If It Were Up To Me

What you’re about to read is my attempt at humorous commentary.  It failed miserably and is by far the worst thing I’ve ever written filled with useless drivel and nonsensical non sequiturs.  I think it sucks and I’m sure you will to….  Enjoy!  🙂

Not long ago I posted some commentary on the direction this nation is heading, and the ideas behind Separation of Church and State and I commented on the possibility of the Queen taking us back.  Well, I think I might have actually been on to something with that…

This country has proven over the last decade or so not to do so well with Democracy.  We’ve’ elected a frat boy moron to run the Executive Branch of our Government.  We’ve allowed offensive and ludicrous measure to be passed in our “Democratic Elections” even though they removed fundamental rights of individuals to live their lives in true freedom.  As a collective we have become increasingly self-centered and inconsiderate.  We’ve just become bad people, and I’m sick of it.

So I have reluctantly decided to accept the position of King.  I know it’s a major change.  We’re not accustomed to living in a Monarchy.  And it will be a Monarchy.  None of this Parliament, House of Commons bullshit like they’ve got on the other side of the pond.  No, this will be a real Monarchy, dare I say it, a dictatorship.  But a good dictatorship.  Castro never treated his citizens with the kindness and benevolence I will show my people. Yes, I know it’ll take a little time for everyone to adjust to life in a Kingdom, but I promise to be a just and honorable ruler and to treat everyone with respect and decency.

I imagine the most difficult adjustment for the people to make will be the Kevin Lane.  What is this Kevin Lane you ask?  It’s just exactly what it sounds like.  As King, I’ll be very busy and need to get between my appearances as quickly as possible.  I’ll need to have a clear path to drive my Ferrari, Lamborghini, or DeLorian, which ever I choose for that day.  And since I’ll be blowing right by the speed limits without fear of prosecution, I’ll need the entire lane to myself.  I know that this will reduce the number of lanes for the rest of you to drive in and I know that traffic is just getting worse and worse with no sign of relief and I know that it will be hard to make the sacrifice, but hey, being King has to have some perks, right?

As King, I’ll ensure that my people are treated with the utmost fairness, as long as it doesn’t impede what I want of course, and that no one is treated poorly because of their personal preferences and inclinations.  Marriage will be open to everyone while reproductive rights will be limited to only those who can successfully raise a happier and healthier child then they themselves were.  Because of the limitation in reproductive rights, Welfare will be abolished. No poor people will be allowed to reproduce, therefor they will not need assistance to feed their children.

As for taxes, everyone will be taxed fairly.  Ten percent tax across the board.  I mean, really, who will suffer from a ten percent tax?  Oh sure, all those millionaires and billionaires will cry and wine because they’re paying such a huge amount in taxes.  They’ll focus all the attention on the dollar amount they’re paying because they think that paying $200,000 is unreasonable, But when you’re making $2,000,000 a year what’s a couple hundred grand?  Lest they forget, they’re still walking away with $1.8 million after my cut– er, after taxes.  There will be no tax breaks.  No deductions for having children.  Children should not be a burden on Society.  And besides, since only those who are capable of raising happier healthier children then they themselves were will be allowed to procreate anyway, everything will be fine.  After all, everyone knows that part of being able to raise happy healthy children is being able to afford them.  You won’t need the tax deductions any longer.

And have you noticed how our society has become an “every man for himself” society?  Well, that’ll have to stop.  First, because, every man will be for the King.  The King will be everyone’s first priority.  When the King is happy everyone is happy.  It’s simple logic.  No more will you have to pretend your on a battle field when you’re at Trader Joe’s, having to walk with purpose and never stop moving lest you be run down by the person behind you.  No more will you stand at Target debating between a couple items, only to have a red-shirted Target employee, barge right in front of you to place an item on a shelf.  Never again will you have someone pull out in front of you on the road even though there is no one anywhere in sight behind you.  It makes the King happy when people treat each other decently.  And when the King is happy every one is happy, right?

