Medication…. lemme tell ya!

I am going to admit two things…

 One:- I am currently on anti-anxiety/depression medication

Two:- I was one of the those people very against going on medication

I wanted to admit these things, cause I feel not a lot of people are aware of just how common it is to experience anxiety and depression and may, like me, be reluctant to medication and a perspective on this could be useful, cause education is always good right!

 

My feeling towards medication was very much Tom Cruises…. I had an opinion on it based on nothing! I guess I just felt it made me weak cause I couldn’t handle a problem myself. And anxiety and depression already make you feel weak… like you can’t deal with things the same way others do, why is no one else extremely stressed out in the situations that cause me to melt down.

I know a lot of people get stressed, and I don’t ‘own’ anxiety, but I do feel a little bit like the word anxiety is thrown around a lot, maybe too much…. When I say anxiety about situations, I mean, heart palpitations, a stomach that feels like it’s going to churn out of my skin, extreme heat under my chest and face, unable to catch my breath, my brain clouding over and unable to focus on a single thought to stop it and yet hearing every negative thought you inner brain demon want to scream at you, to the point of crying, and basically feeling sick for a good time after the situation has passed. And always a headache.

Sounds fun huh. For years I just dealt with this as something I was, weak, couldn’t deal with anything so I would just try to avoid things that cause it as much as possible. Unfortunately this included a lot of things, trying new things, going out to crowded places, going out in general sometimes, public transport, jobs, meetings, losing jobs, calling in sick etc etc.  I have been told repeatedly I ‘m sensitive or emotional person, so I put it all just down to that… I must just be emotional.  It sucked when I felt like I was letting others down because of it, and I’m sure I have lost friends because of it to… of course they probably didn’t realise why wasn’t coming out, as I myself didn’t, they just got a lot of no’s from me so inevitably people stop trying.

But it all came to a breaking point this year. For some reason, I think my body had just had enough of living in the tense state it was in most of the time.  And I was beginning to have panic attacks… nightly… when I say panic attack, I mean the anxious feelings I mention before would start but it would go further to a point where I felt like drowning, not just I couldn’t breathe but to the point that I was actually suffocating in that very instant, I would clutch at my throat and pound on my chest, body convulsing to the point I was on my knees on the floor suddenly screaming and or crying uncontrollable with the accompaniment of snot and drool… awesome fun! These panic attacked were completely unprovoked… I would be just watching tv, reading… checking facebook and all the sudden a sharp pain would rip through my belly like I was going to hurl and it all flooded over me… and if I did manage to make it through a night without an attack you can bet your bottom dollar I would wake in the middle of the night with a night terror, screaming myself awake covered in sweat.  Obviously this kind of nightly activity does wonders for you in the day time to, while I was pretty happy I’ll be it stressed, I would start crying in the middle of the day.  I decided I need to see a doctor.

 

Seeing a doctor about these problems feels a little humiliating… how to describe these symptoms when you’re sitting there otherwise healthy and happy? But fortunately doctors know their shit!

I was given a questionnaire which is very for telling about what I was dealing with. After my result was calculated I was offered some therapy sessions and my doctor discussed with me taking medication.

(Side note: seeing your doctor about these issues, I found out that you are entitled to a certain number of free therapy sessions a year!  Seek therapy if you feel you need it, because it’s awesome helps a lot!)

 

When she said medication, I was immediately tense, I really wasn’t happy about the idea I couldn’t just get through this myself, even though I had just had validation in finding out not everyone deals with things this way, not everyone has anxiety, I have anxiety, it didn’t mean I was weak! I also had depression as a friend… I didn’t make me a sad person! These thoughts help, and I really can’t tell you why I was so objected to medication, do asthma suffers not take medication to help them breathe!  Hell did men not take pills to help them? What was my problem?

The truth is, there could be something chemical going on in your brain, like mine, it doesn’t produce enough of a certain chemical that you need. Maybe that chemical was low the day they were giving it out… but the gods decided to help us out and gave humans the ability to create in it  little pills… so it’s a chemical assist…

Again a fight within myself is, doesn’t a chemical assist mean I can’t handle things on my own… then miss logic appeared in my head (maybe she was helped by some of my awesome friends) but she said, having a little pill is in fact still doing it yourself you silly muppet… do you not wash your hair with shampoo…. That’s a chemical assist, but you are still washing it…. So you are getting a chemical assist to control anxiety and mood…you still sought help, you are the one taking it it’s still me… and do you really want to deal with another panic attack tonight. Gulp… Bottoms up!

 

I wasn’t sure how great these pills had been helping me…. I knew I was changed cause I can suddenly do a lot of things I couldn’t do before… today I realised even something small like parking my car in a busy car park was no trouble… yes even things like that.  Yesterday I had to face public transport.  A thing I had dreaded for a long time.  When I was 18, I used to travel from Brisbane to gold coast for work on the weekends.  Every Friday, I would feel sick.  My body was tense, headachy all day in dread for it… I had to change trains and the second was an express, I was constantly sure I was going to leave something of mine on a train, catch the wrong train… or something.  I would hate it if I needed to go the bathroom cause I would add miss the second train to my stress.  My anxiety was constant for the day leading up to the two and half hours of travel.  Constantly checking the screens, my watch, my ticket, the train numbers… have a backup plan for my back up plans back up plan and this was the time before mobile phones!

But yesterday I had to teach someone how to travel via bus, in Brisbane… teach someone… ahhh, to travel by bus… ahhh in Brisbane… ahhh. But amazingly I got through with little to no symptoms of anxiety, I wasn’t feeling sick, I wasn’t headachy, I wasn’t suddenly hot and uncomfortable or ready to cry and want for home and I could breathe fine. I sure, had a backup plan, but that’s just good sense.  But I got through the day confident and happily and it was actually pretty fun!

