From Zoloft to being whale: One man’s story.
While I don’t remember the day it officially, “happened”, for most of my life, I’ve pretty much been an emotional yo yo. Going up and down, bouncing from sorta ok, to full on super motivated, to I’m just waiting to die with each step.
Seven months ago, while on assignment, I had a mental breakdown,
was diagnosed as a high functioning depressive, got prescribed Zoloft, and entered treatment. After getting off the, “pharmaceutical behavioral modification program”, I realized how much life I’d lost to this illness, and decided to do all I could to ensure no one has to do the same.
So I wrote a book, started blogging, and sharing my story.
Now each morning I rise, look at the blurry man in the mirror, and say the following positive affirmation in a strong assertive voice…
IAM capable, confident, creative, and powerful!
Often I do this with my arm raised so I look like Thor minus the flowing locks, good looks, and chiseled abs.
Here revealed for the first time, is a peak at the inner speech I hear back…
No! YOU are not, you’ve never been, cant be. Remember how much money you’ve wasted, all the opportunities frittered away? Heck, you were 35 and still living with your mom! You are a sham…you’re not worthy…And on and on.
Even at 4AM my mind is comforting like 40 grit on a paper cut!
But, like other insidiously critical critics, there is truth in what it says.
I have wasted huge amounts of money.
Shoot, when I was just 16(!) in six months, I blew 23k on…well honestly I can’t even remember, but pictures of me in a bitchin black Camaro, leather MC Hammer pants, and snake skin cowboy boots clearly show I was having a blast!
As for missed opportunities, living through them left me more resilient and capable than I ever dreamed. Now I know opportunities are everywhere.
I know I just need to keep breathing.
Cousin Ned says the best opportunities show up when you are breathing.
Truth is, my mind is fantastic at magnifying embarassments, recounting the “failures”, but let me do great or even marginally ok, and its I was just lucky, it wasn’t that big a deal, or hey how about a cheese sandwich man, I’m hungry!
Lately I’ve I just stopped listening to it. Maybe you could too. Heck, chances are unless you are truly unusually, stupendously, abnormal, neither of us have ever, ever, done as badly as the wrinkled grey dome rider would have us believe. More than likely our doing poorly was just average poor performance, not that world class terminal loser failure it pretends is our defining characteristic.
These days, if it’s not telling me in a clear, step by step, how to make my very own Q-36 Explosive Space Mod-u-lator, or cure athlete’s foot in cheetahs, I put it to work or tell it to shush. Being subject to all that endless criticism and self critique is tiring.
I want to more free not less. In Tim Ferriss’ fantastic book, “Tools of Titans”, many of the aforementioned Titans have spirit animals, like wolves, and bears, and such.
Today mine is a whale. Yeah man.
Whales got it figured out.
So big and chill most things don’t mess with them, while they spend the day swishin it through the big blue sea, singing truly tuneless songs, every one of which people the world over agree are beautiful.
Most humans wish they were so free!
Among many other great wishes, mine is to confidently drop a “Oops I Did It Again”(complete with on time finger wag and slow sashay) at the Superbowl without short circuited by all the angst about what everyone in the 619 is gonna think.
Whales don’t suffer like this, they blast out what is in their heart, (which Cousin Ned says are as big as a Volkswagen Jetta), and no one tells ’em to hush.
Here’s an idea, this week let’s be more like the whales. Let the stuff in your heart out. Sing out loud, sing in the shower. Everyday I hereby resolve to be totally creative for ten minutes without stopping.
Let’s wake up look ourselves in the eye and say how awesome it is to be alive.
Take a vacation from the murmurs of the past, not one of which is worth a minutes wasted emotion today.
As Ned says, life is a marathon not a sprint, so look both ways when crossing the street, and to be truly successful, don’t get eaten by a moose.