and after I…wipe away the tears

Someone once told me a story, about these little jars…glass jars with corked tops..that women would use to collect their tears in while their loves were away at sea or at war or on a journey.

Tears are heavy. Tears are symbolic. Tears are the mind, body, and soul’s way to express what can’t be said. Pure emotion and love in a tiny glass vase, worn around the neck, tapping close to the heart as a battle is won, a discovery is made, a destiny reached.
The tiny jars are overflowing today. 18 months of pure emotion and love are pouring out of me with abandon. I can feel.
So here I am, exactly one week into Paxil withdrawal, filling up millions of imagined tear jars. They cover my counters and my shelves and my floor. They tink, tink, tink, as I clear room to make my way through this week.
They are all labeled. One for loves lost. One for friends found. One for coffee spilled. One for the laundry I must fold. One for things I should have done. One for people I never met. One for the stain on my rug. One for the baby books I should have kept. One for the coat I’m glad I bought. One for the game I should have won. One for the shampoo I ran out of. One for the socks I can’t match. One for babies I did not have. One for the men I love. One for the women I adore. One for the garden I need to tend.
The jars are clinking and cluttering my mind as I shake off the cobwebs. Tears have never come easy to me. Tears have never been a release. Tears were always messy, intense, and weak.
A river release is underway and I’m letting it flow through my life freely. It’s a temporary river, this I know. A few more days, maybe a week, and the seasonal stream will be gone.

I don’t fear these tears. I don’t have any ill will toward the jars collecting. I’m laughing and pouting my way through this chemical chaos, and I have no doubt I’ll emerge to sweep those tiny jars off my counters and tables with a crash…maybe saving a few to remind me where I was-but not before defiantly crunching them into the ground.


  1. I can’t even begin to imagine what you’re wading through right now. But it sounds like you’re doing it with your trademark spunk and candor. Rage against the machine, my friend.

    (Did I actually just write that?)

  2. Lets them all out and then let them out some more. Hang in there, sweetie. You have very good friends to lean on.

  3. What an absolutely beautiful post, Erin. Let it out.

  4. Jon Pinion says:

    No kidding, if you’re going to write like that, you should go through withdrawal more often. Work up a good sweat, take a hot shower, make a nice martini:)

  5. Here today via Karen but I’ve been a fan of yours for a long time anyway. I’m so sorry you are going through this. I think you are an amazing woman, writer, mom, wife, friend. I’ve never had to withdraw from Paxil but I did go cold turkey on some other anti-depressants and I remember well the pain and anguish. Just wanted you to know I’ll be here listening.

  6. I’ll be thinking of you, Erin! I know what a mess it is to go cold turkey off these meds. Not only are you crying, but I’m sure you’re feeling the “fuzziness” that comes with the withdrawl. I applaud you, though, because after 5 years I’m still not ready to let my crutch go completely.

  7. Coincidentally, I just blogged my own chaos, and mentioned you. And when I clicked my very link to get to you, I found this. And I’m crying. And it’s good. And the chain we’ve created can’t be broken.

    We’ll get there. All of us. All women who have cried understand, and we’ll get there.

  8. Step by step, day by day – it *will* get better.

    I’m in awe of the imagery you’re able to conjure up while going through all that. Nicely done.

  9. Lovely imagery. Save a few of those jars as reminders. No need to shatter them all when it’s over.

  10. W.O.W.

    That was an amazing and…just amazing….post.


    Still thinking and sending happy thoughts your way

  11. Oh amiga mia how hard it must be but I applaud you for embracing the tears!

    I, a Piscean, have no trouble with tears… the trouble is the lack of control though with time I have learned to release the pent up emotions with the tears and, in a matter of minutes, go back to business as usual…

    I am happy for you, my friend, for to release is to invite health and happiness in and if anyone deserves that to infinity and beyond (cheesy, I KNOW, but I AM a mom! 😉 ) it is you…

    Muchos besos amiga mia and see you soon!


  12. I love this heartfelt post Erin. You’re going to make it out of this just fine.

  13. Repeat after me: IT WILL NOT LAST FOREVER.

    You can do this!!

  14. I think you’re probably a tiny bit better right now than when you wrote this earlier – time passes with each tear, and you trade them both for better tomorrows.

    You know I love you.
    I don’t want to inundate you, but do write if you need to talk.

  15. I’m here. Been behind on reading blogs and am catching up. You know how to hunt me down and I fully expect you to if needed. Hang in there. I hope they are titrating you!

  16. Let it all out. I’m right there with you, although for me it’s the post-partum hormone dump sending me into fits of tears over anything and everything. I forgot how much this part sucks. Hang in there, and it’ll be over soon.

  17. Hey coz, I’m so proud of you. Thinking of you today.

  18. canoe chick says:

    I love to cry. It has always made me feel so much better to let out all that. However, I could never hope to write so beautifully about it! That is why YOU.ARE.THE.QUEEN. And why we all love you so much.

    ps. apparently i am back?? after rejecting every comment i tried to make for the last few weeks, i am in again….weird…

  19. you WILL be okay. and i think you know it too. this was beautifully written.

  20. *hugs*. What a beautiful analogy for the tough times you’re going through!

  21. I just bought this t-shirt because I was all weepy from your post.

    And you’re raising a supercute cheerleader, although I’m sure we both hope she becomes an astrophysicist.

  22. I tried posting this last week but it wouldn’t let me. I quit taking Zoloft last month after being on it for over a year. No weening or tapering doses or even asking the doctor.

    I am just now getting over the overwhelming emotions. I wasn’t sad so much as just “emotional”. I swear I cried about 10 times a day over nothing. It could just be a song that would make me tear up or a picture in a freakin’ magazine. It’s like I just couldn’t control myself. I was able to hide it most times, but my wife caught me a few times and it was hard to convince her that nothing was wrong.

    On the bright side, since quitting taking it, I only sleep 3-4 hours a night but damn I have a lot of energy. I am much more productive.

    I am hoping you are coming out of that phase by now. I know….it REALLY SUCKS.

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