CBD and me: a month on

So a month ago I wrote about the beginning of my journey with CBD. My journey has been, astounding. But first let me start with a little description of how it has changed me.

A month or so ago my anxiety had become so tough that my relationship was falling apart not just with my boyfriend but with my friends too, it was effecting my university life and unfortunately effected my grades and attendance. But it had effected me to a point where I was petrified to go to sleep out of fear that I wouldn’t wake up. I was scared that I was going to die. Leaving the house, my brain would run through every potential life threatening situation that could happen to me and I would break into a panic and when I went out to meet friends I would sit there thinking that really they didn’t want me there or I had to get drunk so that I could just shut my brain up but instead would end up in tears. I went to my doctors where they put me on medication that immediately shut me off emotionally and I would sit having panic attacks within myself whilst my jaw gurned away and my muscles would spasm. I was to have these side effects from 2 or even up to 8 weeks. If I felt I didn’t have control before, I certainly didn’t have it with them.

My boyfriend and brother from another mother spoke to me about CBD. I pondered over it, having an uneasy view to drugs I wasn’t sure that it was for me, but after having a panic attack lasting almost half an hour inside myself, unable to express what was happening to me, I came to the decision…it’s time to take control. I did research and I researched so hard into it. Looking at its effects as a whole and not just mental health and I was shocked. It had helped children and adults alike with serious, debilitating diseases and it had changed these peoples lives! People had been given years on their life span, had been able to function differently, people who had difficulties walking were able to walk! Now, let me tell you, it isn’t a magic drug that will cure all ill’s and like any drug it may work for some and not for others but, it was enough for me to give this ago.

My diagnosis is not simply anxiety, I have depression and PTSD to add to the mix and they have had serious effects on me since I can remember. This past month has been the best month of my life. I can function. I am connected to the world. I am in control. For the first time in a long time I can look at things and feel like I have a choice on how I feel, that I can have a future where I don’t have to suffer. I will never go back. I have my life back. I have managed to travel to places without getting worried, I have been able to stand in a crowd at a gig and not panic, I have been able to do so many things that before would have caused me great stress and anxiety that I wouldn’t be able to function and most of all I CAN SLEEP. I have kicked my mental health’s ass and it feels AWESOME!

Yet, it upsets me that our government(s) will give us medications that can cause serious issues due to the chemicals that are in this medication, for example there have been lawsuits on some antidepressants for the damage they have caused due to the drug changing the chemical compound in our brains in such a way that it’s caused someone to shoot their loved one. They are willing to give us opiates that are hugely addictive to cure pain which then leads to abuse, we are given medications that can destroy our vital organs and yet, something that is completely natural and the worst side effect that you can get is feeling drowsy, is illegal. The stories I have heard, read and watched have been amazing and I hope that one day things will change.

Without rambling too much, I hope that this is a good update and if you’re reading this now and you are wondering about this but worried about stigma or whatever, please, PLEASE research this! It really has changed my life and the lives of many others and I hope that this helps you in some way.

Until next time,

Naomi, x

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SSRI’s, CBD & Me.

For most of my life, predominantly when I turned 14/15, anxiety and depression have been a part of me. Then a few years later after a severe ‘episode’ where I believed that I had been attacked to the point where there was police intervention, I was diagnosed with PTSD.

These mental health issues that I have had a profound affect on my life in different areas. Predominantly my relationships with my boyfriend, friends and even family. Just recently my anxiety had escalated to the point where I was beginning to fear the commute to university and would become anxious about what may happen to me. It then began to affect my sleep to a point where I was scared to fall asleep in fear that I might not wake up.

My mortality became my biggest fear, that and being left alone by my boyfriend, family and friends.

It had become so bad that my boyfriend couldn’t cope anymore and he begged me to see someone, in particular my GP. It had become so bad he felt that he could no longer recognise me, I had changed into something else and was becoming less and less the girl he fell in love with. I had to make a change and despite not wanting to medicate myself through having reservations about SSRI’s from previous experience, I hung my head, put my big girl pants on and dragged myself to the doctors. I was told that my stress levels were effecting my anxiety and the adrenaline that my brain was expelling wasn’t being reabsorbed properly. I have been in constant fight or flight mode for weeks and this was the cause.

