“Slow and Steady Wins the Race”


I saw my shrink again the other day.  It went pretty much as I expected it to, which in many ways is a good thing.  I explained that the combination of adding Chantix and then quitting smoking changed my med levels dramatically.  I “backed up” my theory by explaining the over-sleeping, chronic fatigue, and inability to lose weight.  I handed him the lab reports — all normal — that my primary doctor ran, just to rule out a physical cause.

Dr. O not only agreed with me, he said he is actually surprised I haven’t gained more weight.  It turns out, the medicine I take to help with my sleep problems is also prescribed for anorexia.  No f***ing wonder my pants aren’t any looser!  He then went on to say that he wanted to keep all of my meds the same, despite everything.  I wasn’t at all surprised.  Chantix is notorious for causing severe mood problems, so the fact that my mood has been (mostly) stable is a small miracle.

I walked out of the clinic lost in thought and retrospection.  I’m bummed yet slightly proud of myself.  I have another 4 months of Chantix — creative block and sexual side effects to boot.  I most likely won’t be able to wear my “skinny clothes” this summer.  I will probably spend a lot of beautiful days sleeping late and going to bed early, and I won’t be the most pleasurable company to keep.  Yet, what a difference three years of experience can make!  The “old me” wouldn’t have been able to handle feeling crappy for a few months.  I would have argued with Dr. O in vain, only to make my own med changes… and the bricks would have come tumbling down.

Instead, I feel like the last-place runner in a marathon — the tortoise that wins the race.  Even as I struggle to think positive and all the happy stuff I learned in therapy, I feel an inner drive that keeps pulling me back on track.  Perhaps all those years of struggling — the vicious mood swings and frequent hospital stays  — were worth it in the end.


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