Last week I had a complete physical and received the fabulous news that I am a-ok, which was a relief since lately, I haven’t been so sure.
Don’t worry, this is not another post about peri-menopause.
But suffice it to say that, in addition to the issues hailing from my fifty year old uterus, I’ve felt tired and anxious, with a fluttering heartbeat and a semi-constant sense of dread.
That, plus pissed.
So boy was I relieved when (what’s left of) my blood checked out fine and, after reassuring me that my experience with The Change is not that uncommon, the doc sent me away with a referral for my first colonoscopy and a crisp new prescription for Prozac!
That sounds so 90’s.
If Prozac was sold in stores, it would be at Chicos.
It’s the Rachel haircut of anti-depressants.
(Here’s where I stop for just a minute and say that I am so grateful that drugs like Prozac exist. It has helped several of my dearest and best friends out of the dark hole of depression, and I am a fan of people not suffering needlessly. So I hope you won’t be offended if I’m dissing your drug of choice, because I’m not. I am just a very neurotic and small minded person and I like nice things, even if they come in capsule form. Please discontinue reading if you want to, and have a healthy snack instead.)
I’ll admit, I got pretty excited about my 10 mg of self improvement.
“What are some of the side affects?” I asked the doctor. I’m a smart consumer, I thought, as my hand made an almost imperceptible jerk toward the prescription my doctor was writing out.
Act casual, I thought.
She mentioned a short list of issues some people have experienced while taking Prozac, weight loss being one of them. “But you’re unlikely to experience any of those with such a low dose.”
I crossed my arms on the soft flesh of my new middle aged middle and smiled.”Oh good,” I heard myself say, pretty convincingly.
My goal was to get out of the office, get to the drugstore and right away take one of my new pills so that I could be a new person by tomorrow. Why wait? My husband and kids would thank me! No more lectures about
Exactly How I Would Like the Bread Package Sealed Please.
and then fold over and wrap a rubber band around it.
Don’t forget to squeeze all the air out of the bag
and the reason you can’t find a rubber band
is that no one ever saves them
and no one puts them here in this little space
in the drawer,
where I’ve told you
the rubber bands should always go.
Am I the only one who cares around here?
It’s a small thing,
to seal the bag of bread and do you just assume
I will throw that stale bread away and go buy another loaf?
Is that it?
Well is it???
Standing under the fluorescent lights of the Rite-Aid, I had some time to think.
As much as my brain bugs me, what with all it’s shortcomings, I kind of like it.
Or, I’m used to it.
Or at least, I’ve tried to make lemonade, as they say.
I remembered a friend telling me that taking anti-depressants hadn’t changed her personality, it just made her not “stew” on things as much. But who am I, I wondered, if not someone who stews??
At that point, the lady in line behind me had a full-on passive aggressive sighing fit about the long wait. What a bitch, I thought. Geez! People need to get a grip. Talk about tightly wound!
Wait, where was I?
Oh yeah, do I or don’t I need some Prozac…
I peered into my phone, reading about other possible side affects, the ones my doctor had failed to mention. Side affects like clenched jaw, sleeplessness, anxiety (what the actual fuck???), cold symptoms, mild nausea, decreased appetite, increased appetite, loss of sex drive, constipation, dry mouth…
Later, I sat in my car, my little bottle of hope tucked in my purse,
and called Jo Dee.
“I can’t decide if I want to take them,” I said, enjoying the anti-depressant effect of a bag of peanut M&Ms. “I just don’t know if I’m that bad off. When you look online, most people say the side affects were nothing compared to how bad they felt before.”
“That’s how it was for me,” Jo Dee answered, referring to her own experience of depression years ago. “I just felt so fragile. Any little thing would happen and I would just start crying and go back to bed.”
“Yeah, I don’t have that. I do think I’m pretty irritable,” I say, stating the most obvious thing ever stated in the history of the universe. “I wish there was just something that would take the edge off when I need it. I should have asked her for Xanax.”
“Is that what Xanax does?” asks Jo Dee.
“That’s what a friend told me. She described it like, ‘Oh, it just takes the edge off.”
“But isn’t that what they say about every anti-depressant? That it takes the edge off?”
“Yeah,” I answer. “Tastes just like chicken.”
I go home, throw the bottle in the top drawer of my dresser, the one with my jewelry and all my boys’ baby teeth, and that is where they sit.
My guess is that you haven’t heard the last from me on this topic, because I’m just so full of questions.
Does my tendency to snap when my estrogen ebbs warrant a daily dose of medication?
Will taking a little bump of Prozac each morning mean I won’t get quite so worked up when caught in the incessant dinging of a group text from the parents in my son’s basketball league. DING!- “who’s snack mom this week?” Ding!- “I’ll do it!” DING!- “You’re the best!” DING!-“Thanks!” DING!-“Thanks so much!”
I don’t know. It could be that the bar for emotional health and a sunny disposition is just a little bit high sometimes.
Because group texts are annoying,
and don’t get me started on stale bread.