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Entry date: 11-19-2022 - Better Living through Chemistry (maybe) - Letters to my Friends

Dear Friends,

On Thursday I wrote about my trials and tribulations with imposter syndrome. It is such a terrible feeling to think of ourselves as a fraud, even when you know you are not. I am happy to share that it has eased up a lot over the past couple of days. A few things, like getting some wins in the classroom, seeing Liam enjoying the hell out of himself on stage at his school, and playing a loud show with my friends have helped me turn the corner this time and I am grateful.

It is the kind of feeling that makes you want to crawl out of your own skin. I have not experienced the type of depression that people I love deal with, but I would imagine that it must be somewhat similar. Maybe these feelings are neighbors in some hellish subdivision of the psyche.

I felt the weight lift a lot on Thursday and it has made all the difference in the world. I type this with a lighter heart and a hopeful mind. I’ve been thinking about what I wrote for Thursday a lot and in some ways, it has helped and in other ways, it doesn’t sit well. More than anything, though, I hope that it helps other people who have felt in similar ways.

Feeling good is a good thing, right? I choose it whenever I can, but sometimes the darker side wins. Sometimes I allow myself to spin out on a thought and the frustration and anger can become deafening in my own ears. All I want to do is lash out. I hate that feeling and even more so, I hate when it takes the lead in my head and heart.

I’m glad that I I am not the type to sabotage others or bring them down to the level I am feeling most of the time. I usually keep it to myself and stew on it inside. Sometimes, though, I do take it out on others. I am not proud of writing this: my kids and my wife have suffered the brunt of my frustration far too many times. I can be a real asshole, sometimes, and my frustration level often tempers my expectations to the point of being unrealistic. It doesn’t happen very often anymore, but I can be a total dick.

On a positive note, I have learned how to avoid letting my own personal mess spill onto the people I love over the past decade. It’s been a tough road, but also a path of learning, redemption, and forgiveness. I am learning now to forgive myself, too, and that has been key to being able to deal with all of the tough parts of life a lot easier.

Years ago, I went through a tough time and turned to Lexapro for some help. It helped me a lot and aside from the horrible fucking side effects, I would recommend it (or something like it) to those who feel like their chemistry is out of balance. Obviously, I didn’t self-diagnose or start buying pills on the street. I went to a cool doc who helped me a lot.

I am a big fan of going to a counselor/therapist. Talking to people who are not involved in a situation or who can look at your life objectively is a great and freeing thing. Between the therapy and the Lexapro, I dealt with some issues that I had never really been able to deal with on my own in a healthy way.

Even though I took a very low dose of the Lexapro, the side effects were significant. It’s very true that these types of medications dull your ability to feel the highs and lows that are part of life. I often felt that I was just sort of cruising down the middle of the emotional road. For the year or so that I took it, I worked on learning to recognize the signs that I was beginning to spin a bit and it helped me to avoid dwelling on the negativity so much.

Eventually I even cut my already low dose in half and started to wean myself off it. This was such a welcome thing. One of the side effects was a dull ache in my neck that just seemed to always be there. Another was that I had a very hard time enjoying sex. Lexapro killed the highs and lows, especially the ones coming from downstairs.

There were also withdrawals from getting off it, too. For about three weeks I had a terrible headache and just weird feelings all through the body. They wore off, though, and I haven’t felt like I needed it since. Between a good counselor and some effective chemistry, I was able to get a bit more control over my emotions.

I can only imagine that some of you who read this might be surprised that I struggle with these types of things, but I do. I will get better at asking for help and sharing more about myself. I’ve been thinking a lot about how I got to this place as an adult where I didn’t share much with the people I am closest to in this life. It’s hard to say, really.

I’m learning to trust more, too. This is key. I trust you, dear reader, with my soul it seems. I am baring it to you and it feels good. I know that many of you have done the same with me over the years and for that, I am forever in your debt.

Heavy stuff for a Saturday. Heavy stuff for any day, really, but if there is anything I can share that might help you know you are not alone or that asking for help is okay, I will always be happy to do it. I’m lucky in so many ways and I want to acknowledge it. I appreciate having people in my life that just want to help. Rhondi is my rock. My dad and stepmom have been in our corner so much ...Doug… so many friends. You know who you are, I hope. Feeling lucky is a good thing.

See you tomorrow.

I took half of a ten.

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