A shifted view

I have felt a shift. A shift in my life, no matter how slight it may have been, and it has changed everything. The feeling of great things to come, of change, and of finally feeling right. It’s a feeling of things falling into place. 

After such a turbulent past few months, I feel as though the storm is clearing for me and there is a light that has parted these dark clouds. I can honestly say this feeling is coming from my proximity to my ‘brother’ M. I can feel his love and acceptance, his passion and love for God has honestly helped me see more clearly and feel more whole. 

I never honestly thought this is even a thing, let alone for myself. Growing up hiding my sexuality because of fearing those bible-thumping-self-righteous church fanatics, fearing God, fearing judgement, hate and violence, has taught me skepticism and wariness. After getting to speak with M I realize that my fear, while real and warranted from experiences, is unfounded when actually viewing God. 

The nice thing is, M is not trying to convert me or even change me and he’s not trying to sell God to me. Our conversations center around values, morals and other principles and our religious viewpoints. It’s great to be able to hear things from his side of life with his experience. He doesn’t preach, he only describes what he has experienced and felt himself. He listens to the things I’ve gone through and it seems to me from his responses that it grounds him more than anything. It never occurred to him that I have gone through the things I have because of the face I show the world. 

These are the conversations that have helped me to start to clear my depression and move forward. To accept love and become more open to everything. Before now, I never realized how much I actually was missing in my spirituality. It’s easy to give lip service and claim you’re who you are, but it’s another thing to actually live it. 

We have not yet gone to church together, but I feel as though I am already more open and accepting of my faith. In all my years I have always felt as though I was unwelcome and unwanted in Christianity. It was always something to be hated, untrusted, feared and kept distant to one’s self if you are gay. After opening up and speaking to M, I now have new convictions and conclusions to my life and a different viewpoint on God and religion. 

He has helped to open my eyes to the brilliance of what it means to BE Christian. Here I thought I had a good grasp on it already, but now I know: there is knowing, and then there is knowing

Going Mental. My Struggle. My Solution. 

This post is Rated R for language and adult themes. 

DISCLAIMER: For all medical problems, seek a healthcare professional. I do not claim to be a doctor and you should not use this blog to diagnose yourself. This is a blog about my personal journey with the topics held within. 

Pain. Sadness. Depression. Anxiety. Mental illness. We keep these things hidden from others out of fear, fear of the judgement from others. We are afraid to talk about these issues even with our doctors. We are afraid of what these things may mean for us and our futures. 

I recently found I was suffering from depression.  I work in a doctor’s office where I really don’t get to see the outside very often and face a computer screen all day. There are only windows in the doctor’s individual offices in the suite. One day I was speaking to my Nurse Practitioner, after the loss of my neighbor who was a 2nd grandma to me and my other neighbors (We live in a rural area of 4 houses and we are all like family, and have been for 28 years), and she said she noticed that I had some symptoms of depression and that I should get checked out just in case. 

That very day I went to Urgent Care on my lunch to see a doctor that I used to work with there. We sat down and she asked me all of the questions that were diagnostic in nature. 

“Have you felt little or no interest in things you like to do? Have you noticed any of these changes? Have you felt down or hopeless? Have you experienced any mania?”

(Disclaimer: these are only questions and are not meant to diagnose you if you think you may be depressed or have any other mental illness. It is best you are examined by a professional healthcare provider. This is only used an example of what a few questions I answered in my own appointment.)

She kept up with a few more questions and asked me if there was anything else I could contribute that may help in a diagnosis.

I told her of my weekly alcoholic binges with co-workers firstly. I know my limits on how much it takes for me to feel good and I usually stop before going further, but I would consciously and deliberately pass this limit every weekend. The first thing she did was told me to stop drinking for 2 weeks and see if this helps as alcohol is a depressant. I didn’t want to, but I did. She wanted me to follow up after these 2 weeks if I didn’t feel better, needless to say, I did feel a bit better so I didn’t go back. (IMPORTANT: If you are asked to go back for follow up, DO IT! Doctors do not do this for fun, they legitimately want you to come back so they can make sure you are OK!)

I told her how I used to enjoy playing video games and reading, but now get bored of it quickly and that I had stopped enjoying it. We also went over how I am with work and how I dread coming in with all this paperwork, and sitting, staring at the computer screen and making calls all day. The only thing I look forward to is going home and the weekends when I can hang out with my friends and drink. These were the only 2 things that made me happy. I even told her how I have been short and irritable at home with family like I never used to be. 

This is the point in the appointment she told me that I have mild to moderate depression. She didn’t want to diagnose me yet because she wanted to see where I was after not drinking for 2 weeks. She also felt some life changing events needed to take place, one of them was to get out of my current job and find something that makes me happy. I was quite agreeable with this.

