Something Was Seriously Wrong After All

Yesterday, on our way to Sedona, AZ, I got a phone call from my new psychiatrist. She was calling with test results from an ADHD test she had me take. She told me my results were “exceptional” and that she even had to call the company for the testing just to make sure of the accuracy of the results. 

What’s the outcome? Well, I don’t have ADD/ADHD at all. I have slight hyperactivity that is probably caused by anxiety, and that’s it. Since June I have been on at least one stimulant, sometimes two. I have been treated for ADD for no reason. This begs the question, do I really have Bipolar Disorder, too?

I’m off of my ADD medications and my antidepressant. I’m feeling much better being on an antipsychotic and an anticonvulsant to help stabilize my moods. It’s a miracle that I’m off of these meds as my last psychiatrist wouldn’t even consider letting me off of them. 

This makes me wonder, how many people out there are being treated wrongly? How many people don’t want to do the research they need to in order to find the right psychiatrist? 

My advice, if your psychiatrist feels more like a legal drug dealer and not a therapist, look for someone new. The quality of your life depends on it. Trust me. 



Getting Back To The Basics

Lately, I’ve noticed something different. Something, small but, amazing. The moment I realized it was when I did my makeup for fun, not because I “had” to. What I realized is simple, I’m getting back to me. 

At first, I was going to title this, Signs I’m Getting Better (Even If I Don’t Feel It), but I figured that’s not the best way to describe what’s going on. I don’t know how long I’ll be “better.” I start a new medication tomorrow, it could take all of this away from me. Maybe I won’t start it, I don’t know. Anyway, I’m feeling pretty damn good today. And it’s rare that this feeling lasts beyond noon. I took my ADD meds at the right time, will take them again as the day goes on, and things seem to be looking up. 

But, how do I notice when I’m getting back to the basics of myself? What makes it obvious for me that things are looking up? Chances are, it’ll be different for everyone. But, maybe you can relate. Or, maybe you’ll begin to notice that things have been looking up for you, too. 

I look presentable. 

For the last few months it’s been nothing but no makeup or bare minimum makeup. Anytime I felt I had to go all out, I freaking dreaded it. And I’d never try anything new, it was always the same old routine. Now, I’m enjoying putting my makeup on for the day. I actually think about it, and try new ways of wearing it. 

I play with my makeup. 

I was in cosmetology school for a reason. And every time I get depressed, I lose sight of that reason. Truth is, I fucking love doing my hair and makeup. I find it creative and inspiring. Sure, in some cases it may be a bit vein but, if you truly find joy in something, do it. As long as it’s healthy for you. 

I write to-do lists. 

I write these even when I’m depressed but, they stress me out then. When I can look at a to do list and not feel anxious about it, I know something has changed for the better. And that I’ll probably complete it! (Btw, 10 Things is my list of 10 Things I’m Grateful For each day.) 

I walk my dog more often. 

When I’m feeling better, it’s easier to get out and go for a walk. I throw on my badass sunglasses and enjoy the sun on my face. Whether it’s to check the mail or just to get out, it’s beneficial. I do this even when depressed but, I’ll admit something. Some days he may only get one or two walks, others he won’t get any. It’s something I’ve had to work hard to become routine, but it’s finally working out. 

I do yoga. 

This is probably the most important thing on this list. Other than God, this is probably the reason the other things are even on this list. To be honest, nothing else was happening until I started my yoga practice back up again. I’m only on Day 3 and the mental and physical changes are amazing. I can feel my side muscles being sore, and my core tightening already. Other than that, it’s helped with my anxiety and created a more calm home for my mind. 

If you’re wondering what I do for yoga, I watch Yoga With Adrienne videos on YouTube. She’s the perfect instructor for me. She’s funny and kind. Right now, I’m doing her current 31 Day Challenge for the New Year. It’s helping ease me back into my practice. However, the other thing I love about her channel is the Yoga for Healing playlist. It has yoga sequences to help with anxiety, depression, anger, heartbrokeness, and even sleep. 

These are just a few things I’ve noticed about myself the past couple days. I’m excited to be able to write this post and I hope you all get to experience this joy of returning to yourself. 


I’m Having Trouble Feeling Today

Some mornings, I wake up ready to take on the world. I’m inspired, happy, mornings tend to be the best part of my day. However, not lately. And especially not today. I don’t know if it’s because I forgot and had to take my medication a little later than normal, or if it’s because of an onset of a Depressive Episode. I just don’t know. 

What I do know is that I’m tired. I got a shitty night sleep and it took me hours to get up this morning. I’ve sat outside drinking my coffee and felt nothing. No inspiration, no joy, not even sadness. These are the days that scare me. 

