I walked into my psychiatrist’s office (let’s call him Dr. E) with my husband and my heart was pounding so hard it felt as if it was going to jump right out of my chest. My anxiety was extremely high, despite the fact that I took a Valium as prescribed and had my husband with me. It was a good thing that I wrote everything down that I wanted to say. I opened my notebook and started reading what I wrote, and he seemed to appreciate what I was saying. He let me ask all of my questions; and he answered every one of them thoroughly.
We decided that I would go back to ECT and I would only do it twice a week to start. That was the treatment that Dr. E thinks is the best approach, and he explained why, so that’s the treatment we decided to go with. I’m so happy that I’m not starting at three times a week. He said that he can give me anti-alzheimer’s medications to help with the memory loss and Toradol to help with the migraines and jaw pain. He’s also helping me work on weight loss.
It was such a successful appointment. I feel like Dr. E really listened to what my husband and I had to say. He approached every one of our concerns and answered everything we asked. Now, I just have to go get a physical from my PCP, get an EKG and blood work..
I’ve learned a lot of different lessons over the years. I thought I might share what I have learned with you one lesson at a time; hopefully you don’t have to learn these things the hard way like I did. One of the more recent lessons I’ve learned is to be open-minded. I have always wanted to do things when they were my ideas. I would listen to other people and allow them to explain why they believe I should try something their way, but then I wouldn’t act upon it. A few of these examples include writing, meditation, and doing research.
My AA sponsor used to tell me all of the time that writing would help me work through some issues. I always told her that writing wasn’t for me, even though I never spent much time trying. This went on for years. Writing was also suggested to me by others, and I continued to ignore the suggestion. Finally, my aunt told me that she thought I would be good at blogging and that I could get something out of it. She suggested that I simply look over the idea and see if it’s right for me. After a few weeks, I finally took her suggestion. I now blog every day, usually multiple times a day, and I find it to be extremely helpful. I generally can write my way through issues that I’m struggling with; by the end of a post, I have come up with a solution for the problem I started writing about. Imagine how much easier my life would have been if I had simply been more open to the idea about a decade ago.
Multiple people have suggested to me that meditation could help me. My mom, aunt, sponsor, and several others would bring up the idea of meditation. For some time, they tried to talk me into doing it, but I was against the idea. I had an experience with meditation when I first got sober, and it wasn’t a good one. I had a hard time sitting still, and I was forced to work on meditating. Personally, I don’t like to do anything I’m forced to do. I’m extremely stubborn and I would prefer choose to do an activity on my own terms than have someone else strongly suggest I try it. It has been twelve years since my negative experience with meditation and I was unwilling to let go of that until just a week ago. I finally decided, based on my aunt’s suggestion, to try guided imagery meditation to hopefully help improve my painful bladder disorder. Maybe I could have saved myself a lot of trouble if I was willing to try meditation years ago.
It has also been suggested that I do research regarding any suggestion from my doctors. Research is something that I like to do, but I generally only do it when it’s about something I’m already interested in. What I should do is research every option so I know the truth about my choices instead of just researching what I think is a good idea. There’s a lot of information available to help make decisions regarding our health. I struggle when it’s time to decide how to move forward with my physical or mental health. The research that I do is a great way to help me make educated decisions.
I have come to realize that my life could have been easier if I had been more open-minded. What I have learned from all of this is to work hard at being open-minded. The willingness to consider new options and ideas is a wonderful quality that a person can have to help make their life easier to manage. I don’t have to keep looking back at my past when I wasn’t open-minded; all I need to do now is look to the future with an open mind.