Thursday, September 19, 2013

Gaining Balance

Every fall it feels like a new start. Maybe it has to do with imprints of my past childhood when I started school every September, but this year it feels a bit different. This past summer was absolutely torturous, being in and out of the hospital with stomach bleeding and excruciating back pain. Finally, I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. My pain is very minimal, manageable and sometimes, not even present. My stomach feels as though it has healed nicely since I quit NSAIDs and had a therapy of stomach medications and antibiotics. I feel back to "me" again and I thank GOD for it. I even went out dancing the other night in three inch heels. (I know I know, that's pushing it, but damn it felt good!) I even ventured out to my friend's' BBQ, where all of our buddies from high school gathered around and had a blast. One friend commented, "Damn Deb! We haven't seen you since before the summer, glad you're finally here and not in your assigned room at the hospital." I don't want to get too excited too soon, but I can't help feel this sense of enthusiasm and hope for life. If you look a few posts down, I was on "E" and very depressed about the pain I was enduring. I learned a lot of things between last June and now. I learned how depression can creep in when your physical well-being is tampered with. I learned how fast and carelessly the doctors are willing to fling addicting prescription medication at people without the help of holistic or natural remedies - and why would they if they couldn't make a buck or two off it? I learned something I never understood in a much larger scope: self-medicating and why people do it. There was a point where I was using Percocet to treat the pain, and when the depression kicked in with another sleepless night ahead of me, one more Percocet wouldn't hurt. But I caught myself.

Which brings me to a very revealing side of me that I probably never spoke about before...

Addictions. I have a few "acceptable" addictions: food and anti-anxiety drugs (Ativan). After losing 20 lbs, and still losing, I have learned what foods trigger my weight gain and to not gorge myself with a plate or two of pasta. Since on Paleo, I have eliminated breads and pastas with the exceptional cheat day. Progress made. I still have ways to go. Now, for the past fifteen years, my doctor prescribed me Ativan to relieve symptoms of anxiety. She warned me of its side effects: drowsiness. She started me out on .05 per day which is basically nothing. It reached 4mg per day for the past three years now. My doc keeps telling me not to go off of them just yet because I'm dealing with a lot of stress in my life. But he even said this before my father passed away. So, when will life NOT be challenging? I have taken it upon myself to wean off this stuff and try to get myself clean from everything. I can't do it cold turkey like I did with cigarettes, because there is a risk of withdrawals, such as convulsions and panic attacks, etc., but I will slowly get there. Nobody, especially in the medical field had ever warned me about being an "addict" --- even when I was in AA for 90 days, I said, "Would you consider me an addict if I take 4 mg of Ativan on a daily basis for the past decade or so?" And they said, "No! That's under a doctor's guidance." So, as long as a doctor prescribes your "poison", then it's "acceptable". I don't want to be on this for the rest of my life, so I'm outing my self-proclaimed and factual addiction to Ativan.

Why is Deb writing all of this? 

My Goal: Balance
I have a goal. For starters, I want to walk into my 40th birthday (which is in February) at my desired weight. I want to be clean and free of all prescription drugs. I want to be healthy, mind, body, spirit and not worry about future diabetes, obesity and all of the manmade cancers out there. By logging this down publicly, I will be able to push forward with more motivation and maybe some support by others who are reading this. I need more GOD in my life. I have seen Him work miracles lately and want that to continue. I'm not saying I'm going to be this "perfect Christian" who preaches more than practices (or preaches at all) -- but a little more God would do me some good. It has already. I want balance in my life. This goes for my behavior, responses, attitude, work, play, meditation, prayer and my passions in life (hobbies). Just in a few weeks time of weaning off Ativan and the few months of being on Paleo, I'm noticing less depression. The anxiety is a whole other story, but that too has been easing up. Please pray or send positive thoughts my way as I embark this challenging test of weaning off all that I've known for way too long.

Here are some scriptures that are really helping me right now:

He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness." - 2 Corinthians 12:9

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. - Philippians 4:13 


For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!