I have a coldIt’s spring in New Mexico. We’ll have some days of high winds, but for the most part, cold weather is gone for the season. People are starting to wear shorts and flip-flops, the costume of the summer trudger.

I have a cold. It started last week and lingered as spring colds usually do. I’m better, down to sporadic coughing fits, nose blowing, dragging, and the spacey feeling that colds often leave you with. Somehow I think that more than anything colds consume creativity and cognitive attention. They leave me with little ability to plan ahead, organize, resist temptations, set goals, make decisions, or even write for that matter.

Just ask my husband; he had to come in and save the first draft of this rambling missive. I don’t care. Colds do that to you–they make you a hopeless, inefficient, hesitant, straggler. And everyone here in the Albuquerque area seems to have one.

That brings me to an interesting side effect I had last night taking a cough suppressant decongestant. The wonderful thing about the cough suppressant was that it worked immediately. I just stopped coughing. NO sputters, no fits, no throat clears, no cough. Perfect. Well, not perfect.

The stuff seemed to open up my mind’s floodgates. Continuous thoughts, images, and verbiage ran through constantly like a 1,000 car freight train on a circular track. Sleep was impossible with all that clattering going on. The odd thing was, the medicine also seemed to take away any feelings or concerns I had about the process—so I just watched and listened as the night passed by. I awoke after having slept very little, but I wasn’t all that upset about it.

Some of my clients have reported similar effects from antidepressant medications over the years. They say they have many of the same uncontrolled thoughts and images, but without as much emotional response to them. No doubt the reduced emotional response could serve them well. But something is better about not having so much material huffing and puffing its way through your mind in the first place. Hopefully, in a few days or a week, I’ll be back to thinking and writing coherently (or my husband will do it for me if that’s not the case).

Photo by threeifbybike, available under a Creative Commons attribution license.