TMS – Round #4 – Day 38 – LAST DAY!

My apologies. I know I said I would do my last treatment blog by Sunday, and now it’s Monday. I planned on doing it yesterday and in all honesty, I didn’t feel physically well at all. My head was pounding, and I still had to do laundry, and run my other errands. I couldn’t put two sentences together. So, better late than never – here it is……………….

When I started TMS treatment this time, I was looping in my head – all day every day. I was taking anxiety medication every day, and even in the morning just to keep myself together to face the day. Not only was I consumed about family issues, but I was terrified about the state of our country – because of COVID and the election coming up. I felt weighed down by thoughts and feelings every minute of every day, and there was no such thing as categorizing or controlling my thoughts. It was non-stop GOING for my brain. It was exhausting.

Now, here we are, 38 treatments later, and I feel free. No more spinning, looping, dreading, or uncontrollable anything. I can separate and control my thoughts. I can have a thought – even a very serious thought – and push it aside until I get to a place where I can process it – if I need to. A lot of times something will come up (in a conversation or something like that), and something will cross my mind, and I may or not go back to it later. If I need to, I will. But a lot of times it’s just a fleeting thought that crossed my mind, and that is it.

I’m rarely taking anxiety medication. I took half of one pill the other day – actually last week some time – but I’m not even sure when. That’s progress. But you better believe it’s in my purse in case of an emergency. I’m not above taking it if I need it. But if it sits in my purse untouched for 6 months, that’s okay too.

I will say that I am getting the “I want to go………” feelings on the weekend. Not that I went out a lot before – but just because I can’t go where I want whenever I want, (due to COVID), it makes me miss the freedom. And, I’m still nervous about the election next month. I’ve even realized that even when the election is said and done, the chaos probably isn’t. The difference? It is a situation that I can only do so much about. I voted, and that’s all I can do. Do I want to see even more chaos? Absolutely not! But this is something that is completely out of my control, as is where we are going with this COVID thing – so, I keep myself in line – do what I can do – and let it be. That is the difference – and it’s HUGE!

TMS has this time, and every time, given me the freedom to live my life – just like most other people that don’t have Chronic Major Depressive Disorder and Chronic Anxiety – taking day by day, knowing that everyday is not going to be perfect. But, that I can handle whatever comes my way – one way or the other. My life has been one sharp turn after another – usually with no brakes and no warning – so I’m used to things coming out of left field. After TMS, my ability to cope with things, people, and situations, is much more balanced, and I guess what some people might refer to as “normal”. Or, I guess I want to say “typical”? I’m not sure. All I know is that when your head isn’t spinning around like an out of control frisbee, and you can filter things – life on life’s terms isn’t as hard as when you’ve got 138 tabs open on your “brain computer” at the same time.

So thank you, to So Cal TMS, Dr. Hutton, Dr. Debnath, Rebecca, and EVERYONE at the center! You are all fabulous, and I’m so lucky to not only have this treatment, but all of you as well. You are the most caring group of individuals that all work in one place, in a medical setting, that have always treated me with the utmost care, concern, and love – and I’m only here because of all of you. From the bottom of my heart – THANK YOU ALL!!

I have my one month check in (by video call) with Dr. Debnath on November 17th. I’ll come back that day to give a final update on my Round 4 Treatment. I have no doubt, things will still be good. And, the election will be over.

Keep fighting friends. Please. I know now, because of TMS and everything I’ve learned since my first treatment, that my reason for being here is to show people that THERE IS HOPE. I didn’t believe it, and I asked almost daily, for years, “Why am I even here?”. The reason I got through all of the years of pain, damage, chaos, and turmoil is because I was meant to be HERE, and show anyone willing to listen that I made it – and it’s worth it! I never would have believed it if it hadn’t been me that went through every single minute of it – the bad and the good. I made it, I have a great life, and if I had given up, none of the good part would have happened. I kept fighting, somehow. Something kept me going, even when I was sure I was done. So I know you can make it too.

I will say it again……………. KEEP FIGHTING & SHOW YOUR SCARS!!!!

TMS – Round #4 – Day 37

It feels weird knowing I only have one more TMS treatment after today. This treatment lasted longer than the others too because we did tapering at the end – meaning I went down to a few treatments a week for the last few weeks, unlike the other times when I went 5 days a week all the way through.

