Just like a normal ordinary Americans, I have friends who take anti-depressant. I, too, take SSRI just as regularly as I take statin. It’s all for maintenance, baby. If you have high cholesterol level you take statin. If you have low serotonin level, you take SSRI. It’s plain and simple.
“I stopped taking meds,” my friend said. “Why?” I asked.”The meds make me numb and I want to feel,” he said. “Why?” I asked. Why do you want to feel? Then I had exactly the same conversation with another male friend. They want to feel.
I don’t feel numb. I feel ordinary. I feel peaceful and happy. I admit I avoid to be moved. I don’t watch emotionally engaging movies. I only read scientific non-fiction. Facts, only facts, ma’am.
I worked with my last therapist to build up my tolerance for feelings for several years. My emotional life was in primary colors, bold and clear. Anger was the easiest to handle, so every feelings were painted over with anger. Then I learned there were something called undertone, subtext, and undercurrent. Sadness, fear, loneliness, shame…vulnerability. Those undertone colors were dangerous for my survival.
I knew sadness and joy were two sides of the coin. My therapist (a Zen gestalt guy) taught me if I couldn’t tolerate the sadness of being, I wouldn’t really feel the joy of being.
I think I have built up enough tolerance to live an ordinary joyful life. I just don’t want to risk my peaceful reverie. Feelings could be addicting. I sometime miss the feeling of standing on the edge of a sharp blade, when everything feels immediate and acute.
Then I say to myself,”I spent enough time in pain. It’s time to allow myself just to be.”