Addiction · alcoholism · mental health · self love

**Another New Med???**

One thing no one really talks about while suffering with mental health issues is the constant medication change. I first got diagnosed with depression at the age of 16. Back then (2001) no one was open about depression. It wasn’t so much frowned upon but more of an “embarrassment “. It definitely wasn’t publicized like it is now. People either thought you were crazy or just looking for attention . So as a teenage girl already being hormonal and then on top of that getting put on antidepressants. I honestly felt like an outsider, ashamed that I would be labeled like as a weirdo or something. The 1st antidepressant I was put on at the age of 16 was Paxil. I honestly don’t remember if it made a big difference or not because I also was also put on birth control to try to stop the endometriosis that I had. I was on Paxil until I graduated from college (age 19) because I was no longer on my dad’s health insurance. So I went a good amount of years before I ended up back on antidepressants. I was 26 and just had my daughter and I just felt off. Just down in the dumps and felt like I could cry or snap at any moment. So I went to my MD and he kept trying to tell me that it was all in my head. So needless to say I switched doctors.

My new MD was very thorough with everything. Ran all kinds of blood test and he asked why I went to my other MD because he didn’t do “shit” (which was completely true). So we ended up increasing the dose of the Paxil to see if that would help at all. A few months later it felt like there was no change. The meds weren’t working because I was extremely depressed still and had no motivation for anything. In comes antidepressant #2 Prozac. Now that med did help. But after about a year and a half and two strength increases it stopped helping. It was getting to the point where I just wanted to give up because it felt like I would never find a medication that would work fully. So we ended up trying to switch it again and that was the 3rd medication change in about 3 years. We tried Lexapro next and once again that seemed to help. But around this time was when I started to drink heavily because it seemed like nothing was going right. So I decided to go see a therapist and try to talk through my depression and anxiety.

The MD was ok. Not really my cup of tea but I kept going thinking it would just take time. So here comes antidepressant #4 Zoloft. And lets just say once I was on that med is when the shit show of my life really started. I would throw up about 45 minutes of taking it and it was like that for a couple months. I let therapist know and he just kept saying “it takes time. I don’t want to switch you to something else” That’s when I started to feel helpless. I just wanted to feel happy and it seemed nothing would work, other than alcohol. Zoloft + alcohol= self destructive Antoinette. I really didn’t care about anything at that point. I was so hurt by things that was going on in life at that moment that I felt extremely exhausted with life. After a few months of living in that mind frame I just gave up. I stopped taking the meds correctly and tried every other day thinking that would help. But it didn’t. So the drinking was in full force because that seemed to be the only thing that would help. And all it did was destroy my life. That’s what led up to my breakdown.

At the mental facility I checked myself into the psychiatrist that was there was awesome. He was very patient and kind. So we tried going back to using Paxil. So when I got out of there my primary MD kept me on it because it seemed to help. Whelp that fairytale didn’t last to long and as of this moment right now I am on antidepressant change #6. I have been on trintellex for about 2 years now and it was helping. Then covid hit and my depression and anxiety went through the rough (just like everyone else) So my strength got increased and a “booster med” was added to help. Wellbutrin was added to the mix and so far it seems to be ok. But still having all of this stress and lack of self worth it feels like I might has to change again. But I really don’t want to. Having to go through that whole routine of waiting for a month or so for the meds to work is complete shit and it sucks. So now I am trying to find something to help calm me down that is not a medication. And this blog has definitely helped.

So no matter what your situation is. Whether you are medicated or not. Its still a battle trying to get your mental health to a point where it doesn’t consume your entire life. No matter what you are going through. Just remember that you are going to be ok. It won’t seem like it. Hell it still doesn’t feel like it for me but I’m hoping that connecting with people going through the same thing as me will help break that stigma embarrassment that we feel.

*Much love*

Addiction · alcoholism · music

** Crawling in my skin **

Do you ever feel like your entire soul is crawling out of your skin and it just feels like no matter what you do nothing will ever make you feel better? That’s exactly how I feel in this very moment. Depression and anxiety is over-drive and no matter what I do I can’t seem to get myself back into a safe place mentally.

This last year has definitely been a tough one. Covid has put a halt in life for everyone. Life has not been the same and you get to the point where you keep asking “Is this shit ever going to end?” and not knowing what will happen will drive you fucking crazy. But what do you do when you suffer from depression, anxiety and also in recovery from addiction during a fucking pandemic? You go even more crazy. If the pandemic wasn’t bad enough. On November 24th 2020 my mom was admitted to the hospital for what we would find out is Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML for short). Being told that your parent has cancer is like a bomb going off in your heart and you feel helpless. You go in to panic mode and you want to know each and every move that is going to happen to make sure your parent is going to beat it. But what a lot of people don’t know is the pain in your heart watching your parent fight an illness that could possibly kill them (if the treatment doesn’t take them) My mom is a VERY STRONG woman. She has been through so much in her life and she is living her life following the lord. But I can’t lie. A lot of times I just want to scream at god and ask him why?? Why my mom? They say he won’t give you more than you can handle. Well with everything being thrown at me I feel like I should be able to lift a damn semi truck. But my mom keeps telling all of us that she will keep serving the lord because he has a bigger purpose for her.