It’s weird because I vividly remember how crazy my anxiety was, and it was triggering my depression so much – just back in August. And here it is, 37 treatments later – and I feel WHOLE again. Not perfect, not on some weird high – just WHOLE. Peaceful. I say it all the time, and I have to say it again – this treatment works!!! Every single time.

To put it in perspective – I’m still dealing with “life” on a daily basis. Which can be not so fun sometimes. We still have the election coming up, we are still in the middle of COVID – with no end in sight, and I do feel “stuck” sometimes just knowing I can’t just go to a movie, or out to dinner with friends, or to my favorite dive bar (no – I don’t drink)……. We never went out a lot in the first place – but when you feel like you CAN’T do the things that you want to – on a whim – it takes a toll. And I know everyone in the world knows that feeling right now.

Also, I bought a new car in February, and today I had to purchase the 2nd brand new tire for it. I’ve had 2 tires to replace in about 2 months – on a new car. Before that, I hadn’t had a flat, etc. in at least a decade!!! And now TWO – on my brand new car – in 2 months??? WTF? No, it’s not a big deal. It’s just the inconvenience of it. The “again” feeling of it. Ya know? And, then of course my instant sarcasm comes out and says “Well of course, it’s 2020, why am I even surprised?”. Seriously, aliens could land on the planet and I probably wouldn’t bat an eye at this point.

So yeah, life on life’s terms. For me – that is an excellent place to be in. Not spinning, not looping, not crawling out of my skin. Not feeling like I’m going to fall over the deep end every day at one point or another. All of that is gone! I don’t loop, I know the difference between anxiety and frustration or being irritated. I know the difference between having a bad day and reacting normally, from not having normal reactions to any little change or irritation. This is all I want – to have the ability to deal with things NORMALLY as they come, day to day, week to week, whatever. And then letting it go. The only way you can understand how valuable that is, is have lived in a head like mine for even a day.

I’m off to make homemade peach cobbler. Then watching football. Because my mind has let the tire (and other unpleasant things that have happened over the last 24 hours) go, and I’m free to live my life – not trapped in my brain.

Thursday is my last treatment. As I said previously, I may not do my last blog until the weekend – in case I want time to fully process the treatment in it’s entirety. I’m not sure yet. But I promise – my wrap up will be here between Thursday and the weekend.

Pinky Promise.

KEEP FIGHTING & SHOW YOUR SCARS!!!

TMS – Round #4 – Day 36

Two more days after today, and I’m done with Round 4 of TMS. I can’t tell you invaluable this treatment is to me. Having the life I have, with a brain that isn’t trying to send me to a padded room with my pink rhinestone straight-jacket on a minute to minute basis – PRICELESS.

The funny thing is, it doesn’t seem like it was a long process. It never has. I started treatment about 2 months ago. Which means getting up at 5:00am every day, working all day, going to treatment, and then getting to come home just before 5:00pm. That is a pretty long day. Well, it is for me, at 52. However, it has never felt like it’s time consuming, too early to get up – none of it. I know that’s because when you continue to feel better every day, changing your schedule doesn’t mean a thing. It’s just another part of my day that let’s me feel as good as any other person without this mental illness. And before TMS, that was NOT the case. Ever. On any level.

I even watched the Vice Presidential Debate last night. Can you believe it? It wasn’t planned – but it happened. Knowing as soon as we started watching it that I could leave the room at any time. Granted, compared to the embarrassing display of everything a President shouldn’t be, or do, that occurred last week – almost anything would have been better. And it was – thank God. I swore I was done with political “everything” – but apparently I don’t have to avoid any part of it at any cost. Just anything directly involving listening to the narcissist that is currently the “leader” of our country. (And that kills me to say that). Also, I’m not trying to be political. I have had a visceral response to everything about that man since I can remember – for decades – way before he was in the White House. He sets off every single one of my empath signals that say “RUN. RUN FAST!!!”. And since I’ve learned to stay clear of anything that sets off any of my “beware” signals, I can’t listen to him.

I’m going to spend my evening being peaceful. Because I can. And again, when being at peace is a luxury – you don’t take it for granted. At least I don’t. So, filling out my ballot to vote, watching football, and relaxing with my husband. No head spinning, no anxiety, no “what if’ing” myself into exhaustion – just relaxing and being peaceful. What a blessing.