Television will be better!  First and foremost, because living in a Monarchy will do away with the need for those pesky political commercials.  No politics means no political ads.  Everybody wins!  The shows will be longer and the commercials will be shorter, because really who needs to hear bout six different kinds of breakfast cereal in a single two minute segment?  You already know what kind of cereal you like anyway and since there isn’t really anything new out there you don’t need to have a loud mouthed announcer try to convince you that there is and that you should try it.  You already know what you like anyway, right?  We all know what you like.  You like Post Raisin Bran and Honey Nut Cheerios only.  You like only these two cereals because those are the ones the King eats and you want to be like the King.  It makes the King happy and when the King is happy, everyone is happy, right?

And speaking of politics, since the objective is to make your King happy, there will be no more office politics either.  Granted as King I would no longer have to be a part of it anyway, but there will be no more office politics.  No longer will you climb over each others’ backs to get ahead.  No longer will you smile to a person’s face while stabbing them in the back at the same time.  People will get ahead by doing the very best they can do at their own personal job without interfering with others.  Things will be like this because it make the King happy.  And when the King is happy, everyone is happy, right?

As your King I will make every effort to rectify all the things that are wrong with this country.  I will suss out all the laws and regulations and rules that do nothing to benefit us and everything to complicate our lives and do away with them.  What with this being a true monarchy and all, I’ll do away with the Congress.  There will be no more Senators.  Hell, we don’t even need state and local governments anymore.  And the Constitution?  Well, actually, I rather like that.  And therefor as King I’ll defend it with my ultimate, unassailable power.  I’ll amend it to make my reign legal, but I’ll defend it to the death.  You will like it too, because it makes the king happy and…  Well, I don’t really need to remind you that when the king is happy everyone is happy?  Right?

Oh and one more thing.  I always thought it was the royals’ downfall to try and spread their kingdom too thin and we’re not going to do that.  So as part of my coronation I will officially give Alaska back to Russia.  L’il Ms. Palin likes to keep an eye on them anyway.  Well, she can just go back and join them.  And Hawaii…  Well, I do need a vacation get away so I guess I’ll keep them.

So as I’m sure you can see, it’s just the right thing to do to make me your uncontested, ultimate ruler with irrevocable authority over all things in these United States.  The United States of Kevin!

The Low Road

Last night history was made.  Fifty-two percent of the voters in the State of California have voted to legalize discrimination against a whole segment of our population.  A segment of which, I am a part.  I’ll be honest.  I’m truly surprised at how I’m affected by this.  I didn’t think it’d be so hard on me.  In my heart I knew this would happen and yet seeing it has really hurt me.

I hoped and prayed (yes, prayed!) that Proposition 8 would fail and that the people of California would recognize that marriage equality should stand.  That they’d understand that two men being married or two women being married, would have no effect on the “sanctity” of their own marriage, despite their own marriages 50% or greater chance of ending in divorce.  But, I felt it, in my heart, or in my spirit, or in the force, or whatever you want to call it, I felt it and I knew that Prop 8 would pass.  So I should have been prepared for it and not be so hurt by it.

This is my third post regarding this subject since last night and in the first two I took the high road.  It was a short trip!  I’m done with that.  So if you prefer the high road, you may want to stop reading this post now.

THIS IS BULL SHIT!!!  All you hateful, fearful people out there who voted in favor of proposition 8 are shits!  Every one of you.  You should, each and every one of you, be forced to wear a scarlet Y on your chests (if it were up to me it’d be branded on your foreheads, but I’d settle for the scarlet Y) so that everyone else can identify you and then you should all be EQUALLY mistreated.

You should be forced to drink from a separate drinking fountain, to ride in the back of the bus.  You should not be allowed to sit at the lunch counter and you should have to stand silently off to the side with your hat in your hands and your head down.  Your children should be taken away from you and your marriages should be annulled!

