I went off Lyrica in December. After which I finished writing Ritual Dreams. The two Alpha Readers loved the book. I sent it to the editor and then plunged into a different book, that didn’t hold my interest. I was still in Cain mode, so I started work on Innocent Dreams…
And in just 2 weeks, it had 30,000 words. I have been trying to find the words to explain what it felt like to take Lyrica every day. I have failed so far.
I can tell you I had aphasia (forgetting words, occasionally inserting the wrong one) and I can tell you it had a huge negative impact on my memory, but neither of those things do it justice. It literally changed the way I thought.
Often, my own thoughts felt alien to me. I felt like an interloper. It wasn’t just that I felt disconnected from the world around me, I felt disconnected from my own brain. I would do or think things and wonder why. And because of the disconnect, I always felt on the verge of a breakdown. More than once, I thought “this is what it feels like to go crazy.”
I wasn’t suicidal and I didn’t cry all the time with Lyrica like I did gabapentin, but I still didn’t feel like me. Someone recently told me they were glad I was feeling better. But am I?
The short answer is no. I’m still in pain all the time. I still have to drug myself into a near catatonic state to be able to sleep through the pain. And I have more days when my brain is so preoccupied with the pain that it’s hard to think of anything else.
But do I feel more like me? That is a yes. I’m back to retaining knowledge I gather, which was a problem on Lyrica. I’m back to feeling like my thoughts belong to me. I’m back to being able to push myself to focus and write. Sometimes, even when it’s the last thing I want to do.
Ritual Dreams will join Fortified Dreams and Elysium Dreams as among my favorite books of the D&R series. Demonic will join Tortured among the least liked. And so will Flawless. But as I type away on Innocent, I believe it may join Ritual as one of my favorites.
If you’ve suffered through all 13 D&R books, hang with it a little longer and don’t judge the series using Demonic or Flawless. They get better. It just required a serious medication change. I didn’t talk about it a lot, but I was on Gabapentin for the majority of Flawless Dreams. I look at it and Demonic and scratch my head. I had big ideas for both books, big ideas that I failed in executing because of medications. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they are the two shortest in the series.
But I love Ritual Dreams. I love what it became and I love all the work I had to put into it to make it happen and be as good as it is. Even though I had to leave some things on the cutting room floor, because it was just too much for one single book.
I have no release date for Innocent Dreams. I just know I’ll finish it rather quickly. My bestie is going to have to go through at least some parts of it, so there’s that to consider as well.. her schedule is packed as she gets a second master’s degree.