Further to my last posting… a friend pointed me in the direction of the following. It’s really quite good. And so affirming for someone like me. I’m not alone. Other people feel this way too.
I’ve long held that depression and other “mental health issues” are not really illnesses. What they are is really just a sign that my brain is constructed in a way that doesn’t work so well in the society around me. To say I’m not a morning person is to completely under-report my sleeping patterns. I don’t function until at least 11am. I cannot fall asleep until after 2am. I get tired, cranky and stupid at about 3pm.
My genetic make up does not fit the 9 to 5 work week. So, I’m told that this must mean I’m ill and need some sort of chemical to get me functioning “properly”. And by “properly”, those helpful people mean “like us.” Because, if you’re not like them, clearly there’s something terribly wrong with you.
We don’t all learn the same way. We don’t all like the same kind of food. We don’t all fit a size 12 shoe. Does this mean people with size 9 shoes should be taking some sort of growth hormone to fit those water skis? Pfizer would like us to think so.
That being said, I’m quite grateful for the antidepressants that I take. They have made life a little easier. But, really, I would be nowhere without my weekly trips to my psychiatrist. He’s helped me tease apart the thought patterns and defensive strategies that developed as I grew up. I knew very early in the process – even before I was “diagnosed” – that I had developed coping strategies as a child that no longer worked in for me as an adult. In fact, they got in the way. But they were go-to evasive maneuvers and I had nothing else that worked. So, my weekly check-ins help me identify those coping strategies for what they are and what they were meant to defend against, and then start to find new ways of dealing with the problems that life presents. And life – no matter whose life it is – presents problems.
But the introvertion and sleep patterns and shoe size and particular sensitivities are always going to be there. They are me. They are what make me different from you. Yes, I could take more medication that would make me more like…
Bill Murray in “Stripes” – I’ve done it… good god it’s exhausting! – just like I could go under the knife and make my chin more like Kirk or Michael Douglas, but…
For instance. Before I started taking meds, I wrote songs. Lots of them. At least two a week. They weren’t fantastic. A few of the were, but the point is this. I can’t do it anymore. I used to walk down the street, pick up rythm, invent a tune that rode along with the rythm and then… words would come, and I could tell stories like that. Well, it just doesn’t happen any more. Once in a while, I can do it, but it’s a whole lot more work now. I’m convinced that the medication is, to a large extent, to blame. But it’s a trade-off I’m willing to live with – for now.
So, check out the link below. It’s well written. And informative! Hey… It Tastes Good And – It’s Good For You!