This topic only comes up every now and again but each and every time it does I’m always passionate about it, there’s lots of issues that I feel passionate about so it’s impossible to remember each and every one (apparently I’ve got a lot of opinions lol) but I was recently reminded about this one.
I take anti-depressants every day in fact I take 350mg of Effexor-XR and it’s the third one that I’ve been on, it took some fiddling and that wasn’t really any fun but they do really help. I know that there are lots of doctors who will hand out psychological medications as if they’re lollies and I’m not advocating that people who don’t need medication take medication but I don’t think that taking a total view either way is a good thing either.
There’s a lot of natural medicines around which are also great, I personally use aromatherapy for all sorts of things from head aches to nausea to colds I would much rather use the natural essential oils then use a pain killer (especially given my rather bad history with painkillers, from OD to rare allergic reactions I’ve had my fair share of pain from them) however I’m not about to stop taking my anti-depressants because they’re chemicals.
Most who have suffered from a mental illness will tell you that once you do find the right medication they can help immensely, of course you get the people who don’t respond to medications at all or who have very bad side effects with little to no gain from many and that is the nature of any medication. You shouldn’t not try a medication just because there is a chance of a side effect, I get a dry mouth from mine but I also know that without them I’m not stable enough to make any real progress. Of course you should be careful with starting or stopping a medication especially the psych ones because some of them can and will have a pronounced withdrawal should you randomly stop taking them and for the first few days you can be a touch more emotional one way or the other (I was).
I really do believe that some medications are worth trying and yes they’re worth the risk of the rare reaction (which you should be aware of just in case, you want to stop before it really becomes a problem) after all I still try medications if they’re necessary as they occasionally are. To not try something that could make your quality of life better would be like not trying a new food because you could have a reaction from it. I know some medications are bad and the side effects are very nasty, I’m not saying they’re the ones to take on the contrary I avoid anti-anxiety’s and sedatives like the plague because I know they make me ‘zombie’ like which doesn’t help but I don’t shy away from other medication just because I could react to it.
Try to keep an open mind, if your doctor says you need psych medication don’t assume it’s the worst thing possible think about it in terms of how you’re currently doing and then decide if it’s the best thing for you. You might think that you’re stable enough to work on your problems without medication and that’s fine tell your doctor that but if you’re stuck in a hole/ditch and falling farther then maybe the medication will help you to stand on a ledge so that you can work at getting out, that is what I did and I’m so much better off for it.
I’m really hoping this works, I’ve just downloaded the WordPress app so I’m posting from my phone which hates me lol.
Anyhow, today I had a startling realisation with my psychitrast which has left me rather rattled. So in order to melt/disolve that stress and calm the rattles I took the time to pamper myself! I did the verious optional beauty things that I have a habit of neglecting. Now thanks to my body butter, massage bar and dusting powder a lot of that stress has melted away.
In the past I wouldn’t have done this, I was under the assumption that it was a shallow way of making myself feel better. The truth is that its not shallow at all. I’m not doing it to impress anyone and I’m not doing it because I feel the need to be perfect, I do it because when I have smooth soft skin I feel a little better about myself and a little more confordent.
So here is my tip, do whatever it is that makes you feel better(non destructive ways only) and try not to be too hard on yourself because it may look like something else to others. We all have stressful days and if your not hurting anyone do what you want to feel just that little bit better because some times its that tiny bit that makes a difference.
I think that morals/ethics have to be the most important thing to a person in order to be able to function within your own world and society. I don’t necessarily have all the morals/ethics that society subscribes to or I should say that mine are slightly skewed versions of what most of society holds dear(killing innocent people is wrong, treat others how you wish to be treated ect.), however I also have extra ones that a very important to me.
The most important one that I have is to treat all animals with kindness and compassion. As such I’m a vegan and all my cosmetics/toiletries/cleaning supplies/shoes/clothes are cruelty free, I will happily pay extra to ensure that what I’m buying hasn’t cause harm to an animal and to ensure that my money doesn’t go toward harming an animal. When it comes to my medical care(which is rather extensive) I have to swallow my morals/ethics to keep myself alive/give me ‘quality’ of life and I feel guilty about it with each pill I take/test I have. I try to offset what I can’t help with ensuring everything else around me is cruelty free.
While I could go on and on about my various other morals/ethics which I conduct my life around I’ll skip to something else that I think is very important when it comes to morals/ethics.
