Note to self: Zoloft and gin cocktail, bad mix. Looking back over a course of weeks, I have distinguished a pattern. The days following my consumption of more than one glass of wine (etc.) it is as though I hadn’t taken the medication at all. A sort of cancellation comes into play, and I have deduced (just now) that the pleasure of that extra drink (or two) is nullified by my inability to be a loving human being the next day. As if being a loving human being isn’t hard enough.
I’ve written before about why I’m on medication for PMDD. I become deeply melancholic. Then I become reactive and mean. I isolate myself; I push people away with my words. Subsequently, I am filled with regret for what I’ve done, and I cry myself out. Not a regenerative experience.
Yesterday being Christmas, I imbibed freely, prompting my most recent episode and the subsequent revelation that my meds don’t work when I do. As I entered into the stomping off/slamming doors/isolating myself phase of things, Jonah came into my twisted, dark world.
“Mom, can I help you?”
“Mom, I love you.”
I walked into the bathroom and slammed the door. (It pains me to say I really did that.) When I emerged, Jonah—who had been waiting in his room—came right back, being the persistent kind of miracle that he is. He stood in the doorway and watched me cry.
“Why are you sad?”
“Because I was mean,” I half whispered, half squeaked.
“Yes. You were.”
That’s all he said; then he very intently rolled off a square of toilet paper.
“One of your tears fell on the floor. I am wiping it up.”
He watched me cry awhile longer.
“Can I help you?” he asked again.
I took him by the shoulder and walked to my room. I curled up on the bed. He lay down next to me, took one of my arms and wrapped it around himself. From time to time he would ask,
“Can I wipe that spot off your face?”
Gabriel eventually wandered in playing his favorite Snail Bob game on the iPad and situated himself on the bed too. We three lay there for at least ten minutes. I still felt sad, but also blessed and cared for.
I told Jonah he would make a good boyfriend when he grew up.
“Yes. I will do that,” he returned.
When I recounted these events to John, he answered, “It is impossible to be mad at Jonah. He is good.” Which is true. There is a goodness in him that approaches transcendence. An earnest love, free of guile.
Which is why I take the medication, so I don’t screw him up with my neurosis. Which is why I’m back to a small glass of a little something instead of my fill—which, in my very particular chemical equation, surpasses excess.
By the way, “my Jonah” (as G would say) is autistic. And ain’t nobody gonna tell me he is lacking in the least. Empathetically or otherwise.