Treatment: counselling and SSRI’s.

SSRI’s

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Ihibitor’s. I have taken many forms of these since the age of 14/15. My first ones being Prozac. The reason why I don’t like to take these types of medication is personal.

I don’t think that people shouldn’t take them, I think you have to do what you think is right for you, so what I feel right for me may not be what some people agree on but its important to note that everyone’s mental health is an individual and unique journey. The struggle is different for everyone and my experience on SSRI’s has been atrocious. Hallucinations, muscle spasms, panic attacks, depression, no libido, no emotions and a sense of disconnection from the world and from myself. All of these I have experienced and all of these are the reason why taking medication is just not for me. However, I have tried the natural, herbal route but I had gotten to a point where I was close to having a bath in camomile tea and using herbal sleep aids as bath bombs and still my anxiety and my mood had not changed. No improvement.

So reluctantly, I took my prescription for Sertraline to the pharmacy and went home and took my first pill through tears. I couldn’t believe I was doing this to myself but I would do anything not to lose the person I love and to get back on track with university. I didn’t want to lose everything over something that can be fixed. Within an hour I could feel it, jitters in my jaw, tensing muscles in my legs and disconnection. Like a curtain was closing on me and I could no longer be a part of the world around me. This would go on for up to 2-3 weeks if I was lucky, but predominantly there is no change for 6-8 weeks.

In the days that followed I became more and more disconnected, my boyfriend was unsure if I was happy or sad because I had no sense of emotion. I felt stunted. My apetite was affected, I wasn’t hungry and I felt quite confused about things. I had changed, he knew it and so did I but we walked through it. Slowly.

CBD.

I spoke with my brother, a brother from another mother but a brother non the less. He and my boyfriend told me of something called CBD. This is something that has been used in America for a while and it was making an appearance in the UK with some pretty profound affects.

CBD is an cannaboid oil without or with a very small amount of THC. THC being the compound in cannabis that gets you high. So this oil, gives other affects without getting you high. They advised I research it and maybe give it a try.

I began to research almost straight away, the need to be ‘normal’ whatever that may be, was imperative to me. I needed to feel like I was connected. All the research I had found on this was so positive, the way that it has had an effect on anxiety but also other medical ailments too. I was stunned that I had not heard of this sooner. Obviously, there were some that had said that it just didn’t work for them and maybe this was down to there only being small dose available, but it was enough for me to try at least one final hurrah with natural remedies before going down the long slow route with prescription medication.

I researched the best ways for CBD to be taken and what people recommended. Some have said the oil was enough, 5 drops under the tongue 2-3 times a day or vape it. The oil was easier to get a hold of so, a couple of days after speaking to my brother and conducting research that I think would make even Sherlock Holmes proud, I bought a bottle of CBD oil and I was to start taking it in a couple of days once it had arrived in store. So that was it, I put my Sertraline in the cupboard and thought hopefully this was good bye!

Me.

Walking down to the store to collect I felt strange, nervous almost. I have basic training in medications and the thought of taking something that was still undergoing clinical trials made me feel as though I was doing something illegal. Even though I knew it wasn’t.

I didn’t feel like I could talk to family about it or friends because I didn’t know what they would think. Would they care? I knew I shouldn’t care, I wasn’t doing it for them but hey anxiety does that to you, right? I collected my bottle and felt strongly that I should take it straight away. But I chickened out. So I promised to take it the next day.

The next morning I woke up, looked at the bottle then put it down. I was so anxious. What if it did make me high? what if it made me sick? all at once a thousand anxious voices were swirling around my head and that’s when it hit me. This is why I am doing this. So this can stop. Or would I rather have the prescription medication that makes me feel so horrible that I wont be normal for weeks on end. So I put my big girl pants on lifted my tongue and dropped 5 drops of the oil under my tongue.

