[PMC] 50mg of Zoloft

(Readin’ time: 2m 12s)

50mg a day of Zoloft has made me a better self-employed pseudo-entrepreneur [1].

Mental health is one hell of a hot potato because, at least in the cultural context I came up in, any deviation from a narrow mental health “norm” is tightly coupled with secrecy and shame. I’ve long wanted to write about this, but see aforementioned secrecy and shame. Let’s just rip the bandaid off anyway.

My physical brain, my mind, my emotions, my sapped and impurified precious bodily fluids, or some combination of the above get occasional depressive episodes. It’s been that way since I was bullied in the 7th and 8th grades, and as an adult, anxiety and depression have been recurring dance partners that sometimes get the spotlight in the big tent of my emotional circus.

The worst depressive episode started on July 6, 2012. I was driving across the southern I5 bridge in Portland, OR and I had a huge panic attack. My body started to go numb, and my mind freaked out, thinking I would lose control of the car and crash, probably over the side of the bridge. The rest of that drive to the Oregon Coast was a looooong drive. 🙂

I was deeply depressed for the next ~18 months. Or rather, cycling between periodic intense panic attacks, social anxiety episodes, and longer depressive episodes until I made some significant changes in my life that started to help. I’m not kidding when I say that ditching hourly billing was one of the changes that actually helped.

I still deal with anxiety, panic, and depression.

Accepting help with these debilitating issues has been a bitter pill to swallow. I do ask others for help, but it’s usually a last resort for me. I spent a long time deeply suspicious of pharmaceutical tools (see the earlier tongue in cheek reference to Jack D. Ripper’s monologue). So setting up an appointment via DoctorOnDemand and picking up a prescription for 50mg of Zoloft was not an easy, natural move for me. I had to swallow a lot of pride, set aside a few weak opinions I strongly hold, and find other ways to be kind to myself.

And it’s made me a better pseudo-entrepreneur, I think. The Zoloft, I mean. Or maybe it’s not the Zoloft. Maybe it’s the willingness to get help with this shit plus a blue colored placebo pill.

Either way, I’m less driven by the emotional froth of business and life. And I’m more driven by what I deeply want, even if the emotional froth tries to interfere.

I normally don’t write such purely self-focused emails, but I know I’m not the only one out there who struggles with the emotional froth in the context of self-employment or entrepreneurship. And maybe in some way it helps to know you’re not alone?

Cause you’re not. <3

-P

1: I say pseudo-entrepreneur half tongue in cheek and half-seriously because a) so many people who do nothing that could ever be objectively called entrepreneurial call themselves entrepreneurs and I like teasing them b) I myself am not a super impressive entrepreneur and c) despite my self-deprecating humor I actually definitely objectively am achieving the scalable impact that entrepreneurs achieve, albeit through intellectual property/Internet Business(tm) scalability rather than people scalability.