Sunday, November 22, 2009

I Married My High School Sweetheart

Twelve years ago today, I married my high school sweetheart.

I remember telling my parents when they thought we were getting too serious, "We're just dating! It's not like I'm going to marry him!" We were so different, I just couldn't see myself spending the rest of my life with him. Those differences manifested themselves, until I thought it was obvious we weren't meant to be together. So I tried to break up with him. It was then that I realized we weren't just dating. We were falling in love. And it felt so good. I just couldn't let go.

Following is a poem I wrote in the fall of 1994, about six months after we started dating.

Dazed and Confused
by Marci Boyd (Bray)

Dazed and confused
about what is right and wrong
Trying to accept
what I've been denying all along
Never planning to see you
as more than just a friend
Realizing what we have
and not wanting it to end
Frightened by the emotions
my fragile heart implies
Seeing those same feelings
when you look into my eyes
Trying to scream for help
unable to make a sound
Hoping not to fall too hard
but I've already hit the ground
Thinking I could walk away
and forget about me and you
But caring so much more
than I ever intended to
Denying it in my mind
but knowing in my heart it is true
Not being what I planned
I've fallen in love with you

All these years later, he's still the love of my life. Happy Anniversary my handsome!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Wrestling with the Devil

As a result of the events that have transpired in my physical body over the last six weeks, I have determined that zoloft is the devil.

Shockingly enough, I have stress in my life. For some reason, probably the radiation that killed my thyroid, my body can no longer handle stress very well. This is so ironic because, prior to having my thyroid nuked, my daily motto was... "I have to do this, this, this, this, this and this. But that's okay! I can handle it!"
You won't hear me say that anymore. I can't handle it. The slightest confrontation, the mere increase in my workload, the tiniest hint of unwellness in my body sends my heart into palpitations. Before you know it, I'm having panic attacks, and crying uncontrollably. My doctor's solution... zoloft.
In the beginning, I absolutely refused. In my mind, zoloft was for depression. I did not feel depressed. I felt overwhelmed. There was so much to be done, and I didn't have the strength or motivation to do it. Still, I truly believed that I could overcome my physical weakness with my spiritual strength. I fought my doctors on the necessity of taking this drug for three years. But over time, my spirit weakened also.
Then, I hit my all-time low, and in January of this year, I gave in. I began taking zoloft at the lowest possible dosage and noticed changes immediately. It was awesome!!!! I felt like myself again. But that only lasted a few weeks. So my doctor doubled my dosage. The same thing happened. I felt great for a few weeks, then started getting overwhelmed again. So she doubled my dosage again. I stayed on this dosage for four months. In that time, I felt much more able to handle all that comes along with being a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, MOPS Coordinator... Yet I was still having panic attacks daily, sometimes up to 12 times a day.
The doctor recommended switching to Paxil, not realizing she should first wean me off of zoloft. So within a week's time of quitting zoloft and starting paxil (while recuperating from having h1n1), I began suffering from withdrawal syndrome, which, in my opinion, was ten times worse than the flu. I suffered from hallucinations, rapid heartbeat, palpitations, hot sweats, blackouts, uncontrollable sobbing... I ended up in the emergency room thinking I was having a heart attack.
Now, I am in my sixth (and supposedly final) week of the "weaning off" process. In the midst of weaning off, you still suffer from withdrawal syndrome, but at a much lesser level. It is misery at times. I wake up in the middle of the night with my muscles twitching. By the time I get out of bed in the morning, I feel like I've run a marathon. Every muscle aches nonstop throughout the day.

This is why I've come to believe that zoloft is the devil. Weaning off of zoloft is like wrestling with the devil. I figure paxil is just the devil in a different pill, so I have no intention of ever again using an anti-anxiety medication to deal with the overwhelming nature of my life.

The positive of having experienced this ordeal...
After much prayer and meditation, and with the help of my family and friends, I feel spiritually, emotionally and mentally stronger. Yes, I still have to do this, this, this, this and this. And honestly, I CAN'T HANDLE IT. But that's okay! I can do all things through CHRIST who strengthens me.