The next fridge door belongs to my friend Martha, in Cincinnati.
* Discussion *
What's your idea of the best place to live?
Talk about it here.
WHAT I'M READING...
WHAT I'M WATCHING...
Pictures from the Cincinnati are now up at Steve's Club Photo page.
Pictures from our Family reunion are on my own Club Photo page.
That's it for today!
THE SEVENTH VEIL
15 August 2001
The title here comes from a movie of the same name that I loved when I was an adolescent. James Mason and Ann Todd. Todd is a suicidal woman undergoing psychotherapy...I can't remember exactly, but the seventh veil was some sort of allusion to finally getting to the core of her problems and allowing her to see life clearly for the first time.
I remember when David had a nervous breakdown of sorts. It wasn't serious enough to require hospitalization, but he had been at college and came home for Thanksgiving. Walt and I were out when he arrived home and when we returned, the house was in total darkness, but David and Jeri were in the kitchen engaged in an intense conversation. David was crying, and Jeri looked relieved to turn the conversation over to me.
David and I talked for a long time about a lot of things. He confessed that he felt his "brain didn't work right" and talked about how all of his life he'd felt that he reacted to things differently than most people. (He had a bad fall as a baby, and since his death, I've always had the feeling that the jarring to his head may have resulted in the "brain not working right," though the doctors never found any residual problem.)
All the details are not important now, but we took him out of school, moved him back home, and got him into therapy immediately.
Over the next few weeks he and the therapist discussed his starting Paxil, an antidepressant. David was very leery of what he felt might be mind-altering medications, even one which was designed to regulate his body chemistry, which was so very obviously out of whack.
He spent a lot of time at the medical library at UC Davis researching SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) in general and Paxil in particular. In the end, he decided that it was worth trying.
SSRIs don't work right away. It takes 2-4 weeks for them to build up in your system, or so the literature says. But at the end of the first week, David was elated. He said that he felt a veil had been lifted from his brain and that he was thinking clearly for the first time in his life.
Paxil continued to keep him going on an even keel. Unfortunately, he stopped the medication at some point--I don't know when. He was living away from home at that time and I wasn't really aware of how much he had back-slid. Ironically, he had made an appointment to see his therapist again the week after his death in order to talk about starting the SSRIs again.
I bring this up because as of today I have been on Wellbutrin for a week. I have read all the literature, I've talked with my therapist, and I have talked with the psychiatrist for whom I work, who also recommended this medication. I read all the chart notes. I know that like the other SSRIs, the full effects of Wellbutrin are not expected to be felt for 2-4 weeks.
However, I'm feeling better than I have in months. Like David, I feel a veil has been lifted from my brain--a veil that I wasn't even aware was there. I find that I'm thinking much more clearly than I have for a very long time.
This doesn't mean that I've suddenly developed some sort of unnatural jolly nature. The sadness is still there, the painful losses are still painful. But somehow I'm suddenly able to put a lot of things in perspective, understand things that I hadn't understood before, and I am cautiously optimistic that I really am on my way to achieving some sort of a "balance" which can perhaps even out the highs and lows that I've been roller coasting through for so long.
Achieving a plateau isn't always comfortable. But when you reach that plateau, somehow your brain finally understands that this is the place where you need to be, and allows you to accept that this isn't necessarily a bad thing.
It also allows you to look at the past lovingly, gratefully, and joyfully even if the past must finally be put behind you in order to live in the present.
One Year Ago:
Some pictures from this journal
Created 8/15/01 by Bev Sykes