My life is a little stressful and confusing right now. Everyone’s life is stressful and confusing by the time you hit 45, I think. I have noticed lately that all of my friends, whether happily married or divorced, rich or poor, raising kids or empty nesters, healthy or ill, have stress of some kind going on in their lives, and most of them have multiple problems. Just like me. Just like you, probably.

Recently, when having a complete meltdown because of a setback I wasn’t expecting, a friend told me I should “see my doctor and ask if Zoloft is right for me.” Well, that’s not exactly how she put it, but the idea was that I could handle life better with a “mother’s little helper.” I pointed out that I didn’t like the idea of taking medication and was unwilling to risk the side effects. One must be very cautious before deciding to take medicines that could cause more harm than good. This is serious stuff.

AM I OLD???? Was that the pharmacy queen who used to be the go-to person if you had a headache, sniffles, gas, bee sting, heart attack or the plague? Being born on the edge of the generation that believed in sex, drugs and rock and roll, shouldn’t I be thrilled with the idea of being given happy pills legitimately? I’ve seen those commercials where the bubbles are floating around in their peaceful little world. Don’t I want that? I could get hit with all life’s crap and just smile and float away! Isn’t this a good thing?

Somehow, though, I think that maybe the stressful part of life right now is teaching me some things about myself, and the world, and God. The lessons are hard and I don’t like them. Yes, sometimes they make me cry and sometimes I want to throw things and kick my feet and protest that it’s NOT FAIR!  But growing hurts. Children cry with leg aches when they grow sometimes. Mental pain is different, but the cause is the same. Sometimes growing hurts. I can take the happy pills and avoid the pain. But if it doesn’t hurt, will I learn the lessons? Will I change enough to avoid the mistakes I made in the past? Or will I just float along pretending that my life is fine the way it is?

Quit yelling, I know that some people really need medication to get through stressful times. Some people need it to deal with life every day. If that works for them, I see no problem with it. My decision has to do with whether it works for me. Maybe I would be more effective, maybe my house would be neater, maybe I wouldn’t cry as much. But maybe I wouldn’t learn to make better choices. Maybe I wouldn’t laugh as hard, or rejoice as fully. And maybe in choosing to feel the pain, I have already started to grow.

Leave a Reply