After a few days, I had a conversation with a good friend that was using aromatherapy essential oils. I looked into it and grabbed a few off of Amazon so I could see if this would also help my depression. I got my first shipment and started their use (I did some research into oils specifically for depression), I also did a lot of thinking about my life. This was the first thing I did besides not drinking alcohol. All of these things seemed to help overall. 

Side note 1: 

A few months earlier, before this all took place I had an encounter where a friend of my good friend read tarot cards for me. My question was “how will I find true happiness?” My results were that I needed to leave my current job, don’t be stubborn, accept help from those around me, and work in an artistic field. All of this pointed me toward going back to school and becoming an architect like I had originally wanted when I was in high school and started college. 

Side note 2:

I remember having a conversation with a very close, intimate friend, where I was questioning whether I am doing the right thing. This was a month or 2 before graduation my medical assisting program. She rationalized how I had wanted her to, giving me the logic to keep trucking through to the end and not give up. I realize now that I should have listened to my gut and gone back to what my first love in school was. I was too concerned on being accepted by society with the 40 hour work week, retirement plan and insurances. I should have been trying to make myself happy. 

A major change in my depression happened the moment I was accepted back to my local community college for classes. A HUGE weight lifted off my shoulders and it became clear how my current job was affecting me. This news excited me more than anything. During and before all of this though, one thing still tugs at my mind. 

I didn’t quite understand the question of Mania until a few days after my appointment when I looked up the definition. I equated mania to being crazy, but that’s just not the case. 

ma·ni·a

ˈmānēə/

noun

mental illness marked by periods of great excitement, euphoria, delusions, and overactivity.

Synonyms: madnessderangement, dementiainsanitylunacypsychosismental illness; 

deliriumfrenzyhysteriaraving

wildness

With this new information I realized that I had indeed gone through this recently. 

I had also broken up with my ex-boyfriend back in October, but this depression had been going on longer than that, it only added to the mix. I tried ignoring this part and throwing myself into sexual encounters among other things. 

Here is that story that happened before I even considered the fact I may be depressed. This story is sexually explicit so be forewarned:

The mania started 12/29/16. This is when shit hit the fan for me. I received a text from work saying I didn’t have to go in that day so I agreed with this plan. I was horny anyway and wanted to have sex. 

My plan started with me going to a sex club where I, in 9 hours and to my frustration, had encounters with 4 different guys. This is a lot in one day, but I was not satiated in my mania. I was constantly on my phone looking for more. 

I ended up on a site where a guy hit me up to come over and have unprotected sex. He disclosed to me that he didn’t know his status of any STIs. While I was cautions at first, my horniness and mania won over and I went to his apartment. He fucked me on his living room floor while his boyfriend was asleep in the other room. 

I didn’t care. He was verbal and I was so turned on. It excited me. It made me feel alive and not depressed. It felt as though I was liberated from the stigma of HIV and other STIs. Over the next 7 days I did other questionable sexual encounters with 25 other men, dangerous and exciting, all unprotected, and with full disclosure of my situation. I had never felt this kind of desperation of wanting be used for pleasure by men and the thrill and adrenaline that was pumping through my body.

The one who finally sated my hunger and need was a guy I had known for years. He fucked me so hard and good, I no longer had the craving for sex after that day. 

Twenty-eight hours after my experience with the guy that may have given me HIV, I went to the emergency room for Post-Exposute Prophylaxis  (PeP). This was only logical as I really didn’t want to end up with this viral infection for the rest of my life even though I did feel more liberated and open. I did this with the evaluation of an RN that I know. 

I was given a Rx (prescription) for Truvada and a first dose, and I was on my way. After 3 months of the medication and no other sex, I was tested and everything came back Negative! I was so relieved about this yet it didn’t actually make me feel much different. 
Since this encounter I am now on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxys (PrEP), also Truvada. It has been 4 full months since this sexual freedom all started, and I have taken my meds everyday as prescribed. 

Disclaimer: I do not condone my actions and do not suggest them to anyone! If you think you may have had an encounter of the type where you may have gotten an STI, get tested! Do the right thing and disclose your status. Take meds AS DIRECTED BY YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL!!

I had no idea this was a mania, I thought I was going through a post-breakup rebound. This information never got back to the doctor who evaluated me for depression, but I know that this is part of the results. 

My end results, while I may be depressed still, I have pulled myself up and started to change the things that made me depressed. I am excited to see what the world holds for me and I feel like I am finally on the right track. I feel like we spend too much time grinding and trudging through the 40 hour work slum to be a societal success rather than doing what makes us truly happy. We should merely focus on ourselves and what is fulfilling instead of what others think we should be doing. 

I do not regret any of the decisions I’ve mad. I am glad they didn’t put me in a bad position, but I feel over the last 2 years I have grown immensely and have learned a lot through it all. 

This is truly a journey to my self realization. My Ryalization.