As far as I'm concerned, I'm a goofball. I can trip over my own feet and stutter all over anything and generally make a mess. I get a lot of things right, too, but sometimes, it becomes clear that some people have the wrong idea about me.
It's taken me a long time to reach this plateau in my life. I'll climb higher and do more, but for now, things have leveled out for me. I know a lot of things, and I get a lot of things right. I'm not perfect, and a great deal of the time, I do not have the answers. I am afraid of things. I've made more mistakes than I could ever count. I'll make a lot more.
I've been on antidepressants most of my adult life. (Notice I didn't say "all" of it.) I have a chemical imbalance in my brain that interferes with how my body processes serotonin. As a result, I've fought bouts of severe depression. During some of them, I have not wanted to, nor have I, taken my medicine as I should. Talk about a situation ripe for fucking up royally.
More than one semester in college, I had to get medical withdrawals from classes to keep from failing. I've been tested, and technically, I'm a genius, but I was literally failing. I spent more than one day at a time in bed sleeping my life away. I stayed awake for days at a time trying to catch up on school or out partying. I drank, smoked pot and hung out with some unsavory characters. (I'm being polite with my description.) I lied about where I was, what I was doing and who I was with on a regular basis. I had no rules and my moral compass was so distorted I didn't know what I was doing.
At the time, I thought I had things under control. I didn't want to take medicine, and I was determined to find a way to live without it. I didn't want to admit I was hurting myself and if I didn't get my shit straight, I was going to do permanent damage. I was lucky in that I had some friends who looked out for me, made sure no one slipped me anything and I didn't walk off with the wrong person. Not all of my friends were so good, and I wasn't always so lucky.
More than once I drank until I blacked out. I smoked two packs of Camels without filters a day. I lived on caffeine and pretzels. And those were some of my better decisions. I did get drugged, oddly enough by someone I was dating. I don't remember much. I wanted to move and couldn't. I wanted to speak and couldn't. Hell, it took years for me to even realize what had happened, and strangely enough someone joking around, tickling me triggered the memory. Something about the loss of control, not being able to make them stop.
My point is I didn't get to where I am and who I am today without traveling a rough road. I finally started listening to my therapist and taking my medicine. I didn't have the money for the therapy or the pills, but Dr. Clark let me pay what I could, when I could and gave me every sample of prozac he had just to keep me on it. I met new friends that helped me. I had fun without being so reckless. I wrapped my head around school and started thinking of a life after it.
The trip back was slow. I stayed in therapy until I learned everything I could about clinical depression. I found the reasons I react the way I do. A few years of cognitive therapy, and I can now tell when I'm starting to slide and either keep it from happening or pull myself out when it does.
I worked my ass off to get where I am and be the person I am. To have the life I live. I learned from my mistakes, collected my experiences. I earned this life. I know what happiness is. I know I am happy because I have seen misery. I have lived in the dark places of the corners of my mind. I have been weak and stupid and crumbled under pressure. Now, I am strong and smart and I can do hard things. But don't get the wrong idea about me. I'm not done yet. I've got a lot left to learn and greater heights to reach.