Am I over reacting?  Maybe.  But what’s the difference?  I am not a “flaming queen”.  To most people, if you and I stood next to each other, the thought that I might like to pack fudge, or smoke pole, wouldn’t even come to mind.  To me, that’s just one simple way of pointing out that you and I are the same!  So why should you be entitled to a different set of rights than I?

You may believe that what I do is wrong.  You know what?  That’s OK.  I’ve got plenty of people in my life who feel the same way.  One of them even gave birth to me.  You don’t have to approve of my lifestyle, or what you perceive to be my choices, but that doesn’t give you the right to determine what I should and should not be allowed to do.  Do you not know that you are violating the very moral precepts that you are claiming to uphold?  The Bible tells you to hate the sin, but love the sinner.  The Bible tells you to “judge not, lest ye be judged.”  The Bible tells you to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

And if the Bible isn’t enough for you, how about the principles upon which this country was founded.  Our Founding Fathers specifically set up this country with Separation of Church and State in mind.  They came here from a country who’s religion dictated the government and how people were treated and they wanted to escape it.  Separation of Church and State means that your religious views should not have an impact on our laws.  I wouldn’t even mind if churches were allowed to refuse to marry a gay couple because it violates their moral belief system…  Oh wait, THEY ARE.

Anyway you slice it I only hear you telling me that God doesn’t approve of what I do therefor the governments job is to make sure I can’t do it.  THAT’S WRONG!  On many levels, that’s wrong, but I’ll address it just from church and state.  The religious view may be that I’m a sinner, and that I’m going to hell.  I don’t believe that, as I, too, am a Christian, but I respect your right to believe it.  But unlike you, I’m not trying to take away your right to believe it.  My right to marry, however, is not different from yours on a legal front.  And trust me.  Your marriage is on two fronts.  You may be married in the eyes of the church.  You may have had your wedding in a church, or at least a religious ceremony, but you are also married in the eyes of the law, separately from the church.  That’s what your marriage license is all about.

So what’s the harm in my having a legal marriage?  What’s the harm in my planning a lavish wedding ceremony (not to be held in your church)?  What’s the harm in my making a considerable contribution to the states flailing economy by having my wedding in California and spending all my wedding money here in this state?  You have your wedding in your church with your religious piety and I’ll have my wedding in a park or in a back yard or in the little gay bar on the prairie for all I care, but it should still be a LEGAL MARRIAGE.

You know, I will admit that I’m a little surprised by my vitriol on the subject and the way in which it’s been expressed thus far.  The truth is, I’m far less angry than I am hurt.  Cut so deeply, shaken to my very core.  You see, I’m 33 years old.  I’m what I call “newly gay”.  I’m technically still a “gay virgin”.  I don’t have any relationship prospects.  Shit I don’t even have any gay friends.  I’m completely alone and usually feeling pretty sorry for myself because of it.  And I honestly doubt that I will ever have an opportunity to be impacted directly by whether or not Gay Marriage is actually legal.  That would require me to have relationships and to find a man I want to share my life with.  Probably not an easy task.  And while, I’m sure most people will say that I’m taking this too personally, or just plain wrong, I can’t help but feel like this decision is a personal affront.

You see, for most of my life I convinced myself that I believed that gay is wrong.  I convinced myself that I wasn’t gay.  I convinced myself that there were other, perfectly logical, and morally acceptable, reasons why i felt the way I did.  It has taken a lot of prayer, and research, and self exploration and meditation and work to reach a point where I no longer believe that gay is wrong.  I no longer am in denial of the things that I know are true about myself, and I no longer HATE MYSELF for feeling the way I do.  And yet in spite of all that, it doesn’t take much to shake my resolve.  It doesn’t take much for me to question myself.  And I’ll admit that a big part of the Prop 8 battle, for me, was the idea and the hope that just maybe, in a very public, enormous way, society at large would tell me, “Hey.  We believe in you.  We agree with you.  You’re OK, just the way you are.”  Lord knows I need to hear that last part, over and over again.

