March 10, 2009

Sometimes it just turns out that way.

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:57 am by the Green-Eyed Siren

So today was the day. Monday, Monday: can’t trust that day, you know. But the poor in spirit do not have the luxury of picking and choosing, blessed though we may be, so I had to take a chance on this most notorious desperado of the week as the day of my salvation.

This was the day that I came clean. Owned up to a lifetime’s worth of being trapped inside my head. Admitted my perpetual struggle to stay on the tightrope. Confessed that I have a teeny, tiny, hardly-worth-mentioning-except-now-I’m-really-losing-my-shit problem with anxiety. Yes, this was the day I took the pharmaceutical companies’ advice and Spoke to My Doctor About (fill in the blank with the name of any antidepression medication you’ve ever heard of).

Truthfully, I didn’t exactly speak to him about it. It was more of a vehement exhortation. Prior to getting into my Recent Unpleasantness I had to acknowledge the failure of the whole weight-loss effort, and thus followed approximately ten minutes of hearing about “making an appointment with yourself to exercise for an hour every day.” I listened as politely as I could, because he is a very fine doctor and an empathetic person, but finally I could no longer contain myself, announcing with no small degree of agitation and volume, “This exercise stuff is all well and good, but I can’t go there right now, because let me tell you, I have much bigger things to deal with at the moment!” And being a fine doctor and empathetic person he asked me to elaborate. Which I did. For an additional 45 minutes or so.

Yes, you heard right. I had an appointment with my internist, scheduled in his calendar as a basic 20-minute check-up, which lasted for almost an hour. How often does this happen in the world these days? Not to mention the fact that there are very few hardy souls who could tolerate listening to me for almost an hour under the best of circumstances. See? I told you he was a fine doctor.

In that hour I started with the message that I needed to be on whatever drugs would cure me of worrying about the economy (the stronger the better), but as the conversation progressed it became clear that he saw evidence of a much more pervasive problem that’s been going on for most of my life, and by the end of the appointment he had me convinced that my first forty years have been built on the foundation of some seriously dysfunctional brain chemistry.

So today I find myself confronting the astounding possibility that most of the rest of the world experiences emotions in a dramatically different way than I am capable of experiencing them. Even entertaining the idea is difficult for me to do. The prospect of significantly altering my emotional life is both a relief and a worry—although since I am anxious about everything anyway, probably the response I should be giving the most credence is relief.

I confess, though, that as I type this the rational part of me is standing back, looking on and shaking her head: “Must you always be so dramatic? What is with you? You are FINE. Get a hold of yourself.” She has always been impatient with the emotional me’s nonsense, and I can hardly blame her. Most normal people share her opinion on the subject.

That’s all well and good. It is an entirely reasonable opinion. However, I am afraid my doctor has a message for the Rational Me who would have preferred to stuff Emotional Me in a box and toss her somewhere into Lake Michigan: Shut. The Hell. Up. But my doctor says this not because he is not fond of Rational Me; on the contrary, he says she needs to run much more of the show around here. Sadly, however, he is pretty sure that ain’t gonna happen anytime soon unless I get on some kind of miracle prescription drug.

So today, after almost an hour of questions and answers, I left my doctor’s office with no fewer than three prescriptions in hand. sleep aid, anti-anxiety medication, and something to address what he sees as a near-total seratonin deficiency.

I promise to go into more detail tomorrow, but it’s quite late and Mr. Unfocused is already asleep next to me, which is my cue to close the computer. But that’s OK. Sleep is not a bad suggestion, considering that I am worn out from this overwhelming day. And since we all know how sleep is one of my big hurdles in life, I’m going to go with the still non-chemically induced variety when it presents itself.

I just looked at my clock. Monday, Monday has passed. Now it is Tuesday, the start of something scary and new. But not until I sleep.

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6 Comments »

  1. Green Eyed Siren's Mom said,

    I think Shakespeare said it best. “Sleep that mends the ravelled sleeve of care”.

    Give it a try-drugs and all. You might find that you like it.

    Love you.

    Mom

  2. The Lass said,

    Here’s where the internet gets weird – you get unsolicited advice from near-strangers (me). Do you think any kind of talk therapy might also help? I ask because it sounds as if your symptoms parallel a lot of what I’ve gone through over the years. (Yes, that’s the bonus of unsolicited, uneducated diagnosis there). It has helped me a lot. Just a thought.

    In any event, good for you for breaking through and good for your doctor for being such a good listener. It was refreshing to read that. I wish you well.

  3. Jeanne said,

    It does sound like you have the doctor in a million. (They all do that “just eat less and exercise more; it’s so simple” thing.)

  4. LSM said,

    I’m glad you have a doctor who really takes time to listen. While I haven’t gone through this personally, I live with someone who has. The anti-axiety meds have made a difference in a positive way for our family. And, in our case they really didn’t change much about the taker’s basic personality or approach to life–they just took the edge off and made living in the same house a lot nicer. :)

  5. harri3tspy said,

    Good for you for taking the plunge, as scary as it may be.

  6. Florinda said,

    I was scared when I started on the meds too, four years ago, but they’ve truly made a difference, especially during the period when they were combined with cognitive behavioral therapy.

    But scary as it is, you’ve DONE something now. Hopefully it’s a good thing. Good luck!


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