[This is a continuation of my Instagram post about this necklace.] I have struggled with my “mental health” for most of my life. I remember my parents bringing me to a therapist in 7th grade. The man had an eye patch and told me to bring in my journals so he could read them. I have been diagnosed and misdiagnosed, medicated and unmedicated off and on since then. In 2010 I was misdiagnosed with bipolar 2. My longtime therapist at the time and the therapists I have seen since did not agree with that diagnosis, but I was suffering so badly, and would have done anything to relieve the pain, so I accepted the diagnosis, and the accompanying medication. In 2017, shortly after my mother’s death, I chose to taper off of those medications because I felt that my soul had died and I wanted to see if I could bring it back, as part of the healing process of losing my mom.
Since that time, I have worked harder than I ever have in my life to understand my pain, and to heal. I have a new diagnosis, CPTSD (complex post traumatic stress disorder) and accompanying MDD (major depressive disorder) which finally feels like the truth. CPTSD is a complicated disorder and if you are not familiar with it, I recommend reading anything by Pete Walker, as he is by far the best resource I have found. Much of the work I have been doing in the past four years involves uncovering old wounds, re-familiarizing myself with parts of myself that have been exiled, trying to change destructive thoughts and behaviors, and managing triggers, or “emotional flashbacks”.
I have been determined to do this work without medication. I so badly wanted to believe that I wasn’t “disordered”, that I could heal, that my wounds were manageable if only I tried hard enough. And even when it has insanely difficult and I have been extremely low, I would not consider going back on medication because I did not want that soul-death feeling again. I felt that no matter how much pain I was feeling, it was preferable to feeling nothing at all. However, the deeper I am digging, and the more pain I am uncovering, the more I am experiencing triggers and emotional flashbacks. These send me into downward spirals of depression and tailspins that can be really hard on my family. If I was on my own and trying to manage these feelings and this work, I believe that I would continue to push through as I have been. But I cannot let my healing journey also become unbearable for the people that I love the most. So I have made the incredibly difficult decision to go back on medication.
I have an appointment with a psychiatrist this week. My hope is that because of my new and proper diagnosis, and because I am actively working so hard to heal, we can find a medication that can just help me to manage these huge emotions enough so that I can finally work through them, without taking away all of the parts of myself that are so important to me. I do not know what that will look like, and I am actually pretty terrified. As I said on my Instagram post, I am sharing this, despite the stigma of talking about it, because I want to help other people who feel similarly. But, I am also sharing it with you, my Silver Sparrow community, because you ladies mean so much to me. Your support of my business and of me has meant the world to me over the years. So, if any of you have experiences like this that you would like to share, or suggestions, or tales of hope to help me through this time, I would very much welcome them. Please feel free to comment or message me. (Although, to be honest, I am still confused about the message feature here. I do not believe that I am receiving all of the messages that are sent to me. You may want to use Instagram or Facebook messaging.) Thanks so much for being here.