My Journey Out of Madness Part 1

Yesterday, as I've done tons of times over the past year, I told Tanner that I missed blogging and honestly for no other reason than I just love to write. I am finally feeling free enough to begin sharing what's in today's blog .. 

My life has been a whirlwind of sorts the past two years and so much so that I feel like it's just redundant to keep talking about it, but that's just how this situation has been. It's felt completely out of my control, but with seeking help and not being afraid of getting the right medication, I feel like I'm on the up and up. I plan to share about my journey into madness the past two years that has been quite bizarre to say the least, but I have learned a lot about myself and now that I feel like my head is no longer on fire with my new medication, I can see clearly like myself again. 

 this is the real katie - not the pretend smiling katie <3 

this is the real katie - not the pretend smiling katie <3 

This is why I always encourage others and my patients that sometimes if you are started on something and aren't feeling the effects then it might mean that the specific neurotransmitter that that particular drug is working on is not your issue. Most frequently, the anti-anxiety / depression medications work on serotonin or dopamine, but I actually think that I was having an issue with GABA (which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter). I have started taking something that increases GABA and it has literally felt like night and day. 

I'm acting like myself again. I'm passionate like before about just living life. I'm motivated in my home life and in my work life. I'm not waking up saying TODAY IS THE DAY THAT I'M GOING TO CHANGE EVERYTHING, because that's not needed. It's not this back and forth. It's just STABLE. It's not empty promises. It's been the real deal. The only thing that I've been able to really commit to over the past year was the reading I've done. I was able to fill the spaces in my head with something other than what was transpiring..

I've always been pretty open about my journey but all of this has remained very vague because I honestly just have not been able to figure out exactly what was even happening to me. I became very afraid to even be in relationships with people period. It's also weird to share because I think that the brain is plastic and neuroplasticity is real and that people can work themselves out of situations and because I'm such a hard worker, I really just got annoyed at myself. SNAP THE F*** OUT OF THIS KATIE. I also think that once you admit to having gone through something of this nature, there is forever a scarlett letter put on your name and that scared me. It all scared me. 

I kept coming back and forth into this space because I didn't feel that the words I could even put together could convey what my brain was doing day to day and many days I would come home from work and just wander around my house for hours doing nothing. I also don't mean a productive nothing like catching up on Netflix, but rather a toxic sludge of walking from room to room just to fill spaces and time and being super weird then going to bed at 8pm and waking up at 6am in shame of not knowing who this person was and who she had let herself become from the vibrant life I used to live. 

I got myself in the state of negativity and pessimism about the things I couldn't control and wasn't seeing progress even though I was trying very hard, and then being more upset about that even on the days where I did feel like myself because I felt this was something that I was going to have to deal with for the rest of my life. I questioned if I had become schizophrenic or bipolar on the bad days, but then realized on the good days that I was over exaggerating symptoms and that wasn't the case. 

I sought out therapists and just kept getting more frustrated (not that there aren't really good ones but my specific issues-it just wasn't working out), and then I finally sought out psychiatry which I wish I had done far sooner. My symptoms not only manifested in this mental way but also started manifesting in physical ways (i.e. all of the crazy crazy GI symptoms that led me into the ER and having free fluid in my interstitium that they never did identify through testing). My labs were whacked up, and they sent me to a hematologist who confirmed I did not have a blood disorder or cancer. He took 11 vials of blood on me, testing for everything from copper deficiency to a full in depth hormone panel (yes yall, this was INCREDIBLY expensive, but I was getting desperate). I fully believe that ALL of this has been connected, and also connects to how bad my chronic constipation had become. Which came first-the chicken or the egg? 

The enteric nervous system that runs the entire length of the vagal nerve connects from the brainstem to the intestines, so was my chronic constipation that caused me to slip into this, or was my constipation made worse from all of the mental issues I was having. This doesn't take into account the habits that I had formed that I was now on a circuitry loop that every day I was trying to break in conjunction with food for the most part. There's no specific behaviors I can address here other than just that it was all across the board of dysfunction. It would take another blog to explain. This also didn't take into account my environment, how much I have changed in the "political" space with my geographical location, and also that I had quit Katiesfitscript and felt an extremely low level of passion and creativity towards anything. I've always been a go getter, and all I wanted to do was quit everything. That's why running races was an absolute no-go.

The reasons I left KFS are now actually comical because I would never ever stop running a company due to engagement and what others were saying. Like, wow, I cannot even believe I let people win in that manner. But that was the course that I chose for myself, and so I had to continue reconciling that with myself. I rebranded so that I could start fresh, and I will continue to transition what I'm doing on the side to more professional consulting and wanting to do a program with modules, but all of that just takes time and I want to do it well. I would love to start a podcast, but I know that if I have found it hard to keep up with my blog due to everything that has transpired then I don't want to make another promise that I can't keep.

I would love to tell you about this a-ha moment that I woke up one day and all of this went away. That would be a lie. I would like to tell (with everything in me) that I'm not going to have any more "spells" but I'm so afraid to tell the ones I love (aka Tanner) that he won't ever see me down again because I've made that promise too many times. It's very odd to mean something with every ounce of your being, and then to find yourself there again. That's how I know that this malfunction in my brain was NOT me. I don't know that girl, and I hope to never see her again. 

I'm hopeful today. I'm coming into my 29th birthday on Thursday and I have made the loop. I can continue to show awareness for something that happened to me, while also letting it go. I truly believe that, or I certainly wouldn't be writing this blog. I remember crying on my insta story (ha that's embarrassing) on my 28th birthday and saying that it had been the hardest year of my life, and I realized last night that it took me another full year to figure this out in as much as I have at this point. 

I think that's what gets us all through life - faith, hope, and love - hope that one day, no matter how bad it gets, we will figure it out. Never stop fighting if you experience something of this nature or if you know of someone who has. 

There are a million different micronutrients, neurotransmitters, and processes of the body that could be of. Don't just bury your head in the sand and think that you can't figure yours out. You can. And I haven't fully, but I will never lay down. I will never give up. 

But today I'm Katie, and that's enough for me. 

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