For most of my life, I sensed that not all was as it seemed. As a child, I quickly learned that to do as I was told made me “good” and to question or do things in a different way made me “not good.” So, I learned early on to be good and to silence the side of me that sensed anything different than the norm I was raised in.
I created a version of myself that believed what I was supposed to believe and that version of me was blind to the natural, intuitive part of me existing in the passenger seat. Because of this blindness, the natural, intuitive me was, for many years, most often just a passenger and rarely drove my life.
For decades I didn’t embrace or honor those subtle nudges urging me in a different direction and I conformed to the labels stuck on me, wearing them proudly like badges of honor. I was comfortable playing the roles I’d been assigned and desired so much to please everybody else and fit in that I completely lost myself in the process. I became increasingly frustrated, attention-seeking, self-destructive, angry, and suicidal.
It became unbearable to exist and, due to the excruciating feelings I was experiencing, I was referred to a psychiatrist, who provided me with a variety of diagnoses: I was clinically depressed, suffered from Social Anxiety Disorder as well as Generalized Anxiety Disorder, experienced panic attacks, and had obsessive compulsive tendencies. Finally, I had names and pamphlets for the emotions and ‘limitations’ I was experiencing and, in being given these names and thanks to the vast information available on the Internet, I was able to become those labels to the extreme. The disorders became excuses for me; crutches I relied heavily upon.
It would’ve been a lot easier had I listened to that passenger version of me. The problem wasn’t outside of me; it was within. I wasn’t allowing myself to be ME.
Consciously unaware of what the root of the problem was, I took the prescribed medications and when one failed to work, I took the newest lab creation and then the newest, enduring all sorts of insane, unpleasant and downright messed-up side effects. I should have known, based on the page of side effects I was given and the advertisements promoting overly happy people who were also supposedly taking these medications, that all that glitters is not gold. At the time, I knew that using a particular deodorant wouldn’t magically attract people to me, so I should’ve applied the same knowledge to this situation, but I didn’t.
I was brainwashed by the idea that this Band Aid Solution would cure me and so I jumped in, head first and took the medicines. I saw lightening bolts, experienced vertigo and had what seemed like endless restless leg syndrome. I was sick to my stomach, hungry, had no appetite and gained weight. I felt heart palpitations, was up all night and slept all day. I was still suicidal. I was, to quote Ron Burgandy from Anchorman, “in a glass case of emotion.”
The medications were so ineffective, I started to self-medicate in addition to them, using alcohol and recreational drugs. I developed addictions and became numb.
One day, the ‘passenger Magelion’ suggested to me that I stop medicating altogether. So did my life partner, who was able to see me for who I really am. I suggested to the psychiatrist, who I had put my trust in, that I would like to slowly wean off all the medications, as I felt like a zombie, didn’t enjoy the multitude of side effects and hated the process of finding the one miracle drug that was supposed to “normalize” me, through the trial and error method. Instead of supporting my request and assisting me in working through my ‘issues,’ he placed me back in the box of psychiatric patient and told me I “was like a diabetic and would require medication forever.”
I resented hearing those words and didn’t realize at the time how critical they were in turning my life around. Somewhere deep within me, I would not accept his ‘professional’ belief and although I didn’t turn the car around right there and then, it planted a seed within me that took root and flourished into me handing over the steering wheel and driver’s seat to the intuitive Magelion.
My success in freeing myself from anti-depressants and tranquilizers was not an overnight thing, but when I had the courage to separate myself from the beliefs imparted upon me, I stopped taking the medication. Despite the worry of well-meaning family members, who had their own journeys and beliefs in the necessity of medication, as well as the fears of others that I would hit rock bottom, I gave little credence to these fears and continued to flourish. I stepped forward through the vertigo and medication withdrawals and made myself a promise to exercise, even for just a small amount daily, to keep my endorphin levels up. And, more importantly, I dedicated time to get to know and honor the real me.
For nearly half of my life at that time, I had put my absolute trust in what professionals and those in authority suggested that I do with my life. In fact, for far too long, I had sacrificed my own needs in order to supposedly benefit others and completely ignored myself. In doing this, I had been searching for a savior outside of me, when all along the answers had been within.
~ NOSCE TE IPSUM ~