Not the Same

Inspired by: Not the Same” (2001), from the Ben Folds album Rockin’ the Suburbs


Didn’t think I’d be the second post in on this little experiment and already default to writing about the song as the bulk of the entry and not something else, yet here we are.

This is not one of my favorite songs from the catalog, and it ranked fairly low among all the other Track 9s once upon a time, though that might be more a product of the other songs from that particular track than any issues with the song.

The song itself is about an experience an acquaintance of Ben Folds had the first time they tried acid; they literally climbed a tree at a party and came back down a born-again Christian. This story has been told at numerous concerts I’m sure and makes an appearance on the recording of the live version from Ben Folds Live. And the song remains one of the better ones to hear live, if only for the bit of audience participation at the end.

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) for you, dear reader, I do not have a story of trying illicit drugs and changing my entire personality. I also feel like I’ve mostly been the same person that I’ve always been, though I’m sure there are people from my life that will say that I have changed in subtle ways over the years.

One of my goals for the coming year – I don’t like making resolutions anymore because I fail at those all the time – is to give talk therapy a shot. It seems to be something that has worked for others in my life, and there are some things – like finding motivation to do stuff – that will likely be helpful. Change is good for the most part, as is personal growth.

I guess I’m putting that there as a means of trying to hold myself accountable. If someone reads this and wants to check how things are going in my life, it gives them something to ask me about. In this seemingly never-ending pandemic (get vaccinated/boosted folks!), it’s easy to just stay static and fall into the drudgery of everyday life, especially when your life is going into the basement to work for the 400th day in a row.

I don’t think we need to take acid and climb trees to change our lives – though it has worked for a friend of mine (sans tree climbing) – but it is important to be flexible. It’s also important to take care of yourself, especially the often neglected mental health aspect. It’s something that I’ve been probably doing for too long myself, so there’s no time like the present to give it a shot.

4 thoughts on “Not the Same

  1. There is really great scientifically backed research that psychedelics do help rewire and forge new pathways and connections in our brains. When used in a intentional and mindful way, can also really help us get over those speedbumps when we are starting from a standstill (which is how I always feel when I struggle with my mental health and motivation). Ketamine and LSD, used sparingly and intentionally, have been amazing for me this year and I am now spending my first winter depression free since the winter of 2014/15. I would also recommend tracking your moods. I use a free app called Daylio, and have since 2019. At first I just chose an overarching feeling for the day and jotted down a few thoughts and activities from the day. This year though, I deleted all the standard activity bubbles and made some that worked for me in terms of tracking analytics: weather, cleaning, interacting with humans outside the house, leaving the house, participating in goals, participating in hobbies, smoking weed… Stuff like that. Then at the end of the day when it reminds you to record your mood, you can just also click the bubbles of things you did in addition to the things I was doing above. You get a chart at the end if each week, month and year. It’s all measurable and downloadable so you can see your mood trends, the things you were getting up to in general, and the granular personal notes to your day. It has made such a difference in terms of medication management and realizing my patterns and what is making them happen. Good luck. You probs know who this is. We were together when those fucking tell towers fell.

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