I am not my darkness. 

I try to spread a message of peace and happiness. I try and live by Buddha’s 6 paths. I try and be a good person. I try to be positive. I try to be happy. I try to be a ray of sunshine for those around me. I try and bring joy to those around me. 

Regardless of the hurt and pain I go through. The cover up I try and establish. The deep faucets of my soul still ooze light and hope. A hope that will never perish, even when I doubt myself and show my sadness and darkness inside. I still bring my aura to bear upon those that need it.

I try to be supportive of my friends and family. I try and be happy for them regardless of their situation though I know they will be happier elsewise. I try and be the bigger person. I try and not let it all get to me. 

I have always been resilient. I don’t let things keep me down. I look to the past for inspiration and the future for motivation. I breathe deep and look at the world with fresh eyes everyday. I take the time to smell the roses. 

My humor and happiness are contagious. I smile big and hug meaningfully. I do everything in earnest without ulterior motives. I am genuine. I am me.

I believe in those around me. I believe there is something more to life. I believe there is a future for everything. I believe it gets better. I believe I am a positive force to be reckoned with. I believe in myself. 

I value those connections I have made. I value my friends. I value my family. I value my acquaintances. I value love and honesty regardless the pain it may cause. I value my health. I value my mental state. I value myself. 

I am not my darkness. I am not my illness. I am not my sadness. I am not negativity. I am not afraid. I am not what you make me. I am not what I don’t want to be. 

I am not my darkness. It is a part of me. It does not define me. It is not who I am. I am who I am. 

Who are you? What are you? How are you? What do you do? What do you value? What do you believe in?

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.

Thoughtful moments.

Do you ever look at someone and just think about them? What is their story? What kind of situation are they in? How is their life? Are they happy, sad or content with their life and how it is progressing? What kind of person are they?

I see a man in the sporty little 2 door beater car next to me at the stop light. He looks to be fit and in his early 20s, with a stubby beard and a flannel with the sleeves rolled up to the elbow. His hands look rough like he works on cars or a farm. What will his future be like? Where is he going from here? What was his journey like through life that brought him to this point?

These thoughts roll over me once in a while when I have the chance to slow down and be reflective. I see people and wonder what brought them to this point of their lives, and what they have experienced in their life. Our lives and time here are interesting to so the very least. We look forward into the future thinking we don’t have enough time, but when we look back, we think of all the things we could have done and/or done differently. How we treat others around us is a major thing. The relationships and experiences we have with those around us are based on our views, and what we perceive and know of those people, or how we judge them. 

I know that I may never judge anyone for a single thing, and nor should we, because we do not know the people we perceive, or their circumstance. How do you know this person is not a quality person just by judging them of how they look? People may grow out of their circumstance and make changes, they do not need to be victims of it; however, without the drive and passion to do so, it paralyzes you which prevents you from change. At what point do we accept a person, their choices or their behavior, by blaming it on their circumstance? 

I am not immune to judging others no matter how much I wish I didn’t. I absolutely hate the fact that I can look at a person and inwardly flinch just because of the way they look and I find myself thinking things I shouldn’t. I always reprimand myself after I think such things of others. 

Is this natural? In some ways I believe it is, and in others I think not, but we can explore this topic in another blog. 

Decisions…

I have gone through a lot these last few months. Loss of loved ones near and far, dealing with the guilt and sadness, depression and anger inside myself. Growing up, this is not the person I ever thought that I would be. I always viewed myself as happy, optimistic, lucky, and fun. Since graduating college and landing this job and having a boyfriend (now my Ex), I have realized more about myself than I did before.

As mentioned in my “Unhappy” blog, I feel all this negativity is the product of my current job and current stresses. While we have the power to change our view and reactions to situations, I feel a change is actually in order. I feel that a viewpoint change is too difficult and I need to do what’s right by me.

(A little background)

Originally while starting college, I followed the path of becoming an Architect. This was my one true passion for a career. During the 2008/2009 housing market crash, friends of mine who had been in the field as interns were getting let go, to which this discouraged me greatly. I figured I would never get an internship at this point, so I changed my major and went into something with job security. I said to myself “This is a smart move! I’m proud of myself!”

With this thought came the major of Nursing. I started the prerequisites for Nursing, a highly competitive field mind you. About a year in, I started hearing all types of things from friends about how there is a 3 year waiting list for the program, and that it is HIGHLY competitive, they only take the top students. At this information I because scared. Fear is a very controlling emotion. I was taking some disease and microbiology classes at the time and decided then to shift my major to Microbiology. I found I enjoyed this class IMMENSELY! Once I had finished and received that B+, I had NEVER been so proud as to how well I did. That was the most rigorous class I had ever taken and I felt accomplished!

Well, I knew it was going to be quite some time before I would be done with a degree in Microbiology, and being my “independent” little self, I thought I needed to get out and be on my own as soon as possible.

Well, one of my friends approached me about Medical Assisting. She told me all about it and it did sound VERY appealing. A year and a half and you can be in the field working, making money and living life! It sounded too good to be true! It was. It was TOO good to be true. Here I am 2 years later! Unhappy. Depressed. Angry.  I have debt I never thought I would have because I always considered myself wise and would never put myself in that position. Was I wrong or what?! I got a big head because I finally had that 40 hour a week job with a stable income and that new car, that new boyfriend, and that great health insurance. Damn did I mess up.

(Back to the point)

I have come to the conclusion that that life isn’t for me. Yes I love helping people and doing what I can to make them happy and comfortable, but there are restraints and limits to what I am LEGALLY allowed to say/do/be in this line of work. I may KNOW information, but because I am not a ‘doctor’, I cannot give it. I cannot give advice on medical matters to ANYONE because it is “Out of my Scope of Practice” (this is a phrase used DAILY). I don’t know a single Medical Assistant (MA) that enjoys not being able to actually help someone because the law stops us from doing it. I do a (as my doctor says) “Phenomenal Job for our patients”, he calls me “Superman” because of the amount I can achieve for my patients. With that work ethic and caring, more has been stacked on my plate every moment of every day. It has gotten to the point where I just can’t keep up! I’d hate to say I’m running away from responsibility, so I WILL say, I am Following my Dream instead.

I have decided to go back to college and finish my Architecture. The MOMENT I finished applying to go back and was accepted, I felt a HUGE weight lift off of my shoulders and I instantly became happier. There was definitely something inside me that was SCREAMING for me to go back and do what actually made me happy. I didn’t listen to that voice. My voice. The voice of my conscience. My mother’s voice. -_-

Looking back now, I have realized that to be happy, it isn’t what society tells me that I need, it is what I want/need to do and be which will make me happy. MY decisions will make me happy because I will make decisions to make myself happy.