Wednesday, May 5, 2010


As far as colors go, brown ranks pretty low in terms of beauty.  It is drab.  It blends in.  It is a non-color.  It is certainly not in the rainbow.

Dead plants are brown.  Rotten bananas turn brown.  Brown is what comes of all the colors when they collide together.  Paper bags are brown.  And these bags are meant to disguise a secret.  An embarrassment.  The guy on the corner who drinks all day... he hides his bottle in a obviously discreet paper bag.

I carried a brown paper bag today.  It didn't contain my lunch.  And no, it didn't carry beer, wine, or liquor either.  It's the see-you-in-six-weeks kind of day.  The day where I go sit in my shrink's waiting room and pray that I don't look as crazy as I feel.  Today is the day that I rate my mental state by the bag I carry.  Am I carrying my favorite handbag or am I carrying a loud and awkward paper bag stuffed with meds?

My psychiatrist is a nice man.  He is fairly intelligent as well.  He is the first of his profession to treat me with kindness and respect.  It's refreshing.  I don't say a lot.  I smile at least once so I do not present flat.  I answer his questions with single words if at all possible.  I am not having a good time of it and that must show.  When he starts his shrink talk with "I'd like to talk to you today about..." I know that my meds are being tweaked or changed.  Yippee.

Thirty minutes later I've paid my bill and I walk the twenty five feet across the waiting room full of people and I'm holding that damn brown bag.  Any chance of appearing normal is wiped away when people see that crinkly bag full of she's-not-quite-right samples.

I skip the elevator to avoid riding in a closed space with someone who would clearly know they were confined, for a one floor descent, with a crazy girl.  I make it to my car and I dump the bag out and cram the samples into my black leather handbag.  Much more presentable because crazy people don't carry professional messenger bags, right?

The snarky humor is here but beneath that is my anger.  I'm angry that I have to do this charade every six weeks.  I'm angry that I'm a walking stigma.  I'm angry that I pay good money for appointments and medication to help me function and unfuck what they did to me.  I'm angry that I have side effects from the cocktail of meds that I take.  I'm angry that the medicated me is better than the can't-get-out-of-bed me. 

I'm still struggling over the events with my mother in law for reasons that some may not understand.  I will try to put that into words shortly because I need to find a way to express in words what is churning in my mind.  My husband's advice has been, "just be yourself", which I always inwardly smirk at because the thought of an un-medicated "me" attending a family dinner is something I'm almost certain he never wants to encounter.