a-oK: the ketamine diaries #3 - 99 problems & they're all me

I promised problems, so let’s temper the idea ketamine was a miracle cure. Ya girl doesn't actually know how to live a "normal" life.

a-oK: the ketamine diaries #3 - 99 problems & they're all me
Photo by Michal Matlon / Unsplash

One of the strangest things I’ve experienced since starting ketamine treatments is the warping of time. This happens naturally during an infusion because of the dissociative properties of the drug. I’m talking about a different kind of warping.

I mentioned last post that all the negative and anxious voices (figurative) in my head quieted, for the first time in my recollection, after my first experience with ketamine. That’s still true 75 days later. Only once has it gotten loud again, and my goodness did that hit differently. You know the drill there though, another story for another day.

It’s obvious to respond, “wow that’s great. It’s quiet. You can think clearly. Must be an amazing feeling.”

And it is! I still can’t believe that I can sort through individual thoughts and not have to do everything with countless thinks swirling around, vying for my forever floating attention.

gif from SNL with woman saying "oh, so I'm the problem?"

Here’s where the problem comes from: I don’t know how to function this way. I have spent nearly 40 years having to ration my energy, creating coping mechanism after coping mechanism just to stay afloat. I don’t know how to actually live life not having to rely on hacks.

So, what am I supposed to do now? Now that I don’t have to constantly worry about panic attacks and advanced calculations of the sheer effort it takes to accomplish the simplest tasks.

That’s the thing. My new adventure is figuring that out. I don’t have experience to draw from, and this shifts everything in my life.

So time has been warped post treatments too, in that there’s so much of it in a given day, I’m not sure how to fill it.

gif of dumbledore with caption "well then wtf do i do now?"

On some occasions, it just happens. I decide to get up and go somewhere I either wouldn’t have gone at all before, or would’ve had to exert so much energy to prepare, it would’ve taken 4-5 times longer. Or I’d spend days working my way up to it mentally. Now I simply go.

On other occasions, it puts me back in a familiar spot, coming from a different angle. I often used to sit frozen, not being able to complete tasks. Now, I find myself sitting frozen, not knowing what tasks to complete once I’ve accomplished all I’m used to doing in a single day.

And when I say tasks, I’m not talking about becoming a workaholic or something. No, no. I’m referring to tasks like showering and getting ready. Theoretically simple things. Life things.

The used to paralyze me. Now, I’ll be done with them and paralyzed because I don’t understand what comes next.

gif of a woman shrugging, saying "it could be a good thing"

Hey, I didn’t say this was necessarily a bad problem to have! But it is a problem. I don’t know a lot about what I like or what hobbies I have. It’s always been such a chore to do anything, that those were luxuries I couldn’t really afford. Now, I find myself getting the same level of bored and tired sometimes, simply from having no clue what to do.

There’s a whole new set of brain muscles I need to work out. A whole neural network I need to build and strengthen. It’s rife with possibilities, which is amazing. It’s also completely unknown, which is slightly terrifying.

Some things really never do change.

Till next time, purple pig satellite. It’s what I’m saying to myself right now too, because for the first time in my life, I really don’t have the vocabulary for what comes next.