Days when I can’t feel, those are the worst days. I want to curl up and hide away from the world, I don’t even have the energy to watch tv. Nothing matters on days like this.

 I don’t know how to pull myself out of it, I don’t know whether or not it’ll lead to self harm. So, I let my best friend know so that she’s aware in case things go badly.

Days like these, I don’t know how to help myself. I’m lost. I’m broken. I need to feel again, but I don’t enjoy anything. I don’t have the energy to do anything. 


Where Were You Before?

For me, the most confusing part about receiving help for mental illness isn’t the different diagnosis, the different medications, or the things you discover about yourself. No, not these at all. For me, the most confusing part of it all is the way people react. And their lovely opinions. 

My question for all of you who have given me “advice” is, where were you when it’s all started? Where was your heartfelt advice when I was lost and confused? Where were you when I was looking for which direction to go? 

Before I continue this, I want to make one thing clear. I appreciate and understand where you are coming from. I know you think you’re saying what’s best for me. And I truly appreciate that. But you have to realize that sometimes, more harm than good comes from unwanted advice. 

Before I started seeking help, that’s when I would have loved to hear stories of how you’re perfectly fine without medication. I would have loved to here the words, “just keep pushing,” and I would have loved to hear your thoughts on my illnesses. But, I’ve chosen a path and I’m going to honor it. 

My parents, they have been the most confusing of them all. You’d think they’d be the most supportive considering my mother has been on medication for years for her illness. But, she’s got a physical illness, she’s not getting help for a mental illness. 

I’ve been told I need a new psychiatrist because my parents weren’t fond of the new diagnosis I received. They looked up symptoms for Bipolar and made it sound like, oh, anyone could fall into this category. No, no they can’t. And to top it all off, they think I’m on too many medications. 

My best friend, I asked her one day if this was all worth it. If the struggle with medication is creating more harm than good. She said she didn’t think it was worth it, however, I couldn’t get out of bed. So, I’m taking that as she doesn’t know either. 

Another friend, she wants to pray me off medication. She believes if my faith is built stronger and I turn to God more that I can get off of medication. I don’t need it. While I agree there is no harm in rebuilding my faith stronger, I have a need for my medication. 

And a friend now believes I can be perfectly fine without medication. That, my illness can be easily managed because it’s not as bad as another illness. She believes CBD oil (oil from cannabis without the THC) could help me tremendously. While I’m willing to give that a try, I know I need more than that. 

What it comes down to, is this is about me. For the first time, I’m truly having to take care of myself as an adult. I’m having to set boundaries while still pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I’m having to trust the choices I’ve made for myself. That I just might know what’s best for me. 

The beginning of seeking help came with a lot of support. Everyone pushed me to be one medication, to seek out a psychiatrist. But, once we found out I had more problems than originally thought, the support diminished. Now, they expect me to continue to listen to them because it was them who started me on this path to begin with.

Well, here I am politely saying, no. You no longer get to decide for me which path I should take. While the path of medication wasn’t my first choice, and at times it gets difficult, this is where I’m going to remain. I’m going to stick it out until I find what works for me. 

My first medication, my first antidepressant, it no longer works. I’m still on it, though. I agree that I should ask about getting off of it. My ADD medication, it works wonders. While I don’t get the “high” that I used to from it, I’m able to think clearly for most of the day. This is a miracle! And my newest, an antipsychotic (mood stabilizer), has been working great as well. Sure, it’s not the same as when I first started, but I can tell that my moods are beginning to level out. It’s not turning me into a zombie, and I like that. 

So, please, trust me when I say that I trust myself. I appreciate your concern, but right now I don’t need any doubts that I might not be doing what is best. I just need your continued support and love. I’m getting better, and that’s what matters. 


The Hardest Pill I’ve Had To Swallow

I was just beginning to think, not too long ago, that maybe there is a cure for me. Maybe my depression and anxiety actually weren’t caused by a chemical imbalance in my brain. Maybe I’d developed these over the years because of the traumas I have experienced. Maybe if I learn to let those go, I’d be free from my struggles. 

That thought process came to a crashing hault yesterday morning. I was nervous about asking my psychiatrist for a medical card. I should have been nervous for a while other reason. That day, it changed my life. 

“I’m giving you the diagnosis of Bipolar 2.”

Excuse me, what was that?

There is no cure. There is only treatment. That’s all I knew about bipolar. This is something I’m going to deal with for the rest of my life. This is something probably inherited from a family member. This is something huge. 

While I know nothing has changed, I feel as though my entire world has been turned upside down. I’m starting to doubt myself, to doubt my future. 

