Thursday, January 13, 2005


  • Image courtesy of

  • Yesterday was the big appointment with the psychiatrist. I had picked up on the phone that Dr. Webb was African-American. That really does not matter to me except that I kind of thought, well, good for her, hope she is doing well. What I had not picked up on was that she was stunningly beautiful. So much so that in fact I became nervous and tongue tied like an adolescent! That was silly and I felt very self conscious for a few seconds. I don't know why I was so surprised, hell, psychiatrists probably come in all shapes, sizes and colors. So, I guess one of them had to be a very attractive black woman. I simply did not expect to see that in Dallas I suppose.

    There is actually a reason for my surprise there. My mother was a private practice psychologist in the Dallas area for many years and she encountered a distressing amount of sexism in Texas. My mother dealt with judges who ignored her recommendations and told her to "quiet down, little lady." Mom was a fairly tall white woman. I can only imagine that Dr. Webb encounters the same attitudes amplified because of race as well as gender. So, I am surprised she would practice here, there are certainly more welcoming areas of the country.

    She struck me as a very professional, competent person. She did not immediately change my antidepressants. During our talk Dr. Webb picked up on the fact that I had just gone through a very situational depression (Jim's death) and that I had changed the dosage of the wellbutrin (the antidepressant I take) at the behest of my primary care physician about a month ago. Dr. Webb felt that the changed dosage had not had enough time to really be accurately evaluated with relation to how effectively it improved my depression. So, we have a follow up appointment next week.

    One final advantage to having an African-American psychiatrist: when I talk about being depressed by the reelection of Bush, she understands where I'm coming from. A white male psychiatrist from Dallas might have assumed that was a symptom of psychotic thinking and consequently perscribed heavy anti-psychotic medications. Dr. Webb was too professional to state her thoughts about the reelection, but her face said it all.

    My sponsor in the 12 step program I work, N., will be meeting with me next week to finish Step Three. If I bust my ass between now and then, I may have a completed Step Four for her. That would be nice. Step Four is always the big one, although it is not nearly as hard as some people make it out to be. It is just that it is a large project to do, that is all.

    I have been thinking a lot about politics and my blog. Before he died, Jim told me:
    Sometimes the Andy I read on his blog, I don't know who that Andy is. He isn't the Andy I love. You got to stop tearing yourself down. It does you no good, it does your wife no good and it's no good for the baby. That political stuff, the work you do, it's good. But do what you can and let go of it. Just let go. You don't need to carry that crap and that anger around with you. It's like voluntary simplicity in your mind, just let go of what you don't use. Keep doing what you do, but when you are done, let go.

    Lately I have felt as though my relationship with my friend, El Capitan has seemed strained and I think my militancy is part of the reason. That's not what I want to do or what I want to be.

    I have no intention of changing my views, but perhaps I should really look at what is important in my life. El Capitan is important to me. He is one hell of a guy, in a gun nut sort of way. I really like him, even when I completely disagree with him. That friendship is more important than the disagreement.

    Jim felt that saying that to me was so important that he sat up in his hospital bed, grabbed my hand and said all of that. At the end he was having a lot of trouble speaking, so if it didn't mean a great deal to him, he didn't say it. I'm paying attention.
    I really am. Do what I can, then let go. Sounds kind of like:

    Goddess, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Blessed Be.