So, next Tuesday is my last video visit with Dr. Debnath, and then last Thursday is my last day of treatment. I’ll update again on Tuesday. For my last and final update, I might wait until the weekend. Only because I want to be able to reflect on my blogs from all of the other days of this treatment, remind myself of my progress, and really be able to wrap it all up properly. Maybe I will do it Thursday – but I don’t want you all to think I “skipped” it if you don’t see it on Thursday specifically.

Until then – enjoy your weekend (in two days), and I’ll be back Tuesday.

KEEP FIGHTING & SHOW YOUR SCARS!!!!

TMS – Round #4 – Day 35

I’m so thankful for TMS, and the opportunities that it gives me. I get to live life on “normal” terms, instead of being ruled by depression and anxiety.

I wrote yesterday about finding out there was more strife going on in my family. I didn’t know if it was about me, but I figured it was something that involved me in some way – or I wouldn’t have known about it. I didn’t get to talk to my cousin other than via text because of his hectic work schedule, but I did find out that the crappy-ass things that have been done to me are now being done to others. Even though it doesn’t seem to have been directed AT me this time, it still disappoints me on very deep level. What happened to the family that I grew up with? Why is bullying, lying, and back stabbing things that are acceptable to them? It’s incredibly disheartening.

However, it does confirm that making the complete separation that I did – (from all the toxic people in my family) – the absolute right decision. Self-care is often misunderstood. There seems to be rules about “but it’s family”, or “she’s your mother”, etc. Sadly, true self-care means even separating from people you would never think you would have to. But tolerating abuse, bullying, or anything that is toxic or harmful is worse – by far.

I have now reached a point where I notice differences, however subtle, in my reactions to things. Even in today’s ever-changing, very unpleasant, mostly shocking day to day environment. Yesterday I was nervous, and not anxious. I can turn my thoughts on and off, without much effort. No looping, no waking up so anxious that I need medication to leave the house, no feeling overwhelmed at least once a day just because of the chaos in the world…………. I’m moving through my days with relative ease. Is every day perfect, easy, happy-go-lucky? NO. And I wouldn’t feel normal if it was. As I’ve said – 2020 has been a shit-show on an epic level! But, even so, I’m processing it all. Who would have thought?

I have treatment in two days (Thursday), and then just two more – next week. And then I’m done. I will have completed my 4th round of TMS and seen that this IS the treatment that saves me – every single time. And thank God!

Until then………..

KEEP FIGHTING & SHOW YOUR SCARS!!!!!!!

TMS – Round #4 – Day 34

Can I just say that 2020 has NOT been my favorite year? I’m confident I’m not the only one who feels this way. In a weird way, if this year is what it took for more people to reach out for help with mental health – then that has to be the bright side. And it is a VERY bright side. But seriously – I cannot believe how much crap has happened.

As I mentioned in my last post – I had a relaxing weekend. I did exactly what I needed to do – regroup, relax, and refocus. Sometimes we all need that. Even if we don’t have issues with depression or anxiety – we all need to slow things down occasionally just to make sure we keep everything in perspective.

As I’ve mentioned throughout the posts during this treatment – this year has also involved a lot of serious family issues for me. I’ve had to step back completely from most of my mother’s side of the family, except for my one cousin who is also one of my best friends. There was even a time where there was distance between the two of us – but thankfully, we were able to have a heart to heart conversation – with our spouses – and the four of us got all of the truth, misconceptions, and everything else, out on the table. It was a huge relief in some ways, but on the other hand, that was the straw that broke the camels back for me. I had no other choice but to disconnect from most of the rest of my family that I’ve been extremely close to my entire life. I’ve always kept the lines of communication open for any of the kids – and have talked to them either directly or through FB, texting, etc. The issues going on have absolutely nothing to do with them, and I would never want them to think that I want to disconnect from them. I just hope that someday in their lives, they see the entire picture of exactly why things changed, and respect my decisions.

