SPOILER ALERT* 4: Thoughts I Had Watching “The Usual Suspects” for the First Time in 2016

Thoughts I Had While Watching “The Usual Suspects” for the First Time in 2016

In Chronological Order

~ It’s weird how I know precisely nothing about this movie except that Kaiser Soze is the guilty mastermind. And it’s Kevin Spacey. And he totally gets away with it because it’s all an act. So literally all I know about this movie is the answer to the twist ending/riddle.

~Kevin Spacey looks like Voldemort on this witness stand.

~ Is that the restaurant they always visit/piss off in “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” when they want a “fancy dinner out”? Where was this movie filmed? And how old is it? And what else has Bryan Singer done? Why do I know that name? GOOD LORD I know nothing about this movie. …Have I ever seen The Lesser Baldwin in a movie ever?… What am I even doing with my life?!

~Why is it that Kevin Pollak always makes me feel safe when he’s on screen? He’s like Kevin Costner in that way… But not really Kevins Sorbo or Spacey, so it isn’t a middle-aged, white Kevin thing… #NotAllKevins

~ When I was a kid, I always got Dan Hedaya confused with the guy who played Al on “Quantum Leap”…of course, I also used to get Eddie Murphy and Steve Martin’s names mixed up for some reason, so I wasn’t at all reliable with actor identification as a child.

~Ohhhh, I’m going to be Kevin-Spacey-chilling-in-the-back-of-this-van-and-casually-smoking-through-the-black-fishnets-over-his-face-while-pointing-an-automatic for Halloween.

~….Wait… If the corrupt cops got robbed while “taxiing” some smuggler for huge money, how did they suddenly get busted for all kinds of corruption just because their car got set on fire? I’m confused. If the whole department was guilty of years of corruption, wouldn’t they have better ways of covering that up? Was a cop car assault randomly investigated by the feds? I need answers, guys. This seems flimsy.

~ SHOOT BALDWIN COME ON!!… Whoa. Where did that come from, Self? Why am I cheering for these guys? I barely understand what’s going on here. Why am I so invested? Is it the power of two Kevins on one team?

~ Did they even hire a costume designer for this or did they all just bring their won wardrobe? Real Question.


~ This was the movie college bros used to quote mercilessly while attempting to sound intellectual/hard before “Fight Club” came along, wasn’t it?

~ I’m going to be honest; if I didn’t know the ending had a twist, I’d be done watching this. I’m 1hr 15 min in and bored out of my mind. This Keaton fella has precisely zero personality. I’d rather watch jeans being hand-woven than this character anymore. And this relationship of his we keep seeing is completely devoid of chemistry. Was it supposed to feel stale and bland and awkward because if so, nailed it!

~Sorry, but after watching a brutal rape and murder-of-children-and-wife scene in less than a minute, all the other gun violence feels inconsequential. I do not care about these drug dealers and con men shooting at each other on a boat. I know, I know. Being a woman ruins everything.  Damn consciousness and social-awareness getting in the way.

~ Verbal’s breakdown at the Keaton revelation has him sobbing with zero tears. C’mon man. Menthol drops on your fingers. Earn that Oscar.

~ How have I seen this entire ending sequence before but nothing else? Like, the whole last two minutes…

~…. And why didn’t he make up a story before he got to the police station?

~ Dude, showing an overweight black gal when he says “I mean, like, ‘orca’ fat” is more than a bit problematic even by 90’s standards.

~…Hunh… Alright.
… I bet this would’ve packed more of a punch had I not known the twist at the end, right?

*SPOILER ALERT is a series developed as a product of my many, many recent sick days spent lethargic, despondent, achy, and unable to do more than catch up on all those movies everyone saw years and years ago that I’m just now getting around to.

Detox Weeks 3-4: The Great, the Bad, and the Relatively Ugly

All of this should be prefaced by restating that, as the Effexor’s hold on my psyche slowly increased during the years I was on it, it literally sucked my will to experience life dry, which means that a lot of things fell by the wayside. This is a gigantic part of the reason I’m quitting it in the first place (as I mentioned in-depth earlier), so it stands to reason that it’s the months of apathy and resulting piles of mental/physical “euckh” I’m actually dealing with the most now aside from the SSRI withdrawal syndrome (which, again, is a @#$%ing real %$#!ing thing…)
Things are developing, which is good. Here’s the lowdown:

My will to thrive has returned in full, which is exciting. My mind isn’t racing and I’m not feeling manic or ridiculously overzealous about hurling myself forward, but I’m actually excited about stuff like getting my house in order and catching up/regaining a normal fucking day-to-day life that includes being productive and enjoying things! I’m doing spring-clean-y stuff and selling/donating/purging outdated clothes/housewares and slowly getting shit going again. I even went out and touched-up a “street art” piece I’d been meaning to do for literally 9 months now (I bought the paint that long ago. Ridiculous.) I can’t really describe how it feels to be excited about desiring to do the mundane, but it is among the things that I am most grateful for at the moment. THIS is why I knew, in my heart, that quitting these godforsaken medications was what I needed. Score yet another for intuition.