I pray that its true. I’m a fixer. And the fact I can’t fix her is driving me up a damn wall. Dealing with 1 sick parent is enough. To add to it all my dad also got sick but he is doing better now. So now my emotions are completely fucked and mentally feel like I can just lose my shit at any given moment. But with being a “fixer” you also have to be the strongest one for not only your parents but for the rest of your family. One of the worst feelings is to be the strong one and not being able to be weak. Being surrounded by a room full of people and still feeling completely alone. Constantly being in your head on why things are happening a certain way and trying to find a way to shift it so things turn out differently. No matter what you do it just feels like nothing will make things better. Everyone is afraid that with all of this stress I will relapse and start drinking again. I can’t sit here and say that having some drinks hasn’t crossed my mind. Just to try and forget for a few moments but what does that solve? Not a god damn thing. So I know I won’t because I have to be the strong one. But what can the strong one of the family who suffers from depression, anxiety and in recovery do to not lose their shit during all of this plus a pandemic? WRITE… If it wasn’t for this blog I honestly don’t know if I could get through this sober. I have a decent support system. But sometimes the people the closest to you make you feel like you so distant.

What do you do when you feel like your life is going in a totally different direction than what you thought god had planned for you? What do you do when people say “do what you need to do to make sure you are ok” but you feel like a POS person if you actually try to do what’s best for you? Going back and forth between your head and your heart while trying to make sure everyone else is ok. Those thoughts can make you feel like you are “crawling in your skin” with no way out of it. But the only thing you can do is keeping on pushing through because at some point it’s gotta get better right?? Hopefully

*Much love*

“Discomfort, endlessly has pulled itself upon me
Distracting, reacting
Against my will I stand beside my own reflection
It’s haunting How I can’t seem to find myself again
My walls are closing in
(Without a sense of confidence, I’m convinced)
(That there’s just too much pressure to take)
I’ve felt this way before
So insecure. Crawling in my skin
These wounds, they will not heal
Fear is how I fall
Confusing what is real”

  • Linkin Park- Crawling

Addiction · alcoholism · music · self love

**BRAND NEW ME**

You know how on New Year’s day you see people posting “NEW YEAR NEW ME”. But within the first couple months of the New Year they go back to the same old routine and their “New Me” disappeared. Well that is me I am “people”. Just like everyone else in the world we set out to improve ourselves and we do good for a little bit but eventually you get comfortable again and just give up. That’s recovery. Finding your “new me” living sober.

It’s so hard trying to find yourself no matter what the age you are at, but trying to find who you are sober is extremely difficult. For the longest time I have always put everyone else’s feelings before mine and the only thing that made me feel like me was vodka. I’m gonna call her “Jackie” because my vodka of choice was Jacquin’s. For years Jackie was my best friend when I felt like no one else was there, she made me happy and helped mask the pain I had within myself. So when I finally cut Jackie off I had to find a new way of making myself happy. I had no clue how to do that. I was going to AA meetings and going to my group counseling and everything was going good until it felt like some of the people closest to me wanted to control my recovery. And you would think that would make me want to just say f**k it and start drinking again. But it didn’t. Because deep down I would be more disappointed in myself if I did that. But the resentment was there ( and honestly still have some resentment I am trying to get through). Going through the motions of learning how to live life sober I felt like a toy soldier and just had to “fall in line” because that’s what I felt like I had to do in order to stay sober and make sure everyone else was happy. At that point being sober seemed more like a chore than anything else because I wasn’t doing it for myself. I was just falling in line of everyone else’s expectations. And I knew something had to change big time.

These last 4 and a half years of my recovery has taught me so many things. And this past year dealing with life as a recovering alcoholic, living in this jacked up world of the covid pandemic and my mom’s cancer treatment. I know that I don’t want to just settle and keeping falling in line. I want more things out of life. I want to go back to school to get into addiction counseling and I want to just be happy for my family. But more importantly I want to be happy for my damn self. The mom in me feels guilty for trying to find my own self love because my kids come first. But if I can’t find my own self love how can I show my kids that no matter what always love yourself and be true to yourself. I have not been true to my self at all. Mainly because I’m afraid of other peoples reactions or feeling guilty trying to love myself. As a mom it feels like its a crime to want time to yourself or be in anything else other than mom / wife mode. When it is ok for me to love myself without feeling like I’m not a good person because other peoples feelings won’t be forefront of my life? When is it ok for me to become the Antoinette that I am striving to be without worrying about everyone else’s feelings? When is it ok for me to love me first?

Now…. Now is my time. I can no longer fall in line to everyone else’s reality of my own life. I may lose people who I love by trying to become my true self but you can only take so much before things explode. The old saying goes “those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind” Its time for me to find my “brand new me” once and for all no matter the outcome. This recovery and healing journey has made me stronger. In my heart I know I am strong, but my own actions have not been reflecting what I feel in my heart. Welp… Its time for a change.

Watch my glow up 😉

**MUCH LOVE**

“It took a long long time to get here
It took a brave, brave girl to try
It took one too many excuses, one too many lies
Don’t be surprised, don’t be surprised if I talk a little louder
If I speak up when you’re wrong
If I walk a little taller
I’d be known to you too long
If you noticed that I’m different
Don’t take it personally
Don’t be mad, it’s just the brand new kind of me
And it ain’t bad, I found a brand new kind of free”

*Brand New me
– Alicia Keys