Saturday, March 8, 2014

My Latest Drop-Out and the Resulting Come Back

I must apologize for my absence.  I can't believe I haven't written anything since November!  I've been in a bit of a slump.  Ok, not just a bit.  A nasty bit of a slump that started around Thanksgiving and hasn't let up till a couple weeks ago.  And I can't really explain to you why.  But, that's kind of how depression works.  There's not always a trigger.  Sometimes, you just wake up one morning and find one day that you've lost interest in life.  And it's a horrible feeling.  Activities you used to enjoy no longer hold any interest.  Even thinking about doing an activity you used to love to do highly irritates you because you know you love the activity and you know it would make your day much more pleasant but you just don't want to do it.  Even trying to start up the activity, say reading, just gets you even more annoyed cause you love to read and it would make your day a little nicer but you have no interest in it!  So, you put it away and turn on the TV and sometimes there's something on and sometimes there's nothing.  Either way, you still end up finding yourself just staring at the TV, not really paying attention to what's playing on the screen cause your mind is elsewhere.  And you just waste your day away, having done nothing but stare at the TV and sleep.  This has basically been my life from around Thanksgiving to middle of February. 

So my 2014 new year didn't exactly start off so well but it has definitely gotten better.  MUCH better.  First off, I made a decision to try and start treating my health, both physically and mentally (particularly mentally) in a much more natural way.  I've been on a variety of mental health drugs for 14 years now and they never really helped until not too long ago I got on a couple medications that seemed to really agree with me.  But months later, I started doing some research online and reading books about how to treat and also deal with your physical and mental health naturally, without drugs or without so many drugs at least.  And it got me motivated.  I started by asking my mental health doctor if I could get off the klonopin and use it only as needed, like, when I get anxiety/panic attacks because I started to get them and have heavy anxiety since my accident.  But because of another drug I was on that treats for depression, it also has qualities that help with anxiety as well so I felt that I was doing ok without the klonopin and relying more on this other drug using klonopin more as a breakthrough medicine when an attack occurred or if I started to get too stressed and/or anxious.  He agreed and I have successfully weaned off klonopin using it only for breakthrough stress and anxiety! 

My next goal was a drug that I really didn't want to be on because of it's terrible side effects for diabetes as well as awful weight gain.  My diabetes has been very bad for the past 6 months and with more research I began to suspect this one particular drug I was on for a mood stabilizer.  My A1C's were terrible in the low 9.0 range.  I couldn't get my blood sugars under control no matter how hard I tried.  And get this - all that weight I lost, the 18lbs I lost at the end of 2013, all came back.  And it wasn't because of what I was eating or my lifestyle.  I was so mad.  I worked so hard on losing that weight.  And losing weight is hard for me because I'm always on a lot of pills, my exercise is low and limited because of my limited mobility and muscle loss from the accident.  So, again I went to my mental health doctor and asked him for his advice on weaning off of this drug I was on for mood stabilization.  And to my surprise, he was all for it for exactly the same reasons I wanted to get off of it - weight gain and bad for my diabetes.  So, he wrote out a schedule for getting me off it and I'm now down to 3 more weeks of weaning and then I will officially be off of it! 

But my diabetes was still not getting much better as I have been weaning off and as my dosage was lowered every two weeks I began to feel a difference in my mood.  So back to researching I went and I bought this book titled, "Kitchen Cures; Revolutionize Your Health with Foods that Cure." I discovered a few things that I wanted to try - a mix of herbal supplements and vitamins to treat my mood problem and help get my diabetes under control.  Most of the vitamins I knew what they worked for but most of the supplements were new to me.  For my mood I am taking vitamin B (super B-complex), Sacha Inchi Seeds, and L-Dopa.  Sacha Inchi Seeds play a major role in my mood as they are the most nutrient dense seeds when it comes to brain health.  They contain the highest plant-based source of Omega-3's in the world, which not only help with heart health but, also do big things in improving cognitive functioning and fighting depression.  The L-Dopa supplement also works to improve mood and fight depression as L-dopa is what anti-depressants work to increase in your brain to fight depression.  So instead of taking this drug that was hurting me with weight gain and destroying my diabetes and all other horrible side effects that come with it like difficulty with speaking, drooling, restlessness, muscle trembling and jerking, shuffling walk, drowsiness, constipation, etc. I am currently weaning off of it with three weeks to go and trading in for more natural ways with less horrific side effects to treat my mood disorder.  And I'm doing great!  I have definitely felt better in my mental health and stable moods so I don't miss that drug one bit. 