There are people who take their morals/ethics to excess and/or extremes which causes a rather dangerous problem, the loss of site of reality. While I believe that conducting your life in a way that will make you feel comfortable is important it’s also very important that you stay aware of what general realities are around you. To use an animal rights example(one which I seem to have to point out to many advocates) the meat/animal product industry is ripe with cruelty and injustice, which we are all aware of in some degree. Obviously the quickest way to end this cruelty would be to have the world go vegan(I’m sure there’s a few people giggling or making a ‘pfft’ sound right now but bare with me), this might be very easy for some but the general reality is that it just isn’t possible and it’s really not going to happen. In this situation you don’t just drop the moral/ethic because the world around it doesn’t subscribe to it you do what you can within the reality to make it fit as closely as possible. For me this means that accepting those around me are not going to live/eat the way that I do and rather then trying to force them to do what I do(which I feel is rude and wrong), I seek to improve the lives of those animals in the meat/animal product industry by signing petitions, going to rallies emailing companies ect. This kind of flexibility is very important in order to cope with the surrounding world and can be an essential part of staying mentally healthy. It’s through this kind of adaptation and flexibility that I’m able to slowly(very slowly!) turn my depressive/negative thinking into acceptance and more future focused. A guitar string that is too tightly strung(inflexible) will snap and a guitar sting that is too loosely strung(giving up/dropping) will not play but the right balance makes a beautiful sound, this approach is what I use when going about my own morals/ethics and life in general.
There is one thing that I think about fairly often, most people with depression and other mental illness have this unique ability to ‘forget’ the times when they’ve been in a more happy and positive mind set. I know I have this trouble in particular, even though I can see stuff in my own hand writing from when I’ve been in a good mind set I have trouble accepting that it’s my own thoughts I’m reading. However I think it’s important to write it down so that you can really experience the feelings, for me writing is how I stay in the ‘now’.
I came across these ideas when someone I loved dearly was leaving me and as far as I could tell he was leaving me over the fact that I’m always sick and mentally ill, this in particularly pisses me off I don’t like to be judged on the grounds of my illnesses be they physical or mental. I started to tell him why I was better then him, how the fact that I was sick all the time made me so much stronger then him because I face it day after day.
So this is what I’ve got to say to everyone who has been accused of being weak because they’re sick or those who feel they’re not as good as others because they struggle with this crushing pain day after day, others think that your mind is weak because it doesn’t work the same way that theirs does. Well you know what, you’re actually not weak, your very strong and this is why: Every day you face fear, pain loneliness and heartache that few people could ever understand. You do anything and everything that you can to survive and you might not know why but that’s not really important, what’s important is that you do it day after day even in the face of ridicule. People bully mostly out of fear and they fear anything/anyone that is different to them anything that they don’t understand and you’re better then them because you accept differences even if you don’t understand them. So try to remember when you’re feeling bad, because you can survive this pain and torment you’re so much stronger then people give you credit for.
Recently there’s been a couple of things that have changed and are significantly different from what they use to be. I use to like the fact that I was different, I’d go out of my way to show it off and I enjoyed string people up over it. Like when I was in year 8 at MLC, I was just growing into me(or a Goth according to everyone else) and a lot of the girls where ‘scared’ by me for whatever reason. I found this to be rather comical, because while I can be sharp tongued when needed I’m not actually violent and I’m not very tall either, I used this fear to keep myself amused in very small ways. I’d paint my toe nails black a couple of days before swimming lessons in PE started and watch the stunned faces start whispering. One of my very best friends had told me that the only reason why the ‘cool’ girls at MLC picked on me was because “…you’re different and they admire the fact that you don’t follow everyone else. They’re jealous of that.” and it’s something to this day that I find to be very true. I’ve been told by many others that they think the fact that I can be myself is cool, other people just sit and scowl at me. However of the past 6-8 months I’ve been obsessed with the notion that I’m so vastly different from everyone else that I actually don’t fit in anywhere at all. I’m never really turely comfortable with people and I always feel that I’m out of place, some times to a large degree(like on the street in the CBD) and some times only to a small degree(like with my few friends). I’ve been within a couple of subcultures, most notably the Goth and Alt subculture(the ‘outsiders’ or ‘fringe dwellers) but I find that even in these places I’m the outsider of the outsiders. This feeling has become more and more pronounced the more that I becoming involved in the outside world, looking for a partner was a fairly rude slap in the face for me really. Being a more solitary person I wasn’t prepared for just how ‘together’ a more normal relationship is and I found myself repelled by this togetherness, you’d think a ‘friends with benefits’ type arrangement would be better suited to