Thursday, April 12, 2012

My Antivenom.

I’ve often thought about writing something more personal on my blog, but hesitated due to tapping into something I may not want to experience again. I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately and finally becoming a bit more comfortable with the fact I have an anxiety disorder. I don’t feel alone. I wish no one had this condition, but there’s nothing a person can do but cope with the miserable feeling of fear.
 I respect many of the writers who are going through depression and bipolar disorders and putting their emotions on “paper”. I’ve been down that road too. It was and is the scariest thing I have ever felt in my life.  I see women and men struggling with these conditions and I wish I could just hug them. I wish I had a real answer for them; a solution;  the antivenom.   I only know what happened to me and I have tried to help my closest friends battle depression and bipolar disorder the only way I know how; to remind them there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Back when I was at my lowest-bleh I hate talking about this shit-I attempted taking my own life….4 times…Each time I survived. Each time a question mark. Why? I had valid reasons for dying…I think…some I can’t remember. But at the time they were valid, this I promise you…or so it seemed. Death was always an option, my head always convinced me of that escape route. Everything was so negative and the voices in my head were so loud. The pain was so real, but thinking back to it now I feel like someone had held a magnifying glass to my emotions and made them bigger than they really were. The reasons now seem pathetic-behind on bills, the lack of a father figure, hating myself…etc…(I know one of the reasons is a big reason that affects a lot of people, but keep reading). Back then I couldn’t rationalize or look at other ways out-I didn’t have the coping skills in my life to survive.
I did get help. I got lots of it. Think therapist one hour, psychiatrist the next on a weekly basis for a year. I had a cocktail of drugs that changed over and over again until it was perfected. My brain was mush a lot of the time, but after the perfect additions, something was restored. I found my perfect balance. I found logic. I can’t explain it, but in time through the dark, dusty tunnel filled with spiders and alligators, I found a white light.  My life wasn’t fixed, but my brain was; rather my brain opened up a new corridor where I could process information differently. Anger and rage didn’t send me into a suicidal escapade. I didn’t have to cut my arms to release the poison. I began to deal with my emotions differently and into categories: Things I can change, things I can fix, things that hurt but I can’t change, things that I’ll put in the back burner and deal with later…etc…sure the last one isn’t the best but I can’t deal with everything all at once, I’m still human.
Medication isn’t always a cure all. I’ve been off and on mine for a couple of years for one reason or another and I always come back because I fear the old me.  Therapy is a God send and in addition to the meds I don’t think I’d be where I am now.  I still battle depression. I still get my highs and lows, but not as drastic and nothing is the end of the world anymore. For me that was the prize in the crackerjack box; to want to live, to have the desire to be awake and active in the world around me.
I feel like I’m always tested though. I won that battle (sorta) but now I’m on a new battlefield dealing with new diagnoses and I am trying to get out of a mini depression. I call it a mini depression because I will NOT let it get to me. I will not. Anxiety and this panic disorder is kicking my ass. Driving is more than I can handle, but I’m still doing it and I’m attempting to conquer my fears one step at a time. Body pain, well I am not quite sure what the final diagnosis is yet, but either way the answers don’t seem to be in my favor. Funny how I can just keep going with the negative crap-I fear hiking, running, walking, walking my dog, bending down, overstretching my arms, sleeping wrong…etc…all because I may hurt myself. Fun huh? For me, though, I have to do the opposite. I have to go outside. I have to breathe the clean, crisp air. I have to take  my dog on a walk because she reminds me how great it is to be outdoors. I always feel more awake too once I step outside and venture through our town. That is the light at the end of my tunnel. Knowing what makes me feel better, even if it’s temporary or for just 15 minutes-you’d be surprised though sometimes taking a walk changes your entire mood for the rest of the day.
I’ll leave you all with that. Just a tiny speck of me.
Thanks for reading.

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