“I learned that everything is about consistency regarding meds. The doctor gave me meds and told me to take this however many times a day for however many days. Instead all I did was just substitute what he wanted me to do consistently for what I felt was right for me. I’m on meds today as I write this to you. I just take a different type of medicine than you may. ”
” I don’t quite comprehend what these things do or are doing and why they’re doing it. But, they definitely do something weird that makes me uncomfortable”
I have learned that many people in this world lack discipline and consistency. What if I told you that dancing to music, mediation, jogging, eating fruits and vegetables, and walking on a trail by trees a water 2/3 times a day for the rest of your life is equivalent to most meds 2/3 times a day to cope with or prevent many mental illness pains and challenges. You would say something interesting I’m sure. By the way, I do not encourage anybody to not take meds. Please see disclaimer at the end of blog.
My mental illness journey with meds was very brief. Brief meaning I only chose to take them 2 or 3 times. That’s when I was battling day and night with panic attacks. The meds they gave me numbed me. From what I gathered, it was good to slow my mind down because it had too much power and was running hysterically in so many different directions. Most importantly, the mind was shoving things at me and causing me to have panic attacks at any given moment on any day at that time. My fondest moment with meds was after my 3rd visit to the ER at Laurel Regional hospital in Maryland. When I got home that night I could feel another panic attack coming on. I knew I couldn’t go back to the ER because I had already been 3 times. It was either I get a hold of these panic attacks or I take these meds to stop having them. I tried my best to do some relaxing techniques to prevent a panic attack from coming on but it just wasn’t helping at the time. I tried stretching, push ups, and I even tried a couple breathing techniques but nothing helped. Needless to say, the meds won that battle. So I took the meds that I had picked up a couple hours earlier from the pharmacy and here’s exactly what happened. I laid down on the couch with the right sight of my body facing towards the television that was in my room. Within approximately 5 minutes I could no longer feel the rest of my body. Everything was numb. When I woke up the next morning, I made a vow to myself that I would never take meds again for the challenges I was going through. No, it wasn’t easy at all. There were times that I wish I had never flushed the meds down that toilet. But, I had to do what i had to do.
I’m not a super hero or some superman. Very far from it. My journey without meds was the lesser of 2 evils. Meaning it was either I choose my fate to die while being on these meds or die at the hands of the God I believed in. The reason I said no to meds is due to what I was dealing with at the time when they put me on the meds. I was dealing constantly with an irregular breathing pattern, meaning I lost my breathing pattern and basically forgot how to breathe a normal or proper way. I was dealing with some other extreme breathing issues too, like asthma and hyperventilation. In addition to that as if that wasn’t enough I was dealing with panic attacks constantly. I also was deeply in a hypochondria state of mind. I was constantly creating afflictions and illnesses because I had been going through so much. I was worried and hurt all the time. After crossing paths with those experiences with meds, I honestly just felt like my life would come to an end if I had continued to stay on meds. Whether I was hallucinating or not, it really didn’t matter. It’s as if I could feel and see death around the corner. I knew in my mind and heart that I would die over night because I was so out of it. I was already out of it without anything running through my system. I felt that meds would just intensify things and send me overboard. So like I mentioned before, I already felt like I was going to die. I suppose I wanted to die the right way. I wanted to believe in something for real and let that be the test of my existence and demise whether I succeeded or not. I had already had a relationship with God so why not now try and depend on Him to carry me wherever it was I needed to go.
Yes, I was scared to death to not use meds. No the panic attacks did not come to a complete halt due to my decision. I would not only battle with what I was already dealing with. My mind and soul would take an even darker turn for the worse. Which was another reason why I didnt’ want to do meds. A little further down the line I would start having suicidal thoughts, depression, derealization, and depersonalization. I could have possibly chose to take meds for all the other symptoms but I had seen way too many infomercials regarding the side effects of meds. In my mind I believed that if I’m having suicidal thoughts, depression, etc… then what could these meds possibly add to what’s going on. I knew the meds might fix 1 thing but possibly enhance another really bad symptom. I was in an extreme mentally ill battle without meds so I just felt it would make things worse. So I continued on without them. Again it was because I felt I would die or do something really crazy had I constantly digested meds. I was already contemplating what it would be like at a psych ward/mental institution. I was scared for life to enter into 1 of those places. Not that I’m judging anybody who is in 1 or has been. I was just really scared to be admitted to a mental institution. I was by myself while going through all these things and to be stuck in an mental institution I knew was only going to make things worse.
I had gotten further enough along that not even depersonalization would push me into taking meds. I admit I was struggling intensely with derealization and depersonalization. Not only is my life totally upside down with so many symptoms. I’m now having to battle with some supernatural feelings and thoughts. Coming to grasp with being dissociated and feeling like my life was a fake movie made meds seem even more unreachable. It was because I just refused to believe that there was medicine out there that could make me stop these things that had completely altered my perception and reality of life. As severe as the mental anguish was I chose to look elsewhere for medicine. Because it all seemed so spiritual, abnormal, and supernatural, I honestly believed that only God and natural things could balance the wild and crazy stuff out.
Starting with the panic attacks and chronic anxiety. Well, I remembered how the meds numbed the mind. So I did research and even remembered that there was another way to numb the mind naturally. “Exercise”! I was a runner for a long time. But running was out of the question due to the onslaught of panic attacks. But I knew I had to do something. So at the time strength training, walking, stretching, and maybe a light jog would be enough to calm my mind down. It wasn’t an overnight fix. But over time it did a lot for my mind. It’s true! Exercise and being active really does help quiet the mind and is a preventative measure in reducing and stopping panic attacks.
As far as the depersonalization and depression was concerened. I would develop my own grounding and centering techniques. Keeping it simple for this blog’s sake. I just utilized what was around me. I spent a lot of time with anything that had to do with nature.(water, trees). I even learned that expressing myself was very important. So I took up writing, photography, and painting as an outlet to not suppress anything that was going on internally.
DISCLAIMER: I will never encourage people to not take meds. In a matter of fact, if that’s what you choose to do then do it. It’s your life and you have to do what makes sense to you or makes you happy. Quick disclaimer! If you’re on meds at the present moment while reading this, you should definitely not get off them immediately or cold turkey. If you choose to be off of them, I urgently advise the consultation of your therapist or doctor. I know it’s not easy battling these conditions without meds. As mentioned before I’m not a super strong person. I chose the route of no meds by default of fear of 1 over the other. It doesn’t make you weak and not strong if you choose to take meds. The fact that you’re dealing with a mental illness challenge and you exist makes you stronger than most people across this world. Even stronger than most leaders. Do what you have to do to get better. That I do encourage.
People ask me all the time how does my regiment help out with the mental illness challenges. My response is “I have no clue”. That’s where my relationship with God comes in. It was a faith walk. I couldn’t begin to tell you why trees and water make me feel so good inside. Or why when the stars and the moon pushes a breeze that dances across my face. I would say it’s honestly not my business to know these happenstance things in life. But what I can tell you is that our bodies, souls, and minds are make to work, interact, and speak a certain way. Things that are organic and natural have an amazing natural effect on the mind, body, soul, and senses. It just all works for me. I believe I’m no different than you are. I’m not exclusive or special regarding these gifts of maintenance. The only difference is that I have chosen to do these things every day for the past couple of years. That’s what consistency means to me. Most people will try things a few times and give up. Something very special is given to those who decide to be patient and seek. It was never an overnight success while dealing with these mentally ill trials. It took about a year of my natural medicine regiment to even get to the point to say to myself I can live alongside this mental condition and I embrace it. You have to be willing to put in a lot of work to get stronger and enjoy life without prescribed medicine.