It seems like there is a whole another grade of fear — Basilisk grade. It’s impossible to experience it and walk away without serious consequences.

Imagine: I’m barely 20. It’s my first real, official, high-paying job. I’m already a team lead. A big Russian non-govt company with a blue logo. Huge new office in Moscow.
My “childhood” is officially over — I’m not playing around anymore. I’m an adult in every sense of the word.

Several weeks go by. Maybe even a month. Just a regular day at the office. I’m waiting for the coffee machine to heat up, and suddenly, it hits me. I’m here, at the office. Moscow, a city of 10 million people, is beautiful in the summer, yet I can’t just leave the office and go for a walk whenever I want to. When the day is over, it’s already evening, and I barely have time for myself. There are other people around me, with way higher positions, but their schedule is just the same as mine: nine-to-six. My adult life just started. I have forty years of this ahead of me. No matter the company, no matter the position: unless I’m the CEO, I’m doomed to get to work in the morning and go back home in the evening. And then I retire, old and not that beautiful anymore. And then that’s it.

I was never the same after that day. People are plotting my betrayal behind my back. They all act as one. Just out of my frame of view, their heads are turned to me, and they all look at me with the same devilish grin. There are no people — it’s all one huge shoggoth that lives under the office floor, and my colleagues are its ugly tentacles wrapped in human skin. I start missing deadlines. I become paranoid. Next thing I know, I’m at the psychiatrist’s office, being prescribed aripiprazol — a strong antipsychotic that is designed to literally make you slower. Anxiety worsens. I develop restless legs syndrome. I lose my ability to sleep. My intelligence is slipping away. I’m fired.

I have the return to Saint-Petersburg, cariprazine prescription that felt like lobotomy with extra steps, losing my ability to read, delirious manic episodes ahead of me.

It is only now that I kinda-sorta tuned my medication scheme in by going through countless psychiatrists of all sorts. But I sure as hell work at a place where I can do whatever I want if I meet deadlines.

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