As for how my diabetes is reacting as I'm weaning off that drug, it got better but it still needed to get MUCH better.  So, in my research I discovered and started taking cinnamon w/chromium and chia seeds.  And what an amazing change!!  My blood sugars came down and were coming down so much more that I was often having low blood sugars.  I think also in my reading about them that those supplements are making me more sensitive to insulin so the insulin I have to take from my insulin pump is much more effective because my body has become more sensitive to it.  So, once again my body is responding more effectively to just natural supplements and vitamins rather than man-made drugs. 

The chia seeds and the cinnamon w/chromium supplement also perform double duty.  They help with weight loss!  Since I gained back all my weight that I worked so hard to lose, when the new year rang I promised myself with absolution that this would be the year I got it off.  That I wouldn't be saying the same thing in 2015 about losing weight cause I will have done it finally.  I'm tired of saying "I'm gonna do it this time!  This is the year.  Just watch me, I'll do it," and then eating my words when the next year comes around and I am saying the same mantra over again cause I couldn't do it last year.  I am deadly serious this year about losing my weight that I gained while I was in the hospital.  This is my year of massive positive change; a complete body, mind and soul make-over.  My mind is being worked on by weaning off as many man-made drugs as I can and replacing with natural things.  As for working on my weight loss for my body make-over part, I did serious research on supplements and vitamins that help aid weight loss.  Now I'm not talking "diet pills" cause I don't believe in them.  I'm talking about herbal supplements, natural aids for weight loss.  And what I found is kelp tablets, yacon syrup, cayenne tablets, the cinnamon w/chromium supplement and the chia seeds, apple cider vinegar tablets (for fluid retention), and the sacha incha seeds also perform double duty as they aid your body in weight loss as well as aiding your mood.  If you have a sluggish thyroid or hypothyroid disease (which I do and I take a drug for it every morning) iodine is a major contributor to helping your thyroid work correctly and kelp has a lot of iodine in it so it's very good for you to either eat or take as a supplement to lose weight.  There are also certain foods that are high in iodine that you can look up as well.  Kelp, eggs, fish, and sea salt are just a few examples of where you can find iodine naturally in food.  Since there's not a lot of foods that are high in iodine I chose to take the kelp supplements.  I have been taking this weight loss supplement regimen religiously and eating foods that work for my body and staying away from certain foods that DON'T work for my body (not all healthy foods may work with your body to lose weight) and I've been losing and feeling great! 

That book I bought enlightened me to a whole new way of looking at food and I do not kid you, it's working.  No "take this diet pill" or "don't eat any carbs" bullshit in there.  I have discovered all these supplements to aid me in my mental health and weight loss as well as foods that are good for MY particular body AND foods that may be healthy for someone else but do not work for my body.  Having weaned off a couple man-made drugs and replaced with natural drugs and treating my mind and body naturally, I feel cleaner inside, if that makes sense.  Not so polluted with those drugs that gave my body all these horrible side effects to deal with.  My moods are naturally more positive and stable without altering it with chemicals.  I feel like I can deal with things and situations better unless it becomes too stressful and an anxiety attack occurs then I treat myself with a drug.  Weight loss is happening!  And I just feel like I'm treating my body better.  I was always so chemically altered and dirty until I decided to make a change and cleanse myself.  I'm still on one last drug, an anti depressant but I can only wean off these drugs slowly and one at a time so I hope that after this second drug that I'm weaning off of is done, I can perhaps see if I can be totally free of all mental health drugs and treat myself with my natural supplements.  I will always be on pain killer drugs.  But I really need those for the chronic pain I have and the pain I have with surgeries.  Having said all that, as a psychology major and just my own personal beliefs, I do believe that there are certain people and certain situations that require the use of man-made drugs.  My choice to stop being treated with man-made drugs and altering chemicals was simply that - MY CHOICE.  It was a matter of needing a change and how I felt.  This is not a post for anti-mental health drugs.  I believe in them for the right reasons and the right situations but I don't believe I am one of those right situations anymore.  I once was, but, not anymore.

