Musings,  This Life...

Nan in Search of Clarity–Day 6

swimming in the lakeSeveral people have messaged me privately to suggest that I speak to my doctor about the funk and maybe think about getting some chemical help. I appreciate their care and concern so very much–how kind they are to share their stories and tell me how SSRIs have helped them get through a rough patch. It’s wonderful that such drugs exist and that they really do help so many people.

Fact is, I can’t take SSRIs–I tried once, several years ago when menopause was knocking the holy crap out of me. My doctor at the time put me on an antidepressant, hoping to help me stop crying, which I was pretty much doing all the time. About three and half weeks into the new drug, I began to disappear. By that I mean, my affect was flattening to the point that I had absolutely no reactions left to anything at all. You could’ve told me my hair was on fire and I probably would’ve shrugged and continued staring into space. It happened so gradually, I didn’t notice, but others did.

Then one day, I was swimming with the nuns and I had a grand mal seizure in the pool. According to my friend who was swimming alongside me, I simply curled up into a ball and started seizing. There’s about 40 minutes of my life that I have no memory of as they called 911 and rushed me to the hospital near the convent. After much testing and talking and figuring out stuff, the neurologist finally declared it was a bad reaction to the antidepressants. Six weeks later, I got my driver’s license back and he released me with the warning that I was never, ever to take any kind of drug that affects my nervous system and never ever take any kind of antidepressant again. So, I haven’t even considered it.

That day, as I sat on his exam table, he touched the cross that hung around my neck and said, “You’ve got all you need to cope with depression right here.” My faith and my friends got me through then and I know that’s exactly how I’ll get through this time. Writing, too. And Knitting. And swimming. And the lake…

IMG_7568Five things I’m grateful for today:

  1. My lake pals–how wonderful to see them again!
  2. Swimming–can’t wait for the lake to warm up!
  3. The book I’m currently editing–this writer’s words are deliciously put together!
  4. My Kindle
  5. Dee is doing better and she’s where she’ll get the best help.

These pictures today are apropos of nothing at all that I’m talking about today, I just like them, so you get to see them.



  • Liz Flaherty

    I didn’t know that! I am a Zoloft poster girl (worked fast and well), and conversations with other make me know not everyone reacts that way, but I didn’t know you’d had that reaction. See? You’re clarifying for me, too! Hugs…

    • Nan

      Yup, Liz, and wow am I glad the Zoloft worked for you! That’s wonderful. I don’t share that story often because it could come out sounding as though I condemn antidepressants and I surely do not! But I just can’t do it. Apparently, I’m one a million–the grand mal seizures don’t happen very often! Bises, baby!

  • Jennifer Theriot

    Just remember….we are women, hear us ROAR!
    Thanks for sharing this with us. Somehow, it makes this whole process of being a woman seem more do-able if ya know what I mean;)

    (((HUGGLES)))) <3

    • Nan

      Thanks, Jennifer!! So glad you stopped by and yes, sharing helps, which surprises me, frankly, because I’m more of a “let’s keep it all fun and light” kind of girl. Hugs back!

  • Carol M

    Have been following you on your thirty days of clarity, Nan. Walking it with you. Enjoyed your weekend posts. Cheers to you. I’ve been re-reading your books before turning out the light. I go to sleep with a smile on my face.

    • Nan

      Thanks for coming along, Carol–I appreciate your support. And thank you so very much for re-reading–you may be the first person to tell me that you’re rereading my books and I’m touched that you find them worthy of a second go-round. Hugs!!