02.03.2004 - 1:01 p.m.
I was horribly, abysmally late to work this morning, and it was all because I could not find a single article of clothing that wasn't 1) crumpled in a ball patiently waiting to be taken to the dry cleaner, 2) crumpled in a ball patiently waiting to be thrown into the washing machine, or 3) hanging in my closet patiently waiting to come back in style.
go back ::: forward
I whipped things off from hangers, tried them on, moaned aloud, and threw them savagely to the floor. I salvaged things from the dirty clothes hamper, only to discover that yeah, they really did need to be cleaned (was that mustard, or what?). I tried to convince myself that the wrinkled look was "in". I eyeballed my bathrobe longingly.
When I found myself contemplating calling in sick, I managed to snap out of it and threw on some jeans that were only mildly disheveled, roller-taped the pet fur from a shirt, and left the house before I started the whole cycle over again.
Not a good way to start the day.
Part of my problem is the fact that everything I own, clothing-wise, seems to have its own complex set of dependencies. Like, the grey-blue low rise corduroy pants make my ass look fantabulous, but they reveal too much squashiness around my midsection and therefore require a longish shirt. Or, the black wide-legged pants are okay, but only if combined with something fitting up top so I don't look like Gigantor, but not too fitted because you know, the squashiness, and so on.
I know it's stupid and vain to worry about that sort of crap, especially considering I work in an office where that bathrobe choice probably would have been just fine, but it's hard to break out of it when you're trapped in a body image downward spiral where nothing fits and everything sucks and waaaahh you look faaaaat.
Today's morning mini-freakout aside, I have actually been feeling a little more positive lately bodywise. Not all the time, but in general maybe a little less with the I-look-like-shit routine.
Boy, it's interesting to see just how deep the whole body image dementia lies, because just typing the above two sentences was unbelievably hard and I want to fill the rest of this space with "but I still need to lose some weight, I'm aware of that" and "I totally need to get a decent gym routine going" and "I might be going to Hawaii in the spring and I look like fucking hell in a bathing suit" and on and on and on, because apparently my brain goes into seizures when I even tentatively try and say I might not be an enormous cow.
Note to self: work on that.
Well, anyway, I think in general I've been spending a little less time worrying about how I look. I think it's because I started taking an antidepressant.
See, back in November I noticed that I was feeling a lot of stress. There were a combination of factors going on, like JB's mystery painful illness, Workplace woes, and so on - but I started feeling sort of panicked and freaked out, all the time. You know the feeling you get while you're waiting in line for a really scary rollercoaster ride? That heart-pounding, ickiness in the pit of your stomach sort of feeling? I was having that feeling practically all day long. The best I can explain it is that I started feeling unable to parse out the separate pieces of my life that were causing me stress; it was all this looming mass of crap that was actually affecting me physically.
In theory I don't think there's anything wrong with recognizing that you need help and that it's okay to take medications for anxiety, in practice it took all my nerve to slink to the doctor's office and mumble shamefacedly and answer embarrassing questions (No, my husband doesn't beat me. GOD.) before leaving with the requisite unintelligible scribble on a slip of paper.
So I've been taking (I kind of don't want to say the name because I'm sure someone has had a truly godawful experience with this particular drug and can't wait to tell me all about it, but in the interests of full disclosure it's) Celexa (seriously I really don't want to hear how your cousin took it and her fingernails fell out or her eyeballs spontaneously combusted or whatever so be kind, please, if I wanted to find horror stories that's what google is for) for a few months now.
What have I noticed? Well, I'm not as stressed. But then again, my situation has changed - we've figured out what was up with JB and he's on the mend, my job is less woeful, and the damn holidays are over already.
I keep taking it because I haven't noticed any unpleasant side effects (once I switched from taking it in the morning to taking it in the evening - I was getting drowsy), and if it's helping me stay on more of an even keel, what the hell. And, just lately, I've noticed I'm maybe a little less down on myself.
Better living through chemistry? Honestly, I don't know.
Imagine my surprise when I walked into Workplace's snack room this morning and saw this taped to the fridge:
I was taken back; I mean, yes she DOES rule, but...? And then I saw that we had a new addition to the cereal shelf.