I looked at my pill bottle the other day.
Every morning I take some vitamins, birth control, and another pill that hasn’t been around on my medicine rotation for as long.
After Lucy was born, my doctor asked if I’d had any problems with postpartum depression.
I had never been diagnosed, but after Max was born I quit my job and went back to school, and after Ava I got a divorce, so I’d say maybe there were some underlying issues.
So I told the doctor I might be a little at risk, and she gave me a prescription for sertraline (Zoloft), just in case.
We filled the script the day we left the hospital.
After some initial adjustments, that medication changed my life.
Seriously. I embellish none.
I had perspective on things I’d exploded about in the past. I was able to slow down, pace myself, and while there were a few times I wanted to run and hide from everyone and everything, they were manageable. Obviously I didn’t get too far.
So life has gone on for the past year. My meds incorporated themselves into my routine and the fireworks and fanfare have been minimal after that.
Until I looked at my pill bottle.
My prescription runs out in a couple of months.
Not only do we have no insurance (want me to start in on universal healthcare? Yeah, I didn’t think so), but I’m totally lost as to the mechanics of this.
“Hi, yeah, I think I may have had postpartum depression and just the thought of not taking my medication makes me want to kill pandas, can I please keep taking it?”
I’m pretty sure the fact that I can form that sentence in all seriousness means that I should never stop taking those pills. Ever.
I mean, I know that my OB-GYN isn’t necessarily the person to depend on for my mood altering medications, but what happens when I want to stay on those meds?
Do I go to a shrink? Do I talk about my childhood and my mom and my birth order?
Do I just go to my family doctor and say, “Look, this works, please just continue to give it to me until I die or become immune,” will that get me on the drug seeker list?
I’ll readily admit that I don’t really like that I’ve become so dependent on chemicals. I don’t like that the first thing Josh says when I get upset about something is, “Have you taken your medicine?”
It’s not that it isn’t a valid question, but sometimes I find myself on the outside, thinking, “Am I crazy? If I were normal would this still bother me? Pills or not, am I inventing problems? Am I crazy?”
But then I think about not taking the pills and I realize that if I didn’t, I WOULD be inventing problems. I’d be tearing up and pulling out my hair because there was fuzz on my shirt.
No, I’m not kidding.
For now, I’ve got some time. I guess we’ll cross that bridge later.
So, I mentioned in a post not long ago that I love storms.
I do. I watch and wait, and I’m always disappointed. I don’t know what it is I look for, or what would keep me from being disappointed. I don’t know where the line is that I would say, “Whoa, that’s too much.”
Well, I didn’t before yesterday.
It’s kind of shameful for me to admit, but I don’t think I’ve ever had reason to truly be afraid. Not of storms. I read Twitter feeds and Facebook statuses about “Oh laws, the storm’s a comin’, let’s take shelter!”
Maybe it’s because we never really did much in the way of storm safety at the Wilkes House while I was growing up. No one paid much attention, beyond the blinking warnings on the bottom of Full House or The Cosby Show, and storms were a part of life.
Maybe it’s because I have a weird adrenaline deficiency and I will probably take up extreme sports one day.
Yesterday, after the storms that had swept through the South over the past few days, we piled into the car to go check on some friends we knew had taken some damage.
And you guys…damn.
Trees bigger than our car – snapped. Not uprooted, snapped.
A barn was ripped in half.
An adorable vintage VW Beetle had its top ripped off.
Houses with rooftops missing.
I grew up in the South and I’ve seen storm damage my whole life. Never has it been so real. I feel like I’ve been living in some sort of calloused, apathetic shell. I realized today that I’ve spent my lifetime gambling against these storms. I was never afraid because some sort of invincibility delusion has apparently secretly taken up residence in the dumbest regions of my brain.
We arrived at our friends’ house, where not only had five or six 200-year-old trees been felled, but the wind had driven a stake from the attic supports through the master bedroom ceiling – aimed directly at the head of the bed.
They kept saying how lucky they were, how things could have been so much worse.
And they could have. No one was hurt, and what a miracle.
I can’t say that I’m going to dread storms now, or that I won’t be still a little eager the next time there’s some warning…
But I can say that I have a newfound, healthy respect for what the weather can do. And maybe I won’t wait so long to camp out in the hallway.
I know that persistence is key to any endeavor.
I decided to make myself a true blogger. I bought the domain name, I started posting every day…
And I’m ashamed to admit how quickly I’m becoming disheartened.
