I slept for four straight days

For the past four days, I slept 20 to 22 hours each day; I only left my room once. My symp­toms have nev­er in­cluded rad­ic­ally over sleep­ing: I am chan­ging, but I don’t know the cause(s) or the dir­ec­tion of my change. I do know what caused me to be able to leave my room and eat, and the cause is iron­ic and con­fus­ing.

Hunter Hogan after four days of sleeping

I take Ef­fex­or XR to mit­ig­ate some of my symp­toms. If I take the medi­cine without food, however, I get very sick; since I had not eaten for four days, I had not taken the medi­cine for four days. Ef­fex­or in­creases the amount of sero­ton­in in the syn­apses between most (all?) nerve cells. Be­cause I stopped tak­ing the medi­cine, my sero­ton­in levels de­clined. When my sero­ton­in de­clines, like many oth­er people, I ex­per­i­ence a med­ic­al con­di­tion: Sero­ton­in With­draw­al Syn­drome (SWS). Crudely (and im­pre­cisely) stated: my body was ad­dicted to the in­creased sero­ton­in sim­il­ar to how some people’s bod­ies be­come phys­ic­ally ad­dicted to heroin.

Negative side effects gave me the strength to get out of bed

The definition of physical addiction includes that a person will suffer physical effects if the substance is withdrawn from the addicted person’s body. When I stop taking Effexor, I develop SWS. The symptoms of SWS are varied: of my symptoms, the one that is most important to this story is that SWS often transforms my feelings of dislike into feelings of anger or rage. My four days of sleep was not restful: I have had nightmares almost every night for a few years. I awoke from a nightmare, and the SWS transformed my fear, my dislike, of the nightmare into anger. The anger propelled me from my bed, from my room, to the front desk to pay for the four days that I had slept and to pay for two more days, and to go outside to get food.

The irony is, of course, that a negative side effect (SWS) of a normally useful medicine is what broke the four days of sleep, four days without food, and four days of almost no water.

The confusion is what to do next. The Effexor is good for me. Complete inaction is not sustainable, though. I doubt it is wise, or safe, to intentionally cycle between taking Effexor and causing SWS by skipping Effexor doses.

This episode represents my wider confusion about life

On a larger scale, I am lost and confused. I feel torn between different worlds. I do not understand these dramatic new symptoms (such as over sleeping). PayPal informed me that someone who gave me $100 is disputing the charge with his/her credit card company: The buyer claims that this purchase was made without authorization to use the credit card. Amazingly, this was the only time someone gave me money through PayPal and then showed me the transaction in person. I don’t know what this means, and I don’t have a way to contact the person.

My Bluebird balance
Available balance $6.95
PayPal balance & hold on $100 gift
Balance $718.12 USD

Po­ten­tially los­ing 11.7% of the money I have would make my life more dif­fi­cult, and ra­tion­ally, I think I should care about it. But, I don’t care. The money can feed me and house me, but the giver’s kind­ness and sin­cer­ity were more im­port­ant to me: re­mem­ber that this gift was face-to-face. The money was one way that the giver ex­pressed hope for me and de­sire to help me; we dis­cussed con­crete ways the giver could help me. On top of the many things that I do not un­der­stand, this re­voc­a­tion of con­fid­ence is heart­break­ing.

I am changing, but I have little understanding of the forces that are changing me.

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