Tall Cappucino & Short Brain Chemicals

I’d been without Lexapro for two days because I had to wait for a refill request from my doctor, and I couldn’t order it early because my insurance wouldn’t cover it. I should have paid for two pills out of pocket, but I didn’t think of that. The last time this happened, the pharmacist just sold me four pills and subtracted it from the number of pills on the refill request. It’s amazing the number of things I forget. I think it’s the amount of medication I need to keep my brain chemicals from wigging the fuck out. But I would rather be forgetful than crazy, like when my Lamictal made me so nauseous I felt like I’d been pregnant for four years. My line about that was that I’d rather be sick to my stomach than crazy. Same software, different case.

I’m starting to feel better as things are righting themselves, and because of the Klonopin, it wasn’t like I was spinning out of control with physical side effects. When you drop Lexapro completely, it gives you something comparable to withdrawal from alcohol or illegal drugs. Your body just can’t handle it. You get headaches and sweats and it feels like the world is upside down. However, the Klonopin allowed for a soft landing, and I am on my way to my version of normal, whatever THAT is.

I’m glad I was able to get my medication straightened out this weekend, because Pri Diddy and Elena have decided to move to Colombia in October, and travel until then. I am so happy for them, and I cannot even. It’s a mixed bag of emotions, because I know they’ll eventually come back, but having Pri Diddy in my city for the first time in our long friendship has been a comfort of gargantuan proportion. Luckily, Skype from computer to computer is free (calling regular phones costs money). So we could talk every day if we wanted, but the contact comfort will be gone. There is so much to be said for hugs and cheek kisses and sititng in the living room together. They’re having a goodbye party, and I am glad that I will not be tempted to cry all the way through it, because the other thing that having short brain chemicals makes you is incredibly weepy, to the point of crying at commercials even when they’re not that touching. In fact, they’d normally be stupid, but you can’t help the tears that fall.

And don’t even get me started on YouTube videos of veterans coming home. That shit is ugly cry on a silver platter. I also can’t listen to The Moth for the exact same reason. If I have my headphones in, I will cry in a Starbucks, a Safeway, pretty much anywhere that would be totally embarrassing.

In other news, I am doing good on my diet of low sugar. I feel heavier, but not in a bad way. More like just solid in my own skin. I weigh the same, but I feel completely different. I don’t feel like I’m going to blow away on the wind, because my muscles feel stronger than they have in a long time, and I am building up the chutzpah to start exercising. Exercising is a mixed bag, because whether you’re running outside or in a gym, there are people that will talk to you as you’re sweating. Please, God, no. Running and lifting weights are a solitary activity, designed to take me away from excruciating small talk. But you pass people on the trail, you jog next to others because there’s no empty treadmill next to you, etc. I need to be alone with my thoughts while mobile, because the endorphins create new neural pathways that lift me out of where I’ve been and into where I’m going… dreaming forward has never been my strong suit, but it will be. I know it. I want the past to fade so that I don’t have to think about it, and the only way it will is being more excited about the future than trying to figure out the past. There is nothing good about that if you’re stuck except the willingness to walk into your own demons and make friends with them in order to create changed behavior… to know why you’ve been the way you’ve been, instead of boxing feelings that will kill you if you don’t let them out.

I found out that Hawkeye is moving to Germany on Sunday. She didn’t say where, but there are plenty of Air Force bases there. I know she’ll be at one of them, and it makes me happy because it’s not the Middle East. I will miss getting to know her, but at the same time, I won’t worry about her, either. She’ll just be a part of my life that also fades into the background.

I want to worry about the things that justifiably make me cry, rather than the things that are so unimportant that they are not worthy of my energy. Police brutality is at the top of my list, because while I support police, I do not support racial inequality within the system. It’s a rock and a hard place to feel both, but I am capable of holding that cognitive dissonance in my brain for years, because who doesn’t? It’s the same with the military. I support boots on the ground, but I am also aware of the “friendly fire” that pervades the culture between male and female soldiers. I cannot support rapists, but I can support the military as a whole… but the major problem with that “friendly fire” is that so many cases go unreported because of fear of retaliation. There’s no easy solution for that, either… but it is one worth solving, just as the difference between good cops and bad ones.

I tend to wish that these problems could just be solved immediately, but the issues are too complex for it to happen. The only way I can help is to get involved, to care in ways that most people don’t. Voting is part of it, but so is showing up. Too few people are involved in local politics when they have a much more direct effect on your life than the president ever will. Knowing who runs your city and county is so much more important, and that’s the Thomas Jefferson coming out in me. He was so passionate about local leaders, and I cannot help but follow his example, praying on the words and the spaces that my community will evolve into something we can all be proud of, because we’ve done the work.



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