Will I get worse? Will I turn into one of those women in movies with bipolar disorder? Will I ever make any sense? Will anyone ever want to love me? And if they do, how can I even begin to think about having a family? How would I be able to sleep at night knowing that my children will one day suffer as I have because I was selfish enough to bring them into this world, despite knowing mental illness runs in the family? How am I going to cope with this? Who is ever going to want someone like me in their life? Where did I go wrong? What did I do to deserve this? Will I ever accomplish anything? How do I keep myself from going crazy? 

I’m scared. I had just accepted the fact that I have mental illnesses. I just accepted my ADD. It took me a decade to get the help I’m getting now. And now, I’m bipolar? 

I don’t know what any of this means. I never thought this would happen to me. I feel like crying, but I can’t. My mind is telling me two things. One, “be calm, it’s not the end of the world. You could have worse, it’s not a big deal.” And two, “why are you not freaking the hell out right now? Your life is over! There’s another damn reason you shouldn’t continue to go on. Just go to bed and cry already!”

The worst part of all this is, they were right. My abusers, they’ve been right all along. There is something mentally wrong with me. I do need serious help. Fuck. They were right. 

I’m beginning to even understand them. No wonder they treated me in such horrible ways, I deserved it. I am worthless. I am crazy. They had every right to treat me as such. I’m ashamed. 

There’s a small part of me that’s saying, “stop” as I write this. It’s saying that I’m wrong. If anything, I deserved help, comfort, and love. It’s beginning to make me look at my abusers with even more disgust than before. How dare they take advantage of such a weak mind? What kind of person must they be to abuse someone for years who has suffered from mental illness? 

Then the argument continues, they didn’t know. It’s okay, they had no idea how bad you were. But they must have known. They must have seen it. I was a mess. I couldn’t function. What’s even going on in my mind right now? 

I don’t know where to begin. I don’t know what to do or how to cope with this. I don’t know how I’m going to continue living like this for the rest of my life. I’m strong, though. I’m a fighter. I know I won’t give in to it. But right now, I’m scared and I’m alone. I’m confused and I’m hopeless. 


Maybe, just maybe, I’m not meant to be found in a self help book, in a routine. 

I’ve always been a free spirit. I’ve always been the one to suggest random road trips. Lately, I’ve been forcing myself to try and find the answers in self help books and routines. Maybe that’s not where I’m meant to be found. 

I’ve always called the open road my home. But lately, I’ve had no desire to go out there. Honestly, it scares me now. I’ve become so accustomed to living in my little apartment that I’ve totally forgotten what makes me, me. 

I blame part of it on my ADD medication. It’s taken away my impulses. At least for the most part. And, that’s a good thing. But, maybe I don’t need an impulsive trip. Maybe I need a planned trip. A thought out trip. Or something. 

I blame another part of it on my anxiety. For the past few months I’ve been afraid to do things I once found enjoyable. Suddenly, I’m afraid to go places alone. All the paranoid thoughts began to sound like truth. My sense of adventure, my life, has diminished. 

I’m not saying self help books don’t work. They do. They’ve given me helpful advice. But, I’m a bit unique. I’m not just any regular depressed or anxious person. I have things about me that can not be defined in a book. 

Maybe I’ve been looking in all the wrong places. Maybe I’ve been trying to find myself in the wrong books. Maybe, it’s time for a complete turn around in my recovery program I have created. 

It’s time to think like the real Elizabeth, not this structured, routine, dull, afraid person that I have been. 

Just some early morning thoughts. 


Just Push Through

“Just push through.” These were my grandma’s favorite words on the phone today. I swear, she said them 20 times in a row. I about threw the phone across the room. “Just push through.” She reminded me. Say that and all my problems go away, I become normal. That’s how she made it seem. “Just push through.” I couldn’t hear that phrase one more time. It’s become more hated in my mind than the saying, “it is what it is.” 

I wanted to yell, I wanted to scream. But, I just grinned and said, “okay, that is good advice.”

It got me wondering, do people think depression exists solely because we don’t want to do things? Do they think that we let ourselves get overwhelmed on purpose? That we don’t want to “just push through?” 

Do people think I can’t make a doctor’s appointment because I don’t want to? Do people think I don’t have a job because I don’t want to? Do people seriously believe that I just sit around all day doing nothing because I don’t want to participate in life?

Because none of that is true. 

I’m a woman who was once a little girl, full of hopes and dreams. That little girl still lives inside of me, but she’s buried underneath the weight that this world has put on me. 