So there you have it.  I knew, before the first returns came in that Prop 8 was going to pass.  I hated it, and I hate (just a little bit) the people that voted for it, but I knew it.  I guess I’m not really angry that it passed.  I’m not really angry that so many ignorant people out there don’t understand why it was wrong, even if they think it is “moral”.

I’m angry because for the bazillionth time in my life, I’m being reminded, slapped up side the head with the proof that, I must not be OK.  And It hurts.

The Very Most Important Election

I hate a cliche.  Always have, and at this time of every fourth year, one of my least favorite cliche’s gets heavy rotation.  “This very important election.”  I hear it all the time, and it so rarely seem true.

This week-end I was watching Saturday Night Live (love it) hosted by Ben Affleck (love him) and he made that statement in his opening monologue (loved it – He’s a curse to any candidate he endorses so he’s endorsing McCain) and it made me stop and think.

This really is a very important election.  In my opinion, the most important election in my life time.  There is so much on the line right now.  So much is at stake.  Especially here in California, and especially to those who are like me, gay, and desiring equality!

You see, I’ve never put much stock in elections before.  I vote, because I’m “supposed to” and because I’m a Permanent Absentee voter and if I don’t vote in every election, I’ll lose that status and have to reapply.  But up until this year I’ve voted on issues and offices based on some very simple factors.

For office, if I don’t know anything about the people, I vote for the Democrat.  If I don’t know anything about the office, or if there’s more than one Democrat I vote for the incumbent and if there’s no incumbent I vote for the person whose current title sounds like they’d be most likely to do well in the office they’re seeking.  For instance, on this ballot I had the choice of two individuals to elect for judge.  Once was a “public interest attorney” the other was a “deputy district attorney.”  I don’t know anything about either of these candidates and I hope never to set foot before another judge and therefore wasn’t really going to be overly affected by the outcome of this one.  Therefore, I thought for exactly 2.0876 seconds and decided that a “public interest attorney” as likely to be more fair and less jaded than a “deputy district attorney.”  Settled.

Issues?  What’ll it cost me?  What’ll it cost the state?  Does it make good financial sense?  I almost never vote in favor of bond issues.  I can’t condone paying 95% interest on a loan, any way you slice it.  There was one bond issue on my ballot that was for $998 Million with a payback of the principle plus $995 Million.  If you ran your personal finances that way you’d be homeless on the street in a matter of weeks.  The payback on this measure was something like $67 Million dollars a year for however many years and I can’t help thinking, “We could do twice as much if we used that $67 Million dollars to pay cash for whatever purpose its serving and just parse out the project over a few years.”  Seems like simple economics to me (and I’m an idiot when it comes to math and finance.)

I rarely vote in favor of School initiatives because, call me a bad person, but I don’t have children, and don’t think I ever will and I don’t want to pay even more money out for something that doesn’t benefit me.  I pay too much as it is.

This year I didn’t vote in favor of anything that gets it’s funding from property taxes because frankly, I don’t think we as citizens can really afford it.  Things are bad enough without piling on more taxes, fees and levies.  I will vote in favor for something that I think is a worthwhile initiative (usually something I’ll benefit from) and it’s funded by a fraction of a cent sales tax because I figure it’s more fair.  Everyone pays a share and it’s for a good cause (if it’s not, I don’t vote for it.)

Most years, the things we’re asked to vote for are silly, let’s-find-more-ways-to-spend-money-we-don’t-have initiatives.  I vote because I must.  I hardly call those “important elections”.

But this year, I agree.  This is an important election.  The country is in the worst shape it’s been in since the great depression…  Or so I’m told.  I’m too young to know that.  What I do know is, it’s in the worst shape it’s been in my life time!  I think (again idiot at math and finance) that we’re on the brink of a financial collapse and that we have our Government as a whole, and our President in particular to thank for it.  Something MUST be done!

