April 2, 2013 § 39 Comments
From yesterday’s Times. There has been something of a time lag with the column because of space issues, so below is old news to readers of this blog, for which I am sorry:-
For the first time in years, I have been thinking that maybe being on my own for what increasingly looks like forever may not after all be tantamount to social, emotional, sexual and any number of other kinds of death I care to come up with. I am beginning to think – with an emphasis on beginning – that the “advantages” of being a plankton do have some merits and remaining one till I fill my box could turn out not to be the defining tragedy of my existence or the reason to top myself forthwith.
Well, obviously I am not right in the head. This new worldview is so far removed from my default setting, I must come clean and offer an explanation.
I have never taken anything stronger than paracetamol my whole life, unless you count the pill and, once I’d given that up, an epidural for the births of my children. But on 1 January, after a certain amount of SYT-related gloom, much hand-wringing and research and talks with my GP, I decided to do the sensible thing and take some Prozac for six months.
I was worried it would alter my personality. Not that I am particularly enamoured of my personality, but it’s the devil I have known for a smattering of decades. I was also feeling rather chuffed with myself for having lived through the shit that I have lived through these past few years since my marriage broke down without a single “prop”. It then occurred to me that there is nothing especially noble about that, just as there is nothing noble about people who decide to go through labour without pain relief. It is merely a matter of choice, and I have chosen to think a little prozac prop may now be just the ticket for a little while.
Friends – an awful lot of them it transpires – told me it is just like setting the dial back from minus a few degrees, to nought; that it simply helps one out of a rut and to see things a little more brightly.
From day one, I was closely monitoring the effects. No difference for several weeks. Then about a fortnight ago I was aware that I just felt normal, precisely as it had been described: back to nought. But in the past few days I have felt an old energy return, a zest for work again and, utterly bizarrely, definitely a more brazen attitude to my singleness.
I’m not saying I no longer want a husband – prozac is not a total miracle, and I am still me – but that that is no longer my resounding 24/7 raison d’etre.
Now of course, I wish I’d been rather less bleeding “noble” and started quaffing this stuff years ago!