The last 3 months have been a continual exercise in listening. To myself. To others. To my parents. To my gut. To my siblings. To my healthcare providers. For someone as independant as I am and for someone as stubborn as I am, it's not been easy, but I did it anyway. And by doing so, I've managed to change my life.
For starters, most of you know I've battled dizziness issues for the last 4+ years. After endless tests, I received a definitive diagnosis of Severe Panic Disorder. Upon hearing my diagnosis, my Doctor offered me two choices...#1 - Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or #2 - Medication
For years...seriously, YEARS, I've battled the idea of taking Meds to overcome my issues. I thought if I just worked out harder, tried to relax more, forced myself to walk more, tried not to care, it would all go away. Yeah, not so much. In the end, I was more panicked than ever and started experiencing 8-10 panic attacks a day, some pretty severe.
So I gave the meds a try. BEST DECISION EVER!!! I feel normal again! Within a week, the panic attacks all but vanished. Walking got easier. The stuff that used to piss me off and keep me up all night just didn't matter anymore. I got my life back!
Granted, the first two weeks were an adjustment. I'm on .25mg Zoloft and the first 2 weeks a jacked up stomach and insomnia were my BFF's. Started taking small shots of Benedryl an hour before bed which worked like a charm. The tummy issues cleared up after 3 weeks. Lost weight too cause my apetite vanished.
The timing was perfect since in the space of 20 days I accepted a new job in CA, gave notice to my landlord, gave away or donated most everything I owned, helped organize another Ignite Boulder, said goodbye to numerous friends and packed up my car and drove to CA with a road trip buddy I met 2 weeks before I left. All accomplished with little to no drama other than throwing my back out the day before I moved.
I'm convinced Zoloft played a HUGE part in keeping me calm & collected over the last several months. Told my Dr that I WISH someone had made me take this wonderful medicine when my symptoms first started. Guess it happened at the right time for the right reason, but it's really sad that my own ignorance made me suffer much longer than needed.
There's been many instances since my move that I've decided to defer to the wishes of others and stop always having to be in control. Or be right. 7 years ago I lost a friendship that I wish I hadn't, all cause I chose to be right when (in retrospect) wish I'd chosen to be nice instead.
While moving in with Dad and Mom was bound to have adjustments (and it has) it's been easier than I expected thanks to my new mindset. In listening not only to the words but to the intent behind the words, to the emotions that accompany the words, to the unsaid thoughts behind the words, I've reached a new and better level of understanding of my parents and their wants and needs. I've also reached a new and better level of understanding of what I want and need.
I want my parents to be happy and healthy. To laugh more than they cry. To try to understand what they're going thru and treat each of them with care and dignity and ahavachesed (lovingkindness in Hebrew).
I became a better person the day I decided to just shut up and listen.