it has been a week of blessings. well hidden blessings, but nonetheless blessings. it started on monday morning when i was so anxiety ridden, so scared of the world, that i cancelled a doctor’s appointment and lunch with a friend.
the painter hieronymous bosch 1450-1516 painted the garden of earthly delights to represent the chaotic, confusing, overwhelming nature of the universe. well, that is sort of how winnetka looked like to me this week!
tuesday i took another sick day, wednesday i weaseled, and thursday i went to the doctor but only because i had already cancelled one visit and he’s just two blocks away. when he opened the door to the examining room, i started crying. i have no idea why. and he’s a great doctor. he sat and listened. to a completely incoherent story about how i couldn’t get out of the house.
but it is a truth so universally acknowledged that it hardly bares repeating but a fifty one year old woman with three day old bedhead and a case of the weepies is a woman in need of an antidepressant. in this case, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor called lexapro.
“will it make me gain weight?” i asked.
“all antidepressants will make you gain weight,” he said. “oh, and you have to take it every day but it won’t start working for at least two weeks.”
that sent me howling and he did what any reasonable doctor would do under the circumstances. he excused himself to see if the pharmaceutical representative had left him any samples. a moment later, he came back in, wheeling on his shoes when he realized i had not yet composed myself. nonetheless, within a half hour i was out on the street, sniffling as i walked over to conney’s pharmacy to get the prescription filled.
i stumbled upon my friend david grant who was headed towards the post office. he gave me a hug. i asked him if he had always known how incompetent i am.
“i never thought you were incompetent,” he said. “you seem pretty put together.”
and that’s the way it is–we all look a lot more competent than we feel. if we could just remind ourselves every once in a while that we might think we’re poseurs fooling the world. but so is everybody else.
this morning, i woke up at two o’clock and began cataloging my faults. it’s a little curatorial habit of mine. i was supposed to take lexapro in the morning, with food. it might make me nauseus. it sometimes causes spontaneous fatality or exacerbation of suicidal thoughts. i couldn’t get back to sleep. so i read a book. and then i got up at six and worked out. and immediately made this video with the help of lisa jarvis. she works at the fitness center and she is now charged with the task of calling me every morning if i don’t get on the stairmaster by nine o’clock. when you live alone, as i do, you have to set up some rules. . . .
but the most important rule is to be with your friends. because they don’t mind your incompetencies–in fact, they purposely don’t see them. . . .
and the lexapro? not yet, i’m not quite willing to say that everything i did last year could be bested by a little pill.
last year, i faced down a lot of my phobias as part of my resolution to visit all 325 facebook friends--i couldn't even imagine getting on a plane before last year and i think i logged 51 flights altogether. so this is just a temporary backsliding. this is a get back up on that horse and ride moment!