I’m not sure if it’s because I’m now off the amitriptyline but creativity is oozing out of every single one of my pores right now. I am drawing, painting, writing, reading, journaling, sewing, home making, baking…

You may or may not know that I took the amitriptyline to help me go to sleep at night after crippling insomnia my entire life (literally since I was born). It works by calming any extra electrical impulses one has shooting around one’s body. This is the same reason it is used for people with MS to treat painful mis-firings of neurones due to the disease, and also why it is used to treat anxiety which is often due to an overactive fight or flight mechanism.

However, as it calms down my mind a treat and allows me to switch off at night (seriously a medical miracle!) with this positive comes quite a few negatives, or side effects as the medical profs like to say. One massive negative for me, which funnily enough does not come up at all in any side effect list, is the significant decrease in creativity.

I guess it makes sense. All those electrical impulses, firing many (many) thoughts lead to lots and lots of ideas, plans and… creativity

Amitriptyline worked exceedingly well on me. It calmed everything down. It is thoroughly exhausting being me. A bit like I imagine being ‘high’ would feel like (I’ve never actually been high so I might be talking nonsense!), but without ever coming off that high, even at night time.

I was listening to Grant Cardone’s ‘The 10X Mentor’. I have mixed feelings about this book and can not decide whether it is a work of genius (which I think it might be) or almost 12 hours of complete and utter garbage (which it might very well also be).

However, Cardone said that he was diagnosed with ADHD and ADD and a host of other things. As he grew older, he realised that these were not the disadvantages that society touted, that in fact they were incredible gifts which could be harnessed to produce the life of his dreams – which is exactly what he did.

I’m not sure I have it in me to live the kind of fearless, bolshy life he does (all power to him, though), but in that paragraph he talked a lot of sense.

I’ve always said to my children that every positive trait, decision, life style choice (etc etc) has a positive side and negative side. Being sensitive, for example, means you are hurt easily but it also means you are more aware of other people’s feelings and tend to be more thoughtful. I’ve always encouraged them to recognise both the good and the bad (the heads and the tails of the same coin) and focus on building the positives whilst managing the negatives.

When I took amitriptyline I was desperate. I hadn’t slept more than 10 hours per week for forty years. I was exhausted. In taking it, I slept and felt amazing…because rest is good. But over the years I’ve noticed that I wasn’t pursuing all the many, many things I enjoyed. I mean, I did some of them, but not with the same vigour or passion I had before. Even my very hyperactive zeal for homeschooling was dampened!

Making the decision to come off those meds was hard, and dealing with the inevitable sleeplessness which has followed is doubly hard.

But my goodness I love being back in the midst of pursuing all things creative. I love the pleasure I now get in all the simple mundane things of the past ten years of being on amitriptyline. I feel alive again.

So now, I am doing everything I can to manage the negative side to this intense creativity – the lack of sleep. I am reading everything I can get my hands on regarding circadian rhythms and optimising my chances of maybe not getting the seven hours of everyone else, but at least getting some sleep each night.

By my reckoning, I have another forty years before exhaustion sets in again, and I’ll be ninety by then and very happy to head towards the longest sleep of my life…

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