Thursday, December 4, 2008

So......

...it's been a minute since I wrote last. Too much time on Facebook. And therein lies the problem... cuz now there's so many folk I know on Facebook I'm reluctant to tell my tales since if they wander over here--and some do--they can probably figure out who I'm talking about.

Not that I tell unpleasant tales.

And not that there's that much to tell.

I'm sort of rattling around in my head. Feeling out what my next step will be.

I got into a discussion with Fatlady the other night about meds. I go back and forth about the whole thing, and I don't knock anyone who decides to go that route... I really don't. But I guess I have a fundamental distrust of them, since I don't see the difference between them and say, ganja. Having grown up in a country where a spliff was a common medicine--even though technically it was illegal--I guess what I don't trust is the line that meds help take the edge off so you can deal with your problems. Well, so does herb. So does tequila. For instance, tequila makes me downright euphoric and able to cope. But I wouldn't go and self-medicate with it on a regular basis because I know that 1.) there are side effects and 2.) ultimately nothing really changes except that you feel momentarily better. Same with meds.

I guess I've been wondering about it because most of the people I know who consider meds or who end up using meds have something in common and that is that they tend to be artistic. And most of the artistic people I know are downright crazy. They either write well, or paint, or sing, or have a musical talent. The especially crazy ones do more than one thing. We already know sensitive artistic souls carry with them issues that drive them mad. But at the same time it's what drives you to create. Who are you without that sensitivity? Artistic people who go on meds report feeling better, but many of them say they can't play their instrument, or sing, or write. And then they end up going off the meds. And feel worse because they know the difference between "feeling better" and not "feeling better." And feeling better is in quotes since I question what "better" actually means.

And so I wonder.

I went to an exhibit of Graffiti art at Hostos Community College in the Bronx last night. A room full of nuts. Seriously. One guy was walking around with a kerchief over his mouth and nose that was printed with the words "Art is my weapon". One guy had lost an arm, probably doing something he shouldn't be doing, and was definitely strange. To say nothing of the old dudes (really my age or a little older) who were walking with so many issues that it made them appear older than they were. Yet the work on the walls was out of this world. If you're in the neighborhood it's a show well worth seeing.

Having gone through my bout of extraordinary psychic pain very recently, I wonder. My problems haven't gone away; without meds I feel better and am coping, even though technically my problems have escalated. But I guess going through all that pain and coming out the other side, ultimately I'm stronger. I could have done without the pain, no doubt. It sucked. And it sucked my time up. But I came to a few conclusions about myself in the process and had I taken meds I wonder if I would have come to the same place?

Out of fire comes new life, new growth...

So here I sit, wondering where my life will go. My conversations with the Fabulous are still going on... but he like me has that "thing" and he procrastinates and I'm not sure I'm all that patient anymore, although I may have fired him up. But I'm running out of time. There's things I want, having gone through all that pain I know for certain what I'm looking for and what I want, but I know my time is short. Two years, tops.

And so I came up with Plan B. Fostercare. And I find it a little amusing how quickly people tell me to "be careful" or that it might be more than what I can handle.

But there are sooooo many children in need of love and support, many of them of little brown babies, who are in need of a home.

And I realized, through all that pain and hell, that I need to love. On my own terms in my own strange little way. And children don't challenge you on HOW you love, so long as you love them. Receiving love is good, and I need that too, but I have the need to give it. So I wonder...

The cons are though, that it would pretty much wreck whatever chances I have of actually going someplace to meet anyone interesting. So maybe I'll wait two more years before I get into it. I haven't made up my mind.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

My Sun's photo, along with his classmates, appeared in the NY Daily News. His music school's violin ensemble was asked to play at the Children's Inaugural Ball in Washington, D.C. He had sort of casually mentioned the possibility the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, as I took him and the Moon to school. Monday I was going through his school's Purple Folder (how parents and the school communicate) and saw I needed to sign a consent form for photos to be taken. Tuesday the News came and photographed the kids. Wednesday it was out in the paper. We had gotten to school at 6:45A because the Sun and Moon were going on their 4/5 grade camping trip, and on the way I picked up the paper. By the time the kids were off on their trip and I'd gone upstairs to help out on a new-parent-tour of the school, the office phone was ringing off the hook. NBC News wanted to come in and interview the kids.

It was probably just as well the entire (well, most of them, anyhow) 4/5 class was out. Gives the hoopla a chance to die down...

