Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Everyone's Mental Wellness Journey Is Different: Here's my challenge.

Everyone's Mental Wellness Journey Is Different: Here's my challenge.

I like to think that everyone's mental wellness journey is different; like a mental finger print, they all very in the way they present themselves from person to person. And the road that I walk upon is no exception, its pain customize by my own lives experience.

Just as my mental health conditions have grown and manifested according to my life's path, maybe genetically, certainly experientially, neurologically and, most definitely pharmacetically. As if my mental illnesses weren't enough, I was also diagnosed with epilepsy when I was thirteen.  Fortunately for me, the medication I was put on has completely controlled my seizures. I am grateful for this because the degree to which I have responded to the medication  has not been lost on me in terms of its significant and positive impact it has had on my entire life.

Carbamazepine, an anticonvulsant medication designed to reduce or prevent seizures, has been a miracle drug for me. It has proven its value by eliminating my seizures to zero. I have been seizure free since 1994.

However, this miracle drug is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it has allowed me to live a full and complete life in terms of work,  driving,  being a firefighter etcetera. But.... On the other hand, it has left  one hell of a mess in the mental health department. 

Fun fact about carbamazepine is that its metabolized through the liver. As a result, it loves to produce enzymes that systematically wash out all the drugs I have tried to treat my PTSD, depression and anxiety. I know, fun, right? If that weren't enough, it also limits the types I can take. This washout renders the anti depressants and the like ineffective. This makes the road to mental wellness a very difficult one to travel down.

 Epilepsy entered into my life at 13, I was frightened by what lied ahead. I hadn't a clue as to what epilepsy was, how detrimental it could be to my health and if that meant I would be impacted by seizures for the rest of my life. So many things went through my head, overwhelming me with an ocean of uncertainty. 

Now, 30 years later, that same fear of uncertainty has impacted my every day since my diagnoses of PTSD, anxiety and depression. In fact, the further away I get from the last day I worked, the more the fear of the unknown exacerbates my generalized anxiety disorder. What lies a head for me???

To hear more of my story go here: My podcast with A New Dawn. (website listed below)

Ironically, the same medication that quelled my young mind's fear of what epilepsy meant for the rest my life, is reason I live in limbo today. Several medications for the treatment of mental illness later, here I sit, experiencing little to no effect from them. Sadly, this has only proved to prolong my suffering. Not only from the mental health perspective, but also from the side effects each med has produced. Hindering what quality of life I already have; there have been times when I couldn't drive, interact with my family and had to turn down friends for visits. Every time I go on a new drug and then come off it, I have little choice but to hit the pause button on life.

As murky as the waters of my future may be, I am determined and my will to live is still strong. I am not out of options nor am I out of ideas. I wasn't put on this earth to rot in the sea of mental illness so, despite my personal challenges, I carry on.

Now, here's my challenge, laid out before you. Also, my resolve to have my life back is here for you to see; in fact, its on every page this blog.

Your battle, even though it may not feel like it, it is far from over. We got this! Even if you and I have to do it together... I believe you can do this; through your deep down will to live and all the love  and passion you possess. Just because we feel like it's the end doesn't make it so, that voice in your head feeding your pain doesn't have to prove victorious. Explore every option.


You may also like: Pave New Roads

A New Dawn's Website:

Email: [email protected]

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