Recently, I saw a post on facebook in a music fan-group for TOOL.
Someone reached out…
Someone whose story sounded like something from my own past…
Someone I related to and wanted to help knowing I just might be able to help along their path…
Anxiety and I know each other very, very well. In fact, one of my earliest memories was about some stressor and how my heart pounded and feeling the adrenaline coursing through me like a wildfire. I was 2 y/o at the time. Seriously, I really do remember back that far… even further if you care to know.
Since then, well, I’ve had a whole host of anxiety related health issues which I won’t get into because they are so numerous and kinda pointless relating to this post’s purpose.
Let’s jump ahead to 1999… the year that I was assaulted over a period of 2 months, 2 weeks, and 6 days. Wow, did I ever let the anxiety take over! I didn’t tell a soul about what had transpired during that time – scratch that, I hinted around it to ONE person. The thing is… I’d been conditioned my entire life into believing that because I have a high IQ I am, therefore, a “smart girl”… and, Anxiety stepped in and romped around in my head telling me, “Things like that don’t happen to smart girls. So, you better keep it to yourself, or the person that has been conditioning you into thinking you are of superior intelligence will find out you’re a fraud! So, hush up, GIRL!”
That thought was expounded upon exponentially until 2005 when I finally CRACKED.
No one on this planet is designed to handle that kind of emotional burden on their own. I don’t care what anyone says. It’s impossible to keep all those smoking, bleeding wounds on my psyche from being raped, beaten, threatened, watching their beloved dog be choked out, and then, reviving him with CPR. If my dog Jeffrey hadn’t come back from the beyond to me, I wouldn’t be here today. I’d be dead either by my attacker’s hand or my own.
Getting back to 2005, I’d been prescribed all kinds of psychotropics… Lexapro (because one doctor swore my anxiety was fed by depression) which started the destabilization process, Prozac (because Lexapro wasn’t working), and, the one that sent me over the edge, Effexor.
I ended up in a psychiatrist’s office, an appointment that I’d already scheduled before jumping into the deep end and was drowning in mood swings and hypomania, with my mother and husband. Finally, I said what happened to me out loud. The kicker? No one believed me at that point because I was too far gone and acting too erratically.
I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. One thought… FUCK, a life sentence, just fucking great.
For about four years, I went through medication HELL. I was subdued and tired and out of it, but if it made my family happy, I kept taking the meds even though I sure as HELL didn’t feel any better. Worthless. I had sunk into depression due to my situation.
And, ANXIETY was still there playing tricks on me. I was worried about everyone else’s perception of ME.
In 2009, I started seeing a new therapist. His name was Mike, and he said, “You don’t have Bipolar Disorder.”
Wait, What?!?! Is he trying to MIND FUCK ME?
I began to trust him after about a year. Yeah, a WHOLE YEAR of weekly visits before trust was established. I told him everything in that year, but I didn’t trust him. At that point, what did I have to lose?
2010 – He started working toward getting me to stop taking the meds because he believed my issues weren’t the kind that are helped with medication. Complex PTSD just doesn’t respond to medication well. It’s a diagnosis born of situation not biology.
2012 – I stopped taking them because I became pregnant. I was so scared that everything was going to fall apart because I’d been told over and over and over that I was Bipolar. The medication was tapered away within a two week period which is FAST.
Nothing. Nothing happened. I felt awake. Wait, I didn’t feel anything odd or amiss. No compulsions. Nothing.
Unfortunately, I miscarried for the 5th time. That sucked on so many levels, but I made it through with only a single anti-anxiety med that I currently take from time to time.
Even then, I stopped taking that, too.
But, why? and HOW? How did I get to where I didn’t even need anti-anxiety meds?
Aside from finding the right therapist, I started meditating which did more for me than any drug had ever done.
It took years of making mistakes with my health by buying into new science versus the proven 2500 years of documentation showing meditation works. And, IT DOES.
So, my message to you if you’re struggling,
What have you got to lose?
Meditation does take practice. That’s why it’s called “practicing meditation”. Like any muscle, the brain needs time to learn the routine and patterns.
There are free guided meditation apps for both Android and iPhone.
There are meditation timers should you want to do breath meditation.
Really, there’s a mediation technique or techniques that click for every person on this planet.
The most basic explanation I’ve seen that’s easiest to start with on your own is on WikiHow
For me? I took it a step further. I’m a practicing Buddhist with Diamond Way Buddhism. There’s a link on my home page for Diamond Way should you wish to learn about it.
It’s a philosophy and way of life that makes sense to ME and millions of others out there, but it isn’t for everyone. I take no offense if it’s not for others. We all have our own path to walk.
It took me a long 35 years to fall in love with my life, but it happened. I’m so much happier and less stressed for it.
My wish for you…
Peace. Be at peace with where you are and have compassion for yourself and others. And, even if we’ve never met, I have love for you.