I don’t know what I expected – I knew that I wouldn’t become some megablogger and start raking in ad revenue or book deals – but I think I thought things would come to me more easily. I think I thought that once I got into a groove – a routine, and I knew what to expect of myself, that it would all just blossom and readers, inspiration, and fervor would just pour in from all sides. Maybe that’s what I thought. If I’m honest, sure it is.
I know that if I don’t write, a part of me dies.
Is that weird to say? Probably, but it’s true.
So I write, because I’ve let that part of me lie dormant for too long.
But still. The trappings of the metaphorical balls I’m hanging out with this effort has gotten me a little sensitive, I guess. Sometimes I feel like I’m talking to myself.
(make sure and watch all the way to the end. Awesome.)
Ok, so here’s the thing.
My parents are pretty much Hank and Peggy Hill. As closely as flesh and blood people can resemble animations, that’s the level of resemblance.
I love my parents. I could not have asked for better.
But here’s the thing.
My parents never acknowledged that sex exists. Not to me, at least. My sister told me the facts of life one afternoon while we were standing in the bathroom of our childhood home. I don’t even know what we were talking about or why, but I remember telling her that babies were made by kissing and she got all business and spilled the beans.
I don’t know why my parents chose never to broach this subject – well, I mean, I do, I guess. My parents and their utter Baptist stiff neck prudery were never more uncomfortable than when something a bit off color was mentioned. To be fair, mostly this refers to my mother – whenever the conversation seemed like it might perhaps be in danger of going anywhere near nakedness or kissing or getting naked, my dad would just go shoot or build something.
I remember once I asked my mom what a condom was.
I grew up in the eighties, man. AIDS was the hairy ugly unknown sexmonster and Whoopi Goldberg was on TV almost every night taking about condoms and safe sex.
I had no clue what a condom was. I was what, eight? So I asked, and for some reason I’ve always remembered my mother’s answer.
“It’s….it’s like a rubber glove.”
To be totally fair, this is not inaccurate. After all, it IS like a rubber glove. For man parts. But Mom left that part out, and for quite some time I pictured a condom like a magical Michael Jackson glove that for some reason protected sexers magically through their hand pores.
Anyway, my kids know all about sex. I decided long ago to take the completely opposite approach with them than my parents took with me, because once I started having sex, it was not only a huge dirty secret (let’s face it, my parents didn’t even know I knew what sex was, much less how to do it – and I might as well say it here…Mom, that time you read in my journal about my angsty teenage sexual escapades, and I told you it was a creative writing experiment? Yeah….it wasn’t. I feel much better now), but they’d have shackled me down if they thought I was even thinking about it.
So, after watching the Sex Ed episode of King of the Hill the other night with my kids, I think I’ve made the right decision. after all, if they can laugh with me about grownups who are scared to say “penis” and “vagina,” surely when the time comes, they’ll know that I can be trusted to confide in.
Why do I even think I have a right to care about your life?
Marriage is tough. I know, I’ve done it twice.
In the sevenish years since my divorce, I’ve heard my first marriage referred to in a number of different ways.
The jump from the nest.
First of all, let me make this clear: my marriage was not well thought out. It was something that sprang from my own codependent need to belong and be needed. I thought it would be a big game of house.
But for all the mistakes that were made, all the hurt and confusion that was had, my marriage was what brought me not only my two oldest children, but it linked me for life to the person who would always remain one of the best friends I could have. There is no price for those things. I would not change it for all the riches.
But it was my decision, my doing. I was free to make my own choices.
Why is that a right that can only be afforded to people with opposing genitals?
Because of the Bible? Whatever my views are on the Bible (and I’m still figuring that out), it’s not something I think people should be forced to believe and follow. Or something I believe it makes sense to mold laws around.
If we’re honest, is it just a matter of what we (generic we, here) as a society are most comfortable with?
Many of us weren’t taught in our growing up times about how to handle relationships that deviate from what we perceive as the norm.
But that’s the thing – WE decide what’s normal.
I want happiness to be normal. I want Tim and Ron, Cameron and Mitchell, Jenny and Tiffany, and whoever else to be free to say, “Hey, I love this person. I don’t love them for their genitals or the color of their skin or the way people accept us or don’t. I love this person because above all, I was created to love. My heart matches this heart. And I am happy.”
Why on Earth is that not okay?
My changing mind and “outgrown” first marriage are the abomination. Not genuine love. That’s rare. That’s precious. That’s a gift.
Love is a beautiful thing. Love belongs to everyone.