end stages of ALS. So my mother is feeling her mortality.

A few days after the car ride, I sent a Facebook message to my mother asking her how long my brother and I had stayed with my Aunt. I was trying to write a piece about her (still am), and had a memory of being with my Aunt for a few weeks in a row. I was very apprehensive about sending the message, because historically, anytime I initiate a conversation about the Cult, it degenerates into confrontation pretty quickly.

But this time my mother sent me a long, rational, email in response. In it she described the early years of the Cult, how it all started, how we ended up in the city that we lived in for so long. Most of what she described I already knew from talking to my Aunt, and a few other people from the Cult. But it was the first time I’ve read my mother’s account of those very early days.

I’m not sure what to do with it… it’s the first time she has opened up about those times in years, even if it was just a few memories. The problem I have, is I’ve always had memories of my childhood, but I’ve never been able to discern if those memories are in order, if they’re real to begin with, and who’s in them with me.

Not only are my memories jumbled, but because those years were kept secret, I don’t have any recollection of things that did happen that I should remember… .

Anyway… I’m taking it as a good sign, and I intend to ask a few questions and see how it goes…

My psychiatrist and I talked briefly talked about other stuff as well… she’d like me to be getting out more, especially with my camera. But she was happy that I’ve started taking an interest in my book again. I’m pretty sure my book deal has expired — I haven’t talked to the Publisher in more than ten years, and I’m in no hurry to find out if I owe them my advances — but if it was a good idea once, maybe it’ll be a good idea again.

I’ve been reading interviews I did for the book, and everything is still relevant. I was really surprised at how coherent I was in asking questions. I also read the 30,000 words I submitted to the Publisher… I always have a hard time recognizing my ‘written voice’ after leaving a piece of writing for a long time, and this time was no different. But I like them. We’ll see.

About Gabriel...

...diagnosed with manic depression when I was nineteen, for the next 14-years I lived without treatment or a recovery plan. I've been homeless, one time I graduated college, I've won awards for reporting on Internet privacy issues, and a weekly humour column. In 2002 I finally hit bottom and found help. It's now 2022, and I have an 8-year old son, and a 12-year old son... I’m usually about six feet tall, and I'm pretty sure I screwed up my book deal. I mostly blog at
This entry was posted in Appointment Day, Bipolar, Bipolar Disease, Bipolar Disorder, Clinical Depression, Family, Father, Health, Memories, Mother, Psychiatry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Conversations With My Psychiatrist | Dealing With The Aftermath

  1. SusanR says:

    Memories can be tricky and elusive. At least I still have some siblings I can check with about when something happened, how it happened, or if it happened at all. Maybe it was a dream … or a movie I saw … wish I could defrag my inner hard drive.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s