One Month On Laxapro

I wasn’t unsure about writing this but I feel like I have to anyways. (In a good way of course).

 

For almost all my teenage years and the beginning of my adult life I had been unaware that I had anxiety and depression. I always thought that it was normal to feel the way I felt. Sure, there were times when I knew deep down inside that a person shouldn’t feel that way. But there was nothing I really ever did about it, or at least better said, there was nothing I felt I could do about it. I didn’t tell friends and I didn’t tell any family. I just kept it to myself.

This harmed me in the long run. Keeping all my feelings and emotions bottled up as I did was like a water damn overfilling and on the verge of bursting. Which I almost did a few times.

If I could go back in time and talk to myself or send a letter to my younger self I’d tell him to get help. I’d tell him to talk to a friend to tell them what was actually going on instead of just saying that I was “fine” all the time. I’d tell him to stop worrying about what everyone thinks and that their opinions don’t matter.

But alas, time goes on and everything happens for a reason. So here I am now. One month into taking Laxapro. (This is not a review about it, this is more of my own experience and other things I have done in conjunction with taking the pills).

It took me about five or more months to finally muster up the courage to talk to someone. I’m not one to open up to people about my issues or problems just like that. I don’t like strangers. But I did it, and I’m so glad I did.

When my therapist said that these pills might be able to help, I didn’t want them. See, I had always looked at pills in a negative way. Sure they help, but for how long? What are the side affects? What if I stop taking them? What if they make me worse? What if I become some one else? All these questions and possibly more flooded my head. But after talking with her I decided to trust her. And they worked.

I feel so much better in life. I don’t feel like I’m walking in a hole just going around in circles. I feel free, calm, at peace. Sure I worry some times because its natural. But its not like I used to.

I can’t say that the pills are the only thing that has helped, no. Another huge thing is exercise. I started to run, and run, and run. I was running almost ten miles a day! It was great. Then I joined a gym and started strength training. I never thought I’d be one to lift wights. A good diet also did me so well. I got rid of a lot of drinks that contained sugar and started drinking a lot more water. I suggest that if you want to start a diet. Drinks that contain sugar are what hold you back sometimes. Less carbs more healthy food. Hard at first but then you get used to it and then you even start to enjoy it, you just feel better.

But, the main thing that I have to say has helped me be happier, is finally doing what I want. Or in other words, stop doing what I didn’t want to do. I’m a people pleaser, probably a professional one. If it was a competition I’d win a gold medal for it. I would always put others needs before mine, do what they wanted me to do for them regardless if I wanted to or not, and in the end that hurt me.

Does that mean that now I’m this self entitled selfish douche bag? No. It just means I try to take care of myself before I take care of others. It means that yes, I will still go out of my way to help who I can, do things for them and all that, but this time if it affects me in anyway or I know the out come will in the end only hurt me, then it’s going to be a no for me.

I think I deserve a little happiness or in other words selfishness after all I’ve been through. I’m still the same guy. I still have the same heart, shoot I even think it’s better now.

In the end, I’m glad I got the help I needed, and I’m glad I’m living for myself. I’m glad I’m taking those pills. I’m glad I’m better now.

My Weight Loss Summer Journey

Three months ago I wrote a post about how unhealthy and fat I was feeling. Here I am now in the present, today. Living a healthy life. Well, trying to, if I’m being honest.

I have lost about 25 pounds (if not more, not to flex or anything LOL). In the pictures maybe you can notice but I did lose a lot. I am proud of myself. It took a lot of hard work and a lot of self control.

At first it was extremely hard. I remember I was eating out for lunch almost every single day. When I say eating I mean EATING. Every day it I felt like I could eat more and more. There was actually times when I would eat and still feel as if I had more room in my stomach. I would also go for the biggest things.  I thought, the bigger the deal, the more I’m getting for my money. But in reality, my health was going down hill and the only thing that was getting bigger was my waist.

SO, going from burgers every single day to a salad was not easy. But I slowly transitioned. Soon I was eating a salad every day for lunch. I switched my coffee in the mornings to tea (even though I went back to coffee later on, but shhhh we don’t talk about that). I tried to cut out carbs from my diet as much as I could, but not completely, I mean c’mon I’m not a sociopath.

