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To be or not to be...different


Uh oh. Here comes another anecdotal and self-aware journal entry blog post. Yup. You guessed it. So, shall we?

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A lot has changed. New year, new President, new ban, new ideas...yet I am still me. New endeavors are in the midst.

I have since decreased most of my medications. And now I'm more me than I have been in 3 years. It's good and bad. I stopped therapy due to not having insurance but plan to go back once I find a new doc on my plan. Starting over....ugh. Not going to be fun.

But here I want to write down my struggle. I struggle to be who I think I need to be and who I am naturally. It's not about being cool or fitting in at this point. I already know I have a lot of "personality." About enough for two or three people. That's either your thing or it's not. Some call it quirky, unique, crazy, lots of different things. I've always had to edit myself in crowds and at work, in school...everywhere. That is why being on the stage was so easy for me and a way to let go. Little did I know then that "acting" was more about holding back than letting go. Nevertheless, I learned, and I know now that I'm a true performer when I'm dancing or singing. The acting comes out of that need to perform.

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But now I run my own crowdfunding gig and manage content for an agency and I love it. It's tough, it's new, but it keeps me on my toes and it's probably why I thrive there. BUT. Since I have changed my medications I find my struggles coming back. I am now forcing myself to write pros and cons to be able to decide if I can truly work AND hold onto my true self or go back and continue to medicate so that I can better manage the day to day.

Pros of quitting Adderall (ADHD) and Birth Control
- No stomach problems
- Get to drink more coffee
- Fall asleep easier
- Able to do many tasks at once
- More talkative and social
- Feel feelings more intensely
- Not jumpy or feeling "high"
- More hyper, my natural high, not from a substance
- No cheek biting or foot tapping
- More creative and inspired to sing and write music
- Actually open to more people on a regular day, more extroverted
- Flirtatious, smiley, and aware of my surroundings
- More interested in interacting with strangers and saying hello
- More hormonally emotional but that's okay
- No birth control pill to remember to take
- Regular cycle means everything is firing on all cylinders and I even respond to men differently

Cons of quitting Adderall (ADHD) and Birth Control
- Get my monthly period
- More easily fatigued and tired
- Spend more money on coffee
- Interrupt people when they are talking, can't hold back
- Speak too much about topics, some unrelated to conversation
- Express opinions without being prompted or asked
- Nervous energy comes out in different ways like increased hair pulling and rapid thoughts
- Weight gain and increased appetite
- Rapid thoughts
- Friends notice that I have more energy and are more overwhelming to be around.
- Co-workers notice my extra talkativeness and my difficulty to stick to a topic.
- Hard time staying focused
- Afternoon slump
- Without birth control, there's an added stress when meeting someone new or going out

As you can see these are tough things. In both, you can see why I started with my prescribed meds and was on them for awhile. Now, weened off, I'm living a different life every day. It's tough for me to decide what to do. I hate knowing that my unmedicated self is so overwhelming. I even overwhelm myself and I hate that I can't stop in some instances whether it's talking or taking in social situations because my mind moves so quickly.  I adore the attention and I literally cannot slow down. It hurts me to know that people can't handle it. Adderall works amazingly for me. I'm aware. I listen. I slow down enough. I'm calm. I have a nervous "high" energy when I take it, but I am so focused yet calm. It definitely is a good medication. I mean it is basically meth. Just dosed out properly. I definitely miss the lack of appetite. I was soooo skinny and not that hungry. But I would get dizzy from not eating and bite my tongue, cheek and tap my fingers. So with the good comes the annoying symptoms. I couldn't really drink coffee because it was too harsh in combo with the pills. But I would get so much done and have the energy to do more and then some.

A lot to think about. Do I do what makes me keep up with society? Or do I stay me and suffer through it and try my hardest. I hate feeling like I can be better and I am just not who I think I should be. On top of that, it's like I know I can be "too much," but it feels so free that I am me again. I literally smile sooo much more without the meds. Yet I am not best self (the one that is efficient and calm). I am sure that many have this struggle. My life is balancing act for sure. Never getting it just right is a specialty. I'm an all or nothing person. But I seek evenness and neutrality. Once obtained if possible, I feel sad because I am driven so much by my feelings. To not feel them is a simpler way, but aimless and without intent.

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I have continued my anti-depressant, because lezbehonest, to stop, would be a TERRIBLE idea. Don't want to go back to panic attacks. I am considering adding to my medication if my new doc sees fit. I am still struggling through this winter just on a day to day basis and not really about anything in particular. So I know it's MDD or something and that part of me isn't being treated. Plus without the Adderall as a mood booster, I literally just feel more sad because I am not "up." I used to be like Karen from "Will & Grace" with here's bowl of uppers and downers up for grabs. Lol. No, seriously. But now more cold turkey, I'm just like....waaahhhhhhh.

Is that normal? Normally feeling like life is hard and you are sad? Isn't that just human? We can't all be happy all the time. Or be good enough all the time. But we sure try, don't we? 

We drink more caffeine to get through the day...energy drinks...all sorts of things to be enough. To fill into the mold of a hard-worker, non-stop competitor, or best mom, or best you. It's soooo much all the time and I only have me to take care of. I can't image needing to take care of another person right now.

Once I get to the bottom of this, I think I will know my answer. Not just an answer, but maybe the path that will help me enjoy the joys of my real self. Something that can help me cope with the every changing landscape of my life, my emotions, my self-care and my career. I don't want to make excuses why I'm "extra." That's right. I'm extra AF and have been since I was born and almost died like a million times (about 4). I know...DRAMA. Can't help it that I was born a Qween (yes I put a "w" on purpose).

Cheers to being different. Cheers to being sad sometimes. Cheers for feeling the feelings of trees. 
Cheers for puns and snorting when you laugh. 
Cheers to when you drink the whole bottle of wine on accident. Cheers to all you Queens out there who haven't heard that you are enough in awhile...
because you are....
we are. 
Now SLAY with me.

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If you have any thoughts or advice, feel free to email or comment! Feel free to also quote me or reach out. Give credit to @alexinhwood or contact: alexinhwood@gmail.com

xoxo,
@alexinhwood 


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