From our questioning reader (or reader in question):
I must admit, this week has been rather amazing so far. I haven't had much trouble with anxiety. My job hasn't stressed me. I feel just fine not caring, and it's amazing how naturally responses to tough questions come to me if I'm not putting specific effort into being honest. Even talking to women has been strangely easier. Almost too easy. I'm used to women staying away from me as if they get "bad vibes," but now I'm being told that I'm easy to open up to. One woman told me she felt like she could tell me anything, because I was so "honest." I definitely need more practice before I can get to the level where I want to be, but I can see it happening.
I'm not sure why or how, but I've started to think of life more like a game again. It's not a change I consciously strove for, and it's very subtle. But it's a pleasant change from the anxieties I've been facing. While I found myself laughing and joking around today, I stopped to think if I was actually happy or amused. Honestly, I didn't feel any different from when I was sitting in front of my computer coding. I was just joking with my boss to avoid concentrating on work, and it came so naturally. That's one thing I've always done, but I never really stopped to think about the smile and the laugh. They're not real. The jokes aren't real. They're just there to make HIM laugh. Even while I was realizing this, I just kept right on doing it.
It reminds me of when I was younger... sometimes, while I was crying, if I was alone, I would go look in the mirror and smile. I genuinely felt sad, but something made me want to see if I could smile. And I could... and then pick right back up crying again. After that, I had quite a preoccupation with making myself exhibit inappropriate emotions in private. Looking back, it makes me wonder if I was ever sad at all. Such a curiosity doesn't strike me as something a sad person would embrace in the midst of an emotional storm. Trying to figure out how much of what I think I felt was real, and how much was either extremely shallow or manufactured subconsciously, has been very confusing.
In my early to mid teens, this fascination took on a stranger twist. It's something I've actually never mentioned to anyone, because I can't imagine how anyone could understand it, considering my image as a kind, considerate, and highly intelligent person. When I was alone, if I had nothing to do, I would degrade into an almost feral state. I'd run and leap around the house, sometimes on all fours, growling, roaring, and making terrible and strange faces after leaping in front of a mirror, staring myself in the eye. I could never imagine myself even imitating this behavior in front of another human being. As soon as I sensed the presence of another person, my demeanor would immediately change. I've never been able to make sense of it. It stopped after I started the drugs. Bizarre, don't you think?
That's my update so far. We'll see how things play out.