Then I started going for a walk at my local park. ALONE. Yes, people need motivation and support, but there’s something about just walking alone, in your thoughts, with your music hitting your eardrums like a hammer on a nail.

My walk progressed to a slow jog and now I can run for a good while. At the beginning it was very difficult to see results. But looking back now, I see how I (slowly) progressed. I just had to keep at it.

I am very proud of my weight loss. I think that I am in the best shape of my life. I know I am not in the best shape in general, but still I feel great. I do have some concerns though. Well, mostly just one.

Gaining all my weight back. How would I? Two reasons. I have really bad shin splints, and I’m taking Lexapro.

If you don’t know what shin splints are then your are one lucky son of a duck. They suck and they are hard to get rid of. Basically its a sharp pain that affects the shin area of your leg. It can occur for many reasons. Flat feet, uneven surfaces that you may walk on, bad running habits, or increasing the amount of your training too rapidly before your muscles can get a chance to grow and adapt. I feel that I got them for all those reasons and more. If I can’t walk, job, or run, I am scared I’ll gain all the weight back and more.

Lexapro. If you didn’t know, I have anxiety. (One of my many wonderful character traits). A lot of it, if I could give it away or throw it out I would but sadly I can’t so here we are. I take this med to help with it. I have been taking it for about a week now. I haven’t noticed many, or if any, changes. The doctor said I would in about 3 to 4 weeks. That’s not my issue though. One of the side effects is weight gain. I’m already concerned about my shins, now this. Great. Or maybe its just my anxiety trying to get the best out of me before the med hits.

I want to get a gym membership to use other equipment that wont be too hard on my legs. But then I wimp out. I also thought of getting a bike. But then I remember that people in this dumb town don’t lock up their dogs and they chew people up in the street on the daily. Lovely.

SO, in the mean time I’ll just take it easy and try to eat as healthy as I possibly can. Ugh.

*Sips venti Starbucks Frappuccino*

Severe Anxiety With A Sprinkle Of Depression

I finally saw a therapist.

Yes a real one. Not the one I made up in my head a couple months ago. Although, I’d say that session with myself did rather go pretty well.

Anyways, It was different. Last year I saw a counselor at my local doctors office that my doctor had recommended me. I went for maybe about three weeks but for some random reason I never went back.

This time I didn’t want a counselor. I wanted someone, I’d say, with a little more experience and expertise. And I was able to find one.

I took a test at the beginning, which was random, but it was mostly about how I was feeling, what I was going through, and other random question about my days to day.

Then we went over it and the therapist asked me to go more in-depth on why I felt the way I felt. It’s not easy to talk about things with a total stranger but I really didn’t have anything to lose, so I let my mouth run, and boy did it ever.

In the end, she finally told me what I had. She said I have severe anxiety with a little sprinkle of depression. Well isn’t that cute? Those weren’t words but it sounds less scary that way for me.

She asked me about medication and if I was willing to take any. In my head I’ve always told myself I didn’t need any. I’m fine. I don’t want to be crazy and taking pills all the time. I see on tv all these people going bonkers because they take pills, or hear how people hate taking them.

I told her that I was worried in doing so but if it helped, then I was willing to try. She told me that mental health issues depicted on TV are taken to the extreme and are not that accurate.

I’m starting off with this one med that I don’t really know the name of [it’s at the pharmacy still because I’m still nervous to take it. (Side note: isn’t it ironic that my own anxiety is stopping from taking anxiety medication for my anxiety? I just thought that was funny)].

She told me all the benefits of what she prescribed, and all the side effects. Also, she said that not every medication is meant for everyone so we might have to see what works for me. She gave me her contact info to keep her updated since according to her the first few weeks were critical.

So that along with something called CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) that I should see improvements, but things don’t happen over night. With due time. But for that to happen I have to start taking the meds.

I hope they help, I hope all this helps.

Downhill

Frustration doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel right now.

In my head this whole unemployment, going back to school, and not having a job thing was going to be easy. Or, well, not easy, but not this challenging either.

I don’t know if its just me. But, have you ever woken up from a nap and felt this inner hatred for yourself? What’s that about? I felt that yesterday. It was weird and thank goodness it wore off before I headed over to my girlfriends place.

That feeling came back today though. I didn’t open the door for it. I didn’t invite it in. It just walked through the walls and into my brain.

