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I need a change of pace.

I sat at my desk at work today and was bored. I am just plain bored there. I’ve been getting better at telling myself that I’m only staying there until after my boss’ baby is born, then I’m restarting my job hunt. Some days just get hard to sit through though, especially since my job is rarely intellectually stimulating and I get little to no respect.

In the meantime, I’ve really been trying to change things up in my life – I’m training with a personal trainer three times per week, I play volleyball once per week, and I’m a member of a women’s volunteer group that meets a few times per month. So far, doing all of this has certainly helped, but I’m still not fully happy. Before my anxiety and depression blew up almost two years ago (wow, time flies), I was always happy regardless of my situation. I was courageous and had lots of faith in myself and the world at large. I’ve been a lot better, my depression is gone and my anxiety is phenomenally better, but I still have to fight to relax and just be happy and enjoy.

I feel as though my job is the one thing that’s really holding me back at this point. I want more flexibility and I want meaningful work. The day-to-day boredom is mind numbing and I want to be excited to go to work in the morning. In theory, I’d really like to start my own business, but for now, at 26, I’m just focusing on having steady employment within my field. However, for now, I’ve made the decision to stay put and do the right thing for karma’s sake. I also needed a break from the job hunt – looking for a job in investments is difficult in this economy.

In a selfish way, I hope down the line that my patience pays off and I am rewarded for helping my boss out.

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Posted by on February 1, 2012 in Changing My Situation, Life's Goals

 

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Two weeks worth of thoughts…

I have done what I vowed not to do! Or at least tried not to do! I haven’t written a blog entry in 2 weeks! So this may be lengthy, please bear with me.

The last two weeks of my life have been pretty busy with work (of course), looking for new work (interviewing, applying, etc.), the inception of fall softball and volleyball leagues (I love me my sports), watching American football (Go Jets!), and various wedding activities as I am in my college friend’s bridal party (she’s getting married this weekend). Needless to say, I haven’t had too much time to write, but I’ve had a lot of thoughts – so why not take a break at work and post something, right?

I’ve been applying/interviewing for several positions as of late within the NYC area and it’s been going well so far albeit slow, but in this economy, it’ll have to do. I thought that I’d have a much harder time with it considering my anxiety, but it’s been going pretty smoothly (knock on wood) and I’m hoping that it continues to do so.

In addition to playing sports this fall, I’ve recently joined the Junior League of Bergen County, a women’s volunteer organization that helps a plethora of people throughout Northern NJ. My decision to join this group in essence was to “pay it forward”. After what I went through last year and surviving it, I feel as though I owe it back to the universe, as it were, to pay my good fortune forward; to help others the way that I myself was helped during my time of need by my family and friends.

In terms of my recovery from my birth control reaction, I’m almost six months off the pill (Oct 7th to be exact) altogether. It’s amazing how time flies – I’m already 1 year off of Yaz as of Sept 18th, which is a blessing because that’s one of the most dangerous drugs on the market. I’m still dealing with irregular cycles and PMS issues, mainly anxiety, but things have been so much better and easier to deal with. I think that’s in part to my naturopathic regiment of 10,000U of Vitamin D, a dropperful of Liquid B12, 6 Gentian Root capsules, and 2 Min Chex capsules per day. I got my period this past Saturday (in between a 28 and 35 day cycle) and I still have it today – I had some anxiety last night into today, but it’s seemed to pass. This cycle has by far been the easiest and oddly enough, it’s the first one in which I’m on this natural plan, so I’m hoping that all the vitamins have helped. I see the naturopath this coming Monday, so I’m hoping that it goes well.

I’ve noticed this strange thing that happens with my period, or at least it’s been happening since I’ve stopped taking the pill. I chart my periods now – Apparently, I get my period for 3 days, then it stops on the 4th day, only to come back on the 5th day. And on the 4th day into the 5th, my anxiety flares up. After reading up on this online, I found these sites, explaining how this can be caused by a hormonal imbalance or stress.

http://periods.blurtit.com/q961078.html

http://www.simple-remedies.com/home-remedies/womens-health-issues/period-starts-and-stops.html

http://www.everydayhealth.com/anxiety/why-anxiety-spikes-with-your-period.aspx

http://www.midlife-passages.com/page121.html

This morning, I had told a very good friend of mine about this. She’s currently on Yaz and has been taking it for almost 5 years (although she’s taken Ocella as well in addition to using Nuvaring once). She’s always been pretty skeptical about my “birth control reaction” being that she’s on the pill herself. I can understand that; I wouldn’t want to hear about someone having terrible side effects as a result of a medication I was using. But I always preface our conversations with “this doesn’t happen to everyone”, etc. – I’m not preachy about this, I really try hard to be objective and PC, if you will. Anyway, this afternoon she e-mails me with this:

“So I don’t mean to pry or anything, but do you think there could be some other underlying factors behind your anxiety?  You’ve been off the pill for a while so I was just wondering if you think there could be another reason for it other than hormones?”

