‘Etiquette’ is a really screwy word to spell by the way.
It’s 7:17 p.m. and I’m on break at work. Sitting in a van listening to whatever music a coworker is playing over the bluetooth stereo I bring into work. This allows us to listen to music streamed from our phones without the hassle of using a physical aux cord. Before he started playing music, I was playing some Beach House. I hopped out of the van to use the bathroom and when I came back he was camped on the bluetooth, dictating our music for the next hour. The only issue I have with the music currently playing is that it doesn’t fit the vibe of the day. It’s cloudy, chilly, and the wind is howling outside. The van slightly rocks around from the breeze. And he’s playing some hardcore music that is semi-upbeat and angsty, a far cry from the Beach House vibe that I think is more accurate for the night. But maybe this is just my current mood and no one else thinks the vibe is as Beach Housey as I do.
I’ve been on antidepressants for 2 days now. They told me it’d take two weeks for me to notice any changes, and I’m not saying they’re wrong, but I definitely don’t feel like I usually do. I drove to work in a kinda sleepy and dreamy haze, going through the motions in a perfectly blah mood. This is typical but I was surprised to see this mood continue even at work. My job assignment this week is operating the k-loader: a large multi-ton machine that physically raises and lowers the containers the fifty or so feet to the airplane’s cargo deck. Usually this job requires a ton of attention and keeps me on my toes and mentally engaged. Nope, not tonight. I was up there operating it with the usual professional skill that I always have, but in a sleepy and detached haze. It’s like I wasn’t really there or engaged with the equipment, but somehow I was also more aware of what I was doing. Like I was in someone else’s head as they were operating it. But damn were they doing a great job at it.
It’s disorienting in a way. I feel like I’ve taken a handful of Benadryls without the complete sleepiness that they have. I’m laid back and don’t care to talk or to interact, and I’m perfectly okay with that. When I do think of something to say I’ll say it in a totally detached way, like I’m just saying something because I want to say it without any of the anxiety I’m used to. No thought how it’ll be received or anything. It was also disorienting looking at myself in the bathroom mirror; I looked perfectly normal. I thought I’d look totally dead and expressionless but there I was. The typical everyday Jeremy with a vague smile on his face like usual.
And I’m also equally…jittery I guess? It’s hard to explain. A half-hour ago I was sitting in the van having a good discussion with my friends and I noticed my hands and legs were shaking. Jittery, antsy, but still tired, detached, out of it, but very aware of everything. Was it the nicotine? Had I been hitting my vape too hard? Or was it the meds? Or was it neither of those?
Many of these things were listed as side effects, but they’re easy enough to deal with so far. I don’t feel like the jitteriness is turning into a full fledged anxiety attack and the sleepiness isn’t so crippling that I can’t do my job safely. So I think it’s normal. It’s enough to deal with and I don’t think I should jump ship just yet.
The social laws involved with sharing a bluetooth stereo device at work are strange. Yes, it’s mine — I physically own the damn thing — so you’d assume I should be in charge of the music all the time. No, no fucking way. Despite owning the bluetooth thingy, bringing it into work primarily for my own enjoyment on break, I don’t think this gives me free reign to force a van full of people to listen to my music the entire shift. Depending on what I play, it could be seen as an extreme form of torture. I also bring it in as a favor for my coworkers so we don’t have to listen to the shitty radio; it’s like a community favor and the joy of the community overrides my physical ownership of the device. I think that’s why I put the vibe of the music over anything else. Like if someone is playing music and you want to recommend a song, request something with the same general vibe of the current music. Don’t upend the flow by demanding songs that have nothing to do with the current mood. Don’t try to force your musical tastes upon everyone else. But also be courteous and mindful of everyone else’s requests and needs. If you’re the one playing music, accommodate them to a degree even if they do break the vague social etiquette of van bluetooth music usage. Never sync up without being invited to do so. Once invited, you can sync up anytime in the future. If no one else is synced up for a period of five or ten minutes, feel free to do so, but only if you’ve been allowed to sync up before! And so on.
Sometimes I wonder if these pills have put me in a manic state. I think I’m in a manic state but maybe me thinking this is what’s putting me in the state to begin with? This post does seem rather…unhinged though, doesn’t it? Either way, I’m writing and I’m going to post it and to hell with how it turns out. Maybe it’ll be a good reference to compare what happens before and after you start taking SSRI antidepressants. You lose your goddamn mind. You write endless rambling things. You stop caring if what your writing is good and has a point. Maybe that’s a good thing after all?
Worst of all, two weeks? Really? Part of me thinks this is all some awful placebo effect and nothing has really changed. Maybe I’ve always been this way and taking pills for a few days is leading me to think I’m sleepy, out of it, and totally rambling on a blog post not because I’m naturally this way but because I can blame it on the meds. What if it’s all in my head tricking me for some reason? And if this is the case, what the fuck is going to happen when the meds really do kick in?