September 10, 2007

The Day Before

September 10, 2001

I remember discussing the news with someone in the office where I worked, people were saying they were afraid to go to the beach. The big news distraction was all the shark attacks that summer, with a couple of fatalities at the local gulf coast beaches. I was trying to convince them that the beach was safer than driving to work, or driving to the beach, where 25 people were dying from car accidents every weekend in the same areas as the shark attacks at the Alabama and Florida gulf beaches. The shark attacks would not deter me from going into the water, either.

I remember making this point: "Do you cower in fear every time a thunderstorm passes?" Maybe you should, hundreds of people are struck by lightning every year, in their houses, where they think they are safe. If it's going to happen, you can't stop it, so I go outside during the storms and watch the light show, I love it, and I do not fear it, because I know it is outside my control. Same goes with getting attacked by something from the sea when you're at the beach. The shark attacks are news because the media was hyping it up. It was a slow news year, and the media needed something to get people hyped up, they love to spread fear.

That time was stressful for me because we had just been through a downsizing where I worked, five co-workers had been let go in the past week (just in my department, about 50 total were let go total on the project), the economy was struggling, the Internet financial bubble had burst (my investments were hit hard). I remember thinking the newly elected President was going to be a loser and bad news (it turned out even worse than I thought). I got bad vibes every time I saw Bush speak, thinking how phony he is when making a speech, like a greedy used car salesman.

One year earlier, I had been through a divorce, one that I initiated. I was having deep, deep regrets about the divorce, major depression and mood swings because of it. I was thinking that I ruined my life, there wasn't much reason to live, if only I could salvage the relationship I was having after the divorce, maybe this dark mood would go away. The harder I tried to make something happen, the worse and more complicated it became. I was on Prozac for one month, but that made the relationship worse, because I didn't care, and still wanted hurt myself (but take out others with me). I stopped the Prozac because all I wanted to do was work, I didn't want to have any social activities. When I was at work, I kept fantasizing about doing some great violent blood soaked rampage at work, or in some other public place, like during a crowded church service.

The thoughts went away after I stopped the Prozac.

The day I stopped, was six years ago tomorrow, my problems became so small.



Ziem said...

I refuse to live my live as a victim. I live and love life and work through all of my mistakes (believe me, there are many!). I don't understand those that are lead by fear, rational or otherwise. That's not living.

My husband was on Paxil for a month, he stopped because he said the side effects were exactly what you described. Instead, we set aside an hour a night, usually with a bottle of wine. We'd unplug the phone and just talk. That was five years ago. We still carry on the tradition and it's still better than any man made drug.

niCk (Mem Beth) said...

zeim - great tradition. Makes sense that would work so well.

I have also found non-drug ways to handle depression. Exercise usually works for me. Cooking, hiking, writing, and beer are some of the other ways I manage it.

Robert Rouse said...

A great point. If we choose to live our lives in fear, the we live a fearful life. I would take it one step more and let everyone know some more odds:

1 in 55,928 of death by lightening
1 in 20,605 in your clothes igniting
1 in 10,455 of dying in your bathtub
1 in 10,010 by falling from a ladder or scaffolding
1 in 9,396 due to excessive heat
1 in 8,389 due to excessive cold
1 in 7,972 in a drowning accident
1 in 6,842 in a railway accident.

Now take terrorism and put it in its place:
1 in 1,500,00 of a terrorist-caused shopping mall disaster (assuming one such incident occurs each week and you shop two hours a week)
1 in 55,000,000 in a terrorist-caused plane disaster (assuming one such incident occurs each month and you fly once a month)

Anonymous said...

wow! Prozac seems like bad news. My physical health has always been my number one priority. But don't get me wrong, I have gone through the panic attacks and not being able to go out in public and so on. I guess the attacks were brought on by the fear of dying because of the health issues. I have always said that I would rather go through 3 surgeries rather than go through a panic attack.

The older I get, the less I want to be around social activities. I just can't stand the "small talk" anymore. I just want to be with my family and close friends. The question is : so what? Some people can't live alone and I'm part of the ones who are happier on my own.

Inner pain and regret is the worst feeling anyone could experience. There is no purpose to it and it certainly doesn't make the situation any better. Easy to say but very hard to get over.

We just can think about the present and figure out how to make things right or OK NOW.

I can't even stand swimming in lakes. Don't like any foreign anything swimming around me! ha!

I'm afraid of the dark.. so how do I get over that?... you won't find any blinds around here! wink

It's important to remember tomorrow and yeah.. our problems are so much smaller...

Luv ya!

azgoddess said...

thanks again or sharing...your words are scarily familiar to me as of late...hugs

i just have to believe there is a reason for everything that happens in our lives...and it's our job to figure that out...