I wanted to immediately share this with other anxiety suffers, there is help out there! Sometimes in life we tend to go on auto pilot, living with thing that are burdens, cause we don’t want to make a fuss, you forget how much of a burden is it cause you get familiar with it, or you don’t know any different and until people actually have the conversation to know.  It’s like the frog in the boiling water and we were all slowly boiled because we were in it before it boiled.  But mostly I think its fear, and we should never be held back from seeking help cause of fear.  You shouldn’t be uncomfortable because of fear!  Maybe medication isn’t for you, maybe simply counselling is, maybe a lifestyle change is.  It might be hard at first, but the question is, it is better to try or continue you the way you are?

My journey continues finding a balance between sessions, lifestyle and exercise, it’s hard to break bad habits, but I know now I’m on the right road at least….

The only way I could describe it is, like hearing your neighbours playing a familiar hated song. I can just hear it and feel it but it’s behind a wall, muted a little, if I focus I can hear it clearer, but I don’t want to hear that song I hate… eventually I hope the song will go away, but for now having it muted is fine with me.

 

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Words do hurt

Words do hurt!

In these times its not always east just to get out of the job you are in, we sometimes have to take work we aren’t delighted about to get by. But I work in the ‘caring’ industry, support work for not able bodied, I can’t stress enough how much the people there shouldn’t be suffering cause you don’t like you work… yet I have seen to much of this. It makes me sad. Our job, is to basically be the hands for the people in our care, to assist them in things they are unable to do themselves. Also to enrich their lives, help them live a day that they could if they weren’t disabled, and relied on others to do simply things like blowing their nose.

I work for three very special clients, all special in their own ways… for their own privacy I will not name them or be completely accurate when describing their personal qualities. For now I’ll refer to them as Bee, Cheshire and Chuckles.

What makes me angry, cringe, want to cry is when people are rude, unwilling or straight up don’t do these simple things. I’ve seen other workers (and I use the term loosely) answer “WHY?” when asked to close a computer, answer “No” when asked to get a tissue. Bring foul moods into this persons home cause of their own personal issues and then make Chuckles feel unable to ask for anything.

Can you imagine that feeling…. being trapped inside your own body and house, and not feeling like you can ask for anything, like going to the bathroom, a drink of water cause are afraid of what response you would get or putting someone out?

I have been able to tell now when the previous work to me has been particularly bad to Chuckles, it becomes apparent when I’m asked “if it’s okay” if he goes to the bathroom. “is it okay”

I’m not sure if others get into the industry cause they thought it would be easy and they want a job they don’t have to do much, I’m not sure if after a certain amount of time other forget what it must be like to not be able to do things for yourself, but that “is it okay” always grounds me…

No one should ever have to say “is it okay” if they get something they need, no one should ever be cautious of someone else’s mood and put them in further discomfort.

Our mission is make it easier for them, and instead others make if harder, to be constant ridicule of all the choices you make, subject to mockery from the people who are supposed to care for you… there is things said in jest… Chuckles and Bee especially like to make fun of me for the quirky things I do, I love it, we definitely have giggles back and forth, but I also make it known if I ever mock, that it’s followed with something loving said as well, in short they know I’m joking. It’s never in question. These people throughout ever day get looked out, gawked if you will, eyes will flitter and rest on them for their strange appearance or behaviour that’s just out side of the every day, they will get treated differently, talked down to, why should it be brought into their houses!

A little teasing I put forth is good, life shouldn’t be taking to serious, but I usually go with what their gauge is and match it. But others, don’t seem to have this filter, they make fun of to the point of what I have determined is verbal abuse, my theory is that these offenders suffer from a lack of confidence themselves, and use the other people they find weaker then themselves to feel superior.

You may ask, why oh why are these people still employed, this behaviour is disgusting. Because they are good are covering themselves, and the people they are taking ‘care’ of are kind gentle people that find it hard to complain or say bad things about anyone. How is one supposed to go to a manager or relative and say I don’t feel comfortable working with this person. When the repercussions for doing so could be worse, if the offenders find out. How can you put into words all the things that happen, when its not ground breaking enough like they are beating me. Verbal abuse is one of the hardest things, to deal with. It’s tricky to identify, hard to prove and near impossible to get over. What gets planted in your head is that this is ‘nothing’ it’s said in jest, and if you can’t deal with it it’s you being a ‘sook’ or ‘weak.’

When daily, words are planted, the seeds grow, they spread to other areas and self doubt, and belief in what is being said grows and grows. And sometimes you can’t even place where it originally began cause words are tricky like that!

And being told things by someone who is labelled your ‘Carer’ how do you not believe!

1000 stares

the force of a 100 eyes cast upon you

do you feel vulnerable in all you do

he knows this feeling all to well

into his normality it quickly fell

questions in their minds they will never ask

as only their eyes his way they will cast

but he happily make is way in this place

with a happy smile upon his face

he wears the burden of a 1000 stares

just cause there are wheels upon his chair

he’ll happily say howdy, or how is your day

if you are caught going his way

but rarely do your words find him

if only you could offer a grin

there is not harm he could cause

even if the sight of him gives you a pause

don’t be ashamed thoughts

those he hasn’t caught

merely say something, offer your words

maybe discover you’re both anime nerds

take the sadness out of you eyes

he asks no pity or made up lies

he is just like you when it gets right down

only he has a wheeled chair to get him around

but please next time you cast your stare

upon someone with a wheeled chair

try to feel what it’s like to wear

the burden of a 1000 stare

and please in stead offer a grin

it’s how everyone’s day should end, middle and begin