Little Green Pills (Not About NaNoWriMo)

This is the first Thanksgiving I’ve ever had that wasn’t traumatic in some way.

When I was younger, my parents abused me. When I was older, my parents still abused me, they just took me away from college first during the holidays to do so. When I was yet older, my parents continued to abuse me, just on campus now. Then one day I said, “No more,” and then they tried to kill me for years.

As you can imagine, I suffer from a pretty severe case of PTSD and that, combined with my bipolar’s tendency to hate the autumn with the hate of a thousand flip-outs, turned Thanksgiving and all other holidays or otherwise special days into living nightmares. Flashbacks included at times. Stereotypical full flashbacks too, but smaller hallucinations also (auditory most commonly, but lack of visuals does not help).

But nowadays I can take little blue pills, and little white pills, and other little white pills, and especially now, little green pills, and suddenly the holidays are no longer a series of drawn-out, unavoidable cut-scenes of death. Not all the fear is taken away; I certainly had a really bad set of nightmares on Thanksgiving and the days coming up to it and, well, kind of the day after it; but after waking up and eventually reaching the little green pill, it’s all… tied to reality. I don’t know how to describe to someone the difference the pills make, but I actually can function now when I was crushed before.

I still needed to distract myself; I still was barely able to make my daily words for NaNoWriMo, but I made them and even wrote them up for the blog. ((I was so mortified I’d done that. But I left it up, because if there’s something I need to do, it’s to stop being mortified that other people OMG are going to read my work. I’m a little less mortified now, but daaaamn those first several hours.)) I spent the evening creating my very first character-to-plot grid in a spreadsheet ((I’m not really sure why I felt the need to try three main characters and several plot arcs of varying significance, except that it’s not boring. Um. HALP)) and regretting sincerely that I’d never taken to heart anything out of a plotting book other than the Hero’s Journey and the three act structure. I spent an awful lot of time watching Deep Space 9 on Netflix and watching SF Debris’ criticism of same series.

I did not spend time curled up in a ball on the sofa and crying and being afraid and having hallucinations.

To say this all is an improvement is an understatement.

So yes, I am thankful for something: here’s to little green pills.

Naturally, the day after Thanksgiving, the fact that I work in (high-tech) retail meant that all the trauma was moved to today, but hey, no hallucinations and it wasn’t my usual kind of trauma.

(Now I just have to survive CyberMonday.)

4 thoughts on “Little Green Pills (Not About NaNoWriMo)

  1. Ann Lamott, in her book about writing, talked about finishing the first draft and immediately being seized by fear that she might die suddenly—hit by a bus or whatever—and people would find her first draft and think that was the best she could do. So being mortified at this stage is perfectly normal.

    And having three main characters is fine. Either you’ll figure out a compact writing style, or it’ll be one of those big books which still do fine.

    And if you get stuck and need another line of approach, Jennifer Crusie has an essay about how she uses collages to re-shape her books. That was one of my mental examples of non-linear writing methods, actually. Also for a while she had a blog about writing craft, with useful tips. Here’s a link to the beginning.

    • Oh, I know having three main characters is fine; I’m just wondering if I have the writing chops to carry it out.

      I’ll definitely check out Crusie’s writing blog!

      Revision-via-collage is not for me. There are far too many triggers associated with arts and crafts.

  2. And now I realize my previous comment missed the point of the main post. I’m very glad that this Thanksgiving has been much less traumatic for you. It’s wonderful that we have pills now that help so much.

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