It was so disconcerting today to feel such anxiety after such a good day yesterday. The whims of my brain and body are like a turbulent and fickle Southern storm. I felt extreme anxiety all throughout my time at work this morning – my heart beating furiously in my chest and I felt this clammy cold feeling with my extremities tingling all day. I realized it had been almost two weeks since I got that injection of Risperdal and my medication levels were steadily dropping. I decided I was having withdrawal symptoms from the lack of all that medication – hoping it wasn’t mental illness. It would be Tuesday night from the advice of my psychiatrist before I could start taking my 2mg of Risperdal in pill form again. Even the beeping tone of my phone signaling I had a text message from Stacey sent my heart reeling. It was so scary and I couldn’t wait to get home to rest and lie down to calm my heart and mind. I didn’t linger at work in electronics as I sometimes do when 1pm rolled around and headed straight for home.
Meals on Wheels…
Helen cooked today after a two week hiatus. Mom came by with a plate of baked, not fried?!, pork chops, green beans, corn casserole, fried okra, and cornbread. There was also a small bowl of pear salad – my father insisting on having a salad with every meal. I was dismayed when Helen didn’t use “fat back” to season the green beans as she normally does – fat back being salted pork – a Southern tradition and giving the vegetables a wonderful if greasy taste. President Taft once said of one of his visits to the South that they served him “greasy vegetables” and “bread made from ground desiccated corn”. What an interesting way to describe Southern cooking for a Northerner. I will be glad when mom and dad are both off their diets and Helen can get back to her true Southern cooking form.
“Put your plate in the fridge and let’s go for a drive down through the Valley,” mom said as I stood out by her new car. “I need someone to talk to.”
My heart was still pounding in my chest at the moment, but I decided to go. I thought it would be good to get out of the house and be with mom – hoping talking to her would calm me. The words of my psychiatrist to “work” through these anxiety situations echoed in my mind I was relieved when mom insisted on driving although I was very wary that mom’s driving would cause more anxiety for me. Every time I ride with her behind the wheel, she always has a few close calls with other vehicles on the road. I call them my “Oh Shit!” moments.
Mom left my house and decided it would be nice to drive to Fat Albert’s to get some drinks and those little miniature pecan pies they sell in the South. We pulled up at Fat Albert’s and mom handed me a ten dollar bill urging me to make the purchase while she sat in the car. “I can’t walk that far,” she said. As I walked in and got my items, I noticed how busy Fat Albert’s was with only one register open and it was the lottery specific register. I moaned. A long line had formed behind one lady who was spending hundreds of dollars on lottery tickets. I watched on at this very convoluted and complicated affair as the lady made one purchase after another throwing her money away.
“All these damn lottery people need to work for a living for their money like me,” the burly man behind me said extremely loudly, tired and annoyed at waiting. “They are wasting their money!”
The lady at the register glared menacingly at the man and rolled her eyes. This sent my social anxieties reeling. I was so afraid I was going to get caught in the middle of a confrontation and argument.
Mom then walked into the store after about 10 minutes with an exasperated look on her face. The line still hadn’t moved in that time.
“What’s taking so long?” she asked.
I rolled my eyes as well and pointed to the lady at the register saying lottery.
“Put the stuff back and we will just drive to your father’s pharmacy to get our drinks.”
I was so relieved to get back in the safe confines of mom’s car. We were soon on our way down the Valley to dad’s store. I sat in the car telling mom I was “shaky” as mom went inside the Pharmacy to get our drinks. She also got us two small bags of Cheez-Its to eat as a snack. We were then on our way to Fairfax, Alabama which is just down the road from dad’s place of business.
“I had an argument with your father last night over me taking pain pills,” mom told me. “I want to get an appointment with Dr. Mona to get some pills to take for my back and leg. He said I couldn’t and I told him I was going to anyway. I am tired of hurting. It is not normal for me to hurt all the time like that. He says it is just because I am fat and I need to lose weight.”
I was surprised at my mom’s assertiveness. I told her she should be able to decide what she takes or not. Not dad.
“Your father said I will take them like I take my Xanax,” she then went on to tell me. “He will only let me have three Xanax per night now. He carefully controls my medications.”
I sighed. Mom is in the same predicament I was in for all those years. I didn't know much what to say other than she is just going to have to fight back. Dad doesn’t like his comfortable little quiet world to be upset and won’t take mom arguing for long before he will give in to keep the peace as he did with me eventually. Mom is so afraid he will divorce her she is so dependent upon him for everything.
We were gone for about an hour. I was relieved to arrive back home and immediately curled up in my Lay-Z-Boy and calmed down some. I couldn’t even take the TV being on. By this time, my heart was beating so furiously I thought it would bound out of my chest. I finally decided that sometimes it is just not best to “work” through my anxiety issues and to just stay home and rest.