There is so much shitty shit happening in the world right now that it feels almost pointless to blog in the midst of it, unless I’m going to blog about it. My fitness clients and I talk about the election. A lot. Then there are the shootings. And Aleppo. And let’s not forget Brangelina. All this just in time for the Jewish new year, which I don’t celebrate. But I do like saying L’Shana Tova.

L’Shana Tova!

I know there’s art and beauty and laughter too, because I experience these things daily: my son joining the jazz band. My daughter getting her homework done on time. A freshly made bed, a new hair-cut, spontaneous dance moves during bootcamp. My kids staying up too late, lounging on the living room floor singing songs together.

But the overarching motif if you will, the day-to-day headline: BLAAAAHHHHHH. Everything just seems doused in steel-grey. Like God, if there was one, and if there was, then he or she’d be really fucking mean, scrubbed the planet with a dirty steel wool pad. Everything’s just lifeless and blech, and we’re all waiting for the sun to come out. And yes, it’s rainy and cold.

Anyway I know all this to be true because both my hairdresser and a close friend told me they feel the exact same way. It’s an epidemic!

Now, full-disclosure, I’ve been SSRI-free since July. After a fits-and-starts drug taper I finally got off the stuff.

It’s not been easy all the time.

People ask me how it feels to be off meds and my answer is this: I feel the full rainbow of emotions again. I cry from my heart splitting open, singing along to songs in the car while I drive. (Today was Hammer and a Nail. I’m having an Indigo Girls moment after binge-watching Transparent, which, as much as you hate those fucked up narcissistic kids, is one helluva well-written show.) The crying-singing thing never happened on Lexapro. What else? I appreciate the good moments more now, because the bad moments are back. The gut-churning anxiety wakes me in the night, usually around the time I’m due to get my period—a rabid evil rabbit these days with perimenopause kicking in. And I feel a sense of blahness I never felt before. This, what-the-fuck-is-the-pointness of life.

Now though, after four years on emotion-numbing drugs and 47 years on the planet, I know my worst, most painful emotions won’t last and I just need to ride them out. Whether it’s biochemical or hormonal, it’s in me, a part of me, and it always dissipates. Of course, yeah, talk to me when I’m in the throes, I’ll sing you a different song…

But I don’t want to go back to feeling just fine thank you. Is that weird? I’ve come to think of the medication, for me anyway, as a form of psychological amputation. Now don’t get me wrong. If not being on drugs has you reaching for a razor blade or stepping out a twelfth story window, take the damn drugs. For me, I’m going to rough it for a while. I’m going to let my anxiety and panic show a little, like underwear lines. It’s a sociopolitical STANCE.

Another change: I spend less money. I think I was cavalier on medication. Using Lululemon as a Starbucks of sorts. Not a good idea! Also, I got angry a lot, in a defiant and doubtless way where I just didn’t give a shit what you thought. I even lashed out a poor schmo dad in the carpool line a couple Septembers ago to the point where he told me he felt sorry for my kids, having a mother like me. I told him, Yeah? I feel sorry for your mother! Having to deal with an idiot like you!

I’m more compassionate now maybe? Or, nah, I’m probably just as bitchy, only quieter. More reflective.

I tell those who encounter me during my PMS phase, when they grow concerned that maybe, just maybe, meds are a good thing in my case, that I will give it an honest year and then revisit the idea. But I hope I learn to manage my crazy in a way that makes the possibility of future medication irrelevant.

This year then, would include a self-reflection reunion of sorts. I used to devour the self-help section of bookstores, you know, back when there were bookstores. Once I got published, started doing the mom thing, got in with the fitness and home-decorating, and yes, took the Lex, I dropped off the self-improvement wagon. I thought I was DONE.

But it turns out, we’re never done. Which might just be the fucking point of it all. Keep going, keep learning, keep struggling to accept ourselves and the world exactly as it is, Trump and all. And only from THAT place, can true, lasting and positive change actually happen.

So with that in mind, I leave you with this nugget of wisdom by Carl Jung.

Have a happy, healthy New Year!