... the journal

The Guest
Refrigerator Door

The next fridge door belongs to my friend Charlotte.

(for those who can't recognize it, this is an artichoke)

* Discussion *

What's your worst
dining-out story?

Talk about it here.

Read the forum that was banned by one reader's office computer because it has "sexual content." I must be having more fun than I thought!


The Hammer of Eden
Ken Follett


The Caucasian Chalk Circle

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!



6 August 2001

I went off to review another show tonight. This was Bertol Brecht's "The Caucasian Chalk Circle," by Acme, the local teen age acting company (which consistently surpasses the local community theatre in just about every aspect of production).

Acme divides its productions between the outdoor theatre downtown, where they give free Shakespeare performances in the summer, and the Veterans Memorial Theatre ("The Vets"), where other productions are held. This was a production at the Vets.

Back in January, I wrote about reviewing a production of "Our Town" at The Vets, and the emotional upheaval it caused in me.

As it did back then, tonight's production gave me a few clutches in the ol' solar plexus. To walk into the lobby and see a large photo of Paul, a write up about his career with Acme, and his death, the plaque for the scholarship that was named for him, then to walk out of the lobby into the courtyard where he and Audra were married 8 months before he died, and then leave the courtyard to walk past the tree that was planted in David's memory 5 years ago...well, it's just too much emotional overload all at once.

Tonight wasn't as bad as "Our Town" had been. Paul's best role with Acme had been as the "Stage Manager" in "Our Town," and it was hard to sit there in the Vets watching someone else give all those lines that I remembered from when Paul did them. But he never did "The Caucasian Chalk Circle," and this was a very good production, so it was easy to get caught up on the action on stage and forget about all the memories out in the lobby.

As I go along from day to day, I think things really are doing all right. But then things hit me wrong and I start sliding again. It seems to be happening more and more these days.

A couple of months ago, my therapist sent me to the psychiatrist I work for to have him evaluate whether or not I should try some antidepressants. I am not a pill taker by nature. In fact, it has to be a pretty bad headache to get me to take an aspirin, and I've always said that if taking a pill every day could guarantee I would reach and stay at my ideal weight for the rest of my life, I'd probably forget to do it. So I was not at all eager to begin a regimen of antidepressant medication, especially when the day I went to see him was one of my good days.

I suppose "good days" is relative. You certainly wouldn't think to look at me that someone was classifying me as "depressed," but my therapist pointed out some things I perhaps had not thought of.

For one thing, I'm isolating myself more and more. I don't generally go out of the house, am not involved in much of anything outside working here at the computer and maybe once in awhile driving a Breaking Barriers client (I used to drive twice a week; now I sometimes will go a whole month without driving anyone). I wait until the very last possible minute before I go shopping. Basically, I'm just content to stay here and not go out.

I hadn't thought of "procrastination" as being a symptom of depression, but it's been an escalating thing for me. I literally can sit and look at work for days. And then I have to scramble, usually at 4 a.m., to get something done. This has been so insidiously creeping into my pattern of daily living that I've forgotten that I used to be a person who prided herself on getting things done in a timely manner, and putting out large amounts of work.

And then there's the crying business. I got into the car the other day to go to my appointment with the therapist and I burst into tears. For no reason. The next day I found myself fighting tears in the checkout line at the supermarket when something really stupid happened.

My last appointment with my therapist pretty much used up a box of tissues and I kept sitting there saying "I don't even know why I'm crying."

Was it any surprise she was going to suggest that perhaps now might be the time to rethink this whole antidepressant business?

She began seeing me right after my father died and we've had short bursts of sessions for a few months at a time over the past 15 years, always at a time of crisis in my life. So she's followed me for a long time, if not exactly on a month by month basis. She pointed out all of the really traumatic losses I've gone through in the last 15 years and how I go totally off the deep end now at any hint of losing somebody I love, whether through death or alienation or anything else.

She told me that she felt that a good part of this was due to my body chemicals getting out of whack and that I was working so hard at just making it from day to day without falling apart that there was no way I could even begin to work on anything until I could kind of let go of that pressure, and if antidepressants could help with that, she strongly recommended them. I had to admit that I myself felt it was time to admit that I needed something to get me back on track.

Of course, with my inevitable good timing, I chose to fall apart when the psychiatrst is in the middle of his vacation, so we're looking around for someone who can write me a prescription.

I have a primary care physician named for me, but it's someone I've never met (yet), so I called the advice nurse at Kaiser, explained my predicament, and she's set me up to see another primary care physician on Tuesday.

I've had some very nice positive feedback from people who feel strongly about the benefits of antidepressants and I know that this is the right decision, but I'm sure nervous about starting them. I replay the old tapes in my head from my father who would think of this as a "weakness." Intellectually, I know it's nothing of the kind (and lord knows I've certainly encouraged our kids to talk with someone when they were having problems), but it's hard not to remember the comments.

But nonetheless, I've made up my mind to go ahead with the plan. If I don't, I'm eventually going to either drive everybody I love away with my whining, or I'm going to explode from "suffering in silence," as I usually do.

So stay tuned for the next exciting chapter, as I learn what it's like to get your body chemicals in balance.

One Year Ago:
Netstock Day 3

Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo

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Created 8/4/01 by Bev Sykes