As an engineer/developer, my life is a constant cycle of processes that are constantly being improved by tools. We have editors and automated testing tools, REPL command line and package managers. All tools to help make the process of development easier and quicker. But those are all synthetic tools to help a segment of our lives as developers that only help resolve one thing, developing on a project. What happens when we need tools to help us with our mental health?
That was the question that I asked myself when I was sitting in the doctor's office trying to get a prescription for some anti-anxiety medication. Self-medicating with over the counter solutions, like CBD Oil and other "Essential" oils, has never seemed to help. Neither has the typical ceremonies, like anxiety-breaking exercises and meditation, worked either. I've been in a cycle of incompleteness for the past several months and there never seemed to be anything to break it.
Using tools to help break anxiety.
I did get my prescription, Zoloft, to help me with my anxiety, and depression that comes from it. It has been a terribly interesting experience, one that needs more exploration when I have had more time on the medication. I got started about 3 weeks ago with half a daily dose of Zoloft for two weeks, then put on a full daily dose after the first two week period.
Three weeks on the medication and ... things aren't too "gloomy" now. I don't have the overwhelming feeling of trying to close in on myself. I still need to work on my productivity and procrastination issues that cropped up because of my anxiety, but I don't feel limited by my mind anymore.
Much like development tools, expecting a tool to fix everything is to set you up for failure. However, a tool is something that helps in a small way to accomplish the job at hand, and the medication has been helpful for that.
A productive self-fulfilling 3 weeks
Over the past few weeks I have been able to accomplish some pretty big things. I went to test for my Notary Public in California as a way to bring in side income. I have been finishing work and helping clear the way for the birth of my first child at work. Finally, I have been able to get much needed teeth extractions that my inability to face my anxiety has caused me to neglect.
I still need to work on several other things, like my communication issues that are caused by my inability to face difficult discussions or disappointments, and that is for another time. But for right now, I am proud of my small accomplishments, even if I needed a tool to help me accomplish it.