Well for broadcasting yes, but when it comes to being a minister, counselor or even a friend to someone I don’t know at all… no, I didn’t go to school for that.
So, when I get a call asking me how to help them get over low-self esteem, I fumble. I can pray with you, but really that’s a question that’s not easily answered. It’s like asking a person how to achieve world peace. When I get calls for help with food, clothing and toys for kids, I can direct them to agencies, but I’m at a loss. And, it bothers me.
At times, I get calls that I believe are people joking around, like the low self esteem call. After I fumbled around for an answer to give him (yes him), he says, “yeah, well sometimes I keep the lights out in the bathroom because I can’t stand to look at myself.” Really? Was it a prank call or was this someone hurting.
Anyway… I become troubled with this part of my job and do the best I can to navigate this calls properly, but I guess I’ve just got to get better. I don’t remember feeling this way in Urban or Light Rock radio.
Hebrews 13:16, Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
On a more humorous note, drinking and driving is against the law… drinking and dialing should be too. It’s just too hard to get your point across:
From the top: I adopted my son as a single parent shortly before his 1st birthday. You wouldn’t know it by looking at us:
For 16 years we’ve dealt with the aftermath of his birth mom exposing him to drugs, leaving him in the hospital and living with foster parents for nine-months who were – though I thank them for taking him in, it could have been worse – smokers, parents to other foster children, and an adopted child that was taking them through drama at the time.
Through the years: Manchild has battled Asthma, ADHD, Depression, Anger and Attachment Disorders. We’ve gone through countless, counselors (professional and spiritual), therapists and psychiatrists. But the moment he got into high school, there was a shift in his behavior far darker than years before.
Now: I’ve watched him become obsessed with death metal music, black nails, demonic clothing, combative, obstinate, insulting, and a disregard for any authoritative direction. What I do know is that is not my son – those are demonic forces that have attacked his already fragile mind. I have been battling against these forces so hard that it’s left me exhausted mentally and physically. But, I will not give up.
I have been given plenty of “if I were you” advice from professionals, friends and family but there is no way… I mean no way at all… you can give advise unless you’ve lived through this thing.
Manchild is in the hospital for the second time this year – and I pray the last time – for self-destructive and combative behavior. He was watching TV and playing video games 24/7 with limited sleep and his only communication to the outside world was through X-Box live or his cell phone. He refused to do anything I told him to do and was living in filth right before my very own eyes. The state had to become involved (which is another blog completely because I’m totally angry with them right now) because he would not come out of his room for anything but food and bathroom.
He is so angry with me for having him hospitalized again, but I did speak to him today. This is what I told him: “I love you. I know you’re angry but I want you to use this as an opportunity to get back in line with your destiny (because he deserves it), I want you to use this as an opportunity to ask for help and for directions to get you to your goals. Get your anger out and discover what it is you want to do to make a difference in the world.”
I don’t know how much went in one ear and out the other so for my warriors who have been by my side on this, and those new to my story, I am asking for your agreement as I speak life into my son. Join me as I pray for God to send his angels to repair the damage caused by his birth mother’s abuse while he was in the womb. Join me as I demand satan to step back and away from my son and our home in JESUS name! Join me as I see my son’s destiny clearly: a God-loving strong black man, a talented artist-musician-photographer, a blessing to others, self-suffient, lover of family and compassionate toward those who will walk his path and need help. Please join me as I know, God is Able!
For a little over a month, I’ve been ever so slowly weaning myself off of a drug I was prescribed for clinical depression almost two-years ago. I had lots going on in my life then (heck, and now!) and found myself in tears constantly. I sought counseling and at that time was desperate for some sort of relief. Enter the demon SSRI.
Initially I was doing quite well. I calmed down a lot. I stopped crying and I felt empowered with the counseling. But I ended up with an inability to feel any real emotions like sadness or even joy for that matter. I barely cried and laughing felt artificial and forced. I asked my doctors when I could stop taking the drug and amazingly, both suggested that I stay on it. I finally had one to tell me to wait until summer was over.
Other wacky symptoms started cropping up like psoriasis, ear trouble; no motivation…the list was growing. So, when I thought I was going to move to Maryland (a blog in the making) I gave myself a timeline to get off the meds.
After much research and a lot of prayer, I chose August 1, 2010 as my target date. I was on 20mgs from the start and I invested in a pill cutter, carefully cuttin them into quarters.
Week One: I dropped down to 15mgs. Not bad. A bit moody – but not bad at all.
Week Two: I dropped down to 10mgs and that’s when I started noticing my skin breaking out with cysts, lots of itching with hives and real tears. I stayed at 10mgs for a week longer because I became afraid of what would happen.
