If you’re anything like me you’re in your late 20s with a patchy beard, a dislike of wearing shoes you have to tie the laces of, a growing affinity towards clothing that makes you feel comfortable as opposed to stylish and last but not least a seething, gnawing jadedness and mistrust of the world and all the shitty people that despite never having met, you just get that feeling they’d suck to know.
The last year of my life has been marked by a relative paranoia of the outside world followed closely by a depression that things were never going to change. There was the feeling that every person besides myself, and my immediate family had the express intention of blocking my shots, slamming doors in my face and finding any and every opportunity to find something wrong with me and criticize it openly, or just out of earshot.
In a few words, it was me against the world, and although I never gave up and broke down, except for one vaguely suicidal over-sharing Facebook status on my part. Still I woke every day and fought until I went to bed at 7:30 pm because I just couldn’t fucking take any more and my only respite was sleep and the land of dreams.
That said, during that time I employed every tactic I had ever come across to combat my dissatisfaction from therapy to cognitive behavioral techniques to positive affirmations and finally, gasp, to praying to a god I was pretty sure didn’t even exist.
Still, talking and analyzing and exploring moods can only do so much when you have a chronic illness of the mind.
I’ve read other articles bashing prescription brain drugs here as having serious and scary side effects, anywhere from increased depression to weird sleepwalking to weight gain to suicidal tendencies. That’s all fine and good, but in truth, psychopharmacology is the only thing that’s really ever worked for me.
Mental health providers are divided on their approaches to treating serious mental conditions, and to be honest the whole thing really is a sort of crap shoot, hell they don’t even have hard methods to diagnose it, aside from a series of questionnaires and initial consultations.
All I know is that I’ll do anything not to feel shitty, paranoid and delusional and if that includes taking pills that have been to shown to reduce the life expectancy of someone talking them by 20 or 30 years, I’m doing it.
Honestly, I’ve been ready to go to the great beyond since my first major episode. It’d be a hell of a lot easier not to have to feel things and to just put an end to it. Mental illness is a tough mother to deal with every day.
I can remember back when I was in the hospital among seven or eight other severely delusional people and they all wanted to know why I willingly took my pills while they all chose to spit them out.
I hesitate to say I was smarter or more clear headed than them but I had come to the distinct realization that by taking my pills, going to daily therapy and doing the act the doctors expected of me, I would only get out of that hell hole sooner.
The thing is, I also realized that I felt better when I took the pills and the thoughts that scared the hell out of me, even if just a little, seemed to quiet down.
For anyone that’s been on the other side of the mental illness fence, sleepwalking and a little weight gain are puny compared to the prospect of not feeling straight out of your fucking mind, ready to rip out your fucking hair every minute of every hour of every day.
The funny thing about antipsychotics is that they lower the amount of dopamine and seratonin in your brain. So if you are a normally mentally functioning person that somehow has the pleasure of taking them, of course you’re gonna have a shitty time.
For us who have way too much of these feel good chemicals in our brain the effects of antipsychotics are only going to help. After all, everything in moderation right?
Now that I’ve said all that, I’ll get to the part of the article that you all came here for, how to feel good.
Truth is, I don’t know.
I do know that I felt pretty good last night after an intimate dinner with some old friends that I haven’t seen in a while. We ate, and discussed things in comfortable chairs in front of a fire.
There was a general feeling that, for once, in however long, I was doing it right. I was being accepted by these people, and I felt a way I haven’t felt in a long time, relaxed, maybe even happy.
That, and I’ve been making progress with a certain girl, which after years of rejection and missteps on my part on the path towards potential relationships, feels really fucking good. She may even like me, which is always a plus.
So maybe that’s the answer, good friends, good food, a fire, and the potential of love, and if you’re in the mental illness camp like me, some good meds may help too.
After all, to feel relaxed and happy is pretty much all we can ask for right?