Transitions, Resulotions & Insurance Lapses

So I know it’s been a while since I’ve last written a post. It seems like whenever I have the most the write about the less likely I am to actually do it. That’s anxiety for you though I guess…

A lot… and I mean a lot has been going on recently. I guess I’ll start out with letting everyone know that I got a new job. I’m using the term “new” loosely however since I’ve been there now for over 2 months. It’s funny how much emotional weight we put into jobs. I was initially so excited for my “new beginning” and new career path. It’s exhilarating going through the application process when the outcome is you actually land the job. I’m not trying to say I am no longer happy with my position… I’m just trying to say I forgot how much an emotional and mentally taxing experience starting a new job can be.

At my previous job, I was fairly open with my mental health. I felt very supported by peers and comfortable opening up to them. Ultimately though, it just wasn’t the right position for me. Going into this new opportunity I was conflicted if I wanted to be as open about anxiety as I had been in the past. Would they look at me differently? Would they think I was less capable of my job duties? Would they wonder why the heck I would choose to share something so personal to me? Should this be something I even bring up in the workplace? Where should the line be drawn with this sort of thing anyway?

I decided it wasn’t something I wanted to bring up. I also decided to make my Instagram private because I wasn’t sure what somebody from work would think if they stumbled across my blog. Even though I pride myself on being open on the subject, I decided that this time it was something I wanted to hide and that it was something I that I was embarrassed about.

About a month before I left my old job I had started to take serious strides to take back control of mental health. I was seeing a therapist weekly and we had plans to reach out to a nurse practitioner to evaluate/ adjust the anti-depressants I was on. She was super supportive when I told her about my new job and I told her I estimated it would probably be about a month before my new insurance would kick in. Then I found out my estimate was wrong and it was actually going to be at least three months…..whoops.

But whatever, I had this. I felt really confident and strong going into my job duties and I was for once really excited for my future. In the midst of training, I had completely forgotten my anti-depressants were out of refills and subsequently stopped taking them. I might’ve touched on this before but NEVER ABRUPTLY STOP TAKING YOUR ANTI-DEPRESSANTS. Right, when everything in the workplace was getting it’s most stressful my brain decided it was time for seratonin gymnastics. Needless to say, it was not a good look. I was crying on the daily, I felt completely out of control and I felt completely ashamed.

That’s when I decided to bite the bullet and go to my local medi-center just in order to get a refill. I didn’t care how much it cost because I literally felt like I was going insane. But the damage was done. At the exact time, I needed to be at the top of my game I became crippled with self-doubt.
I’m not going to go into much detail about how much worse it got… but trust me things got way worse than I could ever have imagined.

And on that light-hearted note… let’s talk about New Years! I cannot believe I’ve been writing in the blog now for over a year. Time really flies when you’re having a panic attack. No, but in all seriousness, I am currently in a much better state and ready to kick some 2019 ass. I’ve grown too accustomed to going through bouts of tremendous lows, picking up the pieces and then trying again. While I still admire my resilence in such situations, my goal this year is to stay in control of things and not let them control me. Honestly, I think this is my toughest resolution to date. And before I end this (and wait another 300 months for a new post) I just wanted to thank everyone who read and kept up with my blog this past year. I didn’t even realize how many people actually read this until they would come up to me at gatherings and tell me how much they relate to what I write. Those type of reactions is why I keep trying to be open about my life and the struggles I go through. I hope you all have a great 2019 and if you’re not, feel to reach out and tell me why I am always here to listen!

Recovering From Summer

So I know it’s been a hot sec since I wrote a post, but what can I say? I was out there living my best life…. JK I was out there living my typical unbalanced life. Which isn’t to say it was all bad. Parts of my summer were incredible, but more on that later.

I know its not technically Fall yet, but at least it’s not 90 degrees anymore so it felt appropriate to discuss this.  Summer is a fricken whirlwind.  I guess there is something about warm weather that causes me (and many others Im sure) to throw caution to the wayside. All of sudden you go from having a somewhat predictable routine to going to BBQ’s every other day, the beach and on vacation.

It’s a crap load of fun, don’t get me wrong… but for me it is also very dangerous and full of temptations. If you’ve been keeping up with my blog you know that I had stopped drinking for quite some period of time. You may even think I was still following that trajectory, but *spoiler alert* I haven’t. It was a great time of self reflection for me, but it was also very hard and admittedly I got tired of it.

I slowly started drinking again here and there at gatherings during the Spring, but it was still a sort of take it or leave type thing. Once Summer hit however, it was all bets off and I became unhinged. I could probably make a lot of excuses… I was stressed at work, my anxiety medication wasn’t work as well as it used to (or I would forget to take it or take too much),  I was going to too many events, whatever the case may be…Summer is over and its time to jump back into good habits.

Sometimes I feel like such a transparent person. Whenever I am going through a rough time it is painfully obvious, not just to me but to EVERYONE around me. That can become extremely daunting and in turn I usually become even more destructive/anxious/depressed.

Now that Fall is here I feel like I can finally take a step back and look at everything with clearer vision, take a breath and get my shit together.

Will I stop drinking again? Will I finally seek out a therapist? Will I get a second opinion about my medication? To be continued…. but it is looking more likely than it did before.

What about Summer throws you off your routine??? Comment below, I’d love for you to share!

 

❤ Sweeney

 

Every day I’m Supplmentin’ Prt 1

So I’ve recently been doing a lot of research into some more homeopathic methods to help combat my anxiety and cravings and let’s just say, the vitamin shop is my new best friend. If I hadn’t decided to explore a variety of natural remedies to help deal with my emotional shortcomings, ​I am not sure I’d be as stable as I currently am.

