Arkie Mama: Lovin’ the anti-crazy

So this morning I’m pretty certain I accidentally took two anti-depressants.

You know how it is — you’re popping the anti-crazy pill, the birth control pill and a handful of vitamins and, well … sometimes you just lose track.

Or is it just me?

The anti-depressant I take is akin to revving up on a tad bit of speed, so you can imagine the effects of a double dose. Uh, yeah. Scary. Which wouldn’t have been so bad except that today I was a speaker on a blog conference panel, and while I think I handled that part OK, I did a bit of stalker-gushing afterward when I introduced myself to local blogger Kyran Pittman, who is like this adorable little thing attired in cool clothes that I could never carry off and a totally cool attitude and I was all, “HI! I READ YOUR BLOG! I LOVE YOUR BLOG! DID I MENTION THAT I READ YOUR BLOG?!”

Evidence that I OD’d? That would be the never-ending sentence above.


The anti-crazy pill, when taken in moderation, is fab, fab, fab. It is the reason I feel equipped to face my nemesis: Winter.

A few years ago, I decided that I really didn’t need that helpful little pill. Which led to this rather melodramatic post:

When she calls

My depression is like an old lover who refuses to fade into the past.

Years go by. And then she calls.

“I’ll be in town,” she says. A pause. Her voice drops to a silky whisper. “I’ve missed you. Let’s get together.”

I demur.

“It’s really not a good time,” I tell her.

Or, “My husband wouldn’t understand.”

But at some point I must agree to meet her. Why else would I find her ensconced in my favorite spot on the couch, curled up cozily, waiting to resume our relationship?

She stays up late, too late. Sometimes, she invites Anxiety to spend the night, and we three huddle on the bed together, fretting and worrying and indulging ourselves in niggling doubts.

Through it all, my husband sleeps, unaware that she is intruding, yet again.


The therapist leans forward, eyebrows raised.

“I don’t understand,” she says. “Why did you quit taking your medication?”

I laugh nervously, make a few jokes about the side effects.

“Why do you laugh when we’re talking about your sadness?” she asks. “Why must everything be a funny story?”

I stammer, try to explain that it’s how I cope, that by turning events into amusing anecdotes, I can sometimes fend off my depression’s ardent advances.

Although, admittedly, never for long.

“It’s OK to be sad,” the therapist says. “It’s OK to realize this isn’t something you can control.”

And tears slide down my cheeks.


“I don’t understand,” my husband says.

“Why are you so unhappy? Is it me? Is it our life?”

I try to reassure him.

“She’s always been a part of me, long before I met you.”

My husband sighs. Really, there’s nothing else to say.


On a gray, rainy February day, I get up, put the coffee on.

I open a cabinet and pull out a mug. I also pull out the bottle of pills.

Will I ever not need these? Will I ever know a life uninterrupted by her long visits?

The coffeemaker hisses and gurgles.

I pour a glass of water and look out the window at the dead, brown grass, at the trash cans waiting to be hauled down the driveway.

And I swallow the pill.

These days, I’m medicated and enjoying life. I just talk. A lot.

3 thoughts on “Arkie Mama: Lovin’ the anti-crazy

  1. Got to love the meds. (And please share!) But I bet you weren’t as manic as you recall. I’m always a bigger freak in my own head.
    And I actually really related to that previous post, melodramatic or not. Looking forward to a time when I can look back at my own recent similar posts and see them as part of my history.


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