Hello my lovelies,
I struggle with a moderate amount of anxiety and obsession with self-image, which tend to amalgamate as some kind of depression or other over time. At least I think they do. I've never really been sure if what I experience is actually depression, or if I'm just a Mopey Idiot, or if I have a more acute cognitive issue that I'm not aware of.
I keep very precise semi-quantitative logs of my mood and behavior every day, and they suggest to me that some of my stress is related to being a little overloaded. I'm working on cutting back on some of that responsibility. But it's also extremely obvious to me that, for quite some time—I think since about early October 2019—I've lacked the physical energy that typically allows me to be consistently happy. There was no one, singular "proximate cause" two years ago, certainly it was none of my actual obligations (at that time I had very little work to speak of). However, I nevertheless very distinctly remember that my energy was suddenly just sapped, and has not come back to the level it was at before. The best theory I have is that it might've been a mini-existential crisis triggered immediately by some books I'd been reading, with a background of relatively more social isolation than usual. There have been specific circumstances since then in which I can be high-energy (and I mean be, not just act like I am), but they are fleeting and rare. The overall background energy of my life has been different.
In short, I do not really have a solid anchor per se, even as I have many little mini-anchors. I have been floating around for a while as a result.
At least that has been my working theory for a little while. The persistence of my condition has led me to question whether that theory is useful, or whether there is something fundamentally wrong with my brain. I am Young and Naive so I simply do not know how to tell. The pandemic has made it much more challenging to figure out the root cause of my problems, because I cannot tell if they are just because I can't do the fun activities I like doing in the social environments I like doing them in, or something presumably biochemical.
Things that each help a little:
- Getting more sleep
- Getting more exercise
- Being good about meditating, or when my therapist is useful (rarely)
- Being successful (I have a job for the summer and a likely career after I graduate. Knock on wood)
- Being hot as fuck (I'm not that attractive, but I feel pretty after I exercise, or when I dress nice, or when people compliment my body)
Things that each help a lot:
- Having extremely attentive and caring friends
- Not being around people who constantly drain me
- Consuming certain substances
Specifically, the most non-low-energy I've felt in a long time was when I ate some funky little mushrooms with my friend this year. Specifically, after I snapped back to reality (mom's spaghetti). I was just more alert and more able to function properly. My brain operated at its normal capacity; words flowed freely from my mouth in a gorgeous array of sentences; positive banter was at an all-time high; I was positive and optimistic; and so on. You know how you can sort of visualize the ideas popping around and the gears turning when you're sober but just really on top of your social life? Well that's what it was. Unfortunately my ability to be a normal person only lasted like 1 or 2 days from there, and then it was back to the same old.
This has made me ask the question: might it be prudent to look into some sort of legal medical prescription that would have a similar effect? That is, anti-depressants or like whatever. I'm also open to alternative treatments but I am mainly asking about prescription meds. I just don't know anything about the whole world of medication. I almost never take meds for anything ever, even physical injuries, and I'm afraid that if I start doing medication I'll never be able to stop. The concept of always being medicated is a little scary to me. Like even if it helps, I'm still worried. But I kind of feel like nothing I've done so far has been able to permanently work, so I kind of need to do something.
I appreciate any thoughts that you can give!!!