WOW! It tasted gross. It was like I had been chewing on a bunch of nettles, but I had to hold it and try not to swallow for a whole minute. It was the longest damn minute ever. But when it was up I swallowed and drank soooo much water I could’ve drown myself I’m sure. The thought of having to do it again in the afternoon was slightly off putting too. But one must persevere….right?

Then a few hours later I noticed it. I was smiling, I could hear clear thoughts. In the afternoon after my other dose I managed to tackle my driving lesson without shaking and panicking as much, then in the evening when I took them before bed I had the best nights sleep I’ve had in weeks!

Today I woke up feeling refreshed, brighter. I took my dose managed to get to the dentist without having a panic attack before during or after. I felt I had a little more control. I still do. I have sat in a bar on my own typing this without worrying what someone might think of me in a pub at this hour!

Now, let me clarify. I don’t know 100% if that’s the CBD or if I’m just having a good day or two because I know it takes time for these things to take full effect and I was advised that it would take about 1-2 weeks to get into my system fully but I can feel something. There are no noticeable side effects apart from the bad taste…YUK! But honestly, I think this is the one.

I am now looking at getting the vape oil. Apparently this is just as effective if not more so as it gets into your system much quicker. But I feel like it might be a good supplement because I can be quite forgetful at times and so I think this will be a good benefit for me. But so far, so good. I haven’t written on here for a while, and my anxiety may have been one of the reasons why but I think this gives me something to write about.

I really hope this worse and I will write about it as often as I can. So fingers crossed this is it! Here’s to recovery!

Feelings, they make you ache.

Love, why does it feel so good and yet make you feel scared and fearful of the future?

Maybe, it’s because no matter how strong it is you know that at the core it is a frail thing, but with its frailty comes such a flurry of strong emotion. Maybe that’s what it is ultimately. You find someone who makes you feel so utterly complete that together you create this little safe hold, full of emotion and though it is frail you both hold on dearly and put more and more emotion into it, until cracks show and then….

Or maybe that is the cold way of looking at it. Poets, writers and scholars write about love and the joy it brings and maybe that’s what you are meant to feel, but currently maybe love is lost and something we will all never have the joy of truly experiencing.

Yet, I feel that I have found it and, yet it terrifies me. My core, is exposed. When I expose my heart, my core they are and, have always been thrown away, discarded like trash. Broken. Shattered. This time however, I need to give without fear. Because my fear has broken this already. The one thing that brought me so much happiness because of fear. But, I find that I am scared to let go. If I let go and he hurts me, recovery I know is a long and hard road and I fear that walk. Those talks in the evening from friends trying to get me to sleep. The hollowness in the pit of my stomach and my brain telling me that it was right, that I am not good enough.

This time around, I am trying. Trying to take his hand and let him lead the way. Let him show me that I am ok, that this is ok, we are ok.

Bad habits are hard to break, but this time it’s different. I truly feel for him. He makes me feel whole, like he makes my heart beat. I look at him and I long to be with him. Close to him. He makes me feel like I am a part of the world. I can’t remember when I felt like I was a part of something.

I feel like the glasses I look through to look at the world have been taken away and he shows me that I am not lost but in a world of discovery, I am not trapped. He grounds me. Makes me feel real, like I am worth something.

Him. Just him.

Love. Fear.

My fear, that I don’t fit. That I don’t fit into his world. My world is little, with dreams and goals that may seem just…simple. His? Vast and yet he can grab every one of them and master them with ease, people that surround him are interesting and again have reached their goals and dreams, met them and continue to do so. They have dreamed big and achieved it. They are beautiful and masters of an art, me…I have none of those, I am trying to achieve a childhood dream that even I am unsure as to whether I will achieve my ultimate goal and, even if I did, I can’t be sure that it will be in the very near future.

Who knows?

I can only hope, that he sees me as a part of it. That he thinks I fit. That he wants me too.

I can’t believe how much I have changed. But that’s another story for another day.