I want to travel. I want to get paid for my work. I want to learn. I want to explore. I want to create. I want to have a social life. I want to have a loving relationship. One day, I’d like to be married with kids. One day, I’d like to live in a house. One day, I’d like to have a car I paid for on my own. 

I have deep, wild passions in this life. My mind runs constantly. I want to do this, I want to do that, I just can’t keep track anymore. I can’t focus on just one goal, which makes it all that much harder to accomplish just one goal. 

It sounds simple, to focus on one thing. You only have to work on one thing. But my mind doesn’t work that way. Not at all. Matter of fact, my mind doesn’t work normally any day. 

I don’t want to just sit around and do nothing. I don’t want to keep avoiding life. I want to be a part of the world. I want to have a good job and I want to have a life other than sitting on my patio all day and filling up my time. I want to work towards something, I want to accomplish something! 

But, I can’t. Not at the moment, anyway. I long for the day that I get up in the morning, have my coffee, get ready in a nice outfit, go out and work, and then come home and relax. But that’s not something I can have at this point in my life. Not yet. 

I need to be okay with that, I don’t need you to be okay with that. Because, it’s my life and not yours. I’m pushing through every day. Each day I have one major goal, to survive. And drink coffee. 

Right now, I get overwhelmed very easily. I can be doing absolutely nothing and that can even be overwhelming for me. I don’t know how, I don’t understand it, but that’s how it is. And I don’t know how to cope with it just yet.

Major Depressive Disorder has me down for the count. It has me struggling to keep breathing each day. It’s got its weight on my shoulders. It keeps me in bed for hours after I had planned on getting up. It looks at my intentions, my to do lists, and it laughs. 

Anxiety Disorder keeps me in my place. It keeps me from even thinking about making a step towards progress. Each time I think, I’m going to do this to change the way I’m living, I get overwhelmed by fear and panic. I don’t know how to overcome this just yet. 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has me up all night. I can’t sleep. I remember being awake at 4am this morning. It makes sure to remind me that I’m worthless, it reminds me daily of the pain I have suffered. It forces me to continue suffering. 

Attention Deficit Disorder keeps me confused, basically. I can’t process information. It comes in and out of my mind too quickly. I can’t give each thought enough attention. I have wonderful ideas, great amazing plans. But none of them happen because I can’t process each step to get there. By the time I’ve figured out my first step, I’m already thinking about what other amazing things I could be doing. It’s exhausting. 

I’m still learning to be okay. After a year of being in this place, I’m still trying to accept it. Some days, my mind is blank. Other days, it almost works normally. My mind is too unreliable. It’s too all over the place. It’s too far out of my control. 

I haven’t yet mastered a way to control my mind. I’m working on it. I’ve gotten further than I have ever been before, but I still need time. Time to heal, time to grow, time to learn. 

One day, I’ll be driving across country exploring again. Until then, I work on what I can. I focus on what I can. I try not to get too excited about things. I try and remain in reality. 


So, You’re Against Medication For Mental Health?

I understand. For more than a decade I was against medication for not only mental health, but anything unless it was life threatening. Supplements can help, essential oils can help, marijuana can help. There’s so many alternatives to medication. Meditation, yoga, prayer, mind over matter. But what happens when these don’t work?

There’s a serious problem people overlook when it comes to these things. They all take energy. They take research, actually doing something, or finding things out on your own. A lot of time, people with mental illnesses do not have the brain capacity to process new information. This makes it incredibly hard to do things like research. For me, it meant putting off helping myself for over a decade. 

I would lay in bed all day. Back when my anxiety and ADD were at their worst, I couldn’t function. I would come home from work and I would gather my things on my bed a read for hours on end. I would draw, I would do anything to ignore my household responsibilities. My then boyfriend worked sometimes 7 days a week. I worked part time. I couldn’t do the dishes, clean the house, or even take off the trash. 

When I moved back to Arizona, I spent most of my days in my bed doing little creative things. Or just watching Netflix. I couldn’t bring myself to function. I needed help, more help than could come from essential oils and yoga alone. I needed to put my prayers into action.

I decided I couldn’t live like this anymore. I needed to be a functioning human. I went to my doctor and was prescribed Prozac. It helped immensely. I could finally think, I could finally feel normal emotions, and it didn’t allow me to have anxiety attacks. I could still feel them on the inside, but they didn’t explode into anything uncontrollable. 

Then, my Prozac stopped working by itself. I fell into a deep Depressive Episode after having gone through something that was practically a divorce. I had to sign over the deed to my house to my ex boyfriend. I got nothing in return, he took everything from me. All I had ever wanted was in that house, and it was all gone. I couldn’t get out of bed again. 

