Be happy

I just took my last prednisone that I was prescribed in order to try to break up my current cycle of migraines, and what’s more interesting than hearing about someone’s latest round of meds?

Anyway, maybe a month ago, the doctor also put me back on Topamax for migraine, June says, continuing her riveting diatribe on medication, and our goal was to slowly increase my dosage to a fairly high amount. But as of late, because of said increase in migraines, we upped it more rapidly than planned, and let me tell you. Ever since some point last week, I’ve been feeling what you might call a tad blue. Maybe a tinge under the weather.

I was not keeping my sunny side up.

To put it mildly. Good lord, I’ve been Sylvia Plath without the smooth hair.

Two years ago right at this time, Ned and I broke up, and I moved for six weeks into my friend Kayeeee’s place. She was in Connecticut, and very kindly offered me her house while she was gone. My idea was that I would take those six weeks to begin to sort of heal, to regroup, to figure out what went wrong. I decided I’d work out every day to get my endorphins going, and write in my journal, and never use “journal” as a verb the same way I’d never use “orgasm” as a verb, and do my best to get through those first six terrible weeks.

Of course, I spent those six weeks eating fish sticks and watching Eternal Sunshine till tears fell in my ears every night, and also got immediately on OK Cupid in the hopes that I’d meet someone else right away so I could stop Feeling Things.

You all know how that went. Hey, any relationship ever since.

But I DID meet someone. I met my friend Mark. He lives in Florida. In my extremely healthy attempts to not have to feel bad, I cast a wide net on OK Cupid. That site lets you tell it how many miles away you’d be willing to go to meet someone. I believe at that time I set my availability parameters to “anywhere.” Because, hey, dude in Rome. There’s real possibility here.

My friend Mark, and I’m using his real name and maybe I should change his name to protect the innocent.

…My friend Hamlet, and wow, Random Name Generator, was from Florida, which I’ve already said, and way to move the story along, June. “I know you’re in North Carolina, and we’ll never meet, but your profile is great,” he wrote. So I read his profile, and right then I knew. He was our people. He’s hilarious. You would love him.

And so a friendship was born. We talk on the phone old school, the way Romeo and Juliet did. We forward each other hopeless profiles of people who write us (Love2PutItInU wrote me and I STAMPEDED to text that nice gentlemanly message to Hamlet). I’ve heard about his romances he’s had there, I bothered him relentlessly during the hurricane (because who doesn’t want to get a link to Ridin’ the Storm Out by REO Speedwagon during a hurricane?), and he’s had to hear about my hair and also Edsel, and while I’ve had ZERO LEG via OK Cupid these last two years, I did get me a Hamlet, and I cannot complain about that.

The point of my story, here, is that he happened to call me Saturday. “Hey, how you doing?” he asked, and I burst into tears.

“I feel I may be in a lull,” I said.

“Be happy,” he told me. His daughter, when she was little, used to say that whenever things in life were terse. She thought it might just kind of cure everything, those words: lighten the mood, get her out of trouble, whatever. Be happy. It was so ridiculous that it did kind of make me laugh.

We talked awhile, and agreed I should leave the house, and of course that made me feel better, and then careful readers will recall that a hot young man of color made his move, and who wouldn’t feel better after that?

So, I’m glad I had a Hamlet intervention.

But then yesterday I got all dark tunnel again, and it finally dawned on me: It’s the goddamn Topamax. Any time I’ve taken it, I’m dark-cloud June.

The last time I took it was right after Marvin left. Oh, happy day.

And the time before that was in 2008, and it coincided with my first mammogram, when they called me to say, “We found something very suspicious, and it doesn’t look good, and prepare for the worst” and FOR THREE DAYS I SHOOK ON MY COUCH till my next appointment, when they said, Oh, this is likely nothing, but just in case, come back in six months.

Now, a normal person might, say, put that appointment out of her mind, perhaps, but what I did, because please see above–and by “above” I mean 10+ years of this not blog–and then you tell me if I strike you as a normal person. Because what I did was live under this DAMOCLES SWORD OF DOOM for six months, Googling and Web MD-ing until Marvin no longer allowed it, and then obsessing and so on, and in retrospect, I think part of my days of dark dark black dark doom, over there, were half attributable to the Topamax. I mean, that was a dark dark time of dark. Did I say that already? Have I expressed it was dark? Did I get the point across that it was a total eclipse of the dark?

