Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Attitude and Chemical Imbalances

I'm sure y'all have heard all the cliches such as this one.  "Life is 10% what happens and 90% how you deal with it."  That has always been one of my pet peeves because it just does not apply to someone like me.  A chemical imbalance exists independent of your attitude and your external environment.  The cause is usually a combination of genetics and environmental factors that may be beyond your control. You cannot choose to be happy in spite of it and it's not a matter of simply "learning to love yourself."  The only way out of this nightmare is to balance your chemistry.

It's all about the pills.   If I take the wrong pills or the wrong dose of the right stuff, I will feel lousy almost immediately thereafter.  If I take the right cocktail, I will feel better immediately and the negative feelings will quickly be washed away.  If you read this blog with any regularity, you know it's all true.   The problem is that over the past year and a half, I've have never found sustained success with any formula.

For those of you have been critical of how I've been dealing with this.  Consider  this:  I have studied relentlessly and have tried so many cocktails and combinations of pills all with the goal of finding a formula that will bring permanent stability for myself and anyone I counsel in the future. I've had glimpses of what I can do if healthy and it will be life changing with implications far beyond simply running fast again.   I will try just about anything and will not give up until I find the key.  I'd say that's exactly how I should be dealing with this.  Try letting go and just stop with those pills huh?  If I did that, I believe I would be unemployed and disabled even with anti-depressants.

Another ignorant suggestion about depression is to simply "get off your ass and improve your circumstances."  I'd say I've done that.  Fortunately, I am able to work and live independently while many others cannot.  I've put it in the effort with my job and earned a promotion with a 15% raise last year.  Guess what?  It did nothing for my symptoms.  What about someone who is too sick to work?  How do they improve their circumstances without proper treatment?

In other news, I joined a new Bible study last night.  I like the group but the crowd is a bit too old for me (40s-50s).  I'll stay with it for the summer because I really like the 2 leaders.  One thing that stuck out that really made me think was the suggestion that anger and resentment may be harmful to your health.  I believe it's true.  The speaker also suggested that unresolved issues from childhood could be hurting you as well.

 If you read my Bullying post, you know some of the things I went through.  High school was better but I knew that most of my friendships were contingent on my ability to run,  There was no physical abuse but several instances in which I joined a conversation with an inoffensive remark and was told to shut up with a 4 letter word in between.  Then someone else said nearly the same thing a minute later and it was well-received.

I have LONG SINCE let go of the anger and bitterness and I'd say that I've been "over it" since at least my mid-20s but the speaker challenged us not to simply "get over it" by burying it beneath the surface where it could pop up again but rather to "rip it out from the root."  The rejection still  affects me today even if I'm "over it".   I'm still reserved in a group and struggle when I don't know many people in a crowd.  If/when I go on dates with women that I've never actually met before, that needs to change.  I must confess that some of those negative feelings have popped up again.   There's a secret group on Facebook for fast runners in town that doesn't meet with the regular folks from the BTC.  I was borderline acceptable before the relapse.  Not so now.  I'm excluded from group runs and special get-togethers because I'm not fast enough anymore.  Not cool.  I really wish they'd just go back to meeting with the BTC and doing their own route.  Most people in this fast group are still good and encouraging to me but I know that if I can't run, the fellowship just isn't the same.

All I can do right now is do my best to remain patient and strive to find the key.  When I get my vindication, I must not do the "I told you so" routine.  Are my negative feelings affecting my health?  Maybe.  Will an improved attitude solve my sensitivity issues? NO.  Still, it can only help me to truly rip out the roots of rejection.  One last point.  People are often told not to associate with people who are too negative.  I disagree.  They need encouraging friends and maybe if you show them some kindness, they will become more positive.

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