As I begin the process of discovering my process, it might help us both if I share a recent conversation I had with a new friend via email.
This person found me through my book, “It Takes Guts To Be Me”.
And he had questions regarding how I handled the transition off meds, while adding what was really missing.
And I had to start posting some damn thing or I never would.
Truehope and my experiences: Hmmm…I have so much to share about that and for so many reasons. And with the passage of time, I have a different understanding of what all of this has meant.
Let me first inject something that came later. I had the co-owner and his son share a stage with me at a mental health expo some years back. The owner admitted to me that I’d done something that even they could not help people with, and that was to manage my newfound sanity.
Truehope has had loads of success with de-medicating people. But as it turns out, many of those people cannot handle wellness. They can’t understand it. They feel too much and become overwhelmed by too many new things. To them, this is scarier than the original illness and the meds side effects, so they go back to that way. I am one of the few who’ve built a successful Step Two. Which, now, I am trying to expand into something separate from just fighting mental illness. But keep reading.
I still stand behind all I said about them, regarding the science and the Why of it all. (Here’s a research link from their site. Before I ever started taking their stuff, I read every single word of any research from them or about them that I could find. I put weeks of study into it before ever calling.)
And I am still good friends with the CEO. But that came after my success with their program. They are truly good people on a good mission and they lead from their hearts. I can’t stress that enough.
And I feel that all the punishment my physical self endured from toxins and stress really did need their chemical answer to help heal me.
But what I feel they might have that’s even more important than their products is their support team. I mentioned this in the book. I LIVED on the phone with them, as I endured the rough transition off meds. Their helping hands played a huge part in enabling me to overcome and survive the really fucked up transition. And it was every bit of fucked up.
I have the same to say about Centerpointe. Their CDs were massively helpful but I also LIVED on the phone with their support staff as I tried to understand why anything in my head and life was as it was as I transitioned. And more. CP has more to say about all of life and their input is invaluable.*Ken’s note: This next bit is the pivot point to all I’d been doing and what I’m doing next. This is where I failed many.
Now, as far as how I dealt with the transition when I wasn’t on the phone with support people: I gutted it out, mostly. And that’s where my system fails people. I learned, in retrospect, that I had what it took to NOT go back to drugs, regardless of how scared I was or how bad I felt. I kept telling myself that my 3-inch thick psych file proved, scientifically, and beyond a shadow of a doubt, that meds could NEVER help me and would ONLY hurt me.
I chanted that to myself like a mantra as I endured hours-long panic attacks, refusing to touch the huge bottle of Klonopin in my desk drawer. (In the end, Klonopin was the only thing that could even dent my panic.) I just hung in there, reminding myself that there was no Plan B. I had no choice. I gutted it out or died. And Marines don’t quit.
And there’s another thing I could not pass on to other sufferers. My Marine attitude. That will to win, or at least to not give up, even in the face of dooming odds.
Those two lessons about myself eventually made clear to me that I’d done something unique, and even with all my steps, many just could not do it.
And dealing with the unwell became painful for me. I partly empathized too much, which added unnecessary pain to my day. But I also grew very frustrated when they just couldn’t stick to the plan. And many thought I was a scumbag for charging anything for my help.
Since I was also trying to build a business out of this, you can see my predicament. I subsequently stopped all bipolar assistance about 4 years ago. Yet, I knew it still mattered to my own growth, as well as the fact I had something powerful in me to help others.
So, that is why I am reformatting all of these experiences into something else that’s more useful and for a wider batch of people.
And I want to do work that makes me happier than when I was 100% about bipolar. That was a stepping stone to what I’ve become. And I’m excited to fully understand what it makes me now.
I want to stress that I still feel mightily for those fighting mental illnesses and addictions but that I’ve beat those demons and wish to explore new lands; see where my old knowledge can take me next.
And I’m looking to see who’d like help from someone who’s survived what I have but do not, themselves, need direct help with those same areas either. If this is you, please let me know below.