Life is funny, isn’t it? I had somebody tell me once that your 30s are the “age of enlightenment.” I think I would respectfully disagree with that, because I’m 44 and still feel like I’m being enlightened almost every day.
I’m off my anti-anxiety meds now. That may seem like an overshare, but I feel like such a new woman, that I feel the need to explain why, to talk about what I went through.
I went on them about a year-and-a-half ago when the possibility of inheriting a teenage girl became a reality. I needed them. I truly did, and they did their job. They took the edge off, exactly what I was told they’d do, and that was good. But after a while, the edge was off of everything, and I barely noticed. All I wanted to do was sit and be alone. It was good for a while, but then I completely disconnected. From my home. From Bonnie. From my writing. All responsibilities fell to Bonnie because I just didn’t give a shit. I had a ton of trouble getting out of bed in the morning (and I’m a morning person). My passion for anything had blurred into a soft fog, and I just sort of drifted along, alive but not really living. And little things that wouldn’t normally bother me all that much suddenly seemed like huge obstacles. Toss into the mix impending menopause and you’ve got quite a cocktail for I So Don’t Want to Be Around This Woman. Hell, I didn’t even want to be around me. I could be a miserable bitch. And I was. Often.
It was when I decided I was getting fat (I probably wasn’t, but small = huge, remember) that I told Bonnie I was going to wean myself off the meds and see if it made a difference. I spent all of September taking them for three days a week instead of seven. I didn’t feel much until a few weeks had passed. My journal entry for September 20 says, “I am an emotional roller coaster. I’m all over the board. Is it the weaning off of the pills? Maybe I should stay on them, stay fat, but somewhat sane.” Later on the page for that same day, it says, “I’d like to stay here in my chair away from everybody. Forever. Just leave me alone.” Yeah, I’d say at that point, the medicine was leaving my system. I understand why you can’t just quit cold turkey. Yikes.
Anyway, it was another couple of weeks before the day I woke up as if somebody had flicked a switch in my brain. It was bizarre. I had bundles of energy. I was happy. I wanted to do stuff. I smiled. I smiled! I wasn’t sure what was happening or if it would last, but it did, and I know now what it was. I feel like I got a second chance. I’m reinvested in redecorating our house. I’m writing like crazy. I’ve ticked a couple projects off my list that have been hanging there for months and months. I have new passion for my 18-year marriage (I can’t wait to take Bonnie away someplace romantic). I have fresh appreciation for the friends that have stuck by me (and less patience for those who didn’t). I love getting up in the morning and starting my day. It took me a few days to figure out it was the medication, but I’m so thankful I decided to let it go. I feel human again. I went to Women’s Week in Provincetown a little while ago and had an amazing time. I’m so humbled by and appreciative of my base of readers, all I want to do is pay you all back for your support by giving you more to read. It’s all kind of crazy, but in a good way.
I feel like the slate is clean and the Universe has said, “Okay, here you go. Another chance. Don’t screw it up.”
Life is funny, isn’t it?