This preventative mechanism


I am having trouble coming up with an appropriate title but I will leave it as such for the time being.  I have been experiencing this sort of unwelcome preventative procrastination, if you will.  Procrastination is really not the right word, because what I am experiencing seems much deeper than that.  And its with my entire LIFE, not just a menial paper or task.

I just don’t understand this – and by “this” I mainly am referring to my negligence in taking good care of myself.  And I mean this in a very holistic sense.  Physically, yes that too, I am out of shape, but that is not my main concern for it is secondary to the core problem, being diagnosed with major “depression.”

Thanks to American sick care, oh I mean, “healthcare,” the only viable option as far as treatment goes is drugs and therapy.  I could write volumes on this, but for now I will just say this does not work, at least not for me.  Simple logic says that means I must seek something else out in order to “get better.”  However, at this point, I know the “medications” that I take are contributing to the problem, if not the problem themselves.

So this means I need to find a way to safely and effectively ween off of my medications.  This will be a long and likely arduous process, but necessary nonetheless.

What I am perplexed by is my lack of motivation or willingness to follow through with even just initiating the process.  Rationally, there is no option but to withdraw from these drugs ASAP.  And by ASAP I mean now, not some everlasting “tomorrow.”

There is like some mental block that I am seemingly unable to get past here.  I understand what I need to do, yet I am not doing it.  What is that?!  Its like knowing the right answer on a test but leaving the question blank.  What is that all about?

I see the door, I just need to force my way through it.  But how?!  Then again, this is not really a question of how – that is secondary.  It is more of a question of WHY or WHY NOT?

-Paul

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10 thoughts on “This preventative mechanism”

  1. The first thing that comes to mind is that no one way or person is going to be a solution to you. It certainly can’t come from family, friends or people you might be working with. The only way forward is to find initiative from those who have traveled down the same path and survived. It’s called experience and I personally only have it in a small way and second hand in a big way.

    Both, though, were the result of depression. Let’s call them case 1 and 2 (myself as 1)

    Case 1

    My life was careening along quite well as a young married man with a wife and two sons (14 & 11) when my parents died unexpectedly one after the other within the course of a few months. My father had urgently called out for me from his death bed and, sadly, he died before I could get to him. Then my mother had a stroke at a party and fell into a coma. Once again, I was even further away and failed to get to her bedside before her untimely death. Both were in their late 40’s and I had trouble handling the guilt.

    To ease the pain, I turned to drugs, alcohol and a bad crowd for distraction, relieving the emptiness of depression and continued in a downward spiral which could only have had one outcome… the ruination of my marriage and family with the inevitable result of me joining my parents.

    It took me ten years to get over and I only did so because a family doctor insisted that I needed to choose between life and certain death. That was 18 years ago. I got very lucky.

    Case 2

    Someone very close to me was working very hard towards a PhD and, once in the PhD program at a very good university, he began to question that he was on the right path. This feeling persisted until long after the PhD was attained. In his case, the depression was being subdued by Paxil, a drug you may be familiar with. The medication did what it was supposed to do and helped him cope with his depression, but there was a fly in the ointment… drinking.

    Paxil and alcohol don’t work well together and, as might be expected, binge drinking led to anger, a lashing out at everyone close and ultimately quitting his career as a teacher. His new marriage was on the rocks and absolutely nothing mattered anymore. Life, for this person and anyone who knew and loved him, was absolute hell.

    But, he came to stay with us in our home and we tried to stop the drinking, at least whenever we could. This took a full year, but it didn’t help much until he found a doctor who actually took the time to listen to him. The doctor’s advice, suprisingly, was to ween him off Paxil and join AA.

    I won’t say the struggle is over, but he now has a steady job, his wife by his side and no more drugs or alcohol.

    .

    So, what was it that worked for both of us? That’s the tough question. For myself, I started thinking about what I really wanted… to stay with my wife and family, watching them grow into young men or do I just want to let it all go and not care? I knew the gutter was waiting for me and being a homeless drunk almost seemed do-able as long as I had my badass motorcycle and good buddies (insert laugh here).

    The shock of what the doc told me made it an immediate choice… take this path or the other, it was up to me now because tomorrow just wasn’t available. So I sold the bike, stopped the boozing and concentrated on providing for my wife and kids.

    Thing is, when I threw all the negative crap away, I was still dealing with depression. It hadn’t gone away, not even after the decade of fast living. There was only one thing that I could ever enjoy digging into and that was the intense pleasure I got out of making the religion I had shoved on me as a child a lie. I read everything I could lay my hands on and I don’t mean in a light manner. I studied it from every angle I could find, even looking into and joining some groups involved with the ‘mysteries’, if you catch my drift. This went on for decades and still does today.

    I found out that there was more to me than what I could find in the material world. There was a part of me ‘inside’ that was just as complicated as ‘rocket science’ and that is what I focused on ever since I quit drinking.

