A few years ago one of my girlfriends told me she posed nude for a Japanese magazine and got paid $2000 for her trouble.
"Oh, that's nice." I replied.
"You're not shocked?"
"Should I be?"
I'm generally unflappable. I used to think it was because I lived a very interesting life and surrounded myself with others who lived similarly. Dullards need not apply was my philosophy. And being around interesting people inures you to the quotidian. So to me, getting paid $2000 for posing nude for the Japanese was just not that big a deal. Knowing my sister once had to tread water in shark-infested waters off the coast of Africa and keep her friend afloat until the people on the yacht they were on turned around and rescued them? That was a big deal because A. Imminent death and B. LindyMOMSGOINGTOKILLYOU.
When I went on antidepressants I was in bad shape. I had lost all feeling in my hands after my ankle surgery in 2008. Coming off crutches screwed with my neck muscles which in turn affected my nerves and presto chango: no feelings in my hands. I dropped and shattered glasses in the sink, couldn't write with a pen and was unable to tie my shoes. I cried all the time. Even though I felt sorry for myself I believed I was very much part of the problem. My brain was set to We're All Going To Die and I couldn't stop myself from feeling bad every. single. day.
Thoughts become things. Choose wisely.
Someone who saw me every day during this time suggested I see a professional and my first response was, "No way; I like using my feet to hold a glass in a restaurant." But I knew it was time to get help. On the advice of a psychiatrist I went on a low dose of 10 mg of Lexapro* and my pity party shrank by one occupant.
I stopped crying. I stopped dropping glasses in the sink. And I stopped wearing shoes that required shoelaces.
After a year, the Lexapro had done its job. But if I thought nothing shocked me before, this last year on anti-depressants removed any vestiges of even the slightest possible recoil that I could have from life. I was deadened from the chin up.
My friends would tell me what upset them and I would stare blankly into space. Unable to see how they had constructed such huge mountains out of such minuscule molehills. My own mountains-to-molehills ratio had shrunk by such a large number that I was only able to empathize with others via the comments section of their blogs. If they had no blog I hurried them off the phone. I'm sorry your life sucks. Take a number and get in line.
I've now been off Lexapro for over two months. When I decided to quit I thought I might go into the shitter because, you know, I have goals and all.
But I didn't.
I would go back on them in a heartbeat if I started to slide down the proverbial rabbit hole. I still can't feel the last two knuckles of any of my fingers but the Lexapro gave me distance and perspective on where I was in life. I can now tie my shoes and sign my checks. Can world domination be far behind?
If you think you need anti-d's, DO NOT go to an internist, gynecologist or your local grocer. You need to see a psychiatrist because they're the ONLY ones who can diagnose your trauma and dispense antidepressants responsibly. They're trained in the vagaries of the brain. Do not let people convince you to the contrary or you can end up with a diagnosis for the vapors. After all, if you break a leg, do you go to a dermatologist?
And please don't write me and say you got a script from your dentist and you were fine and I'm a moron. You were lucky. A psychiatrist makes you check in regularly to monitor your mental health. A dentist will only remind you to floss.
And I certainly don't need you to tell me I'm a moron while my mother is still alive.
End of chat.
*Lexapro worked for me. It doesn't mean it will work for you. I'm not a doctor although I'd like to play one on TV.