Recently, I reached out to The Evolving Red Lotus for a different perspective on the use of alternative medicine to heal mental health. Please visit her website for our interview on her journey. My interview is as follows:
What mental health illnesses have you been diagnosed with?
Bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, panic disorder, Anorexia B/P sub type, OCD
In what ways have these illnesses changed your life?
I often avoid situations because of uneasiness. I have spent times of my life wanting to do nothing more than sleep all day. I have also had suicide attempts causing me physical injury that resulted in hospitalization.
When did your symptoms first begin? Were there any triggers?
I remember being extremely OCD about my appearance around 10. Around 12 I started finding it hard to eat meals in front of anyone and began my first diet. My mother has extreme anxiety and I may have fed off of her panic and anxiety.
Are you prescribed medications? If so do you feel they are working?
Yes. I take 2 antidepressants, a mood stabilizer, and an antianxiety medication. I feel like they help to an extent. However, I only feel like they allow me to survive and not to actually live.
What outlets do you have that help you control your symptoms?
Sleep is a big one, although I’m told not helpful. I like to exercise and dance, however, also not a great outlet if dealing with ED symptoms. Sometimes I journal or write poetry.
Are you an advocate of Alternative Medicine and if so what practices have you tried?
Yes definitely. I started meditating nightly, which I have found is beginning to calm me down. I have tried acupuncture in the past which helped with pain issues I was having. I recently tried Reiki and was amazed at the pain relief I received.
Do you think there will ever be a time when you are free from pharmaceuticals/ therapy and can live free from your illnesses?
I hope so. This is what I am attempting with this journey. I don’t want to live on medications forever. I want to be healthy and I truly believe that can be accomplished in a natural way.
How do you feel your blog will benefit others with similar problems?
I want to share experiences and give hope to others who are not finding the relief they seek. I want to show that life can get better and become normal and happy again.
Where do you see yourself in five years in terms of your mental health?
I honestly see myself off of all my meds and living a very happy and fulfilling life where I take the time daily to reflect within, do meditations, and take time out to focus on my own wellbeing.
If there is any advice you could give others with similar issues, what would it be?
Never go off of your medications or ignore your doctor’s advice. However, you need to question EVERYTHING. If you aren’t getting the results or answers you need, seek them out, find another doctor, don’t be afraid to ask for a medication change. Look into holistic alternatives, but don’t start or stop anything without consulting your physician.
Overall, in trying to transform your life, what have you learned about yourself?
I’m just starting. Sometimes I feel like I’m stronger than I thought I ever could be, other times I feel like a frail puddle of water. I’m not sure what I’ve learned as of yet. I want to think I can do anything, but other times I just want to curl up on my couch and sleep.
Any final thoughts?
This journey is hard, and not fun. You have to want a change for yourself in order for anything to work. If you don’t want it, no one can want it for you.
I’m trying this tomorrow. I have to admit I am extremely skeptical. It seems strange to me and I’m not exactly sure what to expect. There are supposed to be all these rules to follow before a session. Of course I’ve followed few of them. No chocolate? That’s not even right. Who makes these rules? I have meditated though and limited eating animal products. Not drinking coffee is a no go. Anyway let’s see how this works. 🤔
Maybe I just need structure. Like wake up and meditate, do yoga, exercise. I’m so not a morning person, but I have no more time during the day. It’s my job right now. It’s not my path, but I feel too old and untalented to pursue what I really want. Do you think setting intentions and manifestations really work? Maybe I’ll try that during my meditation. I missed 8 days of Deepak so I won’t get the whole 21 days in. I’ll just do it on my own. Schedule it is. Starting tomorrow…..I think.
I’ve decided not to weigh myself. I ate like a pig Sunday after my last show and was fine with it. Yesterday, however, I purged. I haven’t been meditating because I’ve had no time. Back to it tonight. I’m thinking about trying the serotonin diet. Any thoughts? I can’t be addicted to pharmaceuticals forever. I just want to be normal, natural, and healthy. Ugh! I’m trying!
Yesterday I woke up and did my daily ritual of weighing myself. I was 3 pounds heavier than the day before. The kicker is, I practically starved myself the day before. I’m done with this. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t let a number on a scale determine my happiness. So I ate pizza. And today I ate healthy, but I ate. I’m not fat and I’ve never been fat. I feel really good about my body right now. Will this last? Meditation and exercise must be working. Fingers crossed.
Omg so busy, but I love it. I have dance everyday for a big performance coming up. No time for yoga this week but plenty of exercise. I’ve been able to fit in my meditation. It’s been tough though. I’ve had to eat with my fellow dancers almost everyday. It’s so hard and definitely requires a clonapin 😢. I hate it! Also been purging daily. I’m so nervous I’ll look fat in my costume. I’m striving for that one number on the scale. Once I reach that number I’ll stop. Right?
Ok so much better today. I’ve been exercising and haven’t stopped the 21 day meditation. I forgot to take my antidepressant in the morning and afternoon yesterday so I’m sure that had a detrimental effect on my mood. But I want to go off meds completely. Obviously meditation won’t be enough. Or I’m rushing? I am going to start Acupuncture as soon as I get some more money. And Reiki! I just need the time and the money 😢. Becoming healthy is so hard. I purged once yesterday and felt better. That can’t be my coping mechanism I know. But it did help. And it’s addictive. I will try my best to refrain. Anyway…..soooooo tired. I’m not sleeping well. Trying to at least not take my sleeping pill. A lot of luck that’s been. Caffeine, caffeine, caffeine! Blahhh! I’ll sleep when I’m dead!
My doctor appointment is today. I thought it was May 1st, but that’s my dog’s appointment. I’ve made next to no progress. And today I feel sad. I don’t know why exactly. Just an overall sense of sadness. And I feel fat. Same old shit.
I feel amazing today. I haven’t posted because I’ve been busy over Easter. Between church, meditation, and working out, I feel great. I’ve needed clonapin only once and that was when I ate out in a crowded restaurant. It might be the beautiful sunshine too. Seasonal affect disorder? Okay. Let’s see how long this lasts. And hopefully I can be well enough to be off medication completely? I pray!