me…but this too isn’t right for me as I do become devoted to my partner, committed and monogamous but being in constant demand of this ‘togetherness’ was far too much for me. I’ve only ever met one other person who takes this approach to relationships and I miss him dearly, but commitment wasn’t his thing…ha ha I should have known he still acts like he’s a teen and no teenager(bar me) is ready for the type of commitment I seek. But I digress in my rambling, this uniqueness is also seen in my physical body. Within the past year and a half I’ve had surgery twice, one this year and one late last year. Each surgeon was somewhat worried about me and how I’d recover given that my muscles and mind have a habit of over reacting to stressful and painful situations. Yet each time I’ve recovered, faster and better then expected and then most people. I have a low immune system from the years of stress, countless medical issues and a proneness to bruising(always taking forever to heal again). I’m more or less falling apart, my body is having trouble digesting and I spent the better part of a year with it eat its self because I couldn’t keep anything down and yet some how I’ve healed stupendously quickly…and I’m still have issues with my digestion! You’d think this was a good thing, and it is, but it doesn’t make any type of sense at all, it’s weird and strange. I’ve started to wonder just how ‘human’ I am, in a lot of ways I don’t really fit the ‘human’ bill. The second and even more strange difference is this liberated, almost enjoyment, feeling of being single. In the past when I’ve been single I made a point not to stay that way for long because I would always become very lonely, isolated and even more depressed then normal. However of late I’ve really enjoyed the freedom that comes from not having to spend my time with someone, I’m able to randomly decide that I’ll meet a friend in the city or I’ll waste the whole day reading a book and not talking to anyone. This is a very new and somewhat unsettling experience for me and I know that my most recent dates have had a lot to do with it, both of them where very needy in my perception and one actually told me off for spending more time on my school work then on him! I didn’t realise just how perfect my relationship with my ex was until I experienced a more ‘normal’ relationship. Uncharted territory here I come!
Oh how psychology loves to wave this idea around and society for that matter but I’ve never really brought that and my approach to happiness is much different, one that isn’t well liked in the psychology scene. I’ve tried all the positivity approaches before, I’ve said the affirmations, posted the “you’re beautiful” signs all over the house and yet every single time I saw then I just felt worse. One of the most destructive events in my life happened even though I’d gone to said event with a positive out look…one that I stupidly believed. In the end I gave up on the fake positive crap, I stopped telling myself that it all gets better at some point and if I just make it though tonight I’ll be okay. I’ve said all along that my life wont get any better, that it will only get worse no matter what I do and even though I had that belief I still tried and every time I still fell on my ass. I’ve had some of the worst experiences people will ever have in their lives and I’m only just 19, wanna know what it’s like to be raped my someone you love? Or maybe you’d like to know what it’s like to have your mother abuse you for 16 years of your life? How about I tell you about what it’s like to have more or less no memory because your whole life is repressed? These things don’t even show you half of what I’ve seen/been though/done. So how did I get to the point where I don’t fall after each failure? After each glimmer of happiness is shredded in front of me again, for the 19th year in a row? Acceptance. It’s not easy, it doesn’t happen over night and it’s damn painful but what it does do is it helps. Once you know and accept that your life is going to get worse and there’s not a whole lot you can really do about it you can put aside the silly goals. I use to want to be normal, happy, just be like everyone else and I worked hard in order to make it happen and when it didn’t happen I felt another part of me die, the pain was unbearable. Don’t get me wrong, some people do actually have hope and yes everyone who’s ever been abused need’s to accept that their past will always shadow them but in some cases they can move past that especially if it’s only the one incident of abuse. One incident isn’t easier to get over or anything like that but it does give you more hope, if once you where happy and more or less normal you can get back to that stage….but for me there is no hope of normality and no hope of hanging up my boxing gloves I will always be sad and I will always be fighting something. I’ve now accepted that for as long as I live things are gonna be shit house, so how has this acceptance helped me? Well here comes the truth to all the crap positive people sprout, it gets easier. When you expect the very worst of something it’s some how never quite as bad as you fear and once you realise that the moments when something does go well wont last very long you seem to feel them to a much fuller extent. I do believe one thing to the ultimately true, for every action there an equal and opposite reaction. The opposite of extreme sadness is extreme happiness and if you try to find those happy moments you’ll see that they felt so happy it seems wrong, unrealistic and cruel, I had one of those days just two days ago. There’s a realiation I came to recently, I was reading Emilie Autumn’s The Asylum For Wayward Victorian Girls(which is very enlightening even when you’re already familiar with depression), Emilie Autumn mentioned that when something like depression hangs around long enough it becomes part of you and you end up being unable to think of functioning without it. Now this is something that I thought about for a while, looking