A Random Image

Jett Superior laid this on you on || May 21, 2008 || 11:08 am

hahaha, I joke and it comes true, oh hahaha

So, where to start?

Nearly four months ago, I quit smoking again. Oh, I didn’t tell you that –after EIGHTEEN MONTHS of being smoke-free– I started back? Yeah. Still only four or five sticks a day, but to me that makes the habit even more stupid, because what’s the point, right? That was in September of two-thousand and six.

So this time my family was far more nagging and insistent, “YOU ARE GOING TO DIEEEE. Please stop.” Reluctantly, I did. Slow going at first, but I really got on it at one point and long about the third nicotine-free day, I was a real bear. I was verrrry difficult to deal with, and this behavior continued for the next four days, the third of which was made even worse (so I thought) by my period starting.

Let me give you a little background: I’ve always been one of those rare and blessed females who didn’t have an especially difficult time where The Monthlies were concerned. No PMS, no bloating, no pain, not even really the hint of tenderness. Spot one day, flow one day, spot one day, Bob’s your uncle and Fanny’s your aunt, we’re all done here. When I started having children, my pregnancies were really brutal. I kept my head in the toilet or sink from long about week ten to week thirty-five ALL THREE TIMES. I reasoned this out by saying two things: “All this sick means a ton of hormones. A ton of hormones means a healthy baby. I’m okay with that.” and “This is the trade-off for easy periods.”

I mean, really. I had a best friend who was sincerely cursed. All through high school I watched her take to the bed in misery for six days each and every month. She wasn’t even able to walk upright, she felt so bad. She’d run, hunched over, to the bathroom to retch the first three days after she’d started. I had no idea how I’d survive a life like that.

So, fast-forward to the next month after the nicotine quit nagging. Time to start my period again and out of nowhere, I was enraged. I found myself doing and saying things…behaving in a way that horrified me. It was like there was me, tiny and at the core of everything, looking out and saying, “Who is this person? Why on Earth is she behaving in such a poor fashion?” Any assy behavior on my part is usually provoked or premeditated, then gleefully embraced by me: “We are Having Fun, wheeee!” This was different. I was not holding the reins, and I was bewildered.

The month after that it was even worse and not only was I bewildered at my lack of forethought and control, I was a tiny bit afraid. I was also in a great deal of pain, so much so that I was physically sick. I threw up from the pain for two days straight. The next month –last month, in fact– something occurred that made me think that this was not a fluke, it was not going away, and just maybe I needed to seek some assistance in the matter.

One day, for eight hours solid, I sat and thought about how nice it would be to be dead and the myriad of ways I could accomplish getting myself that way. I didn’t even go home for lunch that day for fear I’d get the pistol out of my nightstand drawer and hold it coolly to my head, pulling the trigger. Then, as rapidly as the thought pattern had arrived, it left. It was like a switch had been thrown, then a handful of hours later, somebody thought to shut it off. Then the inexplicable rage started again and two days later my period started.

I got scared. I called my family doctor and set an appointment. His sister and I used to run the roads, have a few laughs together, so he knows me better than your average bear. I was equal parts relieved and uneasy that he was the one I’d be relaying my tale to, but he quickly put me at ease with a couple of inside jokes and a completely sympathetic air.

“You ever hear of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder?”

“Ayuh. I don’t know much about it, though.”

“Sounds like that’s what’s going on. Let me go print you out some information on it, and I’ll be right back to discuss treatment options.”

So, PMDD: Your basic PMS with big, scary chainsaw teeth that drip toxic, infectious ooze. A fucking-with, as it were, of your brain’s chemistry and functions. Officially classed as a psychiatric disorder –which apparently pisses off female activists and psychiatrists alike– it is still largely a mystery but no one denies that it for sure exists. I am now a walking Proof Positive. Ohhhh, irony; I recall some ten years back being amused (but not in a cruel fashion) at my friend Susan’s completely fucking absolutely out every month. Her response to this was to pop Xanax like Tic-Tacs for about a week. Not so funny to me anymore.

It’s mostly not funny because I’ve never wanted to be on meds and now I am. I actually was hesitant to request them at all, but I felt like I needed something to rein in The Crazy before I hurt myself or somebody else. I made it expressly clear to my doc that I have no desire to be medicated full-time, “The three or four days before and the first three days of seem to be the problem. I just want something to manage my moods during that time and my pain for the first couple of days.” I was thinking he’d hit me up with some Valium or some Xanax, and maybe some prescription-strength Naproxen (because plain ole Aleve sometimes does the trick).

He put me on Lexapro (that is Citalopram for all the fancypantses among you), a seven-day cycle once per month. If I felt somewhat defeated at the prospect of meds before, I really feel defeated now. And it makes me angry.

It makes me angry, because I feel like my body has backed me into a corner. It makes me angry, because I went all those years denying myself all sorts of meds, fearing a lapse back into addiction. It makes me angry, because I have spent the last two years resignedly learning to manage my emotions and channeling otherwise negative energies into positive life changes.


But I’m going to give the old college try, because I’m not a fucking quitter. I will take those pills once a month for the three month period between now and when I have to go back to re-evaluate the situation. There is at least one hilarious story attached to each side effect that will entertain us all between now and then.

