Go Fast (If You Really Want to Fail)
I’m sitting in my office looking out the window at a cloud-saturated sky watching storm clouds slowly meander their way across the horizon. As the thunder rolls and lightning strikes, I’m aware that this weather system will slowly drag its feet today and dump a deluge of much-needed rain on our parched, summer earth.
Only a few days ago, another completely different storm front blew across our area. That one didn’t move at a turtle’s pace. It came abruptly and vanished quickly dousing the land with sheets of rain causing a flash flood. The ground couldn’t absorb the torrential downfall which devastated crops and flooded basements (including mine).
When a change (even a drastically needed change) happens too rapidly, the result is often painful. Abrupt transitions don’t lead to the desired transformations we seek but tragedies we would prefer to avoid. This can be true regardless of whether the scenario pertains to personal lives, corporate cultures, or even cultural norms.
Recently, a friend confided in me about their mental health struggles. They shared how their doctor had put them on a low dose of antidepressants to help them manage the battles raging in their mind. While I am not a clinician, I was alarmed at the diagnosis and asked them some probing questions to learn more about the details.
I pushed and prodded with gentle pressure because they also told me they hated being on the medication. As is often the case, they felt as though the side effects were taking a greater toll on their mental health than they felt prior to the prescription. So in an effort to take control of their life, they stopped taking the medicine — cold turkey.
Sadly, the impact of their decision resulted in thoughts of suicide which also came like a storm that blew in hard and fast. In their desperation, they determined an abrupt change was needed which nearly cost them their life. Their legitimate need for change overwhelmed their cognitive process which lead to even worse confusion.
In the last few weeks, I have also dealt with the effects of changes to the mind-altering medication I take for my health disorders. In an approved plan of action (made in concert with my neurologist), I…