Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Oh, the Indigo Girls!

I think perhaps my most profound Facebook status update EVER was this:
Anything worth saying has already been said by the Indigo Girls.
I stand by that statement.

A few years ago I had cancer. I don't have cancer anymore but I kept taking some of the medications that I began during that illness. And I realized a couple of weeks ago that it was time to move on. The one medication left with me from those days is Paxil, an anti-anxiety medication. I took a lot of meds during the hardest parts of the time, mostly pain and anti-nausea meds as well as some anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds and mood stabilizers - also known in my CA circle as: No-more-crazy-housewife-medication. But about a year after getting through cancer, and still physically recovering from the chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, my lovely husband and I decide to get a divorce. Now one might think, that is probably not the right time to go off of those anti-medications. And you would be right. My psychiatrist at the time was adamant that I stay on the meds to help ease the transition from being married to being separated. She was probably right. But one night in the middle of all of this I forgot to take the Paxil. And then I forgot again and then I forgot again and then all hell broke loose. I was nauseous, dizzy, in pain and crying uncontrollably. I hadn't been that crazy before I took the medicines. Ilya lovingly went to the internet and told me that I had "Paxil withdrawal", WTF? For real? Withdrawal symptoms from the medication that was supposed to make me feel less anxious. I was so sick that I vowed NEVER to forget to take Paxil again.

Well, that didn't last and I again forgot to take the Paxil since it was the only medication I was taking along with my "vitamins" it was easy to forget. And then the withdrawal. I felt chained, literally, to this medication. Like it was it or me. And it was winning by a long shot! Well, last month I went to refill the-ole Paxil prescription and the pharmacist told me it was $90. Ummm, excuse me? Yes, your husband's insurance has changed and the medication price has gone up as a result. Hmmm, let me see, feed my kids or take the Paxil? I got the Paxil because I was so terrified of the results of not taking it. Afraid of the medication that was supposed to make me feel better. I stopped taking the Paxil two weeks ago after reading up (on the internet, of course) about how long the side effects would last and even how long it would take me to gradually come off of it (3 months, by the way, which translates to $270). So, I just stopped taking it. Told my doctors and didn't let them talk me out of it. Yup, I am dizzy, nauseous, and constantly crying. And then this morning I woke up a little less dizzy, a little less sad and I remembered the Indigo Girls:

up on the watershed
standing at the fork in the road
you can stand there and agonize
till your agony's your heaviest load
you'll never fly as the crow flies
get used to a country mile
when you're learning to face
the path at your pace
every choice is worth your while

stepping on a crack
breaking up and looking back
til every tree limb overhead just seems to sit and wait
til every step you take becomes a twist of fate
~ Watershed

This has always been one of my favorite songs - and anyone who knew me at Lawrence freshman year knew every word to this song whether they liked it or not! But my (and I cannot pick one, it would be like picking a favorite child, which I can only do on certain days!) favorite lyric is this:

Every five years or so I look back on my life and have a good laugh

Remembering one of the next lines:
But ending up where I started again makes me wanna stand still.

Not this time.

And I realized another thing, so much has changed. So much of my life is not the same as I tried to sing this song the way I did when I was 20 and my voice cracked and gave out on me, reminding me that yea, I don't have that vocal chord anymore. But would I change the Keisha standing here in all of her bruised, saggy, cut, hurt, joyful, triumphant-glory for the Keisha of 20 years ago? No. Simply. This one is so incredibly beautiful.

When you're learning to face the path at your pace, every choice is worth your while.

Thanks Amy and Emily.

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