My brain lies to me all the time.
Right now there is nothing wrong with my life. Everything’s okay. Work is fine. I’m not over my head in debt. The weather’s fine. I need to lose about 40 pounds (okay, that’s one major dissatisfier), but otherwise I’m not in desperately poor health or anything. To the best of my knowledge my wife isn’t planning on leaving me any time soon. Things are actually pretty good.
But I feel mentally awful.
Imagine that you can’t stop worrying about your overdrawn bank account and about all the credit cards you owe money on. But then imagine that you’re NOT overdrawn and your credit cards have zero balances. But you can’t stop worrying. Even if you log in and look at your balances in the bank and on the Chase and AmEx websites and see that everything is just fine, moments later you go back to fretting about how you’re going to make ends meet.
That’s kind of what my brain has been doing to me lately.
I know I’m depressed. I know that my brain is lying to me. But that doesn’t help me deal with the malaise and the angst. I can remind myself every five seconds that everything’s okay. I can soldier on rather than crawling into bed and pulling the covers over my head. Yes, I can get by.
You ask: are you taking antidepressants? Yes, I’m taking antidepressants. Perhaps it’s time, in theory, to revisit which ones I’m taking. But right now my MD and I are playing a balancing game with my high blood pressure meds and we really don’t want to screw around with multiple things at the same time.
You ask: am I seeing a therapist or counselor? No, I am not seeing a counselor routinely. There are people that talk therapy simply doesn’t help. I’m one of them. (If you have the urge to hit the ‘reply’ button and tell me I’m wrong, spare me. Five minutes’ Googling on “talk therapy clinical trials’ or ‘talk therapy doesn’t always help’ will show you that I’m not talking out of my hat. If you want to seriously cheese me off, tell me that my depression is due to my not seeing a therapist regularly.) I am acutely aware that the feelings I’m experiencing are not based on actual life experience. I am aware that my brain is like a computer pre-programmed to see every glass as half empty. Knowing that your bathroom mirror has been replaced by one out of a funhouse arcade doesn’t automatically help you see yourself clearly.
And for what it’s worth, I’m a former board member of the Vermont affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. I’m not an uninformed goober who prefers to curse the darkness rather than light a candle.
I think the one thing that would probably help is “getting a lot more exercise”. Sweat the crazy out, as it were. But there’s the rub: my brain is very very very good at saying “Tomorrow.”
I hate my brain.