Week Four: I snapped my big-girl panties on and dropped down to 5mgs. That introduced more cysts, insomnia, intense itching, a serious psoriasis flare and anger…lots and lots of anger.
Last Week: I stopped completely and felt like my world was spinning out of control. I fought through the nausea and moodiness but, the itching, insomnia and brain zaps were almost enough to make me go back up to 1omgs. It didn’t help that my son has made it his business to make the world around him as miserable as he is (yet another blog in the making). But, I fought through.
Last Wednesday I found a Topix Thread that gave five steps to eliminate debilitating withdrawal symptoms from SSRIs. My favorite tip was number five but before I get to that, I started with Magnesium Malate which was the key tip, as well as Omega 3, some stuff for motion sickness and mild over-the-counter sleeping pills. I was desperate and gave it a try. What a difference!!! Though I’ve had a few issues (still battling insomnia and skin issues) most seem to be subsiding, I no longer feel out of control, nauseous, or have constant internal “Matrix” sound effects zapping in my head when I turn to the left or right.
I have been SSRI-free for a week and I’m not looking back. I sent the drug into the garbage disposal’s vise-grip. This has been brutal. I highly suggest that if you are trying to end the SSRI ride, do it slowly and with help of a trusted doctor. Not one that will suggest that you continue or try to add more drugs to stop the side effects. You truly will get better. It just takes time.
I’m looking forward to the weeks and months ahead. My family got a kick out of a robust laugh I got at my dad’s expense yesterday. My mom said, “I haven’t heard you laugh like that in years.” I know mom. I promise it will never go away again.
Psalm 30:5 “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.”
About two years ago, I found myself in a counselors chair unable to quit crying. I have always been emotional – I’d cry during a touching McDonald’s commercial for Pete’s sake. But this was so different. I’d been struggling with my son’s issues, money issues, trying to save my house issues, job issues…
issues, Issues, ISSUES!
So after a particularly rough morning with my son, I began crying in the parking lot of his school and couldn’t stop. I called the “mental health department” on the back of my health card to find a counselor that could see me right away. That’s when I was diagnosed with clinical depression.
Not me ~ I’m a strong black woman!
I handle my business. I love my life. If I just made more money I’d be fine. If my son would behave, I’d have it made. If my job weren’t so stressful, I wouldn’t be so emotional. I gave that counselor every excuse in the book but the fact was I was depressed and was unable to hide it anymore.
The women in my family have had a long history of anxiety issues. I was told that my great, great-grandmother – a freed slave – would disappear days at a time even after being freed. Sort of a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder I guess. But depression?
So, I began regular counseling and hesitantly taking an anti-depressant. I asked quite a few times when I could stop taking the Happy Pill, but I was told by my doctor and counselor that I should continue taking it for a while longer. After all, I was happy again. In fact, so happy that I find myself emotionless when I should be crying.
I’ve also developed unexplained allergies to nickel and Balsam of Peru (an ingredient found in perfumes and flavoring like vanilla and cinnamon). That means no chocolate or my famous oatmeal raisin cookies. Now that’s plain ol’ wicked! I’ve always had a bit of eczema growing up, but now I have some form of arthritic psoriasis attacking my joints and my already sensitive skin. Oh yeah, did I mention weight gain, unexplained fatigue and agitation like you wouldn’t believe. This is enough to send me back to counseling….Seriously!
So, after almost two years on the Happy Pill, I’ve made a decision to wean myself off of these things. I’ve researched and found many others experiencing my symptoms and more. It won’t be pretty. I understand first hand why people become addicted to prescription drugs. I forget to get a Happy Pill refill once and didn’t take it for two days. I was going through withdrawal and didn’t realize it. It was painful and scary.
The best way for me then will be lowering the dose slowly until I’m symptom free. I’m purchasing a pill cutter and clipping these devils down one-quarter every two weeks until I don’t need them anymore. I’m getting out to exercise both outdoors and in the gym, and I’m working on my diet. And, this is where I could use your help.
I will attempt to journal my experience as I can, but I need advise on vitamin/herbal supplements that will help, plenty of prayers, encouragement and your story of kicking the “Happy Pill” habit.
What I don’t want is your judgement on taking the medicine in the first place, or your Christian evaluation on me not having enough faith because I know without a shadow of a doubt there are some people on this earth that NEED to take something!!!
I know that God will help me get through this though. He drew me to the right people and the right course of action; at the right time. And honestly, it helped me through a rough period of my life. So how about it? You ready to help me get through this thing? I’ll begin on August 1st.