So, I think I can’t take Topamax. I think it makes me sad. The end.

I’ve left a message for my doctor, she says, not The End-ing, and instead of taking two pills last night, I took one. Usually I take another in the morning, as well, and today I did not. I missed my doctor’s return call last night (he always calls me back during the Edsel walk, and I don’t know why I don’t remember to bring the phone, except I have that dog on two leashes now, plus poop bag, plus squirt bottle, and I’ve got a lot going on, man), so I hope I’m not going off this stuff too fast, but I think I am not wrong about this. Because I already feel slightly less Pit of Despair this morning.

Good gravy. Also, gravy sounds good, because prednisone.

Did I mention what’s more riveting than someone listing off her meds?


June, emerging from her pit of despair


Published by


At one point, I was sort of hot, in a "she's 27 and probably a 7" kind of a way. Now I'm old and have to develop a charming personality. Guess how that's going.

40 thoughts on “Be happy”

  1. June, have you ever tried roll-on lidocaine to help take the edge off the migraines? I just discovered it and it’s DIVINE. Don’t get the kind with menthol/camphor added — just straight up 4% lidocaine. You can find it in the headache aisle, near aspirin-ointment products. Comfortably numb is comfortable.


  2. That Topamax sounds like a nightmare! How can something that’s supposed to ease one symptom come with it’s own, often worse, symptoms? I’m glad you’re feeling less dark today, June. Hope your head is feeling better, too?


  3. I used to take topamax and it made me super dumb. Couldn’t think of words, add, count money–nothing. I moved to trokendi which is basically the same but a time release or something like that. Any chance that might work?
    I don’t know if it affects all side affects the same. So it might not help with sadness. I didn’t get that, but probably because I’m already on a high dose of something else for that!


  4. JOOOOOOOOOOOOB! That is all. I just wanted you to know I’m back to reading the bl-shit,website. I had company the past week and a half and couldn’t check in. I know nobody noticed but you know how I always like my voice to be heard. JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOB! Glad you are feeling a little less bluesy. JOOOOOOOOOOOB! Okay, now I gotta go back and catch up. JOOB!


  5. i’ve started monitoring my ‘mood’ daily. the app is called ‘daylio’. i’m trying to figure out if my dark days cycle in a particular manner. the last journey into doom was really, really bad.

    i’m glad you figured it out.


  6. In studies done by the drug manufacturer of Topamax, 3-9% of participants experienced depression. Case reports in other journals corroborate this. (I work at a hospital, but am not a nurse, doctor, etc. Standard disclaimers apply.)


  7. When my daughter was little and learned what it meant to “have the blues”, she immediately wanted to know its counterparts, but I told her there really weren’t any. She solved that herself! If she had a good day, she’d tell us she “had the pinks”.
    June, you are very perceptive to pick up what that medicine was throwing down. I’m not sure I would have pieced it together. All I’ve ever heard about Topomax is that it reduces appetite, thus people slim down big time. Didn’t know about it reducing your appetite for LIFE, so thanks for telling me (us) about it! I hope you have the pinks soon.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Topamax and his lil generic friend Zonagram (?) are pure evil. Everyone I know who has taken them has had severe mood changes (quicker to anger, overwhelming sadness, etc.). (Also, one of the times you took Topa and your writing, um, changed…I think I was a twit/channeled my over-bearing auntie and emailed you a “umm, so hey, Topa may be making you sad…maybe”. So apologies if I’m being a twit and over stepping again.)

    Also if you’re curious, Topa effects can last long beyond ending the drug. So KBO if you stop and are still blue. Again apologies if I’m twit advicing here. You are smart (in addition to funny as heck) and you don’t need me chiming in unasked for….

    Way to reel in the hotties with your new gaunt bod, cha-cha red top and witty repartee. Hit and run flirting is the best high.


  9. Please be careful with the Topamax. Everyone I know who took it, including me, got super depressed on it. Not advice, just want you to be aware and be careful.