So, I finally started to see a psychiatrist. I’m now on 4 different medications. I’ve had people say things like, “we need to get you off of these,” “you’re on too many,” “we need to work on getting you off of these.” It’s as if helping myself is seen as hurting myself. I’m being treated as though I’m now suddenly addicted to my medication. Sure, naturally you build a dependence on them, but I’m not a drug addict. 

I spent over a decade suffering. For the first time in my life I have the ability to concentrate on my writing, I have the energy to clean, I can take care of myself, I don’t do impulsive things as much, I rarely have anxiety attacks anymore. And you all want me to get off my medication? 


My medication does not “alter my state of mind.” It does not turn me into someone I am not. It does not make me fake happy, it allows me to feel emotions in a healthy way! I’m sad? I simply cry a little bit. I’m happy? I smile and enjoy the moment. I’m frustrated? I don’t destroy whatever is in front of me, I breathe. This medication has me stable. It has me able to function like myself. I shouldn’t have to justify why I take medication for a mental ILLNESS. 

Sure, my illness is mostly invisible. Only when you see my scars or the times I physically shut down can you see it. If you ever watched me have a full on anxiety attack, there would be no doubt in your mind that this woman needs medication. Just because my illness is easily hidden, easily ignored, or easily forgotten does not mean it is not real. It has consumed my life since I was 10 years old. It’s very real, not just a negative state of mind. 

So, please, if you’re against medication for mental illness, listen. Ask those who are on it how they feel. Some love it, some hate it. But nothing compares to the joy I felt when I realized I was now able to be myself, who I truly want to be. Understand, don’t judge. 


In My Mind

Life with ADD/ADHD is a difficult one to process. Most of the information out there is for children with ADD. But those children, they do not grow out of it, ADD follows them into adulthood. So, what does that look like?

It looks like yourself, attacking your own mind. It looks like a perfectionist hovering over you, giving you ideas of what to do. One after another. 

It looks like taking a moment to go crazy. If only you could get the thoughts to stop. 

It’s taking a moment to close your eyes and breathe, to remind yourself you are okay. 

It’s going to do something you want to do. 

And then having another thought distract you entirely. Leaving you to wonder what to do next. 

It’s holding yourself together to not break down. 

It’s contemplating giving up. 

You grab whatever is your current vice to help ease the pain. 

You think twice, but do it anyway. 

Anything to make the thoughts and the pain go away. 

See, the thing about ADD is that you have all these crazy wonderful ideas. Creative projects, business ideas, you constantly think outside of the box. But, because you can’t focus on just one thought long enough, none of it, or only part of it gets accomplished. 

If I had all my thoughts I have, but were able to focus on each one and give it the correct amount of time, I’d be on top of my dream world. I’d be a paid writer, I would be inspiring as many people as possible, and I could enjoy down time when it is given to me. But, I have ADD and my medication doesn’t cure it, but makes it bareable. 


When the Sun Sets

When the sun starts to set, the air gets a bit cooler, and everyone is on their way home to relax, this is when my mind goes crazy. 

I become controlled by my thoughts and my feelings, my negative voice grows louder and it gets difficult to ignore. I went shopping today at a craft store. Instead of coming home and working on those projects, I’m fighting an evil monster within my mind. Telling me how I wasted money, I’m not good enough, how none of this is worth it. 

See, about now is when my first ADD medication begins to wear off. I’m at a dose to where I don’t get the deep depression that I used to when I would crash, but it still definitely goes away. And then I’m left with a choice, to take my 2nd ADD medication or to not take it. Sometimes, there is no choice. I have to take it. 

Today is a day where I have to take it. Today is a day where my thoughts are running around like crazy. Everything from what artistic project could I work on to, my depressive and anxious thoughts. There’s no getting around it. 

On the way home, my mind was focused on creating a business plan, building an online business. Then, I went to a craft store and got easily distracted by things I did not need to buy. On my way home, I day dreamed. And now that I’m home, I struggled with the feelings of being lazy, unmotivated, and restless all at the same time. Do I take my medicine? Is it too late in the day? What if it doesn’t work? What will I do with myself if it does work?

My negative thoughts are clouding me. They’re holding me hostage. I’m trying to break free, trying to break free by thinking of creativity. What is simple that I could do to help fight these thoughts? Should I work on the new wood burning kit I got? Maybe I could draw? Oh, I could do some weaving. Better yet, lets do a self portrait photo shoot! 

The creative thoughts are endless. They either help or they drive me further into the negativity. Sometimes, with the right thought, I can pull myself out of this. I might go ahead and try with some photography. God, I hope it helps.