Naomi, xx

Enlightenment

Sometimes I think, you have to be at your lowest possible point to make the lights switch on. For your mind to see things differently. To see how much you have changed but not the way in which you had hoped.

You realise maybe you were stressed for no reason, you would switch self destruct for no reason. Just maybe to hurt yourself for no apparent reason then to cause yourself some pain. You know the outcome but you do it anyway. You don’t know why and you feel stupid but its too late you’ve done it.

Now, that its at its worst and you’re at the bottom, your focus shifts. You can go over that edge and stay the way you are or you can pick yourself up and move. Just move. Shift your focus, shift your pain, shift your stress. Look forward. Go with one foot in front of the other.

I feel like at present my life is confusing and yes, stressful. Maybe, full of stressors is a better way to put it. But my eyes have opened, I have kept myself in a place where I make the situation worse. I force myself further into stress because it feels, right. Well, today I see that it can be challenging and with a quick deep breath and quick closing of my eyes, I am focused. I am centred. The sun is shinning through autumnal leaves and like my surroundings, I am going through a transition.

It is the end of the old me and the birth of the new me. The future me. This is where I shed my past and move forward. Bloom. I am finally ready. What ever happens and what ever changes come my way I know that I am ready. I am looking forward to what my new self can produce, what I can give. I feel like I am unstoppable almost.

This I feel is my awakening, my rebirth, my enlightenment. How silly does that sound? But regardless, I am here and my adventure, my journey begins.

Till next time,

Naomi, x

Chest talk.

The steps we take in life all lead down a path. That path can take you down some dark places and some light. It just depends wether your willing to embrace the darkness to get to the light.

I think recently my mind has been taken down a dark path, impacting myself and my relationship. I think it’s easy to see the damage you cause externally but internally the damage seems almost cataclysmic but others don’t see it, they just see you on the outside. Quiet, angry, stressed. Taking a walk to a place of self love is hard when you are constantly in a place of self hate. Your brain isn’t telling you to calm down or telling you not to worry, not to be jealous or to think rationally before breaking out into an irrational and unreasonable state.

I would like to say  I love who I am, but I don’t. I hate much more of myself than I love. I hate my anxiety which spurts on feelings of jealousy, the constant fear of being alone and ultimately dying alone. Old. Frail. Unloved.

Mental health is complex. All of us uniquely wired and being mentally trained to deal with things in different ways throughout our lives. Somehow I feel I was not taught how to cope effectively and as an adult now, it’s obsolete. I struggle now more than before it feels and no outlet seems appropriate. With this maybe as an exception.

It’s hard to express the thoughts but also the pain. The knots you feel in your stomach, the weight that grows on your chest making you feel breathless. The claustrophobic feeling of walls closing in as more and more thoughts cram themselves into your brain about how much you just cause chaos, how horrible you look, how much people must just hate you. How much of a burden you are to life.

Patience. Patience from your loved ones and those around you makes a world of difference. Maybe not understanding, even as a sufferer I don’t understand. But patience, time, love. Being that light for some one at the end. Being the air they breathe. That. THAT.

But it’s hard. How long can people give you that without getting tired? Maybe that’s just the rotten part of my brain or maybe it’s just common sense. Maybe.

All I know is, I won’t ever stop trying to conquer this. To find peace. To  love myself. To give myself patience. Or maybe that’s the answer?

Naomi, x 

Here we go again..

Here we go again. It’s starts all over again. The thinking, the thinking of everything and then eventually it gets so loud, almost to fever pitch and then….silence. You can sleep. But you are left with sleep deprivation because by the time it finished the sun was up and ringing in your ears.

It all starts with one thing that someone says or does. Like maybe, that look they gave you at exactly 10.30am as you were leaving a shop. Or, that thing they said at precisely 1pm. Then you start thinking about if it meant anything. If there’s a deeper meaning. You know that really there isn’t but still the battle has begun.