    As for my friend, through AA (which he is now dedicated to) he also found that same profound new source, one he never expected because he is not affiliated with any religion either and yet he found that studying the roots of religion was a way to eventually come to understanding who he is and what made him so dissatisfied with life that it led to such severe depression.

    Both of us started out by reading about what is behind religion; why it means so much to so many people in cultures throughout history the world over. I chose to read anything which attacked Christianity, he chose to look into buddhism and we both, surprisingly, found that there was something which began to bubble up within ourselves.

    That ‘something’ is now a topic of constant interest as we discuss how our lives are inproving, how we are dealing with the pain of our past failures and mistakes, how we can forgive ourselves and move on, taking each day with a measure of contentment.

    I’m not advocating that you join a religion and I’m not saying you should. What I’m saying is that somewhere, inside of you, there is peace you can grab hold of. You just need to start looking there..

    Hope this helps you.

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    1. Wow, thank you so much for the exceptionally thoughtful comment! I have read through this a few times before now taking my turn to respond. Are there any books you or your friend would recommend? I find this very interesting, finding the common ground in various religions, what is behind the religions, and so on. So if you could please recommend a few titles that would be awesome!

      I really do appreciate you taking the time to share these stories with me, I really do cherish connecting with others whom are willing to share some of themselves with me, especially the struggles in life.

      I hope to find the peace within, as you mention, I just don’t really know where to start – maybe with studying ancient religions would be a good place.

      Thank you again for taking the time to write such a thoughtful comment!

      Peace to you and your friend!

      -Paul

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      1. Hi Paul. Glad you found my comments interesting. Where to begin with religions. Oh, my. The world is fairly choc-a-bloc with them, isn’t it? In fact, I doubt there is an isolated village anywhere in the forgotten wastelands of this planet which has not been touched by them. From the jungles of the equatorial regions to the frozen emptiness of the arctic regions, where people live there are gods to lead them and so it has always been… without exception.

        First of all, I’d suggest one of the best writers I’ve come across; Karen Armstrong’s book “A History of God” is amazing. She was a nun who became doubtful of her faith and began to study the roots of it all, much as I have decided to do all those years ago. She’s written a lot of others as well, but if you liked ‘A History of God’, then you’d enjoy reading ‘The Spiral Staircase’ as well

        That would take care of the past 2000 years at a minimum, but for the two previous millennia, you might want to read Jonathon Kirsch’s book ‘God Against the Gods’, which is the story of how monotheism (which is prevalent today) won the battle against polytheism. Now considered generically as paganism, this was the face of religions before the notion of a single and jealous god was conceived in Egypt by Akhnaton and eventually threw all of the known world into turmoil and war.

        Before that existed shamanism and it was universal. Everywhere, in those very early days, people depended upon others who were able to tap into what was called the ‘spirit world’ where answers to questions could be found… questions such as ‘where are the herds of game’ and ‘when will the rains come?’

        For three good books in that vein, I’d suggest ‘The Mind in the Cave’, by David Lewis-Williams, ‘The Quest for the Shaman’ by Miranda and Stephen Aldhouse-Green and finally ‘The White goddess’ by Robert Graves.

        Now, if you’re really up to a challenge that will open your eyes, you HAVE to read ‘The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon. It’s a tough read because it was written over a period ending in 1776 and language was a bit different, but if you want to completely understand the world we live in today and why we are so concentrated on monotheism, this book is a must.

        I hope you do, at least, read Gibbon. I’ve read it three times already and likely will again because current events in the western world keep pushing me back to those pages. My wife is reading it for her second time.

        Tony

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      2. Thanks Tony! I will check some if not all of these titles out, but most likely I will start with The Fall of the Roman Empire since I have a couple of friends reading that now for a class.

        If any more/other titles come to mind, feel free to share those as well.

        Thanks again!

        -Paul

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  2. Hey Paul, Have patience and things will become clear – don’t force your exit before you are truly ready and prepared for it. Just allow yourself time.
    I want to forward you this blogging prompt – questions I have set to be answered. It is some ‘new’ trend on WP called ‘tagging’. I thought it might be a bit of fun for you, I completed one, and it just makes a nice change.Its Your Turn Blogging Prompt
    Hope you enjoy it? Bex 🙂

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    1. Hi Bex – I clicked the link but it just goes to your page with the questions the other blogger asked you – is that where it is supposed to be taking me? So I just answer the same questions on your page as a comment?

      Lemme know!

      Thanks,

      -Paul

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      1. Hey Paul, How are you??
        Yes, the questions I have set are on that page, but you have to scroll down to the bottom section. I so hoped you’d answer them – as I thought some you’d really enjoy. Take another look, you don’t have to do another post, just have a think about them 🙂
        Bex

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      2. Hey Bex I am gooood, and yourself?! I am just soaking up as much sun as possible in this awesome Cali weather.

        I will def answer these questions at some point, but maybe not until after I return home (Tuesday).

        Hope you are well!!

        -Paul

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