    Also too, the blogsite used to remember me but I’ve had to re-enter my information the past week or so and it’s super annoying. Anyone else having this problem?


  10. Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
    (Don’t worry)
    Ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
    (Be happy)

    I had to listen to Bob Marley’s song after Hamlet’s story about his daughter. Glad you and Hamlet found each other and became friends.


  11. We’ve got a change in the weather here, so I’ve got a “bad head,” as my mother would say. Bad head my butt. Pffftt! A screamer, with nausea and the sleepies. I thought the poontang was what us ladies carried in our nether regions. Am I wrong? Or is it another word for the act of luv. The prow-chick-a-prow. The Deed. It. Which now, thanks to Stephen King, is all messed up. Okay, I’ll go sit in a dark corner now.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Topomax was invented by Satan himself! I thought I was going insane when I (briefly) took it. Hope you feel better soon! My migraines are plaguing me something awful these days, but I try to look at the nausea as a dieting aid.


    1. Really, Vicky in DE? It always makes me eat everything in sight and want to punch everyone, but not suicidal. I actually feel better when I’m on it (mostly because it’s fixing whatever made me feel lousy).


  13. I was so happy to finally get a prescription for my chronic pain that wasn’t an opiate, then I read all these horror stories about how it made people gain massive amounts of weight. So, like you, I’m back to square one. I hope you find a new med that works for you!


  14. Hopefully there will be cheery days ahead–with no migraines either. Sending that wish out in the universe for you.

    Love Hamlet. Awesome not-name.

    Lovely post, lovely June!


  15. So glad you have recognized the cause of the doom over you. I hate it when meds are worse than the disease. I can assure you journal is not a verb in my world. That is something I’ve never done…journal. I think I just did it. So nice you have Hamlet.


  16. Since you’re already a bit prone… could the darkness that September brings so quickly be bothering you as well? I know it starts my SAD and if anything else is going on it’s super easy to just go down the tubes. I hope you and the doc can figure something out, but I’m glad reducing the meds is helping. *fingers cross for no migraines*


  17. I also too have experienced the total eclipse of the dark, so I feel for you.
    Good luck going lukewarm turkey.
    Great advice from Hamlet. If he’s the one who comments every now and then, he IS hilarious.
    And also a hottie.
    Of course I checked him out.


  18. …” I decided I’d work out every day to get my endorphins going, and write in my journal, and never use “journal” as a verb the same way I’d never use “orgasm” as a verb,”
    Hi June! Glad you are feeling better today. I used to work with a very nice lady who used diarrhea as a verb, as in “We got in the car and Eddie just diarrheaed everywhere.”

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Also, am I the only one who reads “Hamlet” and immediately starts singing the Hamlet song from that episode of Gilligan’s Island when they put on a production of Hamlet, and could I say Hamlet one more time?

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Want me to bring you Kleenex and tell you truly awful jokes? Regale you with the deets of my saga as Juror on a Federal Meth Trial and Wow, What a Collection of Jurors That Was? Bring my big floofy dog over for you to hug? (Hugging his soft, furry, fluffy, patient self has gotten me through the last four months) Zip it and go away? Come strew your Topamax across the hardwood floors and tap-dance them into dust? Go find you a hot YMOC?


    1. LaUral, I’m not in a dark place (although I do have bronchitis and a sinus infection and currently hate everyone…..maybe I am in a dark place), so can I hug your big floofy dog? He would make ME feel better, fo’ sho’!


  21. I’ve has fibromyalgia for years. Lady Gaga has tried to make it cool, but it’s all about pain & sorrow, and piling up a mountain of drugs. It’s a hoot trying to figure out which drugs are helping & which are hindering. Since my Dickensian Life kicked in, I’ve decreed a blanket & E! to be the best medicine. At least I’m not Kourtney K. I need to find m’self a Hamlet! Nice notblog June.


  22. Medicine is really funny how it affects people. I was prescribed something to control muscle spasms in my legs that was primarily an anti- depressant and the doom descended hard. When I was rocking back and forth on the couch and crying I knew something was wrong. Oh, and muscle spasms? Did nothing for those. Glad you figured it out!


  23. I’m happy you are happier. It sucks when meds that are supposed to make you feel better actually make you feel worse.


Comments are closed.