I have been taking Prozac for almost a year now. There have been times when life has seemed so grand, that I thought I could possibly quit. Then there are other times when a few little people in my life like to challenge me to no end to the point that it is probably a good idea I am still taking it. When I followed up with my doctor recently, the timing worked to my benefit. Honestly, I was feeling a little blue. I can’t explain why, I just know I was. Perhaps my system had gotten used to the Prozac. But then again, I was contemplating quitting the drug anyway. In the end, my doctor and I decided that since I was on a low dose, we would try doubling it to see if things would improve for the better yet again. Yes they did.
Again, I cannot argue the medical benefit of being on an anti-depressant enough. Aside from recently feeling down, I’ve never been a depressed person. I’m actually a rather happy, easy going person – that stresses out fairly easily. My initial low dose of Prozac did wonders for my stress. No it didn’t solve the issues surrounding the stress, but it kept me level headed. It kept me thinking clearly. In situations where I would normally fly off the handle, I was able to think the situation through and use a more effective approach that would provide a desirable outcome for all parties involved. Truth be told, it helped me calm down so much that I was able to clearly voice my needs, opinions, you name it, toward my husband and children in such a calm manner, that it actually calmed them down as well. While my children are still struggling with the effects of puberty, the result with my husband has been the greatest. We have a wonderfully loving, content and highly intimate relationship. If you just met us, you may think that we have a perfect relationship. My friend even wrote about us in her blog: Friendship and Romance. In actuality, we have had our ups and downs like any couple. That’s human nature. Honestly, I was a little neurotic and would get bent out of shape over so much. My stress caused stress that was reflected back at me, which would build mine up even further and so on. It’s really a vicious cycle. Now that I am calmer, I elicit a calmer response in return. In the end, a mature, meaningful, clear understanding is conveyed. The result – an intimacy that is stronger than any bond we have had in the previous 24 years of being together. We have created another cycle, my remaining calm keeps him calm, which makes me more responsive and loving towards him, which reflects back to me in an intimacy anyone would desire and yearn for.
Now my children are still another matter. As all preteens, they are testing their boundaries. When I am not calm with them, they turn into the devil’s spawn. So yes, you could say I’ve learned alot about the human response. Negative approaches breed negative reactions. Positive approaches breed positive (or at least more desirable) reactions. So I watched a scenario play out yesterday that in my head I could imagine turning out so much more negatively than it did.
Normally, Virginia gets out of school at 3 pm, goes to the bus depot, changes buses and arrives at my office at 3:50 pm.
Yesterday, the bus was held up for who knows what reason…I didn’t ask. At 3:45 pm she was still at the bus depot. At 4:15 pm, my friend’s daughter shows up at the office. Virginia is not with her. Virginia was not on the bus. I tried calling her…she left her phone at home. I had no way of knowing where she was. Amazingly, as worried as I was, I felt calm. At 4:30 I called my husband. We agreed who was going to call which places to find her. At 4:35, she walked into the office. Apparently, in the chaos of the moment, she missed the bus. The old me would have went crazy with anxiety-ridden worry, but that would have turned into anger when she walked in the door, and I would have been yelling at her as to her irresponsibility. Instead, I watched her calmly walk in and I just watched. She told me she was sorry several times. I didn’t say anything. She offered to punish herself and give me her ipod for a week. I didn’t say anything, instead I called my husband to tell him she had made it in. Then I got the full story from her. I didn’t feel any punishment was needed. Instead I could see this as one of those life lessons for Virginia – luckily one with a good ending.
This morning, on the way to school, she started to fret. She couldn’t find her bus pass. I instructed her to keep looking, and I called my friend to see if it was in her car. No bus pass. I didn’t have any cash for the bus, but my friend did. She gave the money to her daughter to pass off to Virginia at the bus. We arrived at the bus station a little too close to departing time for comfort. I told Virginia to run and to call me once she was on the bus so I knew she made it. I was half way around the block and received a text message from her saying, “I think I missed the bus.” Old me – freak out time. Current me – calmly calling her phone to see where she was. She answered and amidst high levels of background noise, it sounded like she made the bus. Not being able to hear her, or her hear me, I sent her a text message asking if she was on the bus. No response. So I drove to Starbucks to get a cup of coffee and wait to see if I was going to receive another phone call for me to pick her up. Again, luckily for my friend’s daughter, my friend received a text stating that Virginia made the bus.
Now I know you are reading all this and saying so what, big deal. But I’m telling you, the way I made it through each situation as compared to how I would have made it through before was like night and day. Instead of high levels of stress, I was faced with a calmness that set a different tone for my day. So my point is, if you have high stress or highly stressed reactions, there really is help. Disregard that the medicines offered are called “anti-depressants”. Sometimes being depressed has nothing to do with it. You are only responsible for your actions, regardless of other people’s responses. But your actions can have an effect on their responses. So I am happy to say double my dose of happiness please.