The reason I’m bringing this up again now? I got a message late last night from my cousin saying that they just had a “very rough night with the family” and that it was “very sad”. He wants to talk to me tonight. Naturally, at first, my brain started wondering what in the world could have happened. It shook me up. I texted him a few times letting him know I was up, on my way to work, etc., but I haven’t heard back. I went through a lot of different ideas of what it could possibly be, and it did make me nervous. Not anxious, but nervous. It didn’t really differentiate the two until this afternoon. I realized I would think about it throughout the day – but I never got into “looping”. I think I felt the most nervous around lunch time, and I did take Xanax, but within an hour I realized something – how bad could it be? I know the worst possible “thing” that could happen (which I won’t detail here yet) – and in my mind, I figured that was bound to happen months ago. So it’s nothing new. Or, what horrible things are they saying about me now? And again, it doesn’t matter. There have been so many things said that aren’t true, no attempt at all at ever understanding my need to protect myself from toxic relationships, etc. So it doesn’t matter what else is said – it can’t be anything new, because I haven’t had any conversations with any of them since July. So true or not, new or not, hurtful or not – it doesn’t matter. I’ve already removed myself from the situation. I can’t imagine that there is anything worse than what I’ve been through already.

Now, I carry on with my evening. I figure I’ll probably get the phone call when my cousin gets home from work. And at that point, I can deal with the situation at hand. What bothers me right now is that my cousin gets put into the middle of the crap. I don’t put him in the middle – ever. I would never even consider demanding that he “choose sides”. And that is exactly what they asked him and his wife to do. It was either “them” or me. He told me that he wasn’t going to do it again – he will have a relationship with both sides, whether they like it or not. My one concern is that they might put him in a situation where he has to choose. I know I would be on the losing end of that – but I understand why completely. His mother, sister, nieces, nephews – or one cousin. I do know that no matter what – my cousin loves me with all of his heart, and even if he can’t be in my life for some reason, he will always love me.

Don’t you think it’s sad though? That family would want another member of the family to choose between “us or them”? It sounds so immature, and selfish to me. But then again, I’ve always been the “black sheep”. I have always been the one who did things differently, saw things differently, felt things “too much”. It took me my entire life, even into my 40’s to see that I may be different than the rest, but there is nothing wrong with my “different”. And if I don’t fit into the mold of who they think I should be, or act the way they think I should act, that’s okay too. My job is to take care of me, admit when I’m wrong, and try to keep my side of the street clean. I’ve been far from perfect at any of this – but I’ve always admitted when I was wrong, and learned from it. I can’t help it if nobody understands that the boundaries I’ve set are for my HEALTH – mentally, physically, and beyond.

I’ll update more tomorrow, after treatment. Maybe by then I will find out what happened, have time to process it, and be able to write about it.

Until then…………….

KEEP FIGHTING & SHOW YOUR SCARS!!!!

TMS – Round #4 – Day 33 UPDATE

So yes, it’s two days since my treatment. As I said Thursday night, I needed to regroup. I obviously needed more rest than even I thought.

Even though I was very overwhelmed, completely exhausted, and in need of a “me” day – it wasn’t depression or anxiety. It was LIFE – and as we all know, this year has been quite a test.

The main hit – the presidential debate on Tuesday night. It only took about 5 minutes in before I decided I should watch in the bedroom so my husband didn’t have to listen to me scream at the television. The smart man went over to his parents house to watch it from there. By the time it ended I felt completely dumbfounded by what I had just witnessed.

Without boring you with all of the details, the fallout of that debate was swirling around my personal and work life, and I literally had a meltdown. Again – not depression or anxiety. Just an incredible amount of fear and wonder about where we are in this country, and how polar opposite people are when it comes to politics. I wasn’t looping over it; but it was everywhere around me. In the office, in almost every phone conversation – just everywhere. It wasn’t that I couldn’t stop thinking about it – it was that I couldn’t get away from it.

My husband and I had to once again negotiate our agreement on politics to the point where we will not speak about politics in our house – because we simply cannot agree on how we think our country will get to where it needs to be.

Combine that with finding out my boss just purchased a house (mansion, whatever), that is more of a compound than a house. I don’t know exactly what it cost, but let’s just say that I cannot imagine having enough money to buy something like that. (Hint – it was bought from the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers). Great for him because he’s obviously successful. But the “worker bee” in me is thinking that if he has that much money, why does he contribute so little toward our medical insurance, why do we have no 401k or retirement plan, etc. (I know he isn’t obligated to do it, but it would be nice). Then he made a big deal of how great “our paychecks would be for last month – and that many of us could buy new cars with what we made”. Do I need to remind anyone about the bias I see daily toward certain reps versus others? And, that this is denied repeatedly? Not to mention that I didn’t expect to make next to anything for last month? Not for lack of trying, but because our commission is primarily based on growth over last year. And, I’ve been struggling with finding new accounts. There is no rhyme, reason, or idea how transferred accounts are divided up – who gets which accounts and why? And, our former sales manager didn’t like me at all – and purposely gave me a handful of decent accounts, and the balance being dead accounts that hadn’t been active in years? So yes, it’s very hard to see some reps making enough money to buy a car in a month, and me working my ass off just to match what I sold last year. Keep in mind – there are no answers as to how some reps have so many new accounts, leads, etc. or where they come from, or the criteria for money accounts being transferred to which reps for what reason.