I have been stressed. Lets be honest. The whole vacation was a nice distraction from everything that is going on in my life.

First, lets start with what happened last night. At my GF’s place we talked about the future. Then she told me that she would like it for me to go to the meetings (church gatherings) at least once in a while. I told her how I felt about it all. She told me that she didn’t want to pressure me into doing anything that I didn’t want to do, she just wanted to let me know how she felt. I appreciate her sincerity.

There is a part of me that wants to go back. Just to see how I will be received. Another part of me wants to go to make her happy, to make my mom happy, but then again that is one of the reasons I left. I don’t like some of their rules, but I ask myself this, do I actually have to follow them if I don’t want to?

I was talking to myself the other day and I told myself that if I ever did decide to go back (because we all know how indecisive I am), that I would not be the person that I used to be. Devoted? We don’t know Him. I have learned that by pleasing others, you will not gain happiness or even approval. Everyone talks. Some of them don’t even know what they are saying, they just talk. Will I go back? Question is pending an answer.

Today I started looking for schools. I don’t want to go to a four year school. I don’t. Its too much time and I don’t have a lot of that. I never liked colleges or universities. So I started to look at trade schools or vocational schools. Everything is expensive no matter what. Weather its a four year or just a trade. Funny how they tell you to go to school and they die saying that education is one of the best things you can reach for, but yet they make it unbelievably expensive.

I went to a tour of one of the schools I was able to schedule today. I want to elaborate on how it went but at the same time I don’t want to sound so pathetic. Half way through the assessment I was taking, I got up and left. Why? I’m still trying to figure that out myself. I was so mad. Mad at what? Let me find a good excuse because I don’t have a reason.

I felt so much pressure in my head, I wanted to scream, I wanted to cry that ugly cry with tears and boogers running down your cheeks and chin. But I didn’t.  I held it in like the big boy that I am supposed to be. I felt an overwhelming rush of emotions though. So many that I didn’t know which one I was supposed to listen to.

Why? Why? Why? I don’t understand why I get like this sometimes and it bugs the shit out of me.

I feel like finding the saddest playlist of music and just crying my eyes our. Is that therapeutic? Better out than in Shrek always says, right?

What I got for unemployment is total trash. I’m trying to find a school that will take me in as soon as I can. At the same time I don’t want to be around anyone. My GF wants me to be in the religion the same as hers. Everything is stressing me out right now. I’m so irritable. I have a trip planned in two weeks that I have been dying to go to this whole summer, and I don’t even think I’ll make it to that. Not to even mention that my mom has another upcoming surgery in September.

I saw this coming. I always do.

You can always see when you’re going down hill. Right now I’m at the very top looking down, and its looking like its pretty steep.

I Was My Own Therapist . . . And This Is What Happened

The shower is such a therapeutic place. Have you ever been in the bathroom just scrub-a-dub-dubbing, cleaning your beautiful body, and all of your best thoughts come up to the surface? I swear the shower is where all inventions have been thought of. Or, when you’re in there and you think back to a conversation you had that day and you think of a better response or even better comeback you could have said? Maybe that’s where all those great well known speeches have come from. The shower.

Ok, well, I was in there and I was talking to myself. You know, just checking in with my inner being. (Don’t know why the shower though, but I was also thinking maybe its because we’re all naked and we’re the most vulnerable that way, and our thoughts just come out? Not sure, anyways off topic). I have been debating on seeing some one. Not romantically, I mean for my brain. And then I told myself, why don’t you just help yourself? You know? Get to know yourself. Be your own therapist. It’s cheaper.

That’s exactly what I did. And this is how the first session went.


Therapist Me: Please sit down. (Yes I told my self to sit down, don’t judge me).

Actual Me: Thank you.

Therapist Me: You’re welcome. How are you?

Actual Me: I’m good.

Therapist Me: I’m glad. How have you been?

Actual Me: I’ve been ok.

Therapist Me: Just ok?

Actual Me: Yes. Last week I had a little meltdown.

Therapist Me: Do you want to talk about it?

Actual Me: I don’t even know where to start.

Therapist Me: What did you feel?

Actual Me: I felt sad. I think.

Therapist Me: You think?

Actual Me: I wasn’t feeling like I could handle life at the moment.

Therapist Me: Is there something in your life that you are having a hard time with?

