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1.24.2011

"So if you want it, you can lean on me." - The Rolling Stones

As an example of my being as screwed up as the rest of my crazy family, I've been on anti-anxiety meds for the past 3 years and last night for some reason, I forgot to take them. As today rolled in, I felt anxious and dizzy, like I'd taken too many antihistamines for a bad head cold. I was so hot that I stripped down to a T shirt in the grocery store on a sub zero day. Later, while I was melting down further with a loud noise in my ears like TV static, it finally dawned on me what I'd done. Wow. What a reaction. Talk about heavy withdrawal!

All my life I've been an obsessive over-achiever in everything I do. Family, work, business, you name it. I'd over-think an issue or idea or problem and squeeze it like a cobra until every possible angle dripped out. It made me work all the harder and not all that easy to get along with. It was an excellent way to avoid dealing with deeper issues of self doubt, rejection, and all the things that make us human. Well, hiding behind obsessiveness stopped working one year when I was driving a hundred miles to work every week to bail a flute company out of it's self inflicted troubles, traveling to China for them, and up to my ears in Buddy's messy divorce trial. My world came crashing down.

Turns out my brain chemistry has been wacky my whole life and I masked it in obsessive behavior. The meds have evened out the imbalance so I need not live a life of furious desperation. In some small measure I miss not having the drive to achieve but I can enjoy my life, marriage, and the kids much better than I could otherwise.

But that creepy withdrawal episode only hours after missing one dose gives me pause about such a dependency. I'm staring a life of pills in the face from here to the end. Not so terrible in itself, but strange to think of when you've spent a life being totally self reliant and self contained that a day without causes serious repercussions. It shattered my false sense of control that has been central to my world.

Which brings me to the emotional side effect of having to accept "help", albeit from a pill. I can accept that I can't live any kind of contented life without it. By the same token, I need "help" learning to reach out better as a grampy who has 3 needy boys that rely so heavily on him. I may believe I can handle it all, like I did with my obsessive nature, but that's only going to drive me up another dead end unless I'm willing to ask for advice, support to lean on, and accept that there will be times I fail them, no matter how hard I try.

Talk about giving up control. Man, that little pill sure packs a whollup.