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Depression? PTSD? Anxiety? Psychosis? Yes please!

Ladies, we’ve all done it.  We have terrible cramps OUT OF NOWHERE so we go to google and discover…we are pregnant!! Apparently.  Every.  Single.  Time.  Or we have cancer.  One or the other.  It never fails.  I bruise easily even though I take my vitamins like a good little girl and will wake up covered in random bruises.  Now, I know I’m accident prone but you would think I would at least remember slamming my knee into something.  Or my hand.  Or my shin.  Or my thigh.  But there they are in the morning, dark and lovely, reminding me of a fun time I just don’t remember having.  Maybe my dreams are more than dreams.  Maybe I actually live it out in some alternate universe and I wake up with that Sara’s pain and she gets to remain perfectly perfect and intact wherever the hell she is.  Alterna-Sara is a bitch.  At one point I was convinced I had some form of cancer because of the bruising mixed with lethargy and a plethora of other symptoms that matched exactly.  I didn’t.  I had an iron deficiency.  Where was that on webMD?

Anyway, I have discovered that mental dis-functionality is much similar to this phenomenon.  I’m having a bad day for no reason so…it must be depression!  Here’s some Zoloft! Didn’t work?  How about some Cymbalta!  Still nothing?  Try Prozac!  No, no, says a different doctor, it’s your PTSD.  You haven’t dealt with all the mean men from your childhood yet.  Oh yeah, and that big “r” word that happened.  Should probably talk to someone about that.  But I disagree.  I spent several years in therapy trying to “deal” with my depression only to find out recently that most of it was derived from PTSD.  Wonderul.  Who wants to pay my parents back for all those therapy sessions?  Therapy had its merits, but in the end, it wasn’t for me.

Let’s see, what else?  Oh yes, if I start to freak out because I haven’t heard from someone in a few days I have some kind of anxiety disorder.  Have some Xanax.  Well…I must admit that that one does work, but do I need it?  Probably not.  At least not until I’m a little less than psychotic because having Xanax and alcohol under the same roof is just dangerous – you start to get ideas…brilliantly bad ideas.

Here’s the deal though, if I do have depression (which, according to various doctors, I do in fact have both clinical as well as situational depression, but what do they know?) why does it matter?  Honestly, my earliest memories are of thinking I was worthless, and fat, and just downright useless.  BUT!  I’m still here.  I’m chugging along.  I’m…dealing in my own special way.  When I WAS taking anti-depressants things seemed to be going well, but I didn’t feel like myself.  Is that bad?  Is it wrong to only feel like yourself when you are constantly battling negative and self-loathing thoughts.  I’m sure most people would say yes.  Bad, Sara.  Get help Sara.  But I did get help and all it taught me was that I need to trust myself more.   I began to rely on what they said more than what I felt.  Bad.  Idea.  I discovered that I know myself pretty well, AND I know what I want.  And when I say I know what I want, I mean I have no idea what I want and I’m okay with that.  My long-term goals as of right now are to be a Stepford wife/mom to six kids and at some point become a novelist.  I don’t have to be famous, I just want to made a difference to someone out there.

I think if we embrace who we are, flaws and all, we can all make it.  To me, it is similar to embracing your body.  Few people like the way they look, but we are taught to like ourselves just the way we are.  I still find that part difficult, but I sure as hell embrace my psychosis!  I refuse to try any more medication because of this wonderful little tidbit, when you go off the meds, you MIGHT have psychotic episodes.  This little girl did in fact have those episodes.  Two.  Hello ER. Talk about an experience you never want to have again.  It scared the shit out of me.  How do you get away from your attacker when you are the one attacking?  Don’t try this at home, kids.

Depression?  Check.  PTSD?  Check.  Anxiety?  Check.  Self-diagnosed psychosis.  Check.  Proud to be me?  Check!  How can I not?  The thoughts that bump around in my head that never make it out would scare my friends and family, but I have them, and I deal with them and don’t let them take over my life.  Some days are really bad, but there is always a tomorrow.  It might not have sunshine and rainbows and unicorns, but it will bring something new to the table.  I’m hoping for pie.  Or cookies.

As always, I have faith.  Faith in myself.  Faith that I will make it.  Love who you are.  Embrace who you are.  And never let go.

I like to see my life as this wonderfully messed up story that someone is reading right now, and as they read my life unfolds before me.  But at the same time, I’m the one writing the book, and I get to choose what’s in the next chapter.

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Connecting with yourself

You know those times in life that you feel alone? When you are trying to be a better you and everyone seems to be trying to keep you down, and you feel like it is pointless, like none of your friends understand?  Well sometimes those are the moments when, if you keep going, something amazing will happen.  If you continue to listen to your heart and connect to yourself you will find that what you need, who you need, is out there – possibly in the most unassuming place.

The world is on your side whether or not it seems that way.  Those days when everything seems to be colluding against you are simply challenges you get to overcome and later feel great about.  Imagine if we always gave up…how would our self esteem look then?  The harder you push when circumstances are difficult, the easier it becomes to overcome obstacles later on in life.

I was told yesterday by someone that an obstacle I over came was inspiring.  I never thought of it that way and it brought tears to my eyes (not that that is a difficult feat these days, but still) and made me feel really great about myself.  I hadn’t been looking for a pat on the back or even encouragement, but there it was.  Offered in kind by someone I am only just getting to know.  It is amazing the impact people can have on you, and it is usually from the most random and unsuspecting people in your life. Sometimes I wish it hadn’t happened, but at the same time it has made me exponentially stronger.  It has helped me to realize that I can make it through pretty much anything.

I remember when it first happened going through the stage of “maybe it was my fault.  Maybe I asked for it.  Maybe I deserved it.”  Learning to love yourself again after something like that happens to you seems impossible at first.  Even though it isn’t your fault, you can feel like it is.  I always thought if I had paid more attention in my one self defense class I could have prevented it.  I started shoulding all over myself and soon I didn’t hate him, I hated myself.  Hated my body.  Hated everything and everyone.  But somehow, through showers of tears, miles of soul-searching, and hours of conversation I was able to find the way back to myself.  My much stronger, more empowered self.  I reconnected and reaffirmed my belief in myself.

And even though I was able to overcome it, I still go through my down days.  I still have weeks and sometimes months when I feel eeyorish and picture my own personal thundercloud following me around, raining on my…everything.  So when out of nowhere I am on the receiving end of kind words that uplift me and help me when I didn’t even know I needed help, it is then that I remember how much the universe wants me to succeed.  Wants me to have faith.  To continue being me.  Psychotic, sarcastic, loving, laughing, crying, caring, me.  And I will, because, honestly, what other choice do I have?

Love yourself.  Live your life.  Connect to the best possible you.

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