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Monday, June 06, 2005
Well, I am back. Thank the Universe for that one.
I haven’t blogged in a long time because, basically, I lost 2 months of my life while on the anti-depressants (I’ll call them ADs from here on in as I hate typing the whole word).
It’s been an interesting experience, and I am very grateful for it.
What happened was this. As you can read in my last blog, I came to a point in my life where I started to feel myself going down emotionally. I was also feeling some pressure from my husband and my mother to try going onto ADs again. I can’t put the blame on them. The truth is that the situation of my life was wearing me down. I was losing my positive thinking to the habits and patterns of the past. I, temporarily, forgot my path. I was looking for a quick fix.
Immediately after I started taking the ADs, I started to feel the benefits of them. The obsessive thinking patterns became less and less and I was feeling calmer. I had a few side effects, but they were very few. I felt that I had made a good choice in starting the drugs again.
Keep in mind something that I had forgotten to take into account before going on the ADs – I had started The Pill back up a few months earlier. I had been on The Pill for so many years of my life (of the 42 years on this planet, I had been on The Pill, in one form or another, for close to 25 years) that I didn’t take into consideration any effects that The Pill might have on my emotions. I had started The Pill again because I feel that I am edging into perimenopause, and my periods were really getting difficult (very heavy, etc.). I decided to try Seasonale, and I really LOVED the fact that I was having just a little bit of break-through bleeding once in 3 months. It seemed like the best thing to come along in a long while.
I didn’t take into consideration that being on Seasonale, in and of itself, could be exacerbating my emotional state. I forgot that - many, many moons ago, when I first went on The Pill at age 16 - it affected my emotions. In fact, I am now thinking that The Pill might have been part of all of the emotional mêlées in my life. Anyway, it didn’t click that I had been going along pretty well, in spite of everything going on, but all of the sudden I was feeling emotionally overburdened.
Anyway, after about 2 weeks or so on the ADs I started to have some serious side effects, the biggest of which was continual and life-destroying lethargy. I found these symptoms very similar to when I was a Vegan: I was tired all of the time – tired to the point of not being able to function. All I wanted to do was to sleep and when I DID sleep, it was not refreshing at all. My ability to control my food was out the window. I have been dealing with very bad food cravings for the past 2 months, and almost nothing I did was getting them under control, AND, frankly, I didn’t care. I wasn’t able to workout – the lethargy and the bone-deep exhaustion prohibited that. Of course, this is a lethal combo for Type O’s and I am very thankful that I have not put on a lot of weight. I can easily put on 15 or 20 pounds a month if I go all out and don’t exercise, and I don’t believe that I have gained weight at all, although I am a lot softer than I was 2 months ago.
About 1 month into this, I thought that, perhaps, it was the BRAND of AD that was causing this. After all, I had told the Dr. the wrong pill when he asked what I had been taking before, so maybe that was it. I switched myself from Effexor to Lexapro. I had been on a combo of Celexa (Lexapro precursor) and Welbutrin for years and that was what seemed to work for me. Again, initially, I felt better. However, after a week or two, I was right back in the same place. On top of which, my sex drive was gone. In fact, most of my drive of any kind was gone.
I finally realized, about 3 weeks ago that I just could not continue with this – that I, physically, could not continue living like this. However, there was more:
I am NOT religious. I was raised Unitarian by a Jewish mother who converted to Unitarianism before I was born. I have been baptized; I have read the Bible from cover to cover. I have converted to Catholicism, and truly given Christianity as much of myself and I could. I read many books by Huston Smith – one of the truly great theologians of our time – about the world religions, examining all of the most pertinent to see if any of them called me. As much as I really found Hinduism the most interesting, with its many paths to god, none of it worked for me. There were nagging questions that were never resolved by any religions. Then, buy an odd set of circumstances, Conversations With God, by Neale Walsh came into my hands and that series of books changed my life. I will not go into details here, but I finally found something that truly made sense to me, just as the BTD does. Though I don’t believe that that series has all of the answers, it certainly makes my path clearer. One of the things that I truly believe is that we create each and every experience in our lives and that those experiences are completely independent of the outcome. Now, that might not make sense to you, but it does to me.
What this means is that all experiences are valid, needed and worthy. I realize that, buy going on The Pill, I was depriving my body of the full experience of WHERE IT IS. By manipulating my body, I was stopping a natural process that is neither good nor bad, but just “IS”. Additionally, by taking the ADs, I was not allowing my mind and my soul, to accept that each moment of life is perfection. I wasn’t allowing myself to make the CHOICE to let go of my fear and to embrace all circumstances, no matter what arrives.
You see, that is my true belief. That is what the Conversations With God series has helped me to figure out: that we have absolute and true choice. That I am not constrained by any outcome and that all outcomes are blessing because of their experience.
I often thought about the apostle, Paul, who was blinded on the way to Damascus and later healed by Christ. He spent much of his life after Christ’s death in prison, and yet his writing is that of pure joy. I thought about the mindset of a person who could live imprisoned, yet joyful and happy. I know that Paul found his joy in Christ and that Christ was his motivation and salvation.
Though Christ is not that for me, I find that I understand that pure and absolute value of embracing whatever comes, is the road to peace. Not judging the outcome, not placing a “want” on what is to happen, allows one to find perfection in each and every outcome and each and every moment. I realize that, but choosing to take the ADs and The Pill, I was denying myself the very journey that I had created for myself.
I truly don’t want to miss a moment of that journey.
I am working this week to clean up, not only my house, but also my food. I have been a mess with my eating recently, although I still managed to keep myself 70-80% compliant. I am going to take it slowly. I am going to just work on making better choices and lowering the amount of starch in my diet a little at a time.
I am also starting my t-tapping again today. I miss it, and I miss how I feel when I am finished.
I leave you with a wonderful writing that has always helped me, no matter how I am feeling:
(Clipped from the Unitarian Universalist Newsletter, San
GUEST MINISTER COLUMN by Rev. Elizabeth Anne Smith
From the Spanish poet Antonio Machado come these lines:
I dreamt last night
oh marvelous error,
that there were
honeybees in my heart,
making honey out of my
I haven’t been the same since I read those words. I copied
them down and put them on the wall next to my mirror, so
that I see them every morning. They speak to me of hope and
change, of forgiveness and new beginnings. They say to me:
"Our lives are filled with failures, but if we allow time
and grace to work in us, then transformations of unspeakable
sweetness can occur." They say to me that it is never too
late to learn and grow from places that we'd given up on.