at the fact that I’ve been depressed since I was 8(the earliest memory I have) and the truth, the awful shameful truth is that she’s right, without the depression I wouldn’t know who I am. I stopped and thought about what I’d actually do if I was happy, normal and it occurred to me that I wouldn’t even know how to begin, what do normal people do? How do you act when your happy? I wouldn’t have a clue. Stopping to think even further about what I’d like, what I’d be interested in and again I draw a blank, I honestly can’t say what I’d like or who I would be. Everything I’ve ever done for ‘fun’ hasn’t ever been about having ‘fun’ it’s been about coping and keeping me alive just that much longer so if I suddenly didn’t need to cope with the crushing hell that is my mental state what exactly would I do? You’d think this would kill every last drop of fight I have in me but you couple this with the idea that my life will never get better, it goes from being an awful reality to another element of me. I fight and fight for something better, that’s all I’ve done and since I don’t need to worry about not having anything to fight I don’t need to worry. So what kind of goals does someone with no hope keep? I know that I don’t need to try to survive because the truth is, I can, I’ve survive three suicide attempts one of which I was sure I wasn’t gonna come back from(oh how happy I was at the time, and much less happy when I woke up in Emergency). My goals are to help those who suffer as I do, to raise awareness about the pain and destruction mental illnesses can cause, to make a difference in the lives of those who can’t speak for themselves(animals) and live my life according to my own ethics and morals. Once you accept that what you’ve been fighting for isn’t going to happen you can direct your energies into something else, something you find to be worthwhile. For some people that could just be getting the truth out, making a difference, proving why you’re better then others ect but the truth is that it really doesn’t matter because as long as you’re doing what you feel is right for you, that’s all you can be expected to do. My approach to happiness is all about accepting the shit and using the energy that was being spent on fighting that shit on something that’s important to you. If you’re always fighting, fight for something worthwhile, if you crave action use those insanely good days to find that action and if you’re stuck deep down in a hole while being unable to get up again stop looking for a rope, use that energy to dig down because someone else will be down there. You don’t have to be positive to be happy, you don’t need to tell yourself things that feel like a lie in order to be comfortable with who you are the only thing you need is that moment of acceptance, of realisation and then so many things become open to you. Turn your hell into your sanctuary or become the ruler, only drown in that black lake when you want to not when some faulty chemicals tell you. The one piece of ‘positive crap’ I’ll leave you with is that no matter what you’ve been though, no matter how many people would tell you different, you arestrong simply because you survived it. You’ve been to hell and you came back,it doesn’t matter how you came back, those self-harm scars are not a sign of weakness they’re a sign of doing what you had to in order to get back from that hell and that, that is what makes you strong.(I’ll write a post on why you’re strong later on).
I accept and understand that there are people out there who are the complete opposite of me but are still good people. These people do things differently to me, they look at relationships differently and they have different views to me…some times I wont understand these views or the way that they do things/how they see things. Which for me is okay, I don’t have a problem with things like this I’m not gay but do I think that gay people should be allowed to get married and have kids? Hell yeah! Where is this going? you might be asking, well there is one kind of person who is different to me that I really do have a problem with and that is people who use fear in order to get people to believe what they believe, feel what they feel and do things the way they do them. Recently I came up against someone who is using these fear tactics in order to fight a just cause: abuse withing the causal relationship community. Now with all the abuse I’ve suffered in my life I’m all for fighting abuse, but I wont fight abuse and those who cover up abuse by scaring everyone into avoiding something because it could lead to abuse. I’ve also seen the good that the casual relationship community can do for people, which this person left out of their argument to shut down/stay away from the community, and this is the exception to the rule of abuse. I’m not saying that the abuser gets something ‘good’ out of it so they’re okay, I’m saying that some people ethically and openly say to someone “I’m looking for something causal, do you want to participate?” and the other open person saying “Sure thing.” shouldn’t be scared away from casual relationships on the chance that they will be abused. Warn people that these kind of interaction can be very damaging, and warn them it can lead to abuse but don’t hide from them that there’s also times where it’s okay to do something casual. Ensure they’re going to be ethical and that they’re aware of what could happen but don’t scare them into not trying at all. I am the person who speaks up for the exception to the rule, not the person who speaks for the rule. This concept will come up a lot in my posts, but I want to make it very clear that just because I’m speaking for an exception doesn’t mean I agree with a rule or that I’m encouraging the exception. I’m giving everyone their right to be the person that they want to be, to be different from me and to be able to do that no matter what I believe about said rule or exception. I wont stand for behavior that limits this equality and right, and I will say something.