Things I Learned From Falling

I finished reading this book recently. I happened upon it by accident. It was a happy accident.

There aren’t that many books which I’ve read where I can honestly say “I couldn’t put it down.” This one though was one of them. It really resonated with me and the funny thing is, I already knew how it was going to end even before I started reading it.

It’s a memoir and a harrowing tale of how a young woman named Claire Nelson from New Zealand, living in London, England at the time found herself fighting for her life when she accidentally ventured off the trail she was hiking on, alone in Joshua Tree National Park in California (she was house sitting for friends at the time in the area) when she lost her footing on a boulder and slipped off a cliff.

Unable to move from her hips down, a broken pelvis and her cellphone having lost its signal she spent the next four days fighting off the elements from the hot summer desert heat (and freezing cold nights), while trying to keep a watchful eye out for coyotes and venomous snakes, her survival instincts kicking into action and with what few items she still had left in her backpack she used to the best of her ability while laying there praying for someone to rescue her; her friends and family unaware she was even there (Note: NEVER go hiking alone without letting someone know where you are going to be).

What first drew me to this book was the author’s love for hiking and adventure but what I didn’t know before reading it was just how much more we actually had in common including her time spent living in Toronto and her “thirst” for Diet Coke. 

Throughout the book she retells stories in a series of flashbacks to her life before the fall. They were so insightful. 

Although Claire was already living her best life as a successful writer before the fall (something I dream about), able to travel the world freely and had a loving and very supportive group of family and friends behind her (as do I), she still felt unable to live a purposeful life anymore. I understood her sense of despair and felt it in relation to my own journey.

She spoke in great length about how she had been battling Depression and Anxiety for some time; how she had lost her direction in life; how she felt such an overwhelming disconnect from her friends and loved ones; how she never wanted to show her vulnerabilities to anyone; how she struggled immensely with the burdensome feelings of guilt when it pertained to allowing others to help her. All of which made her feel very much alone even though in her heart she knew she truly wasn’t.

I understood and felt every crushing emotion as I read further and further into her life and found myself holding on to her every word as to how she was able to reignite her will to live and eventually find her way back to true happiness after her rescue as well. 

It was a book about self-reflection and self-discovery. It was a book about survival, self-doubt, acceptance, connection, resilience and letting go of your fears in order to find your happiness. 

Her recovery, both mentally and physically didn’t happen over night. It was a very slow and arduous process with many setbacks along the way. Her journey felt so relatable on so many levels to my own struggles with the fear of failure, self-doubt, lost connections, being vulnerable and that feeling of loneliness which aches so deep inside me. 

We all get lost sometimes and sometimes we trip and fall along the way as we venture off in different directions while trying to find our perfect trail. What I need to remind myself of and what I will take away most after reading this book is that it shouldn’t matter how many times we get lost, how many times we tumble and fall along the way or how long it may take us to find our “perfect” trail because each of the trails we take getting there are certain to help us become braver and stronger. 

#thingsilearnedfromfalling #selfdiscovery #selfreflection #selfcare #youarenotalone #author #depression #anxiety #mentalhealth #recovery #itsoktoaskforhelp #mentalwellness #vulnerabilities #itsoktonotbeok #reading #books #joshuatreenationalpark #hiking #summerofrich @ladyeclaire  

Welcome Back

I had an appointment this afternoon with my Psychiatrist. He just got back this week from a two month leave. 

Seeing him for the first time since before I began my Ketamine treatments was way more emotional than I’d imagined it to be. I only wish I could’ve reached my arms out wide enough through the computer screen to give him a big hug.

As I’ve mentioned before I’ve felt very much alone in this process by not having known anyone who has personally gone through a similar experience to me and then on top of that, not being able to speak with my Psychiatrist on a regular basis to help guide me through it has only made the experience that much more difficult and unnerving.

It took the better part of an hour to just catch him up on how I’ve been doing in general over the past couple of months and how my overall experience with the treatments went as well. I told him how exhausted and traumatized I’ve been all week since completing “Lucky Number Seven” on Saturday evening.

My appointment today was overwhelming but also very comforting and reassuring at the same time. We didn’t really speak much about next steps, only that for now he would like to put any futher Ketamine treatments on hold. We ended our call by him requesting that we speak again in about a week’s time and asked that for the time being I just concentrate on allowing both my body and brain to heal from the treatments. 

#psychiatry #ketaminetreatments #treatmentresistantdepression #mentalhealth #mentalillness #mentalwellness #nextsteps #healing  #brainzaps #exhaustion #youareenough #itsoktonotbeok #welcomeback #grateful #thankful 

The Small Wins

I got myself outdoors this afternoon for a lovely walk around my neighborhood with a friend.

It may just seem like a small win to some but for me I’m pretty sure it warranted this very sweet reward afterwards.

