If you believe the words of physicists, it's possible that the past, present, and future are simultaneously occurring. This leads me to believe in predetermined destination, and yet the universe must always account for the paradox of change. Thus, we may be less "present" than we believe. We are the products of existence, creating the product of existence by merely existing.
The majority of therapy that I have so far attended has focused on being mindful and staying present. On the surface, there's logic to this. I can't worry about what's happening tomorrow, as it's undetermined. I can't worry about what happened in the past, as there's no possibility in changing it. I think I fall somewhere in the middle of this belief.
I believe that the future is as real as the present, and much of it can be predicted on the "timeline" that flows forward in our perception. The past is active in the present, as it's the past that predicates our current emotional and sometimes physical reactions to present situations. I can't help but respond physically and emotionally when a present circumstance triggers the emotions and responses of the past. Therefore, the past is alive in the present.
They tell me that I'm supposed to be working to not allow those past events to affect my present and future, but are they not the building blocks of who I am? Just as negative emotions and physical responses or stored physical memories are a part of me, the things I have learned, experienced, and thoughtfully processed are a part of me.
There doesn't seem to be a way to mute the negative and yet enhance to the point of being able to relish the positive. No, I don't have the same negative responses when I'm triggered back to an interesting article or passage of some bright person that made an impact upon me, and yet the process is the same. Right now, I'm being treated by medications that are created to mute my past. How much of me is being muted?
I have never considered myself a smart person, and have always been somewhat envious of those who are able to process information in different or faster ways, but I always considered that my cognition was at least on par with average. I have always been able to experience, acquire, retain, process, curate, and implement information in whatever ways have been necessary to continue to the next step in my existence.
I realize that in the last couple of years, my mind has taken some side-tracks, and has led me into areas of psychosis that don't comport with the realities of those around me. I accept this. I don't like it, but that's the reality I've been forced to swallow. Now, however, I'm forced to look at the "treatment" of this situation, particularly the pharmaceutical aspect. Each drug has been an experiment that "may help."
As I've spent over a year experimenting with different drugs (mood stabilizers, anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, etc.) I have begun to question their effects on the processes of my mind. I seem to have gone down a path of cognition that I don't think I would have ever chosen to explore. That path has led me to a place where I am processing information differently. The difference is not immediately apparent and dramatic, as though I'm on a hallucinogen, but rather more subversive. The drugs have snuck in and slowly, without my perception, changed the way my mind works. I don't think it's for the better.
I can't entirely discount the positive effects of the drugs. I am grateful to have reduced anxiety (though it still rears it's head through the haze at times). I am grateful to have reduced depression (though I continue in a severely depressed state). I am not grateful for my new inability to process, curate, and implement information.
I have been told that my case is difficult to treat pharmacologically, and I'm willing to accept that, but I wonder how much of my true self is being lost through the process of experimentation with all of these mind-altering drugs, each in the name of potential benefit. Am I causing more long-term damage than help? Will I be forever stuck in a new paradigm in which I have to relearn how to think?
It's no wonder I'm so uncomfortable. I'm out of my element. I've never been here before, and I don't know how to handle it. Most days, the easiest way to handle all of these unknowns is to simply cease to live. That won't work ultimately, as I have too many glimmers of hope and question. I don't want to die and simply find out there are no answers to life's biggest questions.