Brittany in Wonderland.

by Brittany on August 12, 2011

in Adorably Mental

Moustache 1

I have been a party to no less than two interventions thrown on my behalf.

First of all, they are nowhere near as fun as they make them look on tv.  You would think if you are going to gather a group of people to collectively tell you you suck ass at something, there would be balloons.

Or at least a pinata.

They make pinatas for everything now.

I once went to a Divorce Party where they had a pinata shaped like a giant penis, and when they smashed it open, it was filled with Worthers’ and we all became bisexual.

No wonder she was getting divorced.  Who the hell likes Worthers’ besides old people?

Both talks have been about the same thing.  My unwillingness to get on maintenance medication for acute anxiety.  My awesome behavior because of that decision.  And oh yeah, the irrational fear that I am genetically doomed.

My aunt Gigi took her life when I was in elementary school.  She was painfully beautiful with dark brown hair past her waist.  When my mom got the call, she screamed “God damn her,” and began throwing everything we owned into suitcases to travel to Europe for the funeral.

Since that moment, I have been treated like an undetonated land mine.

I am scattered and messy and scary to people who don’t understand how those things can be beautiful.  Just like her.

I’ve been medicated since high school.  I’ve seen therapists.  Some who tell me I need Jesus.  Some who have mustaches and short sleeve button up dress shirts and pleated khaki pants.

Most of the time, I just lay there telling them all the things they want to hear to feel effective and successful at their jobs.  Then, I get in the elevator with my lollipop wondering when everyone will just leave me the hell alone already, and who decided Van Morrison was the safest music to serenade crazy people with.

Was there a study done?  Everyone in the Van Morrison control group lived…unlike the poor chaps in the experimental Moby room.

Maybe I don’t want my brain to work normally.  There’s a difference, you know, between anxiety and depression.  I’m not depressed.  I don’t need pills that make me numb and comatose to inspiration, creativity and that line in the sand that I so like to dance naked across while giving you the finger.

Most days, I quite the enjoy erratic and jagged whimsy.

After all…we’re all mad here….aren’t we?

{ 146 comments… read them below or add one }

moosh in indy. August 15, 2011 at 4:32 pm

I have found a medication that doesn’t allow me to be comatose to inspiration. However my anxiety can numb me and shut me down faster than anything leaving me dropping balls, plates and responsibility left and right.

My ride through wonderland must be somewhat controlled. But I know this about myself.

Also? I said dropping balls.

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Jamie August 15, 2011 at 6:25 pm

I live this. Every day. The, as you said, “erratic, jagged whimsy.” Perfect description, in my opinion.

I’m a fucking nutcase sometimes, sure. The undetonated landmine, you mentioned–that’s me at family gatherings, etc. No one knows quite what they’ll get, and sometimes it’s less than beautiful…sometimes, it’s downright messy. But other times, I’m not. Other times I’m creative and sweet and inspired and so happy.

Thank you for writing this, B. You remind me that I am not alone.

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KellyS August 15, 2011 at 8:19 pm

I was deciding between checking myself in to a hospital or finally biting the bullet and going back on Wellbutrin. This post sealed the deal.

I really, REALLY, thought I could be someone who could live with depression and anxiety and insomnia and not take medication. Seven months later and I know for sure there are some situations that make depression so fucking unbearable that medication is the only answer for ME.

1. Receive a phone call from a deputy in your parents town three hours away and be told that someone had attacked my 81 year old father with a tire iron and he had just been airlifted to a hospital another two hours away not expecting to live. (he did, but not without daily scares)

2. Have a simple medical outpatient procedure on husband result in an ambulance ride to a hospital and two surgeries later he is doing what we call “OK”.

3. Receive a call from sisters neighbor. Sister lives two states away. She had fallen and was taken by ambulance to hospital. Turns out she has a host of problems, the most pressing being a brain bleed.

Yes, these are extreme situations. But extreme situations caused me to attempt to take my own life TWICE last year. And I thought I could do it without help. Of the pharmaceutical variety. Turns out I can’t. At least until my next phone call which better be from the Publishers Clearninghouse. Dammit.

