Let me sum up

I don’t know if I believe in karma, but I do think that there is something to “getting back what you put out there”.  I do pretty well getting through life unscathed – my life has not been all good news and fun times, but things tend to work out nicely in the end.  I’d like to share some viewpoints that may help people see things differently if they’re struggling.

I have been with my boyfriend for a few years now.  He’s older than I (20 years!), somewhat sheltered, closed-off, and more than a little bit negative.    I told him early on that I had a “charmed life” and he scoffed.  Now he is starting to begrudgingly agree.    PS: My name means “elf”, so maybe the Universe had a hand in this.  (I’m kidding.  My name does mean “elf” but I’m not pretending to have benefited from nor possess any magic.)

I was an angry, depressed, emotional child and developed into an angrier, more depressed young adult.  I wasn’t a danger to society who took my frustrations out on the public at large.  No, I reserved that special treat for those closest to me.  My apologies to my little sister, my parents, and my first two boyfriends, specifically.

When I was dating the guy who would become my husband of 14 years, I decided I didn’t want to be that way any more, and I did something about it.  He didn’t deserve the new and improved me, but I had to change for myself.  There were a few setbacks, but for the most part, I was a better, more balanced individual.  This is largely because I knew medication would help, and I decided to take it consistently.  This is key.  If you can’t get your anger, jealousy, sadness, anxiety, and self-harmful thoughts and actions under control, consider medication.  The stigma is disappearing.  No one cares if you’re on medication for anxiety or depression.  If you’re on it, they are benefiting!  My dad could definitely use some chemical-balancing pharmaceutical assistance (my depression is hereditary), but he can’t last through the side effects.  I’d wager that science has come up with some better pills with fewer side effects in the past 20 years.  And if you’re sensitive to them, either give it a month and/or change the prescription to one that might work better for you.  It’s a pain in the neck, but in the end you’ll thank yourself.  My side effect the first time I took something (I can’t remember which one) was killer headaches.  I am now on a low dose of Venlafaxine and happy as a clam.  Why are clams considered happy?  I do not know.

Also, I know people who do not want to be on meds because they even out both the highs and lows.  This is true.  You feel happiness, you feel sadness, but they are not as intense.  Very high highs are called maniaNossir, I prefer to be calm, cool, and collected, thank you.  I am virtually unflappable.  It’s on my resume.  (I’m kidding.  But it has come up in job interviews.)

Anyway, this was intended to be a general welcome and it got specific.  Life is good, you can be happy(er), everything is not doom and gloom, etc.  Let’s take a journey through the ways to make this happen.

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