The Ongoing Bad
The thing about recovery in any form is that one always expects it to be a steady, gradual course, but it never, ever is; this includes recovering physically, unfortunately. It wasn’t recommended by anybody, but I weaned myself off the drugs relatively quickly, because the more I read about it, the more I found that people were describing the hideous withdrawal symptoms all along, no matter how quickly they decreased their dosage and, frankly, I’d rather be severely miserable for a month than generally miserable for six. I’m a rip-the-damned-bandaid-off-already kind of gal. (In a barely-related story: I also genuinely like spoilers. Bring ’em on. I hate suspense.) So I basically took the hard route and committed to just being tortured and incapacitated for a short amount of time. Unfortunately, after being “clean” of the Effexor/Cymbalta for a couple weeks, my plans hit a snag last weekend when my husband was out of town and I was still in physical misery; HOWEVER, I also found myself literally being woken up every 4-6 minutes with the most horrifying, vivid dreams I’ve ever experienced. Not only were they hyper-realistic in that they moved seamlessly into my real-life situation, but I was experiencing physical sensations to boot. It was insufferable and I finally caved and took a fraction of a dose of the SNRI to stop the withdrawal symptoms. They worked like a charm, and I was immediately able to sleep with no problems, but I’m terrified I reset my whole system and have prolonged the detox process. Dammit.

The Relatively Ugly
Another fun thing I didn’t know about Effexor is that it is precisely what has been contributing to my weight gain in the last couple years (aside from the Fat Miley project, in which I openly embraced putting on a few for the sake of art. #WorthIt) Not only does it make cravings uncontrollable (and will punish your psyche severely if you try to abstain), but it makes the weight harder to work off. And as it worked on my apathy, I sort of stopped giving a crap because, really? Being a little fat is a ton of fun once you stop giving a shit what society says about it. Seriously. Everything’s a little cushier and more comfortable; you stop giving a shit about whether or not your tailored stuff is gonna fit because you know it isn’t and you embrace clothes that are more flowy and easygoing anyway. It’s kind of like walking around in a fatsuit, which is just a bunch of pillows wrapped around your bones. Fluffy!
I mean, I knew I was getting on the unhealthier side, and I sure did miss wearing most of the stuff in my closet, but I’ve lost baby weight before and I wasn’t too worried about being able to lose it again; I just didn’t have any real drive to do it… or anything for that matter. Being 50 lbs overweight was a bit of a fun adventure/life experience. I have no regrets on that front.
HOWEVER, now that I’m trying to get my body back in gear, it is embarrassingly hard. Even when I was humongous and pregnant, I still was active enough to get back on the horse once the baby was outside my body. Aside from the general pain and dizziness from the withdrawal, I’m trying to push through and get a little cardio for endorphins’ sake.
I went for a walk today. I went 2 miles. It took me 40 MINUTES.
Apparently, sitting around in apathy has hit the “reset” button on my personal stamina. I literally have never been in this bad of physical shape before.
It is a daunting task to think of getting out of this hole.
I genuinely am not worried about losing the weight so much as I am my ability to get my strength back in what feels like a completely foreign body. The weight will work itself out, but dear LORD, do I feel physically useless.

To be honest, in this apathy spree of mine, I’ve sort of just not given a shit about how I look at all. Putting my concern on my quality of life and my mental state has definitely been more important, and, honestly, taking a break from the societally-induced vanity we’re all expected to adhere to has been kind of nice. I love playing with makeup, but I’ve only done so about once a month for the last quarter-and-change. I’ve been living mostly in maxi dresses/skirts and cinching my waist to give myself a shape, but not really paying much attention to appearance on a daily basis. Between that and not getting much physical activity, I feel completely disconnected to my body; I’ve been living mostly in my fuzzy brain.
As much as I’ve always hated women who primp for hours, I don’t think setting up a routine to at least put on mascara or do a vibrant lip for myself every morning after I meditate is a bad thing right now, even if I don’t plan on seeing anybody during the day. I need to start acknowledging this body if I’m going to heal it, too, I think.

It seems like I’m writing my own How to Heal Thyself manual. I like where this rough draft is going.

I Quit

There’s more to life than this. I’m trying something radical, and I’m doing it under doctor’s supervision, and I’m pretty terrified, but I’ve had enough.

