Presently: Out of the Woods

I’m starting to catch my breath. After a few long talks with loved ones, a lot of even longer talks with myself, and a day in a snow covered cabin, I feel like things are slowly working their way back to normal; no…. better than normal.

One of the very few positive things about these slumps is that I can only sit in it for so long. After a few days of dark and stormy wallowing, I find myself itching to make a change, and that itch motivates me, and feeling motivated inspires me, and feeling inspired is my favorite feeling in the world. And before I knew it, I had a game plan to “turn that frown upside down”.

The first two steps of my game plan were logical.

Step One: A lot of times, when a person who suffers from anxiety and/or depression is taking medication for said anxiety and/or depression, that medication needs to be adjusted as that person’s life changes. This has been a really tricky back and forth for me. I constantly wonder if I should be on something different or if I should be taking anything at all. I really want to believe the people who say you don’t need medication for these things, but I’ve tried that and as you may or may not remember that experiment ended with me in a gas station parking lot gasping for air, for no particular reason whatsoever. But, then I think about how different I’ve felt over the last 4 to 6 months as I’ve been on something (after not being on anything for a while) and I don’t mean a good different, not even close. The highs have been really high and the lows have been really low and I honestly haven’t felt good being me for awhile. My mom affirmed that the other night; I haven’t been myself lately, which made the following decision pretty easy. Time to ween off this one and see what happens. I don’t really know what I’ll do once this stuff is out of my system. One of the ironies of anxiety disorder is that it seems to be something you have to take day-by-day, which for an anxious person is terribly painful.

Step Two: I finally found an unbiased person to bounce my thoughts off of (which is the sugar coated way to say, therapist). I personally think everyone needs an “unbiased person to bounce thoughts off of” and I am SO relieved to have found mine! Again, there is some trial and error here, and finding the right one can take a few trials (hopefully no errors), but I’ve started the process and that feels like a giant accomplishment. (Side note: If you’re in LA and looking for someone, I found a great center and would be happy to pass along the information). 

My final step wasn’t as tangibly logical, but was still completely necessary.

Step Three: I eased up on Amelia. I’ve been really hard on myself lately and I think I finally figured out why. I spent an entire year sober, and that was awesome, and with that came a lot of praise and pats on the back. Last year was the first time in my life I had a label that I liked, that I was proud of. And then I took it away. And when I took it away, I replaced it with some really nasty labels, and the more I told myself I was those things, the more I believed that and the less I believed in who I really am.

So. No more labels. If you ask me to describe myself in one word, I can’t. There isn’t just one word that exists to describe any of us and asking me to put myself into a one-word box is kinda mean and really boring.

One of my favorite authors wrote in one of my favorite books “The ultimate truth of who you are is not I am this, or I am that, but I Am.”

There’s a peace that comes with knowing nothing has to follow my “I Am”, and I’m going to hang out in that peace for awhile.