It takes up your thoughts. So much so that you can’t talk. You can’t watch anything, listen to anything, read anything. It just consumes you whilst affecting those around you. The ones who are stood by you and can see that there is something going on behind your eyes but they don’t know what it is or what to say. They carry on as normal whilst hoping that you’re not mad at them for some unbeknownst reason.

Then when finally it’s over, you just want to shut down. Your energy is low and your brain feels like mush but it’s time to get up and start another day.

Your tired, you feel stupid and you feel sorry. Sorry to those who didn’t see you but were expecting to, but you just couldn’t function. To those who were around you, for just shutting down without warning. For behaving in an unsettled way by being busy and hyper to being…well to just stopping. Then finally, your sorry to you. For making yourself feel the way you did. For tearing pieces off yourself and then spitting them back in your face.

I think that in the end, the person left with the short straw is you. You self sabotage yourself to a point where your just not quite sure what to do with yourself afterwards. You don’t know which piece to put back first. You can see what your doing and your trying hard to fix it but you can’t. Then you wait till it’s over and before fixing yourself first you try to fix everything on the outside instead. Leaving yourself wounded and scarred.

By no stretch of the mind is this thing easy, it’s hard every step through it. But it doesn’t mean that that’s how it is all the time. But when it’s bad it’s bad. Anxiety. I hate the name. I don’t think it’s bad enough a word. Living nightmare or mental mutilation might be more appropriate. The damage is hard to fix after a night like mine but you’ve got to try and get that sleep, try to function adequately. Try to forgive yourself, or you run the risk of it coming again sooner than expected.

It’s like after a storm, you have to get up, check the damage and then smile. Even though it’s raining still. Because you know, it will pass. It. Will. Pass.

Naomi x 

 

The Course Of Things.

The course of the way things go in your life seem overly straight forward, like go to work, get a career, go to school, college, university, go to the gym, loose weight become fit, healthy, strong, beautiful.

It all seems that easy, everything falls into a course that you aim to complete to go on to the other one and start again until eventually you reach a point where you are confident that  you don’t need to go much further and your happy.

But really I guess the better way to look at them, is that they are actually obstacles in the way of your course that you need to get over or work through to reach the steady course to the finish line. For me right now I am at a personal obstacle with my weight and the gym. I work hard when I go and I improve each time but the difficulty for me is getting there. On my way I have found that for some reason trying to talk myself into going is the hardest thing for me right now. I have loved going to the gym with a ‘gym buddy’, two actually, and still I would find myself struggling to psych myself up to go with them because I don’t want to go and not do enough and sometimes I think about what the people think of me who are around me whilst I work out and train.

No one really tells you just how hard its going to be for you, mentally I mean. They tell you how hard its going to be on you physically but not the amounts of times you will find any excuse so you can stay sat at home in your gym clothes convincing yourself that you’ve worked hard at work or that your just a bit too tired today or you will pick it up tomorrow cause its just one day, right?What makes it worse is the anxiety, the thought that you are being stared at and laughed at, that feeling of looking in the mirror and all of sudden you see yourself as a humungous beast in place of these other people who are slim, toned and healthy. No one really talks about that I think. If they do its not talked about enough.

So I guess I want to speak about it. The gym, diets and everything that comes with it is so overwhelming and when you’re around people that seem to be doing so much better than what you are it makes it harder for many reasons. Mine right now being that I just cant see it working. Despite the meal replacements, the change in portion size and diet, the weight loss tablets that make me bloat for a bit then just pure out and out gassy. It all gets SO much. But you know what, that right there is what stops me from going to that gym, getting on that treadmill and picking up them weights.

And, its ok.

It’s ok to feel like that. It’s ok to think that it’s not working and that its all getting too much but that’s when you should stop, take a step back and then slow down.

Get yourself a battle plan, something that you can do at home and something you can do at the gym then in 4 weeks time or 6 weeks time review it, change it up make it more difficult.

Take out the shakes and the weight loss tablets and all that crap and start with one thing at a time. Maybe have just your protein for now then in 4 weeks, introduce one more item and so on. Until it feels right.