I’ve been on antidepressants for more than ten effing years now. In that time, I’ve developed anxiety, fatigue, PGAD, musculoskeletal aches and pains (like fibromyalgia) and bipolar disorder. Before I started antidepressants, I had none of those things – only the severe depression. In the decade I’ve been cycling through to try to find the “right medication”, I’ve been constantly sick with some random ailment, I’ve piled weight on and lost tons (without really changing anything in a couple cases), and, once, I developed an endocrinological disorder that had me in and out of the ER and seeing a specialist who gave me an endoscopy and found nothing. (This was remedied when I stopped taking the psych meds I’d recently been put on. Miraculous.) Every other year or so, my body adapts to the drugs so entirely that they stop working and I either have to be pumped full of more or changed up altogether, which is nothing short of torture for a few days while my entire psychological/physical system detoxes from the addiction of one and moves to another.

I’m sick of it. I’m fucking done.

I know that sounds terrifying and dangerous, but I’ve been talking to my doctors about this and it’s something I feel confident I should at least try with close supervision. I NEVER had manic episodes or anxiety until I started trying out different antidepressants (and, for a while, Adderall/Vyvanse that one of the quacks I saw gave me to “jump start me out of bed”. Christ…) and I truthfully don’t even know what my natural existence would even feel like anymore. After a decade’s worth of therapy, learning tools for managing my ridiculously intense emotions/conflicting exterior dynamics, and healing from all the stuff that was making me depressed in the first place when all my Crazy started, who knows how my natural mental state would actually maintain?

We intend to find out.

I’ve been researching the hell out of this (I was ESPECIALLY bothered when I joined a forum for people quitting Effexor – which is worse than heroin withdrawal – and saw SO many people listing the same EXACT side effects as I’ve had, INCLUDING the PGAD.), and the first couple weeks are going to be rough. Like stay-in-bed-twitching-and-aching rough. But, frankly, I’ve done that before, and as long as I know it’ll pass, I’ll be okay. After that, we’re just going to monitor my behaviors and moods vigilantly and I’ll probably lay low for a bit while I adjust, but I intend to continue getting a ton of supplements and sunshine and exercise when I can. My doctor has moved me over to Cymbalta to wean off of instead of trying it with the Effexor because they’re comparable, but the former will take care of the fibromyalgic-type pains I’ve had for a couple years now. In the meantime, I’m going to be going heavy on B-complexes and Omegas 3, 6, and 9.

I’m fucking done with years of endless side effects and adjustments and jumping from one addictive substance to another without ever feeling “right”. I’m sick of constantly having some new physical demon to battle and experiencing behaviors I never ever had before even though I’m supposed to be on medicines that will “fix” everything. I’m tired of being handed new diagnoses for things I never actually exhibited before I was taking this stuff. And, most recently, I’m sick of feeling nothing and wasting my time and my life being apathetic and useless.

I’m ready to find a new way of life because this shit isn’t working. Here’s to getting back to basics.

The Stranger vs. The Bear

I took the Bear out for doughnuts and milk to talk to her a little about what’s been going on. I’ve told her before about my anxiety issues and having a sickness in my brain, but I’ve kept it very vague. This time I thought I’d trust her with a little more information, because what I’ve learned is that the worst possible thing to do to an observant child is to deny that there’s anything wrong.

I started by asking if she remembered me talking about my brain being sick and how I’d likened it to her grandaddy’s diabetes. She said she did. I explained that it wasn’t something other people can catch, as long as I treat it and get medical help for it (which is true, given the/my psychiatric beliefs in transferral), and I was working hard to get better so she and Daddy don’t get sick brain too. She asked what it was like to have sick brain and I explained that sometimes it makes me act in ways that are weird and not like my normal self.

Then she said: Like when you get grumpy sometimes, it’s like you turn different. Like a stranger.

I felt gutted. I knew exactly what she was talking about and what it felt like to watch that in someone I loved and trusted.

Strangely, I was excited when she told me that, despite how much it hurt. I told her I saw it too and encouraged her to keep talking. (Only later did I recognize that this was easily a direct dialogue with my inner-child. I digress.)

She said: You get like a stranger and the stranger is a bully.

Me: Yeah! And that’s scary, right?

Her: Yeah. I don’t like it.

Me: Oh man, me neither.

I’d like to thank Mr. Rogers for the ability to talk about feelings.

So I told her that the next time she saw The Bully come out, she should tell me, and we’ll stop right there, hold hands, take a deep breath, count to ten, and then start our conversation over. She seemed really excited and asked, “ANY time?” and I said, “Of course”. Immediately, I could see her feeling more confident that she would have control over the situation.

“But I won’t call you a bully every day. Most days, you’re my sweet mommy.”

Dear Lord. This kid is going to change the world.