But it's cool. He's going to play for the Obamas!!!!

9 comments:

Lovebabz said...

I too used to be leary of meds. But then I began to realize, would I feel this way if my child had cancer and needed treatment, or asthma and need his nebulizer.

My son is on meds for his mental health issues. He is all the better for it. His challenges are not so overwhelming to him...we see it.

Fostering children requires a lot of commitment and fortitude. If you have other plans...I say go with your other plans. As the Mother of 4 adopted children you have to be 100% passionate about fostering children. It is a long and tough process. Yes, one filled with joy and real accomplishment but hard and time consuming.

Give yourself time to continue discerning what you want for yourself and your life. You seem to be on an enlightened path.

Happy Holidays!

professor said...

fostering is very hard...and time consuming...and bottom line is you can't fight genetics...think of choclahontas...even though we did the best we could, there are just some things she does that is TOTALLY her other family...but the rewards are even greater than when you have your own child...

The Bear Maiden said...

@Lovebabz, yeah but I'm leery of meds in general depending on the condition... and more importantly, the severity of the condition. Especially asthma. Seeing as how I suffered hardcore with Asthma for YEARS without meds. And I remember the night I KNEW, at 6 years old, what it was like to be close to death. But I learned from that experience about conquering fear and having faith--and years and years later, when I called the ambulance to come give me meds in the middle of the night, I'll never forget the look on the tech's face when he looked at my blood oxygen level. He asked me how I'd be able to come to the door, down a flight of stairs, and back up in the condition I was in.

So this is what causes me to wonder, cuz A MAJOR beef I have with asthma meds is that docs are so busy prescribing them, that they don't treat the cause. But that's another rant for another day. No doubt, there are some folk for whom any kind of meds are a necessity... and my uneducated opinion is that in particular, babies who may be born with chemical imbalances due to parental use of unsanctioned drugs, etc could really benefit.

But what I worry about is the tendency of our society to throw easy chemical solutions at a problem without really delving into the cause, and a tendency for the fast pace of our society that prevents us from taking the TIME we may need to heal. Cuz no doubt manmade meds work hella faster than natural ones...

...which is why, when it became apparent that the Diva was going to suffer with the type of asthma I had, and actually worse, I told Professor if they give her meds, don't even blink. Give them to her.

Cuz we never want for our children to suffer...

As for fostercare. I've been quietly mulling over the prospect for a very long time, and it's only now I'm publicly mulling it over, probably cuz I'm closer to making up my mind. And I think the question for me is not so much whether or not I WILL do it... but the timing. Now, or in a few more years???

@ Professor, you bore the brunt of raising Choclahontas for the simple fact I realized early she could only have one mama... and at that point in our lives you were much better suited to it, believe it or not, than I was. But you were never alone. And I completely disagree that the rewards are more when you have your own. I love my peanut with every fibre of my being, but my girl Diva will always have a special place... with all her issues and isms, and if I had to do it over, and say it over, I'd say it again the same way now I did when it looked like we were going to lose her... there is no way we are giving up this fight. There is no way we are giving back this baby. She belongs to us. And she always will.

And genetics be damned... it's just a different make up and maybe genetically unfamiliar, but on the real, she's more us than any of us. And one of these days you mark my words, she's gonna be better off than the rest of us. And I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

The Bear Maiden said...

Actually, sis, I misread what you said about the rewards. My bad. so yeah, you're right and I can still say what I said... I wouldn't vave missed it for the world. That's my girl...

professor said...

it's ok...when you have your own the rewards are there...the bond, the hugs, the accomplishments...but when you foster or adopt, it's so unknown...especially when they've been abused or neglected...you tend to really celebrate the small steps that one might overlook when it's your biological...
yes, she is going to be something great...after the accident she did lag, but I started college at about 28, so she's already ahead of me...

onesillymama said...

I agree with you that medications are probably way overused in our society, as we are a quick-fix, don't try to figure out the real cause bunch, on the whole. OTOH I worry when people say that drugs may be bad, and other people who might benefit from them steer away.

I can understand the link between sensitivity and the creative "output" for lack of a better word. If I were in that situation, I could see myself deciding that the effects of the drugs would not be worth it.

I'm not a creative person though... so I don't have that drive. And I don't say I'm not creative to diminish myself, but that I certainly don't have any artistic talents that have shown themselves, nor do I have the desire to foster any. (OK, I would love to be able to sing well, but I live fine with belting off-tune in the car. :-) ) So I haven't had that worry.