#ilovejustinbieber #timbiebs #timhortons #thebiebs #friendship #igetbywithalittlehelpfrommyfriends #walking #mentalhealth #selfcare  #mentalwellness #goals #smallwinsmatter #youareenough #youarenotalone

Out of Control

Since my last Ketamine treatment on Saturday night I have been left feeling quite traumatized. I wrote about my experience the day after, (https://youareenough712.wordpress.com/2021/11/28/last-night/) thinking it would pass; but the emotions just keep getting stronger. 

With each of my previous six sessions I had experienced different levels of emotional and physical distress during the treatment itself and oftentimes well into the next day as well but nothing (and I mean nothing) could’ve prepared me for “Lucky Number 7”.

I have been struggling for several days now to try and erase the very vivid imagery and extremely overwhelming experience from my memory of what I went through the other night. It’s left me feeling scared and helpless and no matter how hard I seem to try I just can’t make these feelings stop.  

Over the past several years I have experimented a great deal with many different types of Medical Marijuana, Hallucinogens and Psychedelics. All of which have always been in the name of science for me because to be honest, experimenting with drugs has never really been my thing, even back in the day. I never saw its allure. I still don’t!

When someone experiences an emotional or psychological trauma it is usually the result of an extraordinaryly stressful situation leaving them feeling perhaps unsafe, isolated and out of control. 

I have a very difficult time adjusting to the feeling of being out of control. A feeling I’ve dealt with on a daily basis for over 7 years now.

Drugs like Ketamine which are considered to be a sedative, stimulant and psychedelic can easily numb your mind into a disassociative state and impair it to the world around you when taken at a high enough dose. It may also make you feel as though you are completely disconnected from your own body. When taken at a lower dosage however it can create a very spiritual and euphoric experience for many.

The other night was anything but spiritual or euphoric for me at the dose I was administered.

I have never felt so detached from reality. So frightened. So out of control. So powerless. 

But I am still trying with every ounce of strength I have left in me to believe that maybe I had to go through this experience in order to help give my depression the lift it is so longing for.

#ketaminetreatment #treatmentresistantdepression #outofcontrol #mentalhealth #mentalwellness # youareenough #youarenotalone #emotionaltrauma #psychologicaltrauma #psychedelics 

Giving Tuesday 2021

Today is “Giving Tuesday” which is a Global day of generosity and kindness. Whether that includes supporting your favourite charity, cause or campaign; buying or donating a hot meal/coffee/leftovers (or some timbiebs ☺) to someone in need; letting someone know how much you appreciate them; volunteering your time by helping out an elderly neighbour or listening wholeheartedly to a friend who may be facing a difficult time right now, whatever or however you so choose to honour today, always remember that the smallest acts of kindness can create the biggest smiles.

#GivingTuesday2021  #randomactsofkindness #givebacktothecommunity #kindnessmatters #youareenough #youarenotalone #createsmiles

Last Night

Last night I went for “Lucky Number 7”. 

Last night I increased the dose again.

Last night I felt a departure from my body.

Last night I felt a near death experience and for quite some time I was pretty certain I actually was dead.

Last night I felt a connection to God. 

Last night I lost all sense of reality and time. Everything felt distorted, blurred. 

Last night I had very intrusive and overwhelmingly intense visions from both my past and present.

Last night I encountered non-terrestrial like beings during my state of consciousness. 

Last night I cried alot. I screamed alot. I shook alot.

Last night I feared for my loved one’s safety. 

Last night I felt the warmth of Rich’s hand reaching out to calm me. The nurse came in to turn on some soothing music after I ripped my ear buds out of my ears. 

Last night I begged for forgiveness, I pleaded for help. I prayed my loved ones would all be ok without me. 

Last night I demanded the feeling to stop. Over and over and over again.

Last night felt like the scariest night of my entire life and the most emotionally draining experience ever.

Last night didn’t feel so lucky to me. It was very distressing. Fucked up to say the least but still, somehow I left there feeling a sense of peace in my heart.

#aboutlastnight #ketamine #treatmentresiatantdepression #luckynumberseven #mentalhealth #depression #anxiety #suicideawareness #youareenough #youarenotalone

Lucky Number Seven

*MAY BE TRIGGERING TO SOME*

I had a “check in” this morning with the Psychiatrist who I spoke with for the first time 3 weeks ago right after my fourth Ketamine treatment was completed. 

I mentioned to you at the time that my regular Psychiatrist who happens to also be the Clinical Director of the Ketamine treatment facility I’ve been going to had taken a two month Paternity leave upon the arrival of his first baby. He began his leave just days before the start of my first treatment. Not having him available to help guide me during my treatments has made it really hard.

He will be back at work next week (time flies when you’re having fun!) and I have an appointment already scheduled to speak with him next Thursday where I will discuss how the initial 6 Ketamine treatments went and what new plans and other options there are going forward which his colleague mapped out for me today.

