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Blog: A Major Decision...Sure Hope It's The Right One

(originally written 4/20/13)

Our society can be self-involved, uncaring, and just plain mean. Manners, kindness, empathy, and plain old politeness took ill during the disco days, collapsed in the same well Baby Jessica was extracted from, and died with the Macarena—later reincarnated as an overabundance of douchebaggery and selfishness.


I shudder to wonder how I respond to certain circumstances of the past year minus my daily doses of Depakote and Zoloft. Would I still be throwing more glass jars across my living room if I couldn't open them? Would I still be slamming two-liter soda bottles down if the self-checkouts stalled? Would I do my best Andy Lee on the nearest trash can—full or not— if I cannot find my keys in 10 seconds or less? 


I am confident the answers to all of the above are "yes".  


As we approach May 2013, I don't think I've ever been better mentally. Case in point: a recent exchange at our local McDonald's drive-thru:

"Welcome to McDonalds would you like to try blah blah blah blah?"
"No. I'd like two oatmeal cookies and a small Caramel frappe."
(Long pause)
"I'm sorry, can you repeat that?"

Now, I worked Taco Bell drive-thru 13 years ago. I know there are distractions at the window that cause orders to be missed, so I give the guy the benefit of the doubt. (Even though in my day there was no designated speaker person like today; we had to run the speaker and the window—and sometimes the counter, too! But I'm not here to talk about the past.)

"I'd like two oatmeal cookies and a small Caramel frappe." Each time spoken clearly and concisely into the center of the box.

(Long pause)
"That was a large Frappe?"

(Long pause)
"What kind of cookies?"
"Nevermind. You're not listening." I calmly drive away.


Pre-drugs, let's just say the response would have not been nearly as peaceful. Nor would have my subsequent disposition. Those tiny little pills work wonders for my mental well-being. 

Too bad they're destroying my physical well-being.


For the past year I've been severely restricted by drowsiness and back pain. And my metabolism has slowed to MLB-committee levels (A's fans will understand that reference.) It has been beyond frustrating feeling great, joining my buds for a game of b'ball, and having to bow out after five minutes because my spine has "locked up". And while the RockStar company surely doesn't mind my midday sluggishness, my kid does—and so do I.


The only change in my lifestyle during the past year, besides teetotalism? Those pills (which mandate teetotalism.) My doctor says they are actually the best medication for me; alternatives would do nothing to ward off those side-effects.


So...if I want my athletic life back at all, I must make a decision.
If I want my only back issues to be going "back" to the 408, I must make a decision.
If I want to sleep eight hours a day rather than 11, and spend the remaining hours lucid, I must make a decision.
If I want two-pound weight gains to require the consumption of more than a bowl of oatmeal, I must make a decision.

Actually, I've made the decision. The meds, for the time being, are out—at least until I have conclusive evidence that A) I'll go mad without them, or B) they played no role in my physical deterioration.


Believe me, I don't wanna do it. But any issues caused by giving the meds up cannot possibly be worse for me than losing the ability to be consistently physically active. I'll do my very best to tolerate life's challenges on my own. 

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