All I can tell you is my own story, which is that I was in therapy throughout my 20s, working and building a "career", spending time with friends and family, etc. My lifelong weight issues kept me from doing things I wanted to and were my excuse as to why I couldn't be in a romantic relationship. My therapist, who had to that point been a pretty loyal Freudian, suggested that I try a then newish(1995) drug, Prozac. I read a couple of books about it and decided to try it out. And for me, it was life-changing. The crippling fear that I felt in new situations went away; I still got(and get) anxious but found that I could actually do things. Example: around the time I started the P, my employer sent me out of state to train some people at another location. I had once once before flown alone, or stayed in a hotel alone, and the whole idea almost paralyzed me. How would I find my way around? Would I just get lost forever?My original trip was postponed, and the reschedule happened about 6 weeks after I started P. It was amazing; I felt confidence, while a bit apprehensive, and did great. I even took a side trip to visit family of a friend while I was there. And my therapy went a lot better; once the inhibition was taken away, I could talk about issues with my therapist that I'd been far too embarrassed/ashamed/whatever to discuss. I ended up going off the P after about 2 years. I've been on anti-depressants off and on since, and now find that I am much more "me" on them. Having PPD twice (the second time being much worse and very scary) I think that my chemistry has shifted and that I need the boost to be able to participate in and enjoy my life more.

And that's the other thing; some people's chemistry is off, sometimes a little, and sometimes WAY off. Two people very close to me would not be here today if it were not for medication. One is fighting demons now and I am praying that different meds, more therapy, or SOMETHING will help.

Geez, I came online to do some holiday shopping on Amazon and ended up writing my own book. Thanks, Bearmaiden, for giving me the chance to put some things I've been thinking "out there". I've not been blogging in a while, though I have a lot going on inside. Probably should get back to it...

BigBear said...

Hey I found Happy Pills at the Vitamin shop, 2 for $2.00 and they actually work and since you get them 2 at a time you use them when you have too. Plus they natural, B6, St johns wort and other natural stuff, i highly recommend them. they got me thru my class when I felt like a coughing headachy eye hurting mess and they got me thru a day of leather work with my assisstant with ADD LOL

Ginger As in Green Tea... said...

I'm finally on antidepresseants. I'm still writing (just not blogging for a variety of reasons). In fact, the antidepressants have actually lifted enought of the fog so I can think coherently enough to write. I NEVER wrote when I was crazy, like realy crazy, I was too busy being crazy.

Funny thing is the drugs don't make you not feel. I feel crap. I still get angry, sad, etc. I just don't get so wrapped in those emotions that I can't function. For me it came down to this: I was no longer just making myself miserable. I was my making my kids and the man I love miserable. That's not cool.
Oh and I don't think they've taken a way any of the issues either. Same shit...still dealing, just in a much better place to deal.

KELSO'S NUTS said...

You got more company, again. I survived menengitis when I was 5. And I inherited very, very low seratonin and dopamine levels from both parents who are given to depression and acute anxiety and drug and alcohol addiction.

Both are novelists and editors. I guess I'm creative in my own special way but I'm not a writer. I move money for a living.

I've had three depressive episodes in my life and found that SSRIs relieve them. I've found that I can tolerate sertraline with no side effects whatsoever and have gone to a small maintainance dose to keep blood leves and have not had a depressive episode in 11 years despite all sorts of stresses and pressures.

I find benzodiazipines work for acute anxiety. So, I'm not really a prude about medication. I also know that I'm going to be dependent on those and on some more entertaining things as well no matter what and have discussed this in detail over 5 years wth a psycho-pharmacologist. He said I was a bad candidate for rehab because despite having used copious amounts of drugs and having drunk the Red Sea of booze, I wasn't doing it to "fill a psychological need, rather to fill a physical need," he told me. Having always been highly functional and successful, I was best off, he felt, finding which were suitable and which were not given my overall profile. It was alcohol I gave away which makes sense if I'm taking anti-anxiety meds, too.

The unexamined life is not worth living and the life of shame isn't either. I believe that in America which has a very neurotic attitude in general about psychology and psychoactive drugs medical and recrational.

Nobody's perfect. I sure am not. But it's easier to be honest about not being perfect. I'm reached a station in adult life at which if someone would judge me for being a depressive and/or for getting high, that's not a person I want anything to do with anyway.