I know it sounds confusing – but I know I’m good at my job. Am I the best rep there – I’m sure I’m not. But I did win an award last year for my sales performance and growth – so that should tell you something. It’s hard to stay motivated when you don’t know what to do in order to “grow” with the same advantages others have. I think the opportunities should be equal and transparent – and that isn’t how it is. So yes, it broke me down.

The other thing is that I’m still getting bitten by some weird mosquito every night. We keep the windows and door closed – except for maybe 10 minutes a day – and yet I wake up with at least one or more new bites every morning. Not only do I hate bugs – but I don’t usually get bitten by bugs – mosquitoes or otherwise. So the fact that whatever this thing is – it likes my blood. The thought of anything feeding off of me makes me sick.

So I took yesterday off work to regroup. I rested all day, but I still didn’t feel like I had everything in my head sorted out. Now, it’s Saturday afternoon, and it hit me – I’m due for my depo (birth control) shot this week. I get it once ever 3 months. So, since it’s so close to getting the shot, my hormones are out of whack. When I realized that I knew – on top of everything else – I’m hormonal. Not a good combo.

The good news? This is all LIFE stuff!!! It’s not depression, or anxiety, or even looping. It’s life happening all at once, which is always going to happen. The great news – thanks to TMS, none of this lead to a meltdown, days on end in bed, or looping. Zero irrational thoughts, capable of pushing things aside without much effort, and moving forward. Granted, the hits kept coming – even as I pushed one out of the way – but again, nothing “stuck”. It wore me out, it made me think about a lot of things – but none of it was out of control or something I wasn’t able to move past. I just wish it hadn’t kept coming at me at such a rapid pace.

It was a lot, and pretty rapid – but I did what I needed to do, and I’m fine. I guarantee if I hadn’t been going through TMS I would NOT be fine. Those few days probably would have been what pushed me over the edge. Which means I might have ended up having to request time off of work, and arrange to get back into TMS. That didn’t happen, because I saw where things in the world were headed months ago, and got back into TMS before everything hit like a ton of bricks. And because of what TMS does for me, I handled a difficult few days with relative ease, all things considered.

I’m grateful. I’m hopeful. And because of TMS, I know I will always have a place to go for help. Luckily, I didn’t wait until it was too late this time. I’m using my tools.

Treatment again on Monday. More to come………..

KEEP FIGHTING & SHOW YOUR SCARS!!!!

TMS – Round #4 – Day 32

Progress – without thinking about it!

I’ve been talking about the things going on at work that cause stress for me. And I noticed a change today. A change in ME.

I found out about yet another thing that added to the “WTF” factor. Since this has been an ongoing issue, you would think that it would have just added to the “ugh” factor. But here’s the thing – I didn’t react to it. Not like I would have before – or even a week ago. It made me look at it twice – and I wasn’t happy about it. BUT, the difference is it didn’t trigger my anxiety. I didn’t even have to “relax” and let it go – I simply didn’t react. I didn’t even realize that I didn’t react until hours later on my way to treatment. Not only did it not affect me beyond the moment, but I didn’t give it a second thought. No anxiety meds, nothing. That is impressive!

Dr. Debnath and I were talking about how treatment “strengthens” the brain, and that maybe by tapering treatment, it’s increasing my brain “muscle memory” in regards to what it’s supposed to do in response to TMS. Which is awesome – because if there is a way to keep my brain doing what it’s doing now, even longer – I’M IN!!!

Now tonight – the presidential debates are on TV. Before treatment, there is no way in hell I would have watched it. Politics has been a HUGE trigger. But tonight, I want to watch. And I have a plan. Watch it, but watch me too. If I get anxious, or triggered, I’ll go in the other room and remove myself from the situation. My husband can watch and I’ll do something else until it’s over. So I’m giving it a try – but with a safety net.

No treatment tomorrow. I go back Thursday, so I’ll update you all on my reaction to the debate, and progress in between, Thursday night.