And yet, that in itself isn’t enough to make this an important election.  This will be an historic election for sure!  By the end of this day we will either have our first black president or our first female in executive office.  Either way, we’re taking a huge step toward truer equality on a national level.  That’s awesome.  But the historical outcome is a given.  Still not “important”.

For the first time in my voting career, I’m asked to vote on something that really matters.  Not just another shall-we-waste-your-money initiative.  Not just another who should be in office for the next 2-4 years ballot.  Not just another transportation initiative or how-shall-we-deal-with-teenage-pregnancy initiative.  This year, I’m voting on something that impacts me directly and personally!  I don’t get much more average, so I never had to worry too much about discrimination until I came to terms with being gay.

Suddenly, discrimination is a real fact in my life.  If I ever fall in love and want to share my life with someone, will I be able to make it a legally binding commitment with all the rights and privileges that go with it.  CPA Sis and Mr. Fixit, Dead Beat Dad and Gigi the Homewrecker, and so many others.  They’re married.  They share all their financial and legal obligations.  They can speak for each other in medical situations.  If one of them dies the other will not lose anything besides their loved ones.  In the case of CPA Sis and Mr. Fixit if something were to happen to CPA Sis, Mr. Fixit wouldn’t have to worry about having their children taken away from him.

Now I’m no where near having any of that in my life.  Not sure if I ever will, and not really sure how much of it I want.  But what I am sure of is that I do not want to be told that I’m not allowed to have those things because I’m somehow a substandard human being.

I’m so proud of this state, and of the supreme court, the Republican, conservative supreme court for recognizing that we are not being treated as equals, that we are substandard, and for doing something about it.  Right now, as I’m typing this I’m allowed to be legally married to another man, in the state of California.  What’s at stake today, is whether or not I’ll still be allowed this time tomorrow.

What could be more important than that?

Cold Turkey

Yesterday, I confessed to an addiction.  Today, I’ll tell you about another.

I’ve been a drug addict for six years.  It’s true.  Every single day for the last six years, I have taken mood altering substances that my body very quickly became dependent upon and without which I turned into an unrecognizable monster oddly reminiscent of an enormous ass, but one that would sooner kill you then feel like you’ve let him down or disappointed him in anyway.

I’m not talking about anything you’d snort or inject, in fact, I’d have to check with Ex Con Older Brother to be sure, but I don’t think you could even buy these drugs on the street.  The internet?  Sure.  But not the street.  No, the drugs I’m talking about are the Doctor sanctioned, Government approved, Pharmaceutical Company foisted kind.  Yes, that’s right.  I’ve been taking Anti-Depressants for the last six years.

Today, however, marks the last day of this addictive behavior.  No longer will I assault my synaptic pathways with artificial fortification.  No longer will I ingest these foreign substances to do what they will with my psyche.

[ Gosh, I feel a little like I should be standing barefoot on a couch after an overnight drinking party shouting at my friends about our flaccid penises (peni?) and making deals about losing our virginity by prom night.  And if you don’t get that reference – American Pie – then I don’t want to be your friend anyway.]

Today I am taking back control of my emotional well being.  It isn’t actually, really cold turkey  I made this decision back in April when I was taking 300 Milligrams of Welbutrin and 40 milligrams of Celexa on a daily basis.  I felt like I was in a haze all the time.  I felt like I wasn’t able to access my feelings.  Like I wasn’t having a genuine experience.  And I felt like this ride was never going to end unless I stepped on the breaks and got out of the car.  So I did.

This whole ordeal started a little over six years ago–  Well, really it started 33 years ago with my childhood and my genetics and my divorced parents and my general state of misery, but I don’t have all day to write and you don’t have all day to read and if I tried to put it all in here, WordPress very well might explode, but not before you found me boring and hit that nifty little arrow in the upper right corner to take you to the next random post!  So with that being said…

We’ll pick up this ordeal six years ago.  I had been working for about four months for The Company that Created the HMO and wasn’t really loving it (I was an Administrative Assistant for fuck’s sake) but it followed a nine month period of unemployment where I could barely pay for my car with the unemployment checks I received ever other week, let alone rent and utilities, or assisting Green M&M, who graciously allowed me to move in with her, with expenses.  I had been drinking a lot, and feeling really dejected because I wasn’t able to find another job and I was at a really low point in my emotional cycle.  So when the opportunity with The Company came along, I really had not choice but to take it.