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Amber August 16, 2011 at 9:24 am

Wow – that is a lot to take in!! I am happy to hear that taking your own life didnt work out for you for whatever reason – seems to me that your family needs you and the good man upstairs must have realized this!! Stay strong!! Good luck with the Publishers Clearinghouse!! I am always waiting for uncle Ed to drop by with that huge check!!

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Meinhart August 16, 2011 at 2:17 am

Some of my family members are on maintenance medication, others are on maintenance denial.
Because I’ve used crisis medication and then worked through (most of) my issues without medication, they see that as a free pass to meddle in my life.

It’s an easy coping strategy, for them, I guess : you don’t see your own shit because you’re stirring mine so much.

Thank you, Brittany, for your post. Thank you, everyone, for your comments.

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meleah rebeccah August 16, 2011 at 10:28 am

I also suffer from acute anxiety, and have gone through those lovely *interventions* from family members who think I should be medicated. And much like you, I tell the therapists all the “right” things so I can get the hell out of there. And I won’t take meds either. I’d rather be crazy then numb.

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Tammy Wilson August 16, 2011 at 11:10 am

I thought I had the same problem when it came to depression, and actually, it’s not depression. I have adult ADHD to the extent of it interferes with my daily life which is what causes my ups and downs. Good Luck.

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J August 17, 2011 at 9:04 am

I have had life long issues with severe anxiety and depression. Medication seems to help take the edge off and I do have good days. My husband decided he didn’t want me on medication because “depression is a decision”. We’re fighting that one now. Therapist recommended I go back on at least an anxiety med. Reading your blogs always makes me feel a little better (and laugh a lot). Thanks for sharing some not so funny aspects today. It helps to feel included.

On a side note: my dog was put on a special food trial diet. I now have to hand cook his every meal. Since I love him more than anyone/anything I do this gladly. Because there are no dog treats specifically on his diet, I had to come up with a recipe. I’m open to share if anyone is interested. :-)

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Jolene August 17, 2011 at 10:12 am

Thank you for saying there is a difference between anxiety and depression. I am not depressed..I am anxious.

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A mom with the shakes August 17, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Thank you! Seriously. Thank you.

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Al_Pal August 19, 2011 at 2:08 am

Thank you so much for sharing. I’m mostly fairly neurotypical, but I’ve had my episodes, and even had a full-on panic attack last month. You’re not alone. *hugs*

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Lauren August 19, 2011 at 4:05 pm

I have to preface my comment by saying that my dad is a psychiatrist, so I come from a place where treatment and medication for anxiety and depression is…well…not only normal but encouraged. Along with a family history of OCD, crippling anxiety, alcoholism, and depression…I’ve been like a ticking-time-bomb of mental health issues. And while I was raised to think it’s normal to receive treatment and medication if needed, when I started to struggle with my own anxiety and depression problems in college, it wasn’t easy to seek treatment.

However, 10 years later, I can say with conviction that I am happier and better on medication than I ever was without it. And I don’t feel numb. I feel normal. I have ups and downs, good days and bad days, and that’s how it’s supposed to be. But if I wasn’t medicated, EVERY day would be a down. EVERY minute would be crippling. I would be so anxious I couldn’t function. I know, because I’ve been there.

I know many people who don’t take maintenance medication don’t do so because they used to and felt numb. I’ve taken a lot of different kinds of meds over the years, and if I felt numb after taking one I just knew that wasn’t the right one. And I’ve been lucky to have great doctors to support that. So, after trying a TON, we found a good one. Thank goodness. Life is so much better now.

I just don’t believe it has to be one way or the other. Why can’t you have help for the anxiety but also have the creativity? Maybe it’s just me, but I had so much trouble with the anxiety and depression (I have both…I know there is a difference) that without help I wasn’t much good to anyone, much less myself.

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the muskrat September 5, 2011 at 8:53 pm

I’ve had a couple doctors try to give me things to take, but I refuse, too. I find eating well and exercising from time to time works just fine.

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Brittany September 5, 2011 at 8:55 pm

I couldn’t agree more, if anything else, over the course of my two un-maintence medicated years, I have really gotten in tune with my body. Caffeine was a huge trigger for me, so I cut that out completely and I run 3x a week, which lets me re=channel my focus. And that is a huge help, when I stray from that routine, it’s devastating.

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