Saturday, February 23, 2008's spiritual

I just can't believe how things have unfolded. I want anyone to reads this to understand that I got to this point after a long time, and this long time included medication, taken daily, exactly as my doctors have prescribed. When I was young, the anxiety and depression consumed me, without the medication, I am sure I would be dead by today. I would have commited suicide, because survival felt too impossible, or I would have killed myself from drugs, an STD, or some other destructive means of coping with my depression.

Medication allowed me to be human again, and allowed the neurological messages to be sent through my body, so I could get out of bed, communicate, and move through my life. Medication gave me the strength, and the understanding, to do the hard work of therapy, to understand that the way I percieved the world was incorrect, and have the courage to try a new perspective, even though I feared it would make me "shallow" like those people with good upbringings. Somehow I saw happiness, calmness, optimism, as being inauthentic, without medication, perhaps I would never understand that positivity is just as authentic as negativity, and not gotten as far as I am today.

In 2001, I knew it was the end. I knew I could not go any farther with life. I had two options, kill myself, or...I had no other options. I layed myself at the psychiatric professionals feet "I am at the end, please help me, I can't do it alone." My therapist's words were so meaningful to me, when she told me it was wrong to say that I thought a man's intrest in me was "slumming" that I had to listen for the first time ever. I sincerely believed that. I sincerely believed I was a terrible, terrible person, but since I knew I would die if I didn't listen to her, I listened. I learned that I am not only not terrible, I am actually quite caring and compassionate. I learned that I have qualites that few other people do. I learned how to talk back to the thoughts in my head that cut me down, and I was able to do this because I had the medication.

But now, I am lowering my dose. I needed it to learn new thinking, coping, and self-care skills, but now that I have learned, and I would like to think, mastered them. I am ready to come down a bit. And what is on the other side of reduced medications? Emotions! Emotions that would have paralyzed me before therapy, but I am stronger now, I have changed my style of thinking around so well that I correct people when I hear them cut themselves down.

I am ready to reduce my medication, and to take on the next wave of challenges that will come with that. I will have to confront my grief of losing my mother and my father's alcoholism. This really wasnt addressed much in the 2 years of recent therapy, instead I was learning to deal with the way I thought and, well, my sexual behavior. Now is time for a new round of growth, and thanks to the foundation I have built from taking my medication daily, and being so dedicated to therapy, I am strong enough.

In the end, the lexapro sedated me. It sedated me so the anxiety didn't paralyze me. It also helped calm my sex drive enough that I could focus on my relationships with men, and not fall so helplessly into my old patterns. Now, with a reduced dose, I am less sedated, which means I feel more creative, more driven, and more emotional. I have felt genuine sadness about Ullrich's death, and I cried my eyes out when I watched "Whale Rider" tonight. It feels amazing.

If you are suffering from depression and anxiety, or any mental health problem, stick to the psychiatric community. If you feel something isn't right, that someone doesn't understand you, find someone else (I have had more than my share of problems with some medical professionals, but I kept on until I found people who could help) Keep going, be brave enough to believe what they say, you wont believe how much life can change for the better if you do.

And if you are artistic, create. And if you can cry, cry. And if you believe in a higher power, pray.

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