When the summer of 2011 spit me out, I was newly single and raw from heartbreak. Going through a break-up is awful, going through a break-up and being unemployed was not making it sexier, and being unemployed, going through a break up, and feeling like you can’t wake up and you can’t sleep, is the most uprooting, hopeless feeling I have had to date. That’s sort of how I felt- like a tree, uprooted, laying on a yard, with some green shoots on one side, but mostly ravaged by some unknown parasite.
Loss. That will do it. Loss will eat you, like you are a Mille-feuille– it crushes you in the middle, and picks out the parts it likes best, leaving just a slip of custard stained paper. I say this with the certainty that things could have been worse. My energy levels were so low at this point, and I only wanted to wear jogging pants (this symptom has never gone away). I went back to my doctor, tail tucked between my legs – where I always keep my tail so it doesn’t get caught in doors etc. I had read that lots of people with Hypothyroidism had success with desiccated thyroid, and while my Doctor was not familiar with it, she wrote me a prescription for some. I took it to the pharmacy and learned that she had not given me the right prescription but another synthetic thyroid medication. As is my way- impatient, annoyed, hungry at all times- I just wanted to start feeling better and filled the prescription.
I didn’t feel better right away, but gradually, I did. The worst side effect with this drug was the crying. I cried every day, for many weeks, mostly on the bus where crying is totally acceptable because buses are just a “can of misery”, or when I saw something particularly moving. I cried in the shower where it was most economical. I tried not to cry over perfectly good acts of kindness made less rewarding by a weirdo crying. Tears came out of nowhere. So these tears, on top of the other tears for all of the sadness for myself, really added up. I should have kept a bucket for tear collection so I could water that tree on the curb. It opened up a well of sensitivity that I can not close- so if you are telling me about you, or you are a beautiful bird, or tree (YOU CAN READ?) – then I may cry a bit, but in a cool, you can tell I am good at sex, kind of way.
The best effect of this drug was that it was working. I noticed key factors- one being exercise, and a lot of it, really impacted how well I felt. And if I missed a dose, I would feel it- if I missed two it would feel like I was starting over. Knowing what was a side effect of the drug and what was a reaction to my actual life circumstances of heartache, and the sheer panic of poverty looming while working my way through my last year of school, was a real “toughie”. And then something lifted in the ruins. And I came out of it. Not like a phoenix from the flame. More like a hot dog that rolled out of the fire into some cool sand. Yeah, like a hotdog.