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Back To Hell, Sore Back, Back on Meds

Sheridan Taylor

In which our hero details his latest struggles to encourage you, dear reader, and himself, to keep doing everything that needs doin’ to get and stay better. 

I’m back on my meds. I got off ‘em a couple years back.

I haven’t been very active lately. Shit was going off the rails and I really didn’t have a lot energy left to encourage, edify, or entertain. I didn’t want to be spouting a whole bunch of advice that I wasn’t following, so I mostly posted stuff I wrote a couple years ago, when I had things mostly together.

I say it a lot: I ain’t no guru.

I got most of it moving in the right direction, so I’ll share some shit that might encourage, edify, or entertain y’all.

About June my back started really hurting. Everything I’d done for 20 years to manage the pain was making it worse. Around the same time, my stomach started acting up. It was painful and often embarrassing. My whole center was in pain, and it started affecting my sleep. I couldn’t sleep much. I’d either be awake all night, or I’d be awake for 10 – 20 minutes every hour.

The lack of sleep and chronic pain started affecting me emotionally/psychologically. I started being angry all the time again. This reactivated the unhealthy patterns we had created for ourselves when I was batshit crazy. Which brought up guilt and shame. We were going through some shit, emotionally/psychologically, as it was, and this made it worse.

I kept fighting. I kept trying to take care of my physical health. I kept my shrink appointments. I kept trying to catch the negative, lying thoughts in my head and replace them with factual thoughts. But, over weeks, then months, of chronic pain and insomnia, I started losing the fight.

The worst part was the doctors couldn’t’ figure it. Months of my stress levels skyrocketing. The mystery illnesses compounded the stress of dealing with WCB and payroll. Pets died. On and on. Not knowing what the future brings and feeling no control over it is the definition of anxiety.

With anxiety comes the inevitable depression. Flashbacks started again. I was back on the rollercoaster. In recent weeks, it turned on all the old thought patterns and activated all the old, failed coping mechanisms. I was provoking fights in the streets again. I was experiencing road rage again. Finally, a little while ago, I had a massive tantrum in front of my kids. It was humiliating, but I couldn’t stop it. That’s when I decided to go back on the meds. I needed help dulling the rage and slowing the reactions.

We’ve figured out the mystery illnesses. I made appointments to deal with all of it. I connected with a clinic that does ketamine-assisted therapy to reverse the unhealthy thoughts patterns. I harvested enough game to feed my family for the year. I found ways to get more money. On and on. I kept chipping away at things I could control to make life better. I kept doing Work. I went back on meds until I don’t need them anymore.

I’m not posting this for sympathy. I’m not looking for atta-boys or any shit. I’m putting this out there so folks can know that recovery isn’t linear, and it isn’t pretty. Bad shit will happen and the trauma or illness will try to come back.

But now, I know what to do. Now, I know that it’s a temporary state that I can affect. Now, I know that there is always something I can control. Now, I know it’s possible to find calm and joy because I did it before.

I will never quit. No matter how much I think I want to. Our demons cannot defeat us. The trauma, the illness, cannot beat us. They can only try to make us surrender. As long as we never give up, we always win. Life can be tough. So can you.