Saturday, 23 August 2014 15:03

The disliker and the disliked.

I haven't written anything in a long time. I like to write but almost never do anymore, because I have everything but shut down in the area of things that make me happy or bring me joy. It must be my way of coping. Pushing away pleasurable things because I feel so overwhelmed and keyed up I feel like I just can't start or do anything. I want to write again, to draw, to create, it is a big part of me. Yet whenever I try it highlights this self loathing process, where I feel like I am so inferior in my ability that I don't even want to do it, which I know is all or nothing thinking but the discomfort from the thought makes me lose my "creative spirit" and I lose interest.  I just think too much period. That is what is ironic about it. The thinking generates the ability to be creative and at the same time thinking too much, being too creative, takes you down this rabbit hole that keeps you from having creativity that benefits you or others in any way. The trick is to be present and accept that I am thinking but at the same time not get trapped by the thinking. To observe the thoughts but not find myself being my thoughts. I really struggle with that. I have to catch myself. I often say I am depressed, but I am not so much depressed as I FEEL depressed. I have emotions that are not happy emotions. The thoughts which are not me trigger emotions which are not me and then I act and the acting is me because it is the choice I make based on those emotions and thoughts. I live in this state of worry that I will upset someone, look bad, be caught in my inability and even though I know all of this is silly and irrelevant I have auto-acted to where I don't often find myself able to identify what exact thought or secondary emotion triggers the entire process. I go through the process every day when I am around people, before during and after conversations and encounters. It eats up all my time. I highly dislike it but I am the disliker and the disliked. I want to change, but the hardest thing to change is yourself. It's easy to change jobs, addresses, and outside encounters. It makes no sense because it's like a computer that has a virus. The operating system keeps doing what it has always done and cannot fix itself, and in a way by doing what it has always done makes the problem worse. Then I scan and clean it up because I am also the user of the computer. I am aware of my cognitive distortions, but I have yet to overcome the phobia, because it's like I do it automatically without thought. Or the thoughts come later when breaking them down doesn't seem to benefit me. I have the overall thoughts beat, I can talk back to them, or be present and not generate them sometimes. The hardest challenges are motivation, thought tolerance, and social interaction. I have it narrowed down to those. At the same time I see a bit of perfectionist in there. At what point will I be happy with myself? I am not a failure, I am actually rediculously sucessful in light of what I overcame in my past. I have made huge strides in my mental health. What will be good enough? I can talk, I absolutely hate and second guess everything that comes out but I get out there and do it. I have a job and noone has fired me yet. What is the gauge I should use for, I am ok enough?  A little unfocused rant but there it is. 

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Like everyone, I was shocked and saddened by the death of famous comedian and actor Robin Williams. He was my generation's Charlie Chaplin. His movies were part of the backdrop of my generation's childhood, adolecence, and early adulthood. Over the past days, I have watched the many touching tributes to him, but I have discovered a disturbing trend in the comments of those who knew him well. Many of those who knew him for countless years expressed that they did not see his suicide coming, that he had his addictions under control, and that they did not know he was in such pain. One close friend of his, actor Rob Schneider expressed concern that Williams had been taking a Parkinson's disease drug that had suicide listed as a side effect. This struck a nerve with me. The media has reported VERY LITTLE on this VERY IMPORTANT link. This information is especially pertinent to those of us that have mental health issues. Prescription drugs have side effects sometimes very grave ones, and god only knows how many deaths are chalked up to "depression" when in actuality it is the pharmaceutical companies that should be held accountable. I have had my own personal experiences with the side effects of depression/anxiety medication. Some medications can and do make people who are normally not suicidal have suicidal thoughts. The sad thing is they make so much money off of the meds there has to be a class action lawsuit for these pills to be taken off the market. These pills are a double edged sword. In many cases there is a severe need for a medication, any medication to remove the pain associated with mental and physical illnesses. On the other edge of the sword is we do not know the the long term effects of these fairly new medications. We have to keep ourselves informed and make sure the media exposes the dangers of medications. Few people seem aware but Parkinson's and depression are also LINKED. It is believed that the lower levels of seretonin play a role in this. Now with this in mind, I feel it appropriate to highlight (in honor of Robin Williams)  NON MEDICINAL ways to increase your serotonin so you can theoretically decrease your chances of developing Parkinsons. Naturally. No drugs. Here are the ones I have found after scouring the internet. THINKING POSITIVE THOUGHTS- The chicken before the egg? Does serotonin cause you to be positive or does thinking positive cause you to produce serotonin. Either way MOOD THERAPY helps. EXPOSURE TO LIGHT. Sunlight, light baths. Many people with depression/anxiety have vitamin D deficiency and need more exposure to light. EXERCISE- Face it, it FLOODS your brain with happy chemicals, the ones you need, and for those of us with anxiety that fight and flight response builds up a need to release tension, exercise helps you work it out. DIET- eating foods that are serotonin boosters, foods rich in tryptophan, food low in sugar,caffiene, syrups, and saturated fats.  One thing that I made the decision to do after hearing this information in light of what I believe to be the big pharma murder of Robin Williams, was to purchase a treadmill. Everyday when I walk on it, I will remember that I am walking to naturally beat these mental illnesses that have robbed so many of their health and happiness. Every step, though simple, is like a little kick in the face of those horrible people that allow medications to KILL PEOPLE and not take them off the market because they care more about stock value than moral values. Maybe that sounds extreme, but over the course of 8 years I was put on zanax, wellbutrin, lexapro, zoloft, prozac, lithium, and another one I don't remember the name of because it has been so long, and all of those before the age of 30. That is extreme. The pill culture is extreme. Now, if you can find a pill that works, and leaves you with no side effects keep taking it, you found the magic pill. I know for many of us that has yet to happen, and won't. The option is there and I am thankful for that, but the risks are there too and the media and our society need to make sure that those risks are highlighted and addressed especially when the opportunity presents itself. The suspicious death of Robin Williams gave us that opportunity and we should be asking why. Not why did he do it, but why did this side effect happen to him and noone talked about. After all he did for others, we owe that to him. 

Published in Diary
Tuesday, 19 August 2014 12:11

I don't know why it happens...

I don't know why it happens or when/why it even started.

There was a time I was barely motivated to leave the house. Then I finally took a huge step, moved out from my home country, started a new job (employment options are rare in my country) and at this point in my life, I feel as if I am so closer to where I want to be, finally able to progress in my career. I have quite some amazing friends and a few love options which I am not ready to pursue yet.

However, it doesn't seem to matter how perfect my life is at a certain point, or even how satisfied I consider to be; it 'keeps coming'. Out of nowhere, the shortness of breath, the lump in the throat, the dizziness and the tingling... the need of running away from everyone who is around me and lock myself inside the nearest room, toilet, etc. until it goes away. It used to be harder before.... Nowadays, I believe I am able to control it, I'd say I am able to recover from any panic attack in a matter of a few minutes if I can manage to be alone for that amount of time without anyone noticing that 'there is something wrong with me'. I cannot even explain. Nobody else even seems to understand. I cannot even seem to understand myself. The last time I was in the doctor, I told her that I feel perfectly fine, I feel happy. Why is this happening then? I have gone through several physical exams to ensure nothing else was wrong with me. Heart, lungs, everything is working fine. Doctor says 'underlying issues'.

I can deal with stress, I can deal with being nervous about something in specific, as long as I know what 'it' is. However, dealing with this..it's unbearable. Knowing that something is haunting me and I cannot seem to figure out what it is...

 

 

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