I wanted to give you a detailed explanation for my absence but I realized it was going to read like a Living Dead as scripted by the zombies:
Uhhhhhhhhhhnnnnnnnnn, uhhhhhhhhhhhnnnnnnn >Bonk< uhhhhhhhhhnnnnnnnnnn
So to save us all a lot of tedium I will just say that prozac for my anxiety made me both crazyedgy and dopey and simply adding more prozac per my doctor's instructions did not - unlike bacon or butter - make it better. Fortunately I have a blog and even more fortunately I have people who read my blog and extra-most-extremely fortunate of all they are smarter than I am.
Two comments from July were especially helpful. One was from Cori who said and I quote "there are so many different drugs available that a good psychiatrist might be able to pinpoint the exact one or ones to help you better than a GP." Since I was online at the time trying to figure out how to convince my GP to please please please not suggest EVEN MORE PROZAC by tempting him with my googled alternative pharmaceutical results, this particular observation hit me between the eyes like an icecream headache. In a good way.
Psychiatrist? Pinpoint? The exact one?
Then Jessy wrote "medication can be excellent, and you certainly do not need to tell details to the entire Internet, but the benefits of psychotherapy for anxiety disorders cannot possibly be overstated. An effective cognitive behavioral therapist can work wonders, if you are willing to put in the effort."
I read these two within a few hours of each other and just before, not coincidentally, I peeled my face off the floor, checked the phone carefully for spiders (it was a tough couple of months, people) and called a mental health clinic. They got me in to see someone who specializes in medication who in turn eased me off the prozac and started me on Lexapro. I saw her for a follow-up last week and asked for another month to determine whether the side-effects I was most trying to escape by going off Celexa - weight gain and sleepiness - are an issue with Lexapro as well. I mean, I have gained some pounds and I slept through most of August BUT I was on vacation for most of it so who knows. I have also started seeing a therapist who specializes in cognitive whatsits and that is going well so... here we are.
Hi! I missed you and thank you for the concerned emails and comments and I am embarrassed that it took me so long to get back here but I am feeling a hundred billion times better now and I look forward to writing again. In fact it is my number one therapy goal. That and getting over my middle of the night fear that we have snakes in the house. Although I still think we could use a mongoose.
Four brief stories:
I climbed out of the bathtub the other day and was stepping into my robe just as Steve entered the room.
"Thar she blows," he said and turned to reach for his toothbrush.
"WHAT? DID? YOU? JUST? SAY?" I shrieked and I watched his face reflected in the mirror as he played the previous five seconds back in his mind. He paled. He turned.
"There she is!" he said brightly. "That's my girl! Thars my sweet treasure!"
I started laughing.
"Feeling a little nautical?" I asked. "Channeling your old whaling days?"
Steve dropped his head, "That was the stupidest thing I have ever said, ever. I was... it was... I don't know. So so stupid."
Every time I think about it I start laughing again. You know how sometimes you just open your mouth and you say the first thing that pops out? Here's a hint: the only time it should ever be a Moby Dick reference is following your performance of Farewell to Tarwathie.
He will, incidentally, be mortified that I shared this with you. Poor pumpkin. So embarrassing when your brain shuts down but your mouth keeps moving. Thar she blows indeed.
Caroline was sitting at the breakfast bar finishing a cookie.
"I want another cookie," she said.
"No," I said. "We're done with the cookies. If you're still hungry you can have a banana or an apple or some yogurt or... "
"Mommy!" she snapped.
"When I grow up I am not going to send you any postcards."
You know how you sometimes hear people say that they want a daughter so there will be someone to care for them in their old age?
As I drove Patrick to Meet the Teacher night I was lecturing him. He's going to be a sixth grader this year and it's time to buckle down. He WILL keep his planner up to date. He WILL NOT mistake the classroom for his own personal comedy club. He WILL get out the door with all of his things, on time, every day.
I was sort of on autopilot as I drove and talked (I do this commute four times a day during the school year) and it wasn't until we got within a couple miles of the school that I remembered they have started the largest highway/roadwork/construction project in the history of all time and my old route is completely closed now. I wasn't really sure where I was going as I turned off the main road but I was hoping to find some sneaky backroute to the school if I could just...
I saw the police lights start behind me and I thought, oooh, better pull out of his way so he can go to the aid of my fellow citizens.
He pulled over behind me.
I thought, huh, that's weird and I swear it took me a full sixty seconds to realize that he was pulling me over. I've never gotten a moving violation in my life! What? How? Why?
Turns out the speed limit had plummeted when I turned, while my own pace had stayed pretty brisk. Zippy, even. Heh, whoops. Oh well. He wrote me a citation, apologized for it and then told me about six different ways I could probably get out of paying it if I just took my squeaky clean record and my obvious cluelessness and went to the court etc.
He drove off and I drove off and Patrick, who had been sitting in utter silence staring out the window like he had never met me before in his life, said, "Well. That was ironic."
"Ironic? How so?"
"Your lecture on the importance of my behaving well was interrupted when the police decided whether or not to arrest you."
"Ah," I said.
Edward... criminey Christmas... Edward. Edward is a blog post unto himself - and he will be, I promise - but the closer we got to the start of kindergarten the more worried he became until he finally curled up in a ball and sobbed that he just wanted to be... with... Ca... Ca.. CAAAAAAAAROLINE. For, like, an hour.
Oh fuck it, I thought, and after a lifetime firmly believing in the importance of separating twins for elementary school I found myself rushing into the principal's office four days before Tour The Kindergarten Night, pleading with her to find some way to put Edward with his sister in order to spare us all a lot of disruption and grief.
She obliged and when I told Edward he smiled and said he was happy again.
Caroline and Edward sat on either side of me as we met their kindergarten teacher a few days later. We talked about lunches and pickups and where their lockers would be and what they should do with their snacks and water bottles. She then asked what she should know about them, strengths and weaknesses, and murmured to me that the principal had already filled her in a little on Edward...
Caroline ran through her CV: tumbling, birding, traveling, chapter books she read and liked and other chapter books she read and disliked, Chinese, our cats, bones she coveted. Her teacher smiled and nodded and said all the right things.
Then she turned to Edward and asked, "First, do you like to be called Edward or Ed or... ?"
Caroline blurted out, "I call him Eddybear." Then she added, "But I won't like it if anyone else does."
The teacher said, "Ummmm hmmmm but I want to know what Edward wants."
Edward said, "I like to be called Edward and..." he laced his fingers together and looked down at his hands. "The thing you should know about me is... I cry a lot. I cry and cry."
He looked up at his teacher, "So good luck with that."
And 2 photos: