I was unable to make eye contact with her. She is a member of our church yet I still did not want to look at her in the eyes. I was at my annual appointment with my doctor and apart from losing one pound in the last year, nothing had changed.
Or did it?
I was stronger. Even though I could no longer perform two pull ups, I could do four sets of ten push ups. In one workout session.
I was faster. I had two 5Ks under my belt with plans to run three more this year.
I have a better understanding of my dependency on sugar, my uncontrollable hormonal surges, and the onset of… dare I say it… perimenopause.
She asked me the million dollar question. Am I ready to stop taking my antidepressant?
Earlier this week I ran out of my medication. Low daily dose in case you were wondering. I was out for four days until I realized that I am not handling stress the way a normal person would. I became teary easily. My temper flared. I am just unpleasant all around to be with.
On Monday morning I called the pharmacy who refused to fill my prescription without my doctor’s permission. Of course. That’s normal. I called my doctor’s office to see if they could grant a refill under the condition I see my doctor as soon as possible.
“You need to allow 24-48 hours to allow for your doctor to check his/her messages. It’s a Monday and she probably won’t even check her messages for a few days.”
I was at the gym, ready to start my favorite Zumba class, and I was very close to bursting into tears. Instead I hopped on a treadmill to jog it out but dammit if that number 4 is not near the 7 on that damn machine. It probably took me a good minute to figure out that I was running at seven miles per hour instead of the easy jog at four miles an hour I normally do.
It was at that moment I realized that I still need them. I wasn’t working as much as I wanted to. R still wasn’t home to help me, for lack of a better phrase, do it all. I needed more time.
But as I sat in the doctor’s office, I realized there is no “good time to stop”. Life won’t get any easier. R may be home but with his homecoming brings more of everything to think about. Coparenting. Having a spouse there twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Discussing what to have for dinner, what we are doing this weekend, when we’ll go to the gym, and so on. Little things that make a marriage and a family. Little things that I have always decided for myself.
My doctor and I decided that I would check back with her in the summer. I told her that I don’t handle stress the way a normal person should. I am a parent and an educator and I don’t take my own advice.
I turn to chocolate. I turn to food. Period.
If you looked up “EMOTIONAL EATER” in the dictionary, my picture would be there. Actually two pictures. One before said incident, in gym gear, and one after with Cadbury stains on my fingers and ten pounds heavier.
Luckily my age is taking its toll. Like R across the country, we are turning more and more towards a healthier diet. Our stomachs just can’t take junk the way they used to, a blessing in disguise. I can’t even shop for red meat, let alone cook it, though I am sure R will never feel that way. I feel physically ill when I have too much sugar– a vast improvement from when I would eat it until it was gone.
Who knows when these simple changes will stick, when these changes will be enough? If anything, I am comforted in knowing that when I fall, I will be strong enough to pick myself up and try again.
Our dog keeps a watchful eye over M, who had a stomach virus for the past week. Poor kid was so sick I kept offering him Jamba Juice and his favorite foods. He replied, “You never offer these things when I’m not sick.” Busted!