Walker Percy wrote that the best cure for depression is to volunteer for a week in a cancer ward. I haven’t tried it.

Effexor is a terrible drug. In my case it worked for several years. Until is stopped. I then discovered the real down side of Effexor. It stays in your system and the withdrawal effects are dangerous. One is a time lag between your visual receptors and the messages they send to the brain. I nearly killed my wife (and me) in a car wreck when she shouted “watch out” and I skidded to a halt, wondering what the hell she was worried about. It was only then I saw the car in the intersection. Only, as my wife explained, it was long gone. My shrink verfied that others have reported this effect.

It took four years of experimenting to find a drug that works well for me, and I know that in another few years it will lose its effectiveness. Which is why I look to lifestyle habits as well, and the philosophy that the universe is not about me and it never was. Fairness and well-being are human constructs.

As to the next plane, as a Christian I tell people we will not be loafing in a spiritual opium den singing hymns and eating little manna cakes. If there is a God, and there is an afterlife, or even if an afterlife exists with no God, we will still be responsible for repairing the damage to the planet we did during this life.

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Living metaphor. Follow me @stephens_pt.

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