pills or pure

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For me, this is a topic sans conclusion. Currently, I am on the medication side of this debate; not necessarily the side I would like to be on.

I have been medicated for bi-polar disorder now for roughly seven months. Before that, my Doctors were trying medication for depression and anxiety on me. Before that, they had tried giving me drugs to help my erratic sleep behaviour. Even earlier than that, I was under treatment for post traumatic stress disorder. For nearly two years now, I have felt like a test subject for the medical field of mental illness; bouncing around from one diagnosis to another. As frustrating and as much as I struggled through experimenting with so many different drugs, it does not compare to when I felt completely alone battling with myself.

Honestly, I prefer the idea of living a drug-free healthy lifestyle. Taking supplements. Eating all-natural organic foods. Exercising regularly. Maintaining a healthy spine and nervous system. And I have certainly tried doing these things while maintaining my medication. Unfortunately, the aforementioned things did not make me feel healthier. I don’t think giving up the drugs is even feasible. It took so long to find the right mocktail for me to finally feel somewhat stable, I would hate to step back into the fight for my sanity.

Taking these meds comes with side effects. I am very uncomfortable in my body with the weight that I have put on. My blood pressure has increased. There is vibration in my hands. My vision blurs in and out sometimes. My eyes are sensitive to light. It can be difficult to concentrate. Plus whatever hormones are in these meds will probably take ten years off of my life. Then again, life un-medicated is a life I had once wanted out of.

So where to go from here? On one side of the fence are my sister and sister-in-law. Two people who I look up to as examples of healthy living. One lives completely drug-free and sees a Chiropractor regularly. The other lives the vegan lifestyle and regularly attends yoga classes. Both are healthier and happier than I could ever dream to be.

Then there’s the other side of the fence. Not necessarily the wrong side, but certainly the compulsory one for now. This is the side that is always throwing pills at me. They are also actively helping to stabilize me. Without the help of my Doctors, I don’t know if I would be in such a state of recovery right now.

In previous posts, I have casually mentioned that I am crazy and I have anxiety and I am a cat lady. This is the first time, however, that I have specifically spoken about my ailments. I am hoping that this can be considered another step in the right direction. It is scary to put yourself out there exactly as you are. But I do so with big hopes that there will be a positive outcome.

Sadly, this post is a little heavy and I have no cheerful ending for you. I can never say how things will turn out. One thing is for sure, I wake up every day and I take life one step at a time. I will keep picking up the pieces, no matter how long it takes, until I am complete. So I guess all I can really say is stay tuned. 🙂

just do it

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I have a big beautiful long-haired black cat named Kramer. I love him to pieces even though he is shedding all over the house. I feel as though I am always cleaning up after the poor little guy. I suppose it’s all part of taking care of another creature and I ought to shut my mouth about it.

A few days ago, I took on the seemingly simple task of vacuuming my bedroom – one of his favourite rooms to roll around in. After what felt like ten minutes of going over the same spot, sweat beading on my forehead, that one big chunk of fur hadn’t moved. I made sure there was nothing caught in the beater bar, I made sure the vacuum had been emptied, and yet it was still not picking up the fur. Frustrated, I turned to the side to try moving on to another spot; and of course, the original piece was sucked up easily as I quickly passed over it. I felt completely ridiculous. Here I had been wasting my time going over and over the same spot in the same way, when all I needed to do was try it once from a different angle.

Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. While I think it’s great to do things with ferocious persistence, we must be able to recognize when something isn’t working.

I had previously spoken about the day job that I had acquired. Despite it causing me stress and anxiety and putting me in a foul mood, I had decided to keep at it in the hopes that I would eventually get used to it. Sadly, it only got more difficult for me and I ended up quitting. At first I was so disappointed in myself. I worried that I was starting over again from square one and I would never get up the gumption to go out and get another job.

But maybe I was just trying things from the wrong angle. In retrospect, it seems silly for me to have jumped head first into a full time position that took me away from working on my online course, spending time with my family, and writing. All of the things that make me happy and keep my head on straight had been put aside for this job that I did not care for. I can hardly be surprised that things didn’t work out.

So I am not starting back at square one after all. Instead I am learning more about myself and I am getting back up when something brings me down. I am currently applying for part time work that I can see myself enjoying. And, as an added move in the right direction, I am doing so in person. Where I was once crippled with anxiety at the idea of being rejected by people, I am now embracing this fear as a necessary next step.

Just on a side note, if you get a chance to read Portia De Rossi’s book, Unbearable Lightness, I highly recommend it. She speaks very candidly about her struggle with eating disorders and with coming out of the closet. At one point in her life, she considered Ellen the “worst case scenario” in the context that at least she wasn’t dating the most famous lesbian in the world. She saw what happened to Ellen when she came out and feared the same would happen to her.

At the end of the book – and this was my favourite conclusion that she came to – she concludes that everybody should try their own “worst case scenario”. Find the one thing that you are most afraid of and just do it. Who knows how it will turn out? It worked out well for her; she says that she is now happier than she has ever been. And isn’t that the goal no matter how we get there; we’re all just searching for that unbridled happiness. Well I say, I am ready for it. 🙂

best friend

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you wake me up early in the morning so you can start your day
you do the silliest things and make me laugh so hard I could cry
you’re the first one to greet me whenever I come home
but I really do miss you while I am gone
sometimes you make me so angry that we don’t talk for a while
but you’re always quick to forgive me when I’ve been horrible
sometimes you just stare at me and I wonder if you are reading my mind
but when I think of the vacuum and you just yawn, I know that I was mistaken
when I am hyper you let me dance you around the room
and even though you can’t smile, I am sure you love every second of it
I get so scared when you are ill that everything around me stops
and as you are getting older I appreciate every minute that we have
to love you means that I am pathetic and to talk about you means that I am nuts
but I am the one with the advantage because I know of something pure and true
a love so strong that it remains, even when I am cleaning your poo