Updated: Feb 17, 2019
Nothing makes you feel more insignificant than dyeing your hair and having no one notice.
But I dyed my hair for me, anyway, as the grey hair was becoming so noticeable to me - an external reminder in the mirror of my stress is unwelcome and definitely not needed.
Which brings me to thoughts of awareness that we are all just skeletal bodies, living in our skin suits, surviving each day through a series of chemical reactions - or imbalances.
I had a surprise visitor this past week and wasn't sure how that was going to make me feel until it did. Anxiety is created by worry, past experiences and the unknown; so basically anxiety is ALL THE TIME. Unless you can cut off your thinking brain and go straight limbic response, we're all doomed. My breathing techniques, my newly found nonreactive (thank you, Rex Rasputin, R.I.P.) and a little faith, trust and pixie dust got me through my fight, flight or freeze response. My youngest, appears to also be my wisest, put into words perfectly everyone's sentiments after a 20-month physical and cognitive separation, “I thought we hated him. All it took was seeing him and I felt instantly happy. I'm so happy I felt happy.” Thank you, reptilian brain, forgiveness and fortitude.
Although I will not claim mastery, I've become pretty good at The Work (“Loving What Is", Byron Katie) to know that no one can “make me feel...” anything. It's my internal, undiscovered beliefs stored in my brain that create those and I'm the only one with the key to unlock/repair/fix them. “What's that about, Julie?” is my new approach to living without popping Xanax hourly.
So I find myself researching Enteric Nervous Systems. What I didn't know when I asked my daughter's psychiatrist(s) about anti-inflammatory drugs, supplements and diet recommendations as options to get a hold on her anxiety is that, [you've] “wasted a lot of time and money” on scam artists that aren't helping your daughter. I beg to differ and let's agree to disagree, I say. What I bite my tongue before saying out loud is that [your] “entire career is to prescribe concoctions created in a laboratory within the only private industry protected from lawsuits by the federal government, [you idiot].” I digress.
The most cooperative, compliant patient I've ever seen in my life (hell, her mother signs AMA forms for herself ALL THE TIME), after her fourth medication trial in half as many weeks,
I observe my daughter, while sideways glances of disbelief from her treating physician hit my line of sight, accurately describe the effects and interactions of marijuana use on her prescribed medications: “I'm on anti-psychotics but the only relief I get - for sleep and anxiety - is a hallucinogenic you won't endorse. The ratio of cbd to thc (she cited statistical facts as the doctor nods and my brain shuts off) is therefore inconsistent making dosaging nearly impossible so isn't that contraindicated for my conditions? Aren't these cancelling each other out?” ...but look at her eyes; she doesn't need sleep, she wants rest. “Can you find something that will mimic the benefits of cannabis use to prescribe for me?” as we look through the list, again of meds that have been tried and failed. Six pounds gained in a week. Sleeping 14 hours. Sleeping two hours. New facial tic and restless leg syndrome. Constant hunger. Chronic pain. Unshakable anxiety. Agitated. We've gone back to square one so many times, no wonder this anxiety swiftly becomes depression which leads to “I don't want to be here!” which doesn't mean a geographical change but here equals her body. She prescribes an antihistamine to take as needed and another drug that came with stern cautions from the pharmacist.
The confirmation of “do not drive, do not operate machinery, not to be left alone, can't return to work,” for three more months comes at my limbic system swift and forcefully. Fight.
Fight when you know you're right, I say. It's almost always what I say.
What the doctor is trying to do is to regulate her Dopamine and Serotonin and apparently my daughter has a "highly sensitive brain." You know what also increases Dopamine? A 20-second hug, an emotional support animal, hearing your favorite song; what you put in your gut.
So today, she's off to get her first, long awaited tattoo, has an appointment to drastically change her hair while I'm off to the herbal remedy store to purchase vitamin B supplements and probiotic products. Call me a money-wasting hippy all you want, medical professionals. I believe in a whole AND holistic approach to healing and, yes, I support my nearly 21 year old daughter getting an endorphin-release in the form of a tattoo.
Last night I built our future website - it's a very rough draft. As of today, I have received $400 toward my $1000 goal to open my nonprofit (for $980 on LegalZoom). In the process, I have helped three people, very much stuck in the same system my daughter is, to see a broader approach to solving problems within the systems they're required to navigate. I can't wait to open and begin work, and then my higher human brain reminds me, “you already are, Julie.”
Thank you for your support and contributions. If you're interested in serving on my future nonprofit board as a Board Member or expert advisory board, please contact me.
“Hold my beer is a catchphrase used when attempting a dangerous and/or ill-advised stunt.”
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I'm going to go take some Vitamin B complex supplements for the latest, unresolved pit in my stomach and pet my dogs (How many ESAs does one actually NEED?). And hope the effects will be more noticeable than my new hair color.