Thursday, July 21, 2016

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition

Old photo swiped from porn name post because I love it.
So several years ago Nick and I had a conversation about porn names.

To sum it up for you: if he had a porn name it would be Girth Brooks, and since I had to think fast and did not want to be outdone, said I'd be Dolly Farton.

And then he pointed out that that kind of name will just not get you into mainstream porn.

It is always my instinct to be all, "I could too!" Whether I want to or not.

But let's be honest. Even if I were younger, I can't imagine myself in porn, Dolly Farton or no.

Also, even with more time I can't come up with a cleverer name. So there's that.

Anyway, one day we got on the topic of S&M. Not in an exploratory way. Because I am more M&Ms than S&M.

More in a like a "what safe word would you pick" kind of way. And I was all, "Either Brussels sprouts or creme brulee."

And Nick was all, "Those are both two words. It's a safe word. Not a safe compound word. Not a safe phrase."

So I was like, well, does it have to be one word? Well, maybe. Maybe you don't have enough air for two. So then Constantinople would be out as well because it's just too many syllables. You'd want one syllable, two at most. Cake? Fridge? Frodo?

Definitely not Flight of the Conchords. Or Australia, because they have like the top 10 most poisonous animals on the planet. Or something like that. I think. I mean, it is somewhere I would really like to visit. But doesn't fall under my vision of safe as a concept.

(Whereas clearly cake, fridge, and Frodo do.)

At any rate, we didn't really get anywhere with it and I basically forgot about it.

And then a couple months ago, I called Leigh to tell her that I had gotten into a really bad place and that I was getting better. And that she was right about the meds.

My purpose was exactly two-fold. One, I went there, and two, I'm back. Like, "Hey, I took this trip to Paris and now I'm home! Hi!"

So I called and said that I had gone to a very bad place, and she said, "I know."

And I was all, "You know?"

She said, "I knew before you visited. I knew weeks ago."


"One of your posts on Facebook was kind of mean. And you are not mean."

So I said, "Why didn't you tell me?"

Leigh said she didn't feel comfortable. What if I got really angry? What if I didn't think it was her business?

I was all, "If it happens again, please tell me. I need you to tell me."

And she said, "I think what we should do is pick a safe word."

"A safe word?"
"Yes. We pick a safe word, and when I say it, you'll know exactly what I mean."

We haven't yet chosen one, but since breathing is not a factor, I'm thinking along the lines of spaghetti carbonara.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Or: The express bus to crazytown

Hi friends! It's been a while!

I'm currently the director of Camp Mama, and my two relentless little campers are basically taking all my time and the bulk of my sanity.

My children are the cutest things I have ever seen in my entire life and they are also wee White Walkers, if Game of Thrones is your thing.

When India doesn't get enough attention, like if I'm having a conversation with another adult, she likes to get up in my face, close enough that her eyes blur together for me and I'm gazing with difficulty at the cutest cyclops I've ever seen. And then she says, "Attention!"

But she is in fact the cutest cyclops ever. And Jordan likes to read out loud to us, and even though I'm not remotely interested in the encyclopedia of Chima Lego facts, I love the fact that he is reading. So.

Also, I see a GI doctor in August. And my belly button only hurts when I press it. I know. Don't say it.

And! Or but!  (Or not but? To but or not to but?)

Basically, something cool happened and I wanted to share it with you!

I mean, first something very not cool happened to me. But then I wrote about it and it got published and that is cool.

See, back months ago when I was flirting with pregnancy I went off my meds. And started hating everyone and everything, myself most of all. My world got very flat and angry-ugly-empty alarmingly fast.

And as it always is, I didn't see what was happening. I just knew that the life I had was not one that I wanted to keep living.

I bought my ticket and jumped on that express bus in less time than it takes to turn around. I just didn't realize it.

And I will tell you very honestly that while I didn't jump off a bridge, for the first time, I actually did think about it.