Until then…………

KEEP FIGHTING & SHOW YOUR SCARS!!!!

TMS – Round #4 – Day 31

What a weekend! Not necessarily great – but all things considered, I came out of it pretty well. I’ll give you the nutshell version of the “antics”…….

Saturday morning I got up to the cat food (all 3 bowls) being covered in ants, with a 2 inch thick trail leading across the floor to the bowls. How did I find it? Because I was STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TRAIL!!!! They started crawling all over me!!! Needless to say – I woke up REALLY damn fast!!! I HATE bugs – of any kind – so this was NOT fun for me.

I still managed to pull it together and get all the laundry done by around 1:00pm. Why is this a big deal? Because I have to go to the laundry mat. It is the one and only bad thing about where we live. So on the balance scale, I go out to do the laundry.

Got ready to watch some great UFC fights – on Pay Per View (we splurged), and none of them went the way we wanted them to. Oh well, it happens.

Sunday, football. I’m a Rams fan. For those of you that don’t follow football – I won’t even try to explain. For my fellow Rams fans – UGH!!! I will say that even though the season just started – there have been endless surprises in almost every game – for every team; so it’s exciting! But much like UFC on Saturday night – none of the games went the way I wanted them too.

Good news – it was still a great weekend. Slow and calm, but good! Today, back at work, and my anxiety came back like last week. It’s not a BAD thing – it’s a “normal” life thing. Keep in mind – I’m 52 years old, and I don’t really have a lot of time to put together a “retirement” plan. Up until last year, I always lived paycheck to paycheck, and I did it – but it was never easy. The only thing that kept me from completely freaking out about my mental and physical health as I get older, and if I will have to work even on the day I die, was that my mom had promised me that any money she had not needed in her old age (old family money), would go to me. I counted on this because my absolute BIGGEST fear (for decades now), is that I’ll end up in some state run hospital in a wheelchair, handcuffed to the railing in the hallway and drooling all over myself – because I couldn’t afford anything else, and my mental health would eventually take me down. OR, that my body would physically give out on me. I was born 3 months premature, (mom smoked and drank during her entire pregnancy), and I was born with a walking problem. I was in therapy from 6 months old to 17 years old, wore leg braces, and had surgery on my legs when I was 7. My mom “couldn’t be bothered” and didn’t do my exercises with me, didn’t make me where my braces………and my body has been “overcompensating” for these issues all my life. My feet are still pigeon-toed and I walk on my toes, I’m swayback, and my entire body is out of alignment. I have lower back pain quite often. Please understand – none of this is intolerable now. But I’m getting older, I’m clumsy as hell, and the chances of me falling and breaking something to the point of being bed-ridden wouldn’t surprise me. So, whether it’s physical or mental – I’ve always been terrified of ending up in the worst possible place for care as I age. My mother had always assured me that she would never let that happen. And I believed her. But because of all of the family issues that sent me back into TMS this time – the chances of ever having money for my own care are pretty much slim to none.

I invested a little money in July – of this year. I mean VERY little money, but it’s all I could afford – and it’s the first time in my 50+ years that this has even been an option. Short of winning the lottery, I’m pretty confident I will end up working for the rest of my life. I’m not afraid of hard work – not at all. But when you combine the stress of the things happening at my office, cross that with the idea of looking for a NEW job at the age of 52 during (or shortly after) a pandemic, and throw in knowing I will have to work for the rest of my life – it’s scary.

Think about that – who wouldn’t be scared? So yes, when work is causing anxiety, the thought of working until the day you die just to survive, and the resentment of my own mother letting me down in the worst possible way – for the final time – I do feel it.

The difference now is that I’m NOT spinning around 24 hours a day, every single day – thinking about this. It comes and goes. Ebb and flow. And thank God. Because in all honesty – I can see why I ended up back in treatment. The family issue alone is a lot to grasp – add everything else in and I’m surprised it was TMS and not a full-lockdown straightjacket.

Okay – going to watch some football. Turning off the brain – because I can. And in spite of everything else – for that I am beyond grateful.

KEEP FIGHTING & SHOW YOUR SCARS!!!

TMS – Round #4 – Day 30

Life is “normal”. And by that I mean that I still experience frustration. It’s part of life, right? So even though I’m doing well – very well – I’m still frustrated.