Hello, Muffinasses, allow me to reintroduce myself: I am Medicated Middle American Babe. My head is muddled and clear all at once, my manner is mild, and I’m not looking to stab anyone this week.

14 worked it out »

  1. MotherFury 5.21.2008

    It IS or IS NOT safe to make any punny comments about this?

    I just want to be clear on who we’re dealing with – Are you the Good Jett or the Bad Jett?

    Would this be a good time to mention those delightful tampon wrappers again?

    Going to put my helmet on now….

  2. chris robinson 5.21.2008

    Pain is pain, and I’d be happy to know you found some relief. I quit smoking twenty years ago (and still miss it every damn day). I did it for my health. A months into my nicotine-free life I blew a stomach gasket and was in agony for months. Its the gods, I tell you. They look down upon us, see us trying to improve our lot, and that is just not allowed apparently. I hope this is just a temporary metabolic wrinkle or cosmic joke and that you’ll be the mend real soon.

  3. W 5.21.2008

    I got your meds right here:

    last night I dreamt I found a passage under my house, I venured down uncautiously, eager to see where it led; soon enough it opened into a massive red-lit cavern, with a subterranean bay lapping against the freakish lush flora. we swam together, you and I, with the giant frogs beneath us and peacocks soaring above our heads and I decided that never before have I known ‘I love you’ with more immediacy or precision.

  4. Jettomatika 5.22.2008

    Mother: Joke away. You know my aversion to tears drives me straight to laughter every time.

    Christopher: I feel cheated in a way I really can’t explain to anyone. Like you, I’m hoping for this to be some glitch of biology/aging and that it will even itself out. Thank you.

    W: I’ve started a patch of sunflowers for the back garden. Right now they are in a tiny, two-inch pot on my kitchen window ledge, these delicate sprouts bending nimbly toward the light. I can’t wait for them to be big-headed and in bloom; I will stand in the middle of them and wish you all kinds of wells and remember their faint, insistent beginnings.

    So it is with hopes and dreams.

  5. Jettomatika 5.22.2008

    (and, btw, I love you, all three)

  6. nina 5.23.2008

    I suffered, and everyone around me suffered, from PMDD for so many years. Although back then, I didn’t know what it was. I called it the Red Dragon. I mean, hell, I have always been crazy, so I just thought that was part of it. The day I got a my hysterectomy was inarguably the best day of my life. Sure, I’m still crazy, but it isn’t out of control, kill myself and everyone around me Red Dragon crazy.

    posted about here some time ago

  7. skillzy 5.23.2008

    No I can paraphrase Chet’s line from Weird Science: “That’s not a joke, it’s a severe psychiatric disorder!”

    Completely unrelated, I made it to a nudie bar (imagine that!) near Gillette, WY called Bryan’s Place. They had 3 dancers and a bartender/dancer. One of the dancers looked a lot like the other Beth (formerly known as Sugar), except she had a little more meat on her bones, and the bartender/dancer was your sister, only with GINORMOUS bazooms, even for someone kin to you. A good time was had by all.

  8. Jettomatika 5.23.2008


  9. Coelecanth 5.25.2008

    I have been medicated twice for depression. The first time was many years ago on an early generation anti-depressive, then again maybe 10 years ago on Prozac.

    Every time I took the first course I fell asleep wether I wanted to or not. It felt like sleep was crawling up my spinal cord, grabbing my brain and dragging me down. I fucking hated it. The Prozac killed my sex drive. And yet I took the both drugs for a couple of years despite this. Why?

    Because both times I was at a point where I had to do something, anything to make it stop and the solutions I was coming up with on my own were a trifle too permanent. In fact I suspect that the pharmaceutical effects of the drugs was less important to my recovery than the fact that I was taking action.

    Taking the drugs and putting up with the side effects isn’t a failure, it’s ACTION. It might be an unsuccessful action and you’ll have to stop and try something else. That’s not failure either. The only thing that is failure is to give up and let the disease win.

    In my worst moments I looked at the depression as a separate being to myself. I pictured it as a threat to my family, a rabid dog to be exact. What do you do with a rabid dog? You put that fucker down by any means necessary regardless of the risk and inconvenience to oneself.

    Ah Jett, sorry about the rant. This is something I feel strongly about. In the end you’re not the giving up kind and if the drugs suck so bad you have to stop them you’ll find some other way to kick this thing’s ass. And then you’ll write a story about it that will have us laughing and weeping and wishing for your talent.

    Oh, and stay the hell away from my dreams. It’s messy in there, I can’t be bothered tidying up for company.

  10. Jettomatika 5.26.2008

    (but I was only wiggling my eyebrows and waving!)

  11. Coelecanth 5.28.2008

    You know that scares the hippogriffs. Now what are the Swedish women’s volleyball team going to ride, hmmmm?

  12. gjoe 5.28.2008

    Cigarettes are awesome. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. I quit smoking years ago, but seriously, they’re the best.

    I’ve missed my friend Jett!


  13. Jettomatika 5.29.2008

    Holy shit, holy shit! It’s GeeJoe!


    I knew there would be good karma for all that yard work I did this weekend.

  14. Jess 8.23.2008

    PMDD sucks the big one. I hated the idea of drugs too, but Prozac made me into a (semi)-normal person again. Well, as normal as I ever was anyway.


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