Friday, September 24


For just about my whole life, I experienced some form of depression, but it would come and go quickly when I was young. Toward the end of high school, however, depression and baaddd anxiety came and stayed. I remember the exact day it started.

Five years later, I was beyond frustrated; I wanted to escape the monotony and the numbness of prescription pacification. By the end, though, I had taken countless combinations of it.

Some showed no immediate signs of improvement in me. Others made me feel plastic, made me wear a grin about nothing, and never let me cry. Some made me happy for a week and then had me slide down to the depression tank again. Some made me more anxious than I had been to begin with. One made my throat convulse and induced sporadic dry heaves all day.

First, it was Xanax alone, then Xanax with Wellbutrin, then Prozac. New Doctor: Wellbutrin again, higher dose. Absolutely no desire for the procedure, ala Dooce, so we switched to Paxil. Another New Doctor: Lexapro, and back to Wellbutrin. So at this point I’m thinking medication sucks, and I already knew that therapy wasn’t working for me. If it had been, I wouldn’t have tried so many different drug permutations in the first place.

Finally, the boy (see also, The Most Inspiring and Supportive (and hottest) Man in the World) left for a month-long film shoot. With ample time alone, I decided that I didn’t like :me: on all these drugs, and for all their purported benefits of “control,” I had never felt more out of control (although I certainly would in the near future. Never recklessly abandon your meds, people).

So I did a bad thing, and stopped cold turkey. I cancelled all future appointments with The Dr., and I pushed all the bottles to the back of my cabinet. (I didn’t have the balls to throw them all out, or maybe that was me being frugal – they were super expensive.)

Anyway, the idea was MBO. Manual Brain Override. I spent a lot of time talking to myself [not out loud!] (and feeling absolutely insane for it anyway), and after going through that every single day for hours and hours a day, at work, at school, at home, for a YEAR, I felt better. A little.

The best of it was the control, though. It was like training a dog, except I was training my brain’s receptors not to pee on the couch. Actions elicit responses, and the more you think about which ones cause which other ones, you can start to control your feelings. Ok, you obviously can’t control all of your feelings, and let me clarify that this wasn’t and still isn’t an easy fix.

I still have to do it every day, and some days are especially difficult, but I concentrate on flipping the right switches. Also, I’m still very angry, very often (like almost every day). Which is why I Punch [Eric] In The Arm.

MBO is hard. It’s just the better of two shitty options.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

mark today as the first in my experiment with your MBO. Good idea!

October 21, 2004 at 1:33 PM  

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