At my worst, I couldn’t make it through the day without thinking irrational thoughts. I was so angry, I wasn’t working out, I couldn’t concentrate and the only way I knew how to handle it was with anti-depressants, benzos, or alcohol. Because I was prescribed my medication and the social acceptability of alcohol I truly didn’t realize how much damage I was doing to myself. Because I didn’t feel confident in my abilities to deal with my issues I ended up numbing myself to them. It took several extremely low-lows to wake me up and help me realize something needed to change. Change doesn’t happen overnight​, so I started by cutting out drinking and doing some research. I had gotten to the point where abstaining from alcohol & certain medications suddenly gave me minor withdrawal symptoms. How scary is that? The worst of these symptoms were anxiety…because of course.

Before I go any further I just wanted to point out the importance of seeking medical advice/ supervision when quitting​ any substance you think you may be addicted to. You can even get withdrawal symptoms by​ eliminating coffee from your​ life so be extra cautious even if you think you’re fine because it’s​ legal or it’s prescribed. This is, of course,​ something else I learned the hard way…because you know I have this habit of not making things easy on myself…more on that some other time.

ANYWAYS since I was experiencing withdraw symptoms I started with ways to help ease those which in turn led me to ways to ease my anxiety. Through my research and trial and error, ​I have compiled a list of my favorite natural ways to relieve anxiety, depression, racing thoughts, restlessness, and cravings.

Before I get to the interesting stuff, just 1 more disclaimer before starting any sort of vitamin regime, do your research. Make sure nothing you take interacts with any prescribed medications and be aware of how much you are taking on what. You can actually overdose on vitamins! Also, there are A LOT of supplements that do not interact well with anti-depressants so please be super aware of you are taking. I currently still take Zoloft daily so I am super careful to make sure nothing I take interacts negativity with it because then whats the point, right? Anyhow without further ado​ here is what I’ve found works best for me.

In the morning

Vitamin B- Vitamin B is my not so secret depression weapon! I take a B Complex daily which includes 8 B vitamins, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12 all of which play a crucial role in keeping my body running efficiently. And let me tell you, my life needs all the efficiency it can get! B Vitamins also help convert our food into fuel, allowing us to stay energized throughout the day. So pop the B’s when ya feeling Zzzzzz’s. As if efficiency and energy weren’t enough b-12 and 6 have been known to produce brain chemicals that affect mood and brain function. In fact, ​low levels of these vitamins have been linked to depression, so do yourself a favor and take some badass b’s!

Vitamin C- Vitamin C is a well-known vitamin and antioxidant. You most likely​ pop​ one when you feel a cold coming on. Lesser known, however,​ is that it can combat the damage caused by oxidative stress. Meaning it can help relieve symptoms of anxiety, stress, depression, fatigue, ​and mood. Woohoo​! I take 2 500mg of Ester C in the morning. Ester C is said to have quicker absorption, stronger availability, be less acidic and easier on the stomach than regular vitamin c supplements.

Vitamin​ D- As many people are aware sunshine is a great and free source of Vitamin D. But did you know that vitamin D also has the power to make grey clouds disappear (…..figuratively​ that is)? Healthy vitamin D levels can help prevent or treat depression, alleviating those grey clouds that often fog our thoughts. Unfortunately​, deficiency is common which is why getting vitamin D from sun, food and proper supplementation is super important​. I actually just found out I have a vitamin d deficiency, which kinda makes a ton of sense! I am now taking 2,000 IU of D3 a day in addition​ to whatever is​ contained in my multi. It is noteworthy to point out however that taking too much vitamin d can be toxic. Luckily you’re ​very unlikely to do so since it takes like 40,000 it​ daily to cause you harm.

Omega 3-6-9- Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids are nutrients essential to keeping your body and (especially) your mind, healthy. The internet has told me that Omega supplements​ have been known to treat mental health and mood disorders​ very successfully. Omega 3 seems to be the most popular of the omegas in regards to supplements​ and is most commonly found in Fish Oil supplements​. I, however,​ have been taking Emu Oil which contains Omega 3-6-9 since I fear I may have an EFA (essential​ fatty acid) deficiency​.

Magnesium​- Magnesium is a calming and soothing mineral that regulates the nervous system and has the potential to help you cope with stress. It has long been acknowledged​ as a safe and efficient way to treat anxiety. It has ​even been known help stop panic attacks…which I seriously​ before all my research thought you could only do with a benzo!

Multi- duh

Speaking on Anxiety Attacks…..

Kava Root- The root of kava is known to cause relaxation and it has been nothing short of amazing in aiding me with my anxiety and stress. It is actually considered just as effective​ in treating anxiety and insomnia​​ as tranquilizers and benzodiazepines​. The great thing about Kava though is you don’t develop a dependency for it. In fact, ​over time you need less and less kava to produce that same effects. Whenever I feel a panic attack coming on I take a Kava capsules​​e​ cut it in half and absorbed the powder under my tongue for quick​ relief​. You can also Kava in serum or tea form. One downside though is Kava has been linked to liver damage, although this is rare. I suggest not taking kava in conjunction with regular alcohol​ use.

Valerian Root- A stinky supplement​ (it smells like feet) known to help with anxiety that I have done far less research on than anything else on this list.

In Part 2 of my supplementation documentation​ (see what I did there) I’ll go over the nighttime rituals I use to assist in my anxiety. Get excited because these supplements​ make you sleepy so you KNOW they work with calming you down. Also, expect me to use the word “efficient” “promotes” and “aids” about 100 more times. Until then….

❤ Sweeney