How To Feel
August 31, 2004
Before I begin, let me take a moment to say a big huge slobbery THANK YOU to everyone who has left nice comments or sent me email or poured their heart out or shared their story or made funny faces or distracted me with shiny objects or let me vent all over their inbox or just "been there" for me over the last week. THANK. YOU. Without you and the ability to translate my freak-outs into words on this site, I am sure I would be even worse. And that's a scary-ass fucking thought. So thank you. (Yes, YOU.)
And to the raging asshats who did the complete opposite and said mean things? STFU. I don't share everything on this site, so you don't know the fucking HALF of what I'm struggling with and how dare you diagnose what "my problem" is based on two or three euphimistic posts. In the words of a very wise woman: Shut up and then shut up some more, asshole.
Also, get your roots done.
Whee. That felt nice.
Speaking of feelings (FEEEEEELINGS), I think it's time that I officially announced that this site has drunk the Garden State/Zach Braff Kool-Aid and is damn happy about it. I saw the film a couple weeks ago, and it was already whipping up Big Fat Greek Wedding-type hysteria and I had to sit in the very first row of the theater because we dared to arrive during the opening credits.
And that's how I know my love for Zach Braff is real and meant to be, because his nose looked HUGE from the first row. And yet my love goes on for him. Him and his giant-ass nose.
(He also made me the most kick-ass mix CD ever. Just for me, for my very own. He had Sarcomical send it to me though, just so the paparazzi wouldn't find out about our perfect love and bother me. Thanks Zach. And thanks Melissa, Zach and I owe you one.)
If you haven't seen the film, you really should. I'm sure I'm not the only person who will tell you that. Not everyone loves it -- it's your typical low-budget indie where not a lot happens over a vague timeline riddled with plot holes and all the characters talk a lot. This is true. But it's also a lovely little film about an overmedicated generation who have been raised not to feel anything except focus and control over our emotions. The main character was incorrectly put on medication in his childhood and goes off them cold turkey after his mother's funeral.
Certainly not my story. Lord no. Medicate me to the gills, doc, please. Up that dosage, bitch.
But the struggle is to keep feeling. Anything. Zoloft is advertised with a cute little cartoon blob who is all frowny and sad and then with a little pill he's happy and bouncy with all the other blobs. Birds sing and bunnies hop and la la la. Everyone who's got the blues or the mean reds thinks that maybe a couple months on Zoloft will perk them up. Feeling shy? Paxil! Hey guys! Wellbutrin will make you happy and not take away your erection!
And these drugs do help people. I've been on Effexor, Zoloft, Lexapro, Klonopin and Trileptal, with varying degrees of success (and failure) on each. Right now I'm banking on Wellbutrin and Risperdal to be my ticket back to real life.
But these drugs can hurt. The side effects will boggle and scramble your mind. You shake, you oversleep, you tick and you drink gallons of water. You throw up when you start a new one and you throw up when you go off it. Your brain buzzes and zaps as the synapses adjust. Your head hurts and your vision blurs.
You can go numb, both physically and emotionally. I don't want that. It's okay to feel stuff. Not every emotion is going to lead to panic or despair. Sometimes being sad or scared is just part of life, though. Where's the line?
Garden State articulated this message well. (Better than all mah booshit ramblin' here, anyway.) And while I'm not advocating that we all go confront our vertigo by screaming into a gaping chasm in the rain while balanced precariously on construction equipment, I am constantly reminding myself how to feel things. How not to curl under the covers and drool and stare and pop pills each time an emotion sweeps over me.
Gee, Amy, you've taken an awful long time to get to the damn point here.
I know, I know, I'm sorry. I meant to write a short introdution to a list of 10 Things It Is Okay That I Am Feeling and got carried away.
Oh my God, there's still a whole list?
Damn, you're self-absorbed and also boring now.
So I've been told.
I'm not reading you anymore! Wah. Write about being drunk again!
Shut up before I bitchslap you, peasant. Go get me a soda.
10 Things It Is Okay That I Am Feeling
1. It is okay to be sad that the dry cleaners could not get the red pen stain out of my favorite blue sweater.
2. It is okay to cry when your wonderful husband makes you coffee in the morning because you are so tired all the time and he wants you to not crash the car on the way to work, and because it's about YOU and not so much about him loving his car that much.
3. It is okay to be hurt when people say mean things.
4. It is also okay to call them names if it helps you not obsess on the mean things.
5. It is okay to eat candy for dinner.
6. It is okay to bury your face in your cat's fat belly and think that heaven is not made of clouds, but of warm furry cat bellies.
7. It is okay if THIS all but breaks your heart with the love and the squee.
8. It is okay to want to watch hours and hours of cartoons.
9. It is okay to giggle hysterically over seeing THIS on your morning commute.
10. It is okay to love a man, a cat and a wee dog more than your own life and to find all your happiness in the moments when you're all piled together on the couch, eating candy for dinner and watching cartoons.