I’ve really appreciated how compassionate and patient my Psychiatrist’s colleague has been with me during my 2 appointments with him but it’s just not the same feeling as having your own Doctor available to you who you are already comfortable with and knows your history.

I’ve been relatively quiet about my treatment since completing my sixth one a couple of weeks ago. The truth is I completely shattered several days later. 

I was afraid of this happening. 

I was afraid that I would fail at yet another treatment for my already Treatment Resistant Depression. Which in my eyes is exactly what has happened.

It’s left me feeling very vulnerable, overwhelmed, empty inside, numb, hopeless, sleepless, tearful, sad, EXTREMELY anxious and allured by suicide. 

Depression is always present in my daily life. There may be some ebbs and flows throughout my day or week but it has never disappeared. 

Life is not linear. When our life “flows” we can see and feel our purpose, our hopes, our dreams. But when our life “ebbs” we struggle to fight to hold onto our lifeboat in order to not get swept away by the currant. 

That’s how I’ve felt for many days now so after speaking with the Psychiatrist today I agreed to keep my appointment for this coming Saturday evening where I will attempt an additional Ketamine treatment at an even higher dose. oy vey.

Let’s just call it “Lucky Number 7” because apparently “Lucky Number 7” is a real thing and has a strong connection to many ancient beliefs; and besides, could you think of a better way to spend a Saturday night than being high as a kite? Well, to be honest, I probably can but I’m gonna try and roll the dice anyways.

#luckynumberseven #ebbsandflows #Ketamine #treatmentresistantdepression #depression #anxiety #suicideprevention #suicide #suicideawareness #rollthedice #youarenotalone #youareenough #itsoktonotbeok #nextsteps #psychiatry #psychedelics #disassociation #thefightofmylife

Nothing Left To Give

I feel like I have nothing left to give. 

My motivation is somewhere lost in space and my energy is completely depleted. 

I’m anxious as fuck yet emotionally numb.

This last week has taken so much out of me. Visits and regular check-ins from friends have definitely been what’s kept me going.

I feel everything all at once, yet at the same time, I feel absolutely nothing at all. 

I’ve laid low on social media for the better part of my week, it’s been a much needed break. I’ve had no energy for a #summerofrich hike this weekend and even the thought of taking a relaxing bubble bath feels like too much work. 

I haven’t written anything for days, not even to myself. I’ve been too afraid of putting my thoughts from my head down on paper but I made a promise to myself that today I will try to because writing is an important outlet for me. It gives me power over my thoughts.

I have so many questions that I need to answer. Decisions that need to be made.

I’m trying to focus with what little energy I have right now on my journey itself and not my actual destination though. 

My heart feels heavy, my brain is in a fog and my body is crying out in pain. 

I need to try and refuel my tank first before I can do anything else because I truly feel like I have literally nothing left to give. 

Self-care is critical. Sometimes self-care means saying yes and sometimes it may actually mean saying no. 

Everything else for now will simply have to wait.

#selfcare #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #writing #journey #friendship #yourmentalhealthmatters #anxiety #panicattacks #depression #suicideawareness #nothinglefttogive #youareenough #youarenotalone #itsoktonotbeok 

Am I Psychic 🔮?

I live with a severe anxiety disorder (I know, tell me something you don’t already know).

It’s like an endless thought loop that leaves me feeling restless and exhausted most days. 

I overthink EVERYTHING and jump to way too many conclusions. 

My brain rarely shuts off and for several days now my brain hasn’t been able to shut off AT ALL. 

I can’t get off this hamster wheel.

I am beyond overwhelmed right now by so much of my life and my anxiety has become completely unmanageable and highly distressing since late Saturday night. (See blog: https://youareenough712.wordpress.com/2021/11/14/being-real/)

I’ve been in a constant state of fear, worry, fight or flight response and panic round the clock, just waiting in doom, obsessing and overanalyzing everything. You can probably feel how elevated my heart rate is right now from across the room.

I’m an empath (honestly it feels more like a curse).

I feel things VERY deeply and have a strong intuition. It’s convinced my anxiety that I must have psychic abilities because I incessantly foresee something really, really bad is about to happen. If only I had a crystal ball.

But the problem with my theory is that our intuition usually comes from a more mindful and calm state. Being intuitive or having psychic abilities is allowing the messages in our brain or energy from our body to come through in a healthy, positive, matter-of-fact and plausible way which is, well, the very opposite definition of anxiety.  

So I’m pretty sure I’m probably not actually psychic because that would mean that the visions I have would be way more objective, my intuition would be way more accurate and my anxiety would be way less intrusive. 

Do you believe in psychics?

#psychic #psychicabilility #crystalball #intuition #anxiety #anxietydisorder #fightorflight #mentalhealth #mentalillness #wellbeing #youareenough #youarenotalone #itsoktonotbeok #intrusivethoughts 

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