Let’s Turn Dark into Light

Let's Turn Dark into Light
Let's Turn Dark into Light

Here's one of my biggest secrets: I used to have a deep love affair with anti-anxiety medications. Those were some of the scariest and exciting days of my life.

With three kids, I see scary and exciting in an entirely different light. Back then, both scary and exciting were extremely detrimental to my life and health and I had no interest in knowing it. It is so so important for young adults to see and recognize the difference between these worlds and how to find a balance in their lives. The problem is, balance is different for everyone. My hard lesson was realizing that these pills were a bandaid to issues I wasn't ready to face. The fun I was having was destroying my relationships and my health and I had to recognize that some parts of this life that I was sabotaging, I'd never be able to recover. I went from being a fun-loving, dancing, flipping fool to an extremely depressed, anxious, lonely person in the matter of a few short months my last year of high school and it was fucking scary.

I went from a carefree teen to dealing with (what seemed like at the time) a heavy diagnosis of a brain malformation, managing a destructive relationship and coping with the varying emotions that came with having a new baby sister and a whole new ballgame of family responsibilities. So what did I do? I ran away. Ran right up to live with the boyfriend who wasn't so good for me at the time, found a psychiatrist who would help me find my new love of drugs and began my journey into a dark and lonely abyss.

The drugs I was on numbed my physical pains associated with the anxiety and fogged out the obsessive and anxious thoughts, the nights out drinking with friends gave me a false sense of excitement and happiness, but my emotional and mental state fell secretly even deeper. Problem: I was so numb on the surface, I couldn't tell. My mood swings became even more extreme, but I was able to keep my scary sides inside until I was back at my apartment or until alcohol released my beasts. Stability was not what these drugs brought me. Instead, I experienced some of the most unbelievable depression and suicidal thoughts. I stopped contacting my real friends and family, and they hardly contacted me. When they did, I was too deep in my own shit to respond. (Sorry, guys) My boyfriend could see that my new surface was a facade and my new level of pain scared him even farther away. My favorite friends supplied my underage drinking and drug experimentation. My control slipped away from me. I can remember staring at my fragile veins and daydreaming about them all leaking out bathing me in a hauntingly beautiful death. Suicide isn't romantic, but on mind altering drugs it sure was. I had a fast wake up call during a life changing, trashy fist fight with my boyfriend. That was the beginning to the end of my dance with the wild life, and my detox of the drugs and alcohol were the final days. Thankfully this came before our surprise pregnancy and we were ready to start a fresh and very differently exciting life down another scary path.

My anxiety was still very palpable and my stress was much higher, but through homeopathy, very deep work reestablishing my spirituality and a load of love and support from my husband I have been able to work through these waves and grow into a person I am now proud of.

Let's be real: depression and anxiety are terrifying, but a LOT of people dip to these feelings at times. Instead of putting a stigma around it, we need to learn to embrace these feelings as valid emotions. We need to feel them and learn from them, not numb them. The problem is a lot of people with these dark moments aren't sure if they can overcome them, aren't sure if they will succumb to the suicidal thoughts or aren't sure if the aching of their heart or stomach will leave lasting physical effects ( as it sometimes does ). Another problem is that everyone is too busy and self involved to support and listen to one another when someone else starts to sink. Visits with psychologists too often turn into referrals to psychiatrists and drugs feel like the only way out. I get it. For some people, this works - and that is wonderful... But for a lot of people, medications is not the answer and is a dangerous route to more destructive things.

Young adults need to hear the stories of their parents so they don’t feel all alone in this transitional period. They need to be told of all the power and expansion that can come from their toughest moments instead of how they have to fall hard before they make the terrifying trek upwards. I’ve learned to take my excuses for running away and use them as platforms for growth. Friction sparks change, but unlike rocks, we have the power to control what type of change we are looking for. (do you want to be the ashes that crumble or the smoke that rises?) We need to find a way to teach this instead of kicking our children from the nest and leaving it to chance. Far too many have succumb to the horrors of drug roulette. If you are a thrill seeker who doesn't think you'll get hurt or swept into the drugs and alcohol - learn from others. Go find a new hobby - go skydiving or ziplining or climb a mountain! Embrace life before you destroy it.

My advice here is to try natural first and reassess your thrills! I use homeopathy for my anxiety and depression bouts now and the difference is that I am not fogged with it, it lifts the crap away from my emotions and paired with some techniques I've learned through the years, it helps me see some clarity in the situation. My homeopath lovingly allows me to feel these emotions, but also helps me to find my way out. And even better, each time I learn and grow instead of hiding away pieces of me that need validation and love. The medications will always be there for emergencies.

WisdomJohn Natoli