My response:

“No worries… Well, I’ll always been an anxious person, that’s how I am by nature. What kills me now are the physical symptoms of anxiety, which used to be extremely inconvenient and now just scare me into anticipatory anxiety (i.e. what if I have a panic attack, etc.) as they are less intense and fewer and further between.  I’ve never had this prior to the pill, nor is there any history in my family of anyone having these symptoms (anxiety itself is another story). What I think happened (so does my psychologist and my naturopathic doctor) is that the pill exacerbated my anxiety and brought on the physical symptoms. That would make sense because I haven’t had a panic attack since being off the pill almost 6 months ago (Apr. 7th to be exact). There was even a HUGE change with me just getting off of Yaz and switching (Last pill I took was Sept 18th) based on this http://action.citizen.org/content.jsp?content_KEY=2316&t=notmypill.dwt . I did have panic attacks after that while on Levora (2nd gen) and Zovia (1st gen), but they weren’t nearly as bad as they were on Yaz – which has been proven to cause such reactions in women, as are other forms of hormonal birth control – ring/implanon/depo (shot)/IUD/etc. – http://www.ditchthepill.org/

I’ve been off of the pill for almost 6 months, but the synthetic hormones in the pill can stay in your system anywhere from 3 months to over a year, depending on the length of time you’ve been taking them, what type, etc. So it’s very possible that it can still be a hormonal imbalance. Also, my anxiety on the pill (since 2010) up until now is like clockwork when compared to my cycle. Now I get it around my period and that’s it, like PMS. I also had blood work done last month and I still have a high testosterone level caused by the pill, in addition to deficiencies in B12 and D – which is caused by the pill and I’m currently looking to correct. http://www.virginiahopkinstestkits.com/everywomanbc.html and http://www.healingwithnutrition.com/newsclips/archive/drugdepletion.html

I honestly couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried. And I’m not the only one. There are thousands of women going through this

http://www.aphroditewomenshealth.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=postlist&Board=7&page=1

http://www.createforum.com/yasminsideeffec/viewforum.php?f=1&mforum=yasminsideeffec

I’ve gone through a lot with this garbage and it’s very very real – in addition to my anxiety, I developed agoraphobia, and  I was so depressed last summer/fall that I was suicidal. I also lost a ton of hair, (especially once I switched off Yaz but also when I got off all together), plus my scalp became oily, I saw changes in my skin, my periods were completely off (the pill shuts down your natural hormone production, hence why some women have problems having periods/conceiving post pill) and I had little to no sex drive. My both my gynecologists (I switched drs in Feb) have admitted that the pill can cause issues – unfortunately, their remedies were more pills, which I finally declined. I do believe very strongly that the pill caused this damage – this isn’t me and most of these symptoms have corrected themselves since I’ve stopped taking hormonal birth control.

I’m not saying that this happens to everyone, because it doesn’t, unfortunately, I’m one of the unlucky ones.”

Sometimes it’s hard describing this to people because I have to get into extreme detail in order for them to understand it. Although I’m lucky because my family and boyfriend completely support me and agree, especially since they saw my symptoms at their worst and have seen how far I’ve come since 2010.

It seems as though I still have some time to go in this recovery, but every day that I don’t take synthetic hormones and other unnecessary drugs is one day closer to a healthier, happier me.

 

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A note on therapy.

I had my therapy appointment tonight. I see a psychologist every 3 to 4 weeks and have been seeing him over a year now. He mentioned how I’ve progressed tremendously over the past year and I was incredibly pleased to hear that. My anxiety has tapered off so much, it’s quite noticeable, and I haven’t been depressed in a few months now. The only thing that I’d like to work on is not taking my Xanex with me EVERYWHERE for fear that I’m going to have a panic attack. But other than that, I’ve progressed nicely.

So here is my thought – why are people so opposed to therapy? Why such a stigma surrounding something that will help you? I’ve spoken with many of my friends over the past year or so as I’ve fallen into and gotten out of my anxiety and depression ridden rut. Apparently I’m not the only person among the people who I know who’s been affected by these conditions for one reason or another, mine just happened to be a chemical issue (Thanks Bayer). However, whenever I bring up the topic of therapy to these individuals who are mainly my friends and some even family, they cringe; it’s almost as if they are trying to be supportive without saying how they really feel, i.e. “oh, so you really did go off the deep end”. I never went off the deep end. The deep end would be something serious and negative, a la suicide, not therapy. Therapy has done nothing but provided me an outlet that I cannot find anywhere else.

It seems as though a lot of people who I speak to are all for therapy for other people like myself, but not for themselves personally and I find that troubling. But, I’ve taken, or at least I’ve tried to take, a hands-off approach in this matter, as I understand people deal with things differently. With all the pressures of today’s society and all of the life events happening in my friends’ lives (marriages, babies, job changes/career decisions), it seems like they need someone to talk to.

Don’t knock it ’til you try it…

On another note, I e-mailed the Bergen County Junior League to inquire about joining and becoming a volunteer. In addition, I found a panic attack/anxiety support group close by; I’m going to call the director sometime this week and see if I can share my story to the group, perhaps get some insight from others and help someone out at the same time. After my ordeal, I feel a very strong urge to “pay-it-forward” and I’m going to make sure that I take time out to do just that. I’m putting my job search on the back burner for now. The recruiters that I’m working with know exactly what I want, so I’ll leave it to them to find good interviews for me. In the meantime, I’ll spend my time doing more fulfilling things than trekking into the city for worthless meetings with them.

I’ve also started eating better this week, plus I went to the gym tonight before therapy. I still haven’t cleared my schedule though or taken care of my eyebrows, which look overgrown!! But baby steps I guess…

P.S. 3 weeks off the facebook newsfeed! I really thought I’d miss it, but I really don’t. It’s awesome being disconnected; not having to read posts from people who love to show-off.

 

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