Take charge of what is yours.
Trigger Warning; Mental Illness, Trauma, and Shame.
Disclaimer: I’m sharing this story with you all, because for a very long time I did not understand that others all over the world are going through the same thing. That knowledge often helps me remember that I’m not alone in my trauma.
This year, I read a quote that stuck with me. The quote said; “To my fellow Bad Ass Survivors: take your goddamn meds and don’t listen to anybody who tries to shame you out of them. They just don’t know because they don’t have to know. They are two-legged men calling a prosthesis a crutch. They will not be in the dark with you. They won’t. Ignore their reckless judgement. Bite the freaking bullet and swallow the damn pills. I think of my medicine like I do my faith-if I find out one day that it’s all bullshit-oh, well. It made me happy and helped me love life and my people better.” -Glennon Doyle
Taking charge of your mental health is hard. It requires a level of self-awareness that many of us aren’t willing to accept. You have to go through the literal ups and downs of trying to find a medicine that interacts with your brain chemistry to create normal chemical balance. I highly recommend seeking talk therapy and establishing a good relationship with both your therapist and psychiatrist before beginning treatment.
After a few years of seeing the same therapist and psychiatrist, I began to trust the treatment process. I printed off all of the papers with any information about healthy coping mechanisms. I threw myself into books like “The Whole-Brain Child” by Daniel S Siegel M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson Ph.D. in order to better understand the way that our brain’s work from the beginning.
After reaching a diagnosis, I started a vitamin and prescription routine. I personally found out the hard way, that a vitamin D deficiency can really make your depression much worse. I also found out the hard way, that Abilify was not a prescription for me. None of this was easy work, but it was necessary emotional work. Having doctors for your mental health is just as important as having a doctor for your physical health.
I wrote this post because I ran out of my anti-depressants when I got stuck in Texas last week. Now, while working through a physical illness, I am also having to fight the vomiting and headaches that come with serotonin withdrawals. Its not a fun place to be, but I know that I can get through this, because I have before. I know that when I trust the treatment process and take my medicine as prescribed, that both my family and I benefit.
Please, don’t be ashamed to need help to get out of that dark place. Please, don’t be ashamed to talk to your doctor. Please, find someone you trust and let them help you take charge.
Please, take your meds.
If you do decide to go off of your meds, please consult a physician first. They know much more than we do about our brains and how they function.
Stay healthy. Trust the process.