One day I had had a blow up with a co-worker and I didn’t know what to do about it so I made an appointment with the Employee Assistance Program Counselor, ostensibly to talk about work relations and how I could deal with this person.  I sat for an hour with this Counselor who talked to me for five minutes about my coworker problem and then asked me all kinds of questions about my life, my childhood, how I live now, etc., etc., etc.  Then she said, “You sound depressed to me.  Here.  The Company that Created the HMO offers all these classes and they’re bound to fix you.”

OK, so that last part may not have come out quite like that, but all these years later, that’s how I feel about it.  The counselor referred me to the Oakland Adult Psychiatry department of The Company that Created the HMO where I was pared up with a Psychologist that I would get to see once every six weeks (whether I needed it or not, I guess.)  They never did offer me any assistance with the coworker and we continued to have conflict until the day she went on maternity leave and then decided not to come back.

Once every six weeks, I’d go to this appointment with this woman who looked strangely like a Yahoo Messenger avatar making the “angry” face and who always made me feel inferior and pathetic.  She kept urging me to go to this Depression Overview Class that was offered.  It was supposed to give me a better understanding of what I’m dealing with and was a precursor to the eight week Depression Management Class she also wanted me to take.  I resisted it for some time but it was obvious to me that I was not going to get what I needed from attending these sessions with Avatar Face and something had to give so I went.

Up to that point, I had been determined that I was not going to take medication and I did not want anyone else to know what I was going through.  I resisted the class because then people would know.  I gave in and attended the class and one of the things they focused on in this class (not even 2 hours) was the idea of medication, how it works, and why I should take it.  I will acknowledge that it has been six years.  I will acknowledge that I was uncomfortable in the situation and wanted to go home.  And I will acknowledge that I was desperate for someone, somehow to make me better and take all this pain away.

All those acknowledgments being put out there, do not change the fact that what I remember the instructor of this overview class saying was that I’d take meds for two to three years and that while I was taking them, not only would the stabilize my neurotransmitters but it would correct the problem in my brain that causes the imbalance in the first place.  So, OK.  Two or three years…  I can accept that.  Especially if I’ll be all better after.

I set an appointment with a Psychiatrist at The Company and got a prescription from her for Paxil.  The prescription was, take 10 milligrams a day for the first week and then bump it up to 20.  About this time I inquired with Ex Con Older Brother who I knew was also taking Paxil and he informed me that it worked, for him, like flipping a switch.  That he started taking it and almost instantly things changed.  I really wanted that for myself so within six weeks, with the Psychiatrist’s approval I increased my dosage twice, first to 30 milligrams and then to 40.

It took a little while for it to completely kick in but once it did, I felt great.  Best I’ve ever felt.  I had confidence, I enjoyed people, I was in great emotional shape.  It was around this time that Green M&M and I decided that neither of us had anything to lose and so we decided to give a “friends with benefits” scenario a try.  This was when I found out that some of those side effects they tell you about were going to be a problem.  I was having serious sexual side effects and couldn’t’ get past them.

I asked my doctor to help me out with this problem and her solution was to take me off the Paxil and put me on Welbutrin.  Her instructions were to taper off the Paxil over the course of 10 days.  Which I did.  Which is when the aforementioned unrecognizable, enormous ass, monster appeared.

I crack jokes and be obnoxious about this because it’s easier to face, but the truth is, it was an emotionally excruciating, hold on for dear life, MY GOD HE’S GONNA BLOW, volatile two weeks and I really didn’t think I was going to make it.  It’s easier to laugh now.  I’m reminded of a Saturday Night Live commercial parody not too long ago about a Birth Control Pill that would make a woman have her period only once a year.  In the fast talking, fine print they talk about how during that one week-end out of the year you better hold on to your hat ’cause your gonna lose your shit, etc., etc., etc.  It says that you should alert your law enforcement officials as they may wish to lock you up as a preemptive measure.  That’s how I felt.

