Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Farewell, A New Start

Friday, August 15 marks a bittersweet occasion for me. For others as well I'm sure but I feel a particular pang about this and so naturally I'm going to whine about it. My blog: my whining.

Oh hush, you love when I whine. Don't you? No really, don't you? Hmmm. Any way. . .

There are two things I have been seriously consistent about in the time since I decided not to kill myself in October of 2004. Everything else has been variable, sometimes stickin' - sometimes passing. But two things that I have been consistent with as I have been consistent with few other things in my life are: 1) my daily dose of Zoloft and 2) my attendance at every Niagaras show I could physically make it to.

Both of those things are ending this month.

August is going to be tough on Miss Joy lemme tell ya.

As I've mentioned, I decided to wean off the Zoloft and while I did have a couple of days in July where I thought maybe it wasn't the wisest decision, overall I think I'm actually fine. I'm just adjusting to life without the support system of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. It's cool: I'm relearning what it feels like to FEEL big time. Not saying it's a breeze, but it's going to be fine. Feeling is good. Sometimes hard, but still good. I'm much stronger now. I can handle it now. I couldn't before, but now I can. I think it has a lot to do with finally learning what 'happy' actually feels like and hanging onto it. And hey, if I find I can't deal and sharp objects start looking pretty again, I have my reminder tattoo and I can run to the doctor begging for scripts. I'm REALLY hyper-vigilant about suicidal idealizations, don't worry.

The second one is . . . tougher. That one I have no control over - WHAT?! Don't I control EVERYTHING? Guess not.

On August 15, 2008 The Niagaras are ending a run of many, many years which I was fortunate - in the extreme - to have fallen into at exactly the right time for me. My regret is not having known of them longer so that I could have seen them play more, but things happen when they will. Such is life. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to see and hear such an amazingly talented group perform as often as I did. Possibly more often than is strictly on the sane side, but still.... just under three years of seeing them play an average of twice a month (sometimes more! yay! ... sometimes less. boo!) seems like not nearly enough. But when it's time to make a change in life it's time and no amount of whining from outside, or inside, sources can keep it from happening.

Some people tell me I should stay on the Zoloft, but I know it's time to come off it. I'm sure some people tell the Niagaras not to stop performing together, but they know it's time.

I've become very attached to Niagaras songs - there are always a minimum of 3 on my iPod at any given time. They come running with me because an awful lot of Niagaras' songs have just the right beats per minute for running. (Yeah. That's why. Sure.) There are songs I've never heard live because they just don't play 'em any more. So now I guess I never will hear them live - Charitable, For Some Reason Leah or Train of Thought anyone? No? FINE. Be that way.

There are Niagaras' songs that piss me off, simply because they contain lines that I find heart-clutchingly perfect not only in terms of capturing themes of the human condition but also in terms of clever and evocative poetry and I'm envious, jealous, and a little angry at myself because I would never have thought to have written such things - and I wish like hell I could.

So I'm sad that there will be an end to this band which I have come to feel so proprietary about while at the same time magnanimous (and a little pushy) about sharing with everyone I know. I'm sure some of my friends will be happy not to have my 'come with me - c'mon, c'mon, c'mon The Niagaras 10pm (sharp)' emails because of my not so subtle and tenacious digs about the fact that they should be able to stay up past midnight on a FRIDAY night once in a while and come with me to see this band that makes me so happy. Of course, when they could or when they were in town they did come - but nothing's ever enough for me. I'm greedy and impatient like that.

You know that part in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy first begins her walk along the yellow brick road? You know that part in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy first begins her walk along the yellow brick road? It always irked me that she started from the absolute center of the spiral and followed that damned thing when she could have simply stepped off and gone directly to the part that went straight and just gotten on with it! It seemed so pointless and time consuming to walk that little spiral of yellow bricks, singing with the Munchkins and that kooky Glinda, and yet... the truth I've come to learn at this stage in my life is that you really can't skip over the spiral. You've got to start at the beginning and follow along, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow the yellow brick road, as it were. There aren't short-cuts, everything is a process and sometimes you get to the Emerald City and things change. A lot. I have always maintained that change is good. To remain the same is to become stagnant. And so, though it makes me nervous (the Zoloft) and a bit sad (the Niagaras) I know in my heart that change is good - and only good will come of it. It's time.

I know I'm greedy in that I wish, WISH, WISH The Niagaras would always be. Would always be playing someplace I could get to within a reasonable amount of time so that I wouldn't have to wait and pine for too long for my 'happy' fix. Selfish, I know. And patience is NOT one of my many, many virtues. A-hem. But we all have to do the things we have to do, when we have to do them. These Niagaras boys are no different. It's a gut feeling. It's a knowing that this is the path. To fight against it is to fight the tides. You'll lose.

People leave, new people come, the world turns and we go on. If we are brave enough and wise enough to flow with that change, what wonders might we find?
The Niagaras final show will be at The National Underground 158 East Houston, between Allan and Houston, NYC 10PM (sharp) More info here

After that the always wonderful Robert Whaley will be performing with his new band Comic Tales of Tragic Heartbreak. Of course I've seen them - what a silly question. Of course they're fabulous - don't be dense. It's a different sort of vibe, more soulful abd deeo but still warm and welcoming and yes, funny too. And yes, I'm still envious of the lyrics here too. I'm just green with it. Oh well. More info here


whimsical brainpan said...


You'll do great. I know this because you are strong.

Good luck weaning off the Zoloft.

I'm so sorry to hear about the Niagaras. I know how much they mean to you.

Bella said...

Awww, the end of an era. I'm so sad for you about The Niagaras.

Still, as you mentioned, who knows what other marvelous things you've yet to discover?

BetteJo said...

I agree, change is good. It can be tough, but it's good.

I can't wean off the meds tho, when I have tried I feel this creeping anger and hopelessness slither back in. So good luck to you with that - I really hope that's what is right for you!

Sorry about the music. It can be such a big part of people's lives!

Zoloft Prescription Medication said...

My name is Thomas Kane and i would like to show you my personal experience with Zoloft.

I am 57 years old. Have been on Zocor for 3 months now. My experience is that there is a minimal dose required to be effective, and that there is a maximum dose above which the effectiveness wears off. At the proper dose, the effect is darned near magic. Whoever said that the generic is not as good as the real Zoloft is exactly right. There is a profound difference, and it's not made up by increasing the dose. The drug acts very quickly, and the loss of sexual desire is almost immediate. I haven't gained weight yet, but I can see how it would be possible. I have a yearning for donuts and recommend an aggressive program. Also, the combination with alcohol is out.

I have experienced some of these side effects -
difficulty maintaining a quality diet; difficulty getting up in the morning

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Thomas Kane