In this new mental health revolution we often speak about 'the 5 top foods you should be eating for your mental health' or the fact that you aren't a yogi master is the reason why you have crippling anxiety. Although I am a huge advocate for anything active or routines you can do to support being mentally healthy, I want to share my experience with medication.
For many, the holidays are a time of love, joy and celebration. Filled with smiles, family, and good food. For me and many people with mental illness, it can be the worst time of year. Full of expectations, reflecting on the past year and having therapists on vacation.
The science and psychology of addiction has always intrigued me. As a former addict in recovery, I often wonder why addictions are so difficult to break. I am talking about all types of addiction that plague society—drugs, alcohol, technology, gambling, sex, etc. My addiction began after a sports injury that required surgery. The result of the injury also lead to depression. Sports were my addiction. Once those were taken away, I had no idea what to do with my life. That's the worst part about being an addict—we always find a way to swap out addictions, healthy or unhealthy.
There a lot of issues that are stigmatized in society, whether it be mental illness, drugs, or other various health issues. That is just to name a few and I am sure there are tons more. So, why did society become that way? Was society always so intolerant or naive to these issues?
My happiest memories as a three-year-old was the birth of my youngest brother, and the tingle I within my spirit as I danced. I still sense the tickle around my heart as I remember anticipating the experiences this delicate being would add to my life. Dancing incited my physical self-awareness. I know my scattered improvisations were absurd. But I felt good stomping, spinning and flailing my limbs to the rhythm. I now experience the same rush as my body responds to music. I think I developed better coordination. While both events are different, each one reminds me, moments are temporary, but the impact can last forever. I was in my late thirties when a psychiatrist was gauging my ability to return home after a short stay in a Behavioral Unit. She helped me recognize what is necessary to create the dynamics that allowed a flow I found favorable, where I kept the pace. Our conversation included self-esteem, confidence, safety, and what I later learned to be a Locus of Control. During her explanation for each of those topics, she mentioned personal-boundaries every time.