When I was sixteen, half my life ago now, I was a mess. An emotional mess. Far more so that your average sixteen year old: I was depressed, and spent a month in a psychiatric hospital. Five years later, and I graduated with a good degree from one of the best universities in the world: Cambridge. I'm not going to pretend I found some secret, and managed to fix myself - some of the same things that made me depressed led me to get a fantastic degree - and some of the things that helped me get a degree were things that caused me to be taken out of the world and put into an institution.
I still don't have all the answers - but since those days in the hospital, I've made it my life's quest to learn some of them - taking each discovery as it comes and trying to put it together into some sort of a system. Something that works.
Back when I was in the hospital I told my doctor "I want to feel better. But I know you can't just wave a magic wand and make all my troubles go away". That was how the world seemed to me: everything of value had to be worked for. Everything took time and pain and willpower or it wasn't worth it. - and it wouldn't do me any good.
A year later I found my first magic wand: Prozac.
Overnight (well, over a few weeks), Prozac was the answer to my depression. Prozac gave me just the stability and control of my emotions I needed to be able to take charge of my life and begin to turn it around. urning my life around wasn't hard, once I had a little help.
Since then I've found lots of magic wands - quick fixes which solve major issues in my life, where previously I struggled to make any changes.
I've begun to realise that, actually, there is a magic wand for every situation: but that the same wands don't work for everybody, and there is a lot of experimentation needed to find the wand that works for me.