Monday, August 10, 2009

Placebo, Placentia

I was quite nervous about meeting my new general practitioner on Friday afternoon, partly because I get this sense that everyone assumes I'll be hawking my prescriptions, which is completely ridiculous because I'm about the last person anyone would really suspect of selling drugs, except that I see myself from inside my own brain and I know it's totally possible that if my career as an exotic mud wrestler doesn't pan out, I wouldn't be completely opposed to making a living by handing out prescription strength Zantac to kids on the playground.

I was also nervous about the same thing I always fear when I talk about my personal struggles with a member of the medical community: I was afraid she wouldn't believe me.

Crazy, right? I mean, it's not like I was heading in there to ask for a bunch of pain killers and tranquilizers, I was going to ask about how we should treat my dysthymia.

But people do this thing - you know...the thing - where when they see you for the first time, they look you up and down (some more subtly than others) and decide they've got you figured out. For some reason, all of my life, when people give me the Once Over Assessment, they end up thinking, "Bland. Safe. Together."

Not the worst assessment, I guess, if you consider words like "necropheliac" or "ass-muncher" or "Minnetonka soccer mom". But still, nowhere near "exciting", "breathtaking", "intelligent".

People are always BEYOND shocked when they learn that I smoke (on and off, presently on), that one of my favorite words is "fuck", that I listen to speed metal (instead of Top 40), and that I'm a 26-year-old divorcee living with (and madly in love with, I should add) the 33-year-old former friend of my ex-husband.

It's like I give off some kind of Goody Two Shoes vibe. Fuck.

I was worried this doctor is going to see me as perfectly happy and healthy and not at all depressed, after all, what could I possibly have to be depressed about? I love my job and my house and my boyfriend and I'm finally finishing my degree and I have a whole liter of Smirnoff in the cabinet at home...But on the other hand, I guess that's what characterizes depression: the inability to feel happiness when you're actually happy.

So Dr. Legs walks into the exam room - she's almost like a young Marlo Thomas, all legs and pencil skirt and jet black hair in a flipped out bob , half up in a barette. Her nametag says "Tricia" instead of the "Patricia" I was told I'd be seeing, and for some reason the familiarity of that name tag put me at ease. "I'm a friend," the name tag said. "I WILL medicate you."

And because my insurance won't cover Lexapro, at least not until I've tried and failed with tho other medications first, Dr. Legs feels I may see results from trying generic Celexa (Why I keep wanting to say that I'm taking Cialis?!?! My erection is just fine, thank you very much.) and already the placebo effect has taken hold and although I've only taken two days of half-doses, I went an entire weekend without anxiety (possibly unheard of for me, Sundays are usually pretty bad because I'm home alone) and I literally lay on the couch yesterday flipping between HGTV*, FLN and recordings of the Atlanta housewives ALL.DAY.LONG. I didn't even clean, ya'll.

I didn't clean and I didn't even have a stroke or anything. Do you know what this means?!

Of course, it probably helped that I'd done all the laundry and most of the projects on Saturday, but still. I don't think I've ever spent an entire day on the couch just relaxing, not even when I'm sick. It gives me heart palpitations.

And this morning when I realized the check engine light had reappeared on my dash (the same check engine light that cost me $1,000 in repairs LAST WEEKEND) and that my heater was no longer blowing hot air (give me a break, I know it's summer, but it's cold here in the morning!), instead of freaking out about what this might mean for my poor, drained Emergency Savings Fund, I reacted in a rational, human being sort of way and said, "Fuck it. I'll just drive until I start seeing smoke."

Much healthier already.

*Ok, so I was watching an episode of Good Buy, Bad Buy and this couple was considering purchasing a home in Placentia, California. PLACENTIA. I googled it, it's a real place near where my cousins live in Brea, CA. And there's only one letter separating "Placentia" from "placenta". And that is enough to keep me entertained for the rest of my life.