So then I wrote a post that I originally titled The Express Bus to Crazytown. The Mighty accepted it and published it under the self-explanatory title When I Stopped Taking My Depression Medication.

The link above takes you to article on The Mighty site, and I am pasting it below as well. Of course now that it is done and out there I see a million ways I could have done it better. But here it is.

When I Stopped Taking My Depression Medication 

The line between jumping off a bridge and not is just that: a line. It’s not a mile wide and it’s not an impenetrable wall. It’s a simple line.

It’s a line I’ve never even edged my toe over. But I know it exists.

For years, I worried my dad was scared before he died by suicide. Alone and scared. But now, I’m not so sure.

“Normal” people do not understand this. My husband Nick cannot imagine it. For Nick there is no line and no bridge.

A month ago I learned I was pregnant, and stopped taking both my antidepressants. I didn’t know how safe my meds might be; I didn’t want to take any chances. I could’ve emailed my shrink. But I didn’t. I just quit. I was on such low doses anyway.

And then, a couple weeks later, I miscarried. I was devastated. It was a loss, no matter how fleeting the hope.

I didn’t restart my meds.

Then I saw my friend Leigh. We stayed up late talking over bottles of wine. In the last couple years, I’ve felt like hell the day after one glass of alcohol. But I was OK. Hungover, certainly, but not incapacitated.

And I realized: I wasn’t too old to drink. It was the antidepressants! How nice to have a glass of wine without severe consequences!

I shared my discovery with Nick, who said, “But you’re going back on them, right? Today?”

(What? When I’m doing so well without them?) I said, “Sure, sure.”

I told Leigh, who said, “It’s nice to not feel anger that isn’t really there. He’s right about your medication.”

So I restarted one, but not the other—Wellbutrin—which I’ve come to hate. My shrink and I had agreed to discuss dropping it this spring anyway.

My goal was to quit entirely, though I tell people that mental illness is the same as any other. Taking antidepressants is like taking thyroid or blood pressure medication. My dad quit his medication repeatedly. And attempted suicide repeatedly. The last time I quit I’d sworn that I wouldn’t follow that pattern.

But I was doing so well without them!

I just cried really easily. Which was understandable. I was recovering from a miscarriage.

I just got angry easily. But children push all your buttons. So can your mom. And your husband. It’s hard to live with people.

I just hated my life. Why did I choose such a pointless life? Why had I married a man who didn’t view me as a priority? He’d be happier with someone normal. So would my kids.

Other than that, I was great!

The worse part, I told Nick, was that I’d done it to myself: I’d made choice after choice that had led me to this particular place of utter, suffocating futility. He was offended, and we fought.

Nick said he didn’t want to be my second choice. If I wanted a different life, I should go live it. Sobbing, I said I’d chosen the kids and him as my whole world, but they didn’t value me. My world was pointless, utterly meaningless, as was my life.

He suddenly said, “Can we change the conversation?”

As he spoke, he plucked a Lego head from the floor. Our son occasionally decapitates his Lego people. Sometimes he stacks the heads in oddly compelling Lego totem poles.

I waited for Nick to criticize my housekeeping. One more shortcoming in a bleak sea of… nothingness.

“Are you on your medication?”

I cried harder, but with relief. Could that really be the answer?

Yes. You’d think I’d know this by now. But when you’re barely hanging on, you do not see past the desperate grip of your fingertips.

“One of them. I see my shrink in two weeks anyway.”

“Would you please start the other?”

I’m on the lowest doses they prescribe. How can they matter that much? But oh, they do.

My dad refused to talk about his mental health, about whether or not he was taking his medication. I think: What if mental illness weren’t so stigmatized? What if he’d talked instead of hiding? What if he’d accepted he had a mental illness, instead of trying to deny it?

What if we were allowed to ask? Would he still be alive today?

I have no idea. But I know that for me, I need someone to ask.


And there you have it.

Big hugs,