This is mainly because her SSRI experiment was rudely interrupted one month in by her employer's health insurance HMO.
[Remember way back in the earliest days of the so-called "Reagan Revolution," when HMOs were supposedly invented to make health care and health insurance cheaper and more accessible?]
As she had been warned, Walhydra's first twelve days on Lexapro were a tormenting ride, her neurotransmitter levels ricocheting between artificial panic and long hours of befogged despair.
Then, on the second Monday, Walhydra woke up, did her tai chi foundations, had breakfast, went to work—and suddenly exclaimed: "Hey! I feel normal. Um...at least normal for me."
That evening she bowled a blissful three games, 40 pins above her average. She didn't even curse and swear if she missed a spare, but sat smiling beatifically.
"Well...maybe that isn't normal for me. But I hadn't realized until now just how far off the emotional path I'd wandered over the past half year or so. Whew!"
So, Walhydra went in for her follow-up doctor's appointment and got the prescription for a full month of Lexapro...which her health insurance company promptly denied.
"They won't pay for it," said the pharmacist. "They want you to take Zoloft instead. It's cheaper."
"#$%&*#@! capitalist robber barons!!!"
"Yes, well, um.... Your doctor can recommend special authorization."
The pharmacist called the doctor's office. "They said they can give you a few weeks' worth of samples while the appeal is processed."
Two weeks later her doctor's staff called: "Sorry. They denied the appeal. You'll have to wean yourself off Lexapro over the next two weeks and then start on Zoloft."
"SO I HAVE TO BE OFF WHAT'S ALREADY WORKING AND DEAL WITH A NEW SET OF SIDE EFFECTS TWO WEEKS BEFORE MOM'S CHRISTMAS VISIT?? AAAAAAAAGH!!!"
Walhydra is now back on the tormenting ride again, just starting the second week of Zoloft—which is barely making a dent so far.
One of her best friends at work says, "Just keep breathing." Walhydra's response is to hyperventilate, until her friend gives her a sideways look.
In any event, it's not the sort of condition in which one feels like telling personal stories—especially not amusing ones.
But...this morning Walhydra got zapped once again by poetry, sent her by one of her favorite "old souls."
Walhydra read the piece first thing this morning at work, and it shocked her completely out of her self-centered whining—and lifting her, just momentarily, into that transpersonal awareness which links us all.
The passage her friend quoted is the first part of a long poem by Anne Michaels.
What the Light TeachesAnd so it is.
Countless times this river has been bruised by our bodies;
liquid fossils of light.
We shed our ghost skins in the current;
then climb the bank, heavy and human.
The river is a loose tongue,
a folk song. At night we go down to listen.
Stars like sparks from a bonfire.
We take off what we are,
and step into the moon.