Actual Me: There are many things. Too many things, and I don’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to do.

Therapist Me: Do you remember what started it?

Actual Me: No. I was fine, at least I thought I was.

Therapist Me: What do you think changed?

Actual Me: I’m not sure. I woke up Friday. Everything was fine. But it just changed.

Therapist Me: What were you thinking about?

Actual Me: My friend. And something that happened Thursday.

Therapist Me: Are those two connected?

Actual Me: Some how. My friend and I are in this religion. I like it. But sometimes I feel like they want me to be someone I am not. They have these plans for me. They want me to be like my friend.

Therapist Me: Who is your friend?

Actual Me: He is a “servant” at my church. It’s some one just under an “Elder”. He has responsibilities and stuff. But to get that tittle, or um, they call it a “privilege”, you have to be a very spiritual person.

Therapist Me: He’s very spiritual.

Actual Me: He is. He does everything he is supposed to and always follows the rules. Since we are friends, I think everyone just assumes that I will walk in his foot steps and be just like him. But I can’t.

Therapist Me: You don’t have to.

Actual Me: I do.

Therapist Me: Why do you think you have to?

Actual Me: They all want me to.

Therapist Me: Who is they?

Actual Me: My mom, my church friends, the Elders in the congregation, and basically all the other people that go.

Therapist Me: You mentioned Thursday. What happened that day?

Actual Me: One of the elders had been texting me that he and another wanted to come to my house and just chat with me. But I already knew what they were going to say.

Therapist Me: How did you know?

Actual Me: They have gone before.

Therapist Me: What do they talk to you about?

Actual Me: Usually its because I am doing everything in my church I am supposed to and then suddenly I lag or don’t really do that much as I was, and they want to check up on me and read me Bible texts.

Therapist Me: Sounds like they care about your spirituality.

Actual Me: They do. But, I feel pressured at times. I was just not in a good mood. Or just scared. I don’t really know. So I went out with a friend instead and told them I wasn’t going to make it. They still went to my house but I wasn’t there.

Therapist Me: A different friend than the one we are talking about?

Actual Me: Yes. She doesn’t go to my church. She’s actually not in the religion at all. I have a couple of friends that aren’t in my religion. I’m not really supposed to talk to them because they are considered a bad influence.

Therapist Me: Are they bad people?

Actual Me: No

Therapist Me: Why are they a bad influence?

Actual Me: They don’t believe what I believe, so they are considered bad. They might persuade me to do something that goes against what the Bible teaches.

Therapist Me: Do you like being around these friends?

Actual Me: I do.

Therapist Me: You are in this religion. You have friends there. Your mom is there. You like it. But you also have other friends that do not attend, who you like to be with but are told not to. The, “Elders”, as you said, want you to assume this role they have planned out for you but you don’t want it. (Pause) What would happen if you just told them? You’re not leaving the church, you’re are just not assuming any responsibilities.

Actual Me: That’s not a good thing to do. It will look as if I don’t want to be there. Or I don’t want to help out with what they ask me to. They will think I don’t want to grow within the church, and they will just be disappointed.

Therapist Me: Why don’t you try it. If they care about you so much they will understand. Try to find a way to tell them that it is bothering you that they are trying to compare you to your friend. I’m sure they will understand.

Actual Me: I can try.

Therapist Me: Pretend I am one of the Elders. I ask you about your spiritual goals. What would you say?

Actual Me: Uh, mmm. Some times I feel like everyone has a set picture of who they want me to be, but no one asks me how I feel about it.

Therapist Me: Go on.

Actual Me: I feel like you want me to be just like XXXXX. But I can’t. I know saying it sounds so bad. But that doesn’t mean I hate God, it doesn’t mean that I hate the religion. It just means I can’t be what everyone already expects me to be. I’m sorry.

Therapist Me: Good. How do you feel?

Actual Me: Nervous but at the same time a little better.

Therapist Me: Why don’t you practice saying that over and over. Think of other ways you can say it, so when the time comes, you can express yourself and let them know how you feel. How they are making you feel.

Actual Me: I will. Thank you.

Therapist Me: You’re welcome, that is what I am here for


 

In all seriousness. This helped a lot. I don’t know if talking to myself like this makes me a total loon, but if so, it doesn’t matter, it helped.