Fake It ‘Til You Make It

  • What I’ve done is in the past, and now I can create my future. I forgive myself.
  • I am in control of my actions. I have the power, right now, to decide what I want to do.
  • I love myself more every day.

Five sentences, repeated daily. Science suggests that this process can eventually rewire neurons in a person’s brain. Lying to oneself until they actually believe it. I’ll come back to this in a second…

In the first session of therapy, she asked if I was currently taking anything for depression or anxiety. I jokingly said liquor, which she chuckled at briefly and said that probably wasn’t the best of choices. Other than that one time, though, we haven’t talked about medicine, or the potential need for medicine. I’ve always been hesitant to request medicine of any kind, because I don’t have any expertise in the subject. I trust the healthcare professionals to have at least more knowledge than me, even if that knowledge came from a 30 minute sales pitch from a drug rep while everyone in the office was eating the provided free Chic-fil-a lunches. Plus, I always think of how a doctor might look at me as a drug-seeker. I don’t know if drug-seekers go into the doctor’s office and ask for Lexapro, but that’s one of the places my brain goes.

I wonder, though, if my depression is caused by a medical condition. If someone can lie to themselves about being confident until they believe it, doesn’t it make sense that they could lie to themselves about being worthless until they believe it? Have I spent my entire life convincing myself that I’m miserable, that no one will ever truly love me, that I’m not worth their love if they did? It’s worth thinking about, and it’s something I’m going to ask about in my next session as a lead-in to talking about the possibility of medicine. Lying to myself about being happy might work in the long-term but I might need something to help with the right-now part, and Jaeger-bombs are too expensive to be a sustainable answer. (Plus, I agree with the counselor that liquor may not be the best of choices, no matter how much dancing I do while drunk.)

Also, it only takes half a pack of cigarettes over the course of two weeks to regain the smoker’s cough in the morning shower, the phlegmy drip in the back of your throat, and the constant stuffy-nose in both nostrils. I won’t be buying another pack, and I may throw away the last two cigarettes that are in the pack.

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