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©October 2002

Carol Jane Remsburg




An Adventure with Paxil






tress has been the big word in life management over the last few decades but has truly come to the fore over the last five years or so.  When was it that everything got so damnedably busy?  How is it that it that precious moments of quiet escape as swiftly as water through a sieve?  From the morning buzzer that sounds the call of a new day to the hour where we gratefully delve beneath the covers in hopes of a restful, renewal slumber to get ready all over again.  What is the point of this cycle if it seems to contrive only chaos and madness? 


Where is the ease, the ahhh after a hard day's work—only to find bills ready to pay, laundry ready to wash, dinner to make ready, and another homework crisis?  Bad moods, worries, and complaints meet your arrival in that haven you once called home; problems from dawn and problems long past dusk you face.  Where is solitude and restoral to be found?  Each day should shine at least a small beacon of hope, happiness, or at least contentment.  Those quiet moments seem to be coming fewer and farther apart. 


The type of work I do, stress-wise, is considered right up there with the likes of air traffic controllers (a job that would kill me on the first day—those folks earn their money and deserve every kudo they can get).  However, high stress and pressure to perform IS part of my job.  My employer reasonably states that the life expectancy of the job per consultant is a maximum of five years.  I'm going on seven years now.


For the most part I enjoy what I do—when allowed to do it correctly in my view—servicing the customer to the best of my ability.  And even with the daily death threats, rantings, and ravings, there is a percentage of people that I speak to who are real and nice and appreciate the care I give to them as I fix their problems or find answers to their concerns.  Me, I'm a problem-solver, but I'm also supposed to SELL.  And that's fine too, because I can, when warranted and needed.  Many of my customers do have needs that products I have available will help them.  However . . . not always.  This creates issues of stress that I don't need to tell you.  Just image a customer being pressured to buy something when they can't afford the bill they have now.  It's sad.  It's a corporate merry-go-round of buy and don't pay, but we'll write it off anyway.  Where is the balance here? 


Everything has been hurry, rush, pressure, and a few tears along the way.


Knowing this with the awareness that many of my co-workers are already under medication of one sort or another to help them cope on a daily basis, I reached out.  Before I ran to the nearest physician for a bottle of canned serenity, I needed to find out if that might work for me.  So I asked, no, I pressured someone to allow me a go at it.  This someone was very reticent and had stopped her own medication a while back, yet she gave me her Paxil with strict instructions to try over a weekend to see how it would react.


So Friday evening, after the grocery shopping and dinner was served up, I swallowed the pill.  It was a 40 mg Paxil.  By 7:30 PM, an hour later, I noticed my mouth was numb.  That feeling spread to most of the rest of my head.  By 8:30 PM, I excused myself to bed to watch TV, I didn't dare try to read, nothing would come into clear focus.  I had hoped I would drop off into a restful, oblivious, and DEEP sleep.  That didn't happen, I ended up with the fidgets, awaking and restless at every hour yet feeling swirly and not connected.  Come Saturday morning I hoped it would be past.  It wasn't, the drama was just beginning.  The morning coffee and newspaper didn't help anything, I was flying as high as if I was on a commercial airliner but I didn't have wings. 


For those that know me, balance and agility are not my forte, that's one reason Mom always called me "Calamity Jane."  I've never been graceful and walking a straight line for me takes as much concentration as Einstein on his last and greatest theory; Equilibrium 'R Not Us.  Trust me on this.  Remember that walls have a tendency to leap out in front of me and come October when the ragweed grows I can pitch forward upon my face smacking into the pavement with very little provocation. 


Hubby left shortly after I got up and didn’t seem to notice that I really wasn't myself.  I wasn't quite sure for about an hour or so when I couldn't shake away the fog, the numbness, or the dizziness that had overtaken me so wholly.  No amount of alcohol had ever overwhelmed me this totally.  There was no shake of the head, no icy-cold shower (which began my last resort on Saturday afternoon), nor intense concentration that would fling off this cloud of fog.


I made the Saturday motions of washing up the laundry, scrubbing bathrooms, making up beds, cleaning the kitchen, vacuuming, and all that before starting a major dinner.  I found out that after having to stop to regain my balance after every few minutes that preparing dinner worried me.  This was a hot fryer filled with oil and I couldn't allow my attention to lapse.  It didn't.  Not only did I set the timer, I stayed right with it all three hours.


For most of those 24-hours I flew, untethered and unanchored.  This isn't something I feel I could ever be comfortable with.  Stress reliever?  No, more like a stress builder. 


The doc visit will come just for more information.  However am likely to stick with the glass of wine or couple of beers during the evening to unwind.  That disconnected feeling isn't welcome~~at least to control freaks like me.


Yea, we are all different and weird.  Stress I can take, but I'm not fit for the psychedelic stream of reform.  Keep your pills.  I think I the back porch quiet, a glass of wine, and perhaps a bonfire can lull my soul.


May all your fires burn bright and warm, and keep your sanity for good measure.  Smiles to all.


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