Cetalopram, Trazadone, Tramadol, melatonin, MSM, lysine, niacin, naproxim sodium, ibuprofin, pancreatic enzymes. Antidepressants, anti-anxiety, anti-insomnia, anti-inflammatory, antacids. Sleep aids, pain relief, relaxants, digestive aids. Prescriptions, over the counter, herbal, naturopathic. There was so much I needed to take to feel a semblance of balance, mentally and physically. Two years ago, life pushed me to the breaking point. I nearly broke, but did not. I bent. I bent low under the weight of all that that swirled around me, threatening to envelop me, suffocate me, beat me to a pulp. Two years ago I was willing to do whatever it took, whatever the doctor prescribed, whatever herbal remedy seemed to offer a glimmer of hope, in order to bring my mind in off the ledge, to pull myself out of an abyss that threatened to swallow me whole and regurgitate me as a pile of hair and bone. It has been a long two years, a remarkable journey. Tonight, I sit here sipping my mint and rosemary tea, after a dinner of green smoothie, reveling in the fact that I am no longer taking any form of readjustment. No prescriptions, no over the counter, no herbal remedies, no meds of any kind. None. It is mind boggling, actually. After decades of reliance on some form of pain relief, digestive aid, sleep aid, and antidepressant, I am free and clear. I have been "clean" for several months now, since before Yule. The funny thing, I can't say I feel any better than I did when I was juggling a pharmacopoeia balancing act, but I definitely don't feel any worse. I am sleeping decently, which for me means only waking up 4 or 5 times a night. My mood swings are moderate, especially compared to the unbridled mayhem of two years ago, though still possibly alarming if viewed in public. My chronic joint pain is exactly that, chronic, but NSAIDS certainly weren't helping all that much, as I know now. The chronic heartburn that plagued me for 20 years went away when I stopped consuming wheat. Yes, I do have a delicate digestive system, but I think that is related to hormones as much as anything, and the fact that our government allows food manufacturers to slowly poison us with chemicals and genetically modified Frankenfood.
The long and short of it is that I am managing my mental and physical health through clean eating and manic exercise. I know that my quirky, slightly obsessive eating habits have made a world of difference in how my mind and body feel. I also know that two to three hours of rigorous physical activity nearly every day has a monumental effect on how well I sleep, how my body feels, and how my brain functions with fewer missteps. No, it is not easy. No it is not an exact science. Yes, it was far easier to medicate things down to a mellow grey and live my life in a bit of a fog, but I do not want to live in fog. It is a delicate balancing act, and I know I am always walking that fine line. I am more fragile without the help of doctor sanctioned little helpers, but that is a risk I am willing to take. Yes, I keep my guard up, work hard to protect myself, build high walls around the delicate garden of my soul. But, to be free of the shackles of one more little white pill, to not panic when I run low on sleep meds, or pain meds, or happy pills, is a freedom that I never imagined. I feel like it is one more step in regaining my power, rebuilding myself stronger and better than ever, reconnecting to a part of myself that I had thought gone for good. One more step down the path towards ultimate health and fitness of body, mind, and soul.