You can also hear me read this story on: Episode #50 of R.B. Wood’s “The Word Count” podcast.
This milestone episode asked that we use the word FIFTY in our story and provide a photo with FIFTY in the image. The above was mine … a tongue-in-cheek snapshot of being 50 and single.
Hope you enjoy the story!
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The year I turned fifty saw me single again after I buried my husband. Thomas had been sick for some time. Still, when he died … I almost expected the heavens to open up or trumpets to play, but nothing happened. There was no fanfare. It was like any other day, only the world was now less one wealthy, abusive man.
I sat with a tissue in hand at my doctor’s office, my first visit since Thomas’s funeral.
“It’s natural to want to withdraw, Kadin,” Dr. Bill Wood said to me. “You were married for over ten years. That’s a long time to be with someone.”
I dabbed my cheeks while sniffling, took a breath. “Thomas was not in good health … still … sixty-five is too young to die.” Dr. Wood looked at me with sad eyes and a thin-lipped smile. He pitied me, but that was okay. I wanted him to pity me.
“It’s not going to be easy,” he said. “You may feel lost for the next little while, but please don’t let this set you back. You’ve come so far, Kadin.”
I nodded slowly, curled in my lips to stifle a whimper. The truth was I wasn’t lost, but my shrink didn’t need to know that. If anything, I was relieved. Dr. Wood was partially right though. Losing Thomas was like losing a limb, only not my limb. Thomas’s death had freed me from his hands around my neck—a fear that used to wake me up at nights gasping from a tightening in my throat. Now, I was able to breathe again.
At the insistence of my good friend, Cameron, I had started seeing Dr. Wood a year ago for my anxiety. It was the best thing I ever did. It gave me somewhere to go every Tuesday and Thursday morning. After only our second meeting, Dr. Wood wrote me a prescription for anti-depressants, which I promptly filled. Eventually, our twice-weekly routine helped put my life in perspective. It gave me a purpose.
Within six months of seeing the good doctor, I had a drawer full of pill bottles. He had changed the prescription several times at my urging, each time increasing the strength of the dose. He even combined a couple of different meds—Celexa, Prozac, Zoloft, Wellbutrin. I had them all, but I needed something else. I complained of side effects like nausea and loss of concentration. He tried hard to get me the right combination of meds, but remained perplexed that I wasn’t getting better. What clinched it was when I told him my husband did not like my decreasing sex drive from the drugs. That’s when he prescribed Sinequan.
“I’m very surprised you’re doing so well on this new medication, Kadin. I hardly ever prescribe Sinequan anymore,” he had said.
“Oh, why is that?” I had infused an innocent lilt into my voice, something I did often when I spoke to him.
“It’s one of the oldest anti-depressants,” he said in his usual professorial tone. “It has more side effects than the newer ones, but you seem to be faring well with it. No heart palpitations or dizziness?”
“None, whatsoever, doctor. I feel better than I have in a long time.”
That was three months ago when Thomas was still alive.
How time flies.
You see, I know a few things about drugs, but I never spoke about it to Dr. Wood. Sinequan, which he prescribed, is not recommended for someone with a heart problem. I didn’t have a heart problem, but I also never took it. Actually, I never took any of the drugs he prescribed, but I filled them because I wanted him to keep renewing my prescription.
In meeting Dr. Wood, I found the perfect solution to relieve the source of my anxiety.
Poor Thomas, born with a heart murmur, which in itself wasn’t dangerous, but he did have an underlying heart problem, which he neglected. Stress from his business, a bad diet, and lack of exercise made him a walking heart attack. Only … knowing how stubborn a man he was, he could’ve easily been walking another ten, maybe twenty years. I couldn’t wait for that, but I could wait for a year under the guise of needing therapy. I could wait for Thomas to ingest the pills I crushed and fed into his meals, and I definitely could wait when I saw the effects of the drugs working on him.
I was turning fifty. It was time for me to start the second half of my life, and I really didn’t want Thomas as my husband anymore.
Luckily for me, the drugs helped.
;) If you have read my book, Stranger at Sunset with Dr. Kate Hampton, then the above story may have a twisted and familiar feel to it. ;)
As I work on A Fragile Truce, the next book with the good doctor, I’d recommend you take a moment and add your name to my mailing list. I’ll be offering specials and freebies targeted to those on the list.
As always, my sincere thanks for reading, and comments and feedback are always welcome.