I am coming out of my depression slump slowly so far with mind and body cleanses and changes but I need to work on my soul as well.  I have always been an avid reader.  I always had my nose in a book and I was often still up at 3am reading a book.  I have been that way all my life but every once in awhile it's like I just drop out of life like dropping out of school.  I no longer do anything I used to do; no hobbies like reading, cross stitching, scrapbooking, puzzles, paint by number, etc.  I just waste away my days with mindless TV and thinking too hard on how much my life sucks which only pollute my mind and body with negative thoughts like hopelessness and intense anger.  But my latest drop out is on it's way out I think as my nose is back into books big time, I am playing the piano and among other things, I am working heavily on my supplement and vitamin regimen to keep myself in positive working order with my weight loss and my mental health. I am doing much better lately and it feels great.  In fact, stay tuned for another post very, very soon about my latest surgery that was a HUGE success and has made me very happy! 

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I totally identify with your first paragraph. I love to read, knit, bake, but find myself mindlessly sitting in front of the computer for hours. I'm so glad you're finding healthy ways of combatting your health challenges!
-Tabitha S

Rn said...

So glad you are doing well! I just got back to working on my health, physically and mentally. It's tough when you come from an injury (burn) and remember the life you had before. Motivation is so hard to muster up at times!
Do you think you will be attending WBC this year?

SarahBeth "SB" Watterson said...

Rn,
Thank you so much for your support! And I'm so glad to hear that you are also getting back to working on your physical and mental health. It is a difficult journey for sure. One that I have been working on very seriously for the last 6 years and probably always will be. I take it you are a either a nurse and/or a burn survivor? Have you ever been to WBC? I love WBC. I'm sad I had to miss it last year. I do hope to make it again this year though. How about you?

Rn said...

Burn survivor over here, unfortunately :-/ it's been a year since my accident. Iv been following your journey for about a year as well! Very inspiring, plus there aren't many bloggers who have experienced such an injury (except for Nienie) but that's a different blog altogether! I do very much want to attend this year, I heard it's a positive experience! It's in Anaheim, Ca. Closer to you somewhat but all the way across the country for me!
I think I read on your blog the experiences you had at WBC. Is there a chance I can e-mail you? Pick your brain a bit? :)

SarahBeth "SB" Watterson said...

Rn,
Well I'm so sorry to hear that you are a burn survivor as well. It is a difficult journey to go through. There will be lots of ups and downs ahead of you for quite awhile. I'm still going through them and I'm almost 6 years out. WBC is a very positive experience!! I went to one in Cincinnati and one in Milwaukee. I wasn't able to go to last years because of funds but I'd really like to go again, and yes it is closer to me. But you can do it even if it's all the way across the country! I went quite far for both of my times. Just takes saving and planning. I would love it if you emailed me. My email is: sbw3@outlook.com. I look forward to hearing from you! xxx

Lauren Michelle said...

I've been is slump as well. Not being able to get out of bed due to horrible pain also. It has not gotten any better and I also have been trying drugs to help such as neurontin but it made me too sick and wasn't working. I know the feeling of losing all the activities you once loved to do. Chronic pain, both physical and mental can really change a person, and you are doing all the right things searching for ways to get back. Your fight is courageous and worth it. Congratulations on your successful surgery! I hope that has been motivating as well xo Lauren

SarahBeth "SB" Watterson said...

Lauren Michelle,
I know everything you talked about so very well. Not wanting to get out of bed, loss of interest in things you once loved to do, the chronic and horrible pain both physically and mentally. I want to help you though. I want you out of your slump because it's such an awful feeling to be trapped there. Do you want to email me and talk? I may be able to help. I leave it up to you. My email is sbw3@outlook.com. I'm here to help if you want to try. xxx

Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah, hope all is well!!

carolecraig said...

Your courage and honesty is a gift you're giving to others....thank you

Anonymous said...

Hope your doing okay!

Anonymous said...

Pleaseeee make another post!!!

Deana in OR said...

SaraBeth, how are you getting along, dear?

Anonymous said...

Hope everything is going well for you. Update plz!!

Jarrett Ransom said...

Challenges can make a person stronger. Your year may not have started on the best of terms, but you are still doing the best you can to make it better. And that’s the important thing. Well, you have a good reason to be happy and inspired because of your successful surgery. That is great progress, because the last time I’ve read your blog was the time you had your appointment with your orthopedist. And you seem to be on the road to a fast recovery. How are you feeling now, btw?

Jarrett Ransom @ Dr. Wade Faerber