There are some things going on at my work that I’m not happy about. Not only that, but I’ve never been shy about telling the truth about what I think of things. Granted, I’ve learned how to carefully word what I’m trying to say to make sure that I’m being factual, and not just coming off as “dramatic” because I do get wordy when there is something I want to say. I’m also the person who doesn’t like to bitch about things if I don’t have some sort of solution to offer. That is where my frustration comes in.

The issues going on in our office have been bubbling for quite awhile. The different issues have been addressed, to different managers, and the owner, by various people several times previously. The bottom line is the things we see are being flat out denied, or brushed aside, and nothing has been corrected. To me, there is nothing worse than something happening right in front of you – all of us really – and we keep being told that it’s “not happening”. What do you say at that point? Sadly, I feel like there is nothing left to say.

So, Wednesday I felt anxious a few times, but was able to just move along. Keep in mind – this only happened at work. Again, yesterday, I felt anxious. And it was worse to the point that I found myself picking at my fingernails – which is a sign that my anxiety is ramping up, and I’m “fidgeting” to overcompensate. So by yesterday afternoon, I took .25mg of Xanax (which is half of the .50 milligram I’m prescribed, twice a day). It got me through the day, and I was fine the rest of the night after leaving work. Today, I was feeling the frustration at work and stuck it out. I decided to take a Clonopin after treatment, because I felt the agitation building while driving. I’m home now, and I already feel better. I barely took the Clonopin about 15 minutes ago, so I know it’s not that it’s “relaxing” me already. But I know it will take the edge off and keep me level.

At first, I was a little let down (with myself), for needing anxiety medication again. Only momentarily though. The fact of the matter is, even with treatment, I will never be totally free of my illnesses. These medications are prescribed to me because I DO need them – and I have NEVER ONCE abused them. Ever. So why should I beat myself up for taking them when I need them? Because there is still that teeny-tiny part of my brain (that I call my “mom gene”) that likes to criticize, judge, and torment me. It’s the saddest, sickest part of my head, and IT is what I’m going to focus on correcting and/or fixing going forward in my life. I know the truth about who I am – inside and out. Just because there is this fucked up “thing” in my head that tries to sabotage me, and tell me I’m worthless – I know it’s not true. The good news is – I have identified this “thing”, I know what it is, and as long as I remember the TRUTH, it can’t break me. This “tiny thing” used to take up a majority of my thinking throughout my life. I had a very low opinion of myself, I was my own worst critic at times, and I beat myself up constantly. Over the years of sobriety, therapy, working on myself, and really owning every single true thing about me – good or bad – that “thing” has become smaller and smaller. And I’m very confident that as long as I stay true to myself, and keep focusing on doing the right thing, learning everything I can about myself – actions, thoughts, everything – that the “thing” will eventually die off. It won’t have any way to survive because I will continually to grow in the healthiest ways possible – and the toxicity won’t be able to survive.

This has been on my mind since last night, but now, once I started writing, it helped me put every part of it into perspective. I feel like by writing it, I “voiced” it, and confirmed to myself that this is my goal going forward. I have many goals – but this one – top of the list for sure.

I have to say this again – don’t ever be afraid to dive deeper into who you are – even if it’s terrifying. I have had to face a lot of things that I didn’t want to acknowledge, believe, or feel over the decades of my healing and growth. If I hadn’t faced these things head on – there wouldn’t have been any healing or growth. You can’t heal or conquer an issue if you don’t completely acknowledge it, own it, and then move on to change it. Putting your head in the sand and living in denial may work for a time – like drugs or alcohol – but in the end – whatever you’re running from will continue to live inside of you until you face it. Trust me – I’m living proof. I’ve been getting painfully honest with myself since I started therapy at 18. The brutal honesty really started when I got sober – and yep, it can be scary. But once you get really honest about yourself, your actions, thoughts, and behaviors – you’ll be able to move forward, and grow. Trust me – there is nothing more fulfilling.

The day we think we know it all, or that we’re perfect, or that we don’t need to “grow” is the day we die – in my opinion. Growth doesn’t have an age limit. To me, my way to live a longer, healthier life is by keeping my conscience clean, cleaning up my side of the street so to speak, and owning the mistakes that I make. No denial, no deflection – just straight up OWNING it. It’s like tearing off a bandaid. You know it’s going to hurt, but once you do it, the pain disappears.

No treatment tomorrow. I go back Monday, then Tuesday, Thursday of next week. So until then friends…………

KEEP FIGHTING & SHOW YOUR SCARS!!!!!