With your diet, don’t tell yourself off! If you mess up you mess up, just brush it off and carry on, Diets are not easy and if its a constant struggle something isn’t right. Look at what your eating do you like it? no? then find a replacement, too hard to follow then look at something else, or just start by reducing portion size, and cutting down your problem foods and just be kind to yourself.

I’m still a work in progress, but now that I have done the steps above I don’t feel as overwhelmed. I have found exercises I enjoy and I have set up a list of things to do so that when I go to the gym I know what I need and I can pop myself into a quiet corner and get on, it sates my anxiety and cuts down that distraction. But they are also good for when I am home, when I don’t have the weight I replace with a bottle or two of water or cans of food! It works. But now I definitely appreciate that it will come off slowly sometimes but then others it will seem that it comes off fast and then others as though nothing is happening at all, but I think the key is, especially for those who are self conscious or self doubt or suffer from anxiety or whatever, the key is just breath take it in stride and look at what you have done, maybe look back at the time before you went to the gym? and what would that you think of you now? I know past me would be like WTF is going on with you? Well done fat arse!

It’s just the course of things and how you deal with that course and the hand you have been dealt. Just try to roll with it, take the obstacles put in your way and own them. No one ever said that you have to get it the first time, take your time and even if it takes you a million times just think at least I didn’t give up.

 

First blog attempt.

The beginning….right?

So this is my first blog. The first blog where I have found that I can write more than just one without having to pay for the rest. Does that make me cheap? Maybe.

So this is where my journey begins, at the age of 25. I have completed college and received the grades that I need, I could’ve done better but hey, its damn hard balancing your bills, a full time job, dysfunctional family and your relationship whilst trying to get the best grades that you could hope to achieve. I did good and that’s enough for me.

My next step now is to get myself driving and ready for starting university in September. Two years ago, the thought of being able to go to university seemed very far away and almost unreachable. But hey here I am. Dream big and it will happen but it does take hard work and patience. Patience mainly with yourself. Mainly just to remind yourself that your not always going to get it the first time but be patient and it will come in time. Also not to be to modest with yourself. when you know you are good at something own it, WERK WERK WERK Hunty!

werk

WEERKKK!

 

I suppose before I go much further I should maybe talk a little bit about myself so that you can get a little picture of who I am, that helps right? I’m a 25, horror obsessed (classic horror such as the universal classics! not the new kind of horror where it is totally reliant on jump scares and unnecessary gore). I would call myself plus size and bored about it. I go to the gym to work through my fat-ness but at the same time I would like to think that I am comfortable with what I have right now and I work hard at the gym but I could care less what people think of me now. Thin or fat I’m happy.147d1f08deb6d39ec1278230e2bc2643.jpg

I am dating one of the most amazing but very annoying man in the world, he makes me laugh with how annoying he can be and he fascinates me with his kindness, his selflessness, his love for me and his majestic beard. He is the biggest support I have in my life and he has finally shown me what it means to be loved and to love. I think that that is a very important thing to learn. Its taken me a while to find it but it was well worth the wait.

I have a dysfunctional family, doesn’t everyone? However, its quite destructive and it may be something that I touch on in other blogs I write just to sort of reach out I guess to those who may be sat in the side lines similar to how I am and have been for a few years and not knowing what to do even though your helpless and your hands are tied. But, like I said a topic I will touch on another time.

So that’s a little introduction from me and there’s not much else to tell. This first blog I think is just to mark my transition something that someone, if someone reads this that is, that may not inspire but make them laugh or maybe even understand the situations and relate to them. I don’t know we will see. But hey, this is the first step! My first blog and my first realisation that one of my dreams and life goals has finally come true!

I am about to take the first steps into serious adulthood, although I cant imagine that my behaviour will change too much, I still feel 18 at times. But here it is at the ripe old age of 25 I have found that anything really is possible when you put your mind to it. It’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination but its possible. It really is and for the first time I can genuinely say I am proud of myself!

Nice to meet you and thanks for reading.

Till next time.

Naomi x