When I think about these times I feel a tremendous amount of gratitude toward Green as well as some shame over the way I acted.  In truth her actions set me off on more than one occasion but my reactions were out of control excessive and she put up with a lot of vitriol from me during that period of time.  It would probably have been easier for her to just walk away, but she didn’t.  She stood by me and for that I’ll be eternally grateful.

Anyway, once the psychotic episode passed and I was back to “normal” whatever that is, I was on just the 300 Miligrams of Welbutrin.  It’s the only Anti-Depressant with little or now sexual side effects.  What I’ve learned in the recent past is that it’s also commonly know to increase anxiety in those who are prone to it (I am.)

I took Welbutrin by itself for nearly four years, never really feeling like it was doing me any good, but afraid to say anything for fear of what they’d recommend next.  But when the time came that I couldn’t stand it anymore, this image approximates what I was feeling.  I felt like I was standing right down there at the bottom of this mammoth wall of rock, knowing that on the other side of this structure was millions of gallons of water just waiting to burst through and destroy me.  I felt like I was standing at the bottom of that wall looking up at the top, and just watching as the wall slowly crumbled knowing that at any moment the water could break through and all would be lost.

At that point my Psychiatrist recommended adding the Celexa to the mix, and while I’ll admit that it did seem to help for a time, it really just put me on top of the dam.  No longer was the wall crumbling.  No longer did I fear that it would all come crashing down on me.  Instead, I was standing on the road, looking out at all the water, all the feelings and emotions, knowing that disaster lay before me, but then again so did the potential for good.  But either way, I couldn’t get to it.  It was inaccessible.  And if I tried, I just might drown.

It’s strange, but knowing that all that was there, and that I couldn’t get to it had a two fold effect on me.  First it sent me into a deep despair.  On the advice of my therapist I took a leave of absence from work and went into an outpatient treatment program that is offered by The Company that Created the HMO.  I don’t particularly feel like the program itself offered me anything of value, other than time away from work to regroup and collect my thoughts.  But six weeks later when I was back at work full time and I was more in control again, I realized something else.

In a very real way, the meds have been that dam for six long years.  The only reason those millions of gallons of water are back there waiting to crush me, is because I built the dam and backed it up, rather than making an effort to tread it as it flowed through.

I never wanted the drugs.  I never should have taken the drugs.  I will never again take the drugs.  What I needed was therapy.  I needed steady care from someone who could help me to come to terms with my issues and help me to find that I’d be OK all the same.  I needed a life vest and a kayak, and an oar (am I over-doing the metaphor?)

I took the drugs because I heard “You’ll take them for two years and you’ll be fixed.”  I took the drugs because The Company that Created the HMO isn’t interested in dealing with life long problems, they want to send you to a class that amounts to them saying “Suck it up.  You’ll be fine.”  I took the drugs because once I started them, I was afraid to stop, lest I end up in that puddle of anger and tears and desperation on the floor in my closet that I had been during the Paxil/Welbutrin transition.  I took the drugs because I didn’t know how not to.

But I finally made a decision.  The best decision I’ve made for myself in a long time.  I will not take the drugs anymore.  I started this process in April.  I was taking two tablets of each medication.  So starting on May 1st, I took one and three quarters.  On June 1st, I reduced it to one and one half, etc., until today, Friday, October 31, 2008.  THE last day, I will take my drugs.  Starting tomorrow, I will be drug free.  Starting tomorrow the last brick will have been removed from that dam.  The waters will flow freely and I will wade through them until I’ve learned to swim peacefully from shore to shore.  It may be a struggle sometimes.  Some days will surely be worse than others, but so far I’m strong and steady.  The current isn’t that bad.