Spread erratically over the course of roughly 3 years, I was on and off psych meds (anti-depressants, anti-anxiety) to which I had extremely bad reactions. Opposite reactions, actually. The anti-anxiety ones made me anxious at best, and caused panic attacks at worst. The anti-depressants caused me to be more depressed at best, suicidal at worst. As it turns out, I should never have been prescribed these in the first place. And I definitely should not have been on variants of them for 3 years.
They effected my behavior in negative ways, making what would be normal, internal and controllable reactions to the stimuli of the world, into broad, outward reactions. And going through a scary period in my life when I was on my own for the first time in, like, ever…alone in the world and trying to meet new people, as well as suddenly dealing with a hostile economy…these were not good times for those kind of reactions.
I did the best I could under the circumstances, but bad times and a lot of bad people being involved in my life at this time resulted in a lot of bad choices and situations that have adversely affected my life (and still do to this day). My finances and career are totaled, my reputation in tarnished, and I still suffer from the stigma this country foists upon those that have gone through bad times. There are still those who would shit on me at any chance, whether it be gossip or worse. And while that is proof those people are either misinformed or just crappy humans…well, that still sucks at times.
It’s hard not to think about the last 6 years and not get sad. It’s also hard not to get angry about those times. It’s hard not to beat myself up…for my own failings and even for things that I had no say in. It’s hard not to be a bit paranoid about people still in my world and new people I encounter (trusting people Is extremely difficult for me nowadays). And it’s hard to have expectations for the future that aren’t tainted by bad times from years back.
But I do it anyway. I push through the emotional pain, the physical pain and the mounds of stupid I have to deal with just to function at a basic level. And I do that each and everyday. Knowing there will always be detractors and people that’ll love to see me hurt and fail. I try to do it with a smile and a joke at every turn. I focus on the (very few) people who truly matter to me and that have been there in some supportive fashion (whether we always get a long or not). I focus on ways to make myself happy and deal with my “new normals,” which seem to change rather fluidly. And I focus on being honest with myself and the world around me, even when truth is painful. Because the only way you can be truly self-aware is by bathing in truth.
But do you know where I get most of my strength to deal? From the knowledge that, even with all of the things, people, events and other roadblocks I have run into full-tilt, I have endured. Not without assistance and not without cost, but still, I have endured. I’ve survived what many people could not. Knowing that I have that ability is cause enough to fight more. To care about the world. To cherish my friends and loved ones. And to continue joking and laughing.
What I’m getting at, I guess, is: The Dude Abides
Now go get me a white russian.