A while ago, my mother was telling me about a pasta sauce commercial that had such a beautiful score that hearing the music brought tears to her eyes. Ok, so that is where I get it from. I think I said, ‘Mom, have you ever considered an antidepressant?’
We say all the time that the Zannis women cry at a good steak. Its all well and good to be in touch with your emotions and feel free to express them. But this is ridiculous. I remember years ago my doctor writing out a script for Effexor when I decompensated in his office. “Here’, he said, handing me the slip of blue paper. ‘These will make you feel better, and they’ll even give you a little zip.’
Yesterday, we were sitting in front of the TV and clicking through the channels. Paula Dean was being served breakfast in bed (she had prepared it, after all), by her husband. It was so touching and I was afraid my husband, who is already convinced that I am stressed to the max, would see the tears rolling down my cheek.
I have a choice, I guess. I did take the Effexor for a short time, and except for the fact that in addition to not crying anymore, I also was incapable of having one of those hysterical laughing jags I am famous for. I had a flat affect, not really too thrilled about anything. I wasn’t me. Add to this the side effect that withdrawal brings; electrocution like shock waves that go through your body. No thank you.
My daughter is the same way. We have to be careful in public not to make eye contact if there is something touching or melancholy. We buy each other water proof mascara when it is on sale. We don’t go to the movies together. The flip side of it is that we have been known to simutaneously wet our pants in public when something made us laugh so hard, no sound came out of our mouths. Drugs end that.
I also think it is interesting and so predictable, that the doc, a man, would rather hand me a numbing medicine that give me a chance to talk about the pain I was feeling having just found out that I had lupus, and that it was destroying my joints. I think that was a pretty good reason to have a good cry. I’m so over it now, so please, no condolences necessary…
Recently I finished a great little book called Healing Depression and BiPolar Disorder Without Drugs. I bought it when I joined a holistic book club and actually had it in mind for a friend who is bipolar. Then I thought, jeez Suz, read it for yourself. I already have the diet down; no sugar (ok, so I’m not in bondage to it. Besides, I have found that a large, warm chewy peanut butter cookie, the kind they have at Starbucks, is quite helpful when you are feeling sorry for yourself), white flour, junk, etc. I have a very healthy diet actually, and it does help. Also, exercise is key. It is hard to cry and blow your nose when you are running on the treadmill.
Anyway, following some advice in the book, and through trial and error, I am taking 5 grams of Omega 3 fish oil a day. That’s quite a bit more than is recommended for healthy heart and nutritional supplementation. There is a ratio of the two fish oils that are preferred, so some day I will order from one of the companies online that specialize in fish oil for mental health. After about six weeks, I can say I notice a big difference. I’m more selective about what I cry for. I mean, it has to be really sad, or beautiful, or moving, or……
My friend, Judy, sent me an email in which you use one word to answer a question about yourself. I sent it on to several women who I knew would return it. I was surprised as I always am, to read that most women, when asked the last time they cried, answer something like ‘last year’ or ‘when I was 12′ or the night my 35 year old daughter was born’. You’ve got to be kidding me! I cry daily, almost hourly on some days! I don’t think I cried today, yet.
Postscript: I did cry after watching the news of the nine people killed over the Hudson River.