Tag Archive | mental illness

The Demon Within…

One of the biggest things I deal with during this particular time of the year is the big D.  Most people know what I speak of, and I’m sure many of you are sitting on the other side of your computer nodding in complete and utter understanding.

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Depression, as many know, is when a chemical imbalance in our brains result in a disruption of some-sort, creating a sort of chaos in our bodies that causes hopelessness. Most times, depression is the result of a tragedy a person experiences, whether it be a death, break-up, or any of loss of “something”….Sometimes, in my case, it could be just a simple explanation of the weather 5 feet from me.  It is one of my biggest struggles I face with in life, and every year I pray and pray that somewhere, somehow, this feeling of sadness would end.

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So, let’s talk about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)….

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It goes without saying that everyone, both of human and animal alike, NEED sunlight.  The vitamins coming from the sun gives off so much energy and a pulse of life itself, there is no wonder why people love to “Sun bathe”.  Sadly, for me, I’m a Celt by blood.  A mixture of Irish, English, Scottish, and German.  So, putting my pasty self outside for more than a few moments will cause my skin to scream.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t love to be out in the sun.  It’s why I am a morning person, so to speak…(I say that because during the Monday-Friday deal, I’m not really worth talking to in the morning, but that’s a whole other story LOL)

In the Northern Hemisphere, at the time of Litha, otherwise known as Midsummer or the Summer Solstice, the Sun is at his prime, beaming down with such veracity, it even finds the shadiest of places.  But sadly, after that prime day of days, the Sun begins its fall.  And within 6 months, the Sun, although still shining, does not have the luster and awe that we had just a few months before.  For many people, this time is the beginning of Winter.  And we start our slow climb back to the manifestation of the gifts the Sun gives us in the Spring and Summer.

So, during the time after the holiday and New Year season ends, there is a period of silence.  Nothing really happens until the next little break, which is Valentine’s Day.  And then, after that, is the Spring Equinox, Ostara, or as many know it to be, Easter.

What do we do during this period?  Well, for me, I kind of go crazy and start cleaning and regrouping my life, creating goals for the warmer weather to come, all while taking care of my mind, body and soul, who is sadly ill-at-ease over the lack of warm sunlight, growth and overall life.

It’s why I love living myself according to the Celtic Seasonal Calendar.  It makes sense for me, because I always was like a month early to prepare for each season/holiday.  In just a few weeks, MY Winter will be over.  On February 1st, I celebrate the feast day of St. Bridget, who holds the keys of the kingdom for my favorite Season: Spring.

February 1st in the Celtic Calendar is the Season of Imbolc (Pronounced IMM-OLCK).  It is the beginning of the Springtime, the time where our Mother Earth is stirring and beginning her slow process of “waking up”.  Just as we, each morning, open our eyes, stretch our arms and legs, and get reacquainted with the morning and the light, so does Mother Earth.  The soil, through its Winter hibernation, begins to warm up, allowing the seeds within the soil to take heed and blossom.  One of the greatest gifts we can get in the Early Springtime are Crocuses.  They are Mother Nature’s quiet little trumpets, usually peeking up within the snow and cold ground, alerting us all that warm weather IS coming back.  That is the beauty of this planet.  Of where I live.  We know Spring follows Winter.  It’s how life is.

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So, what do I do in the meantime?  Even as I type this out, on this lazy Sunday morning, I feel sad.  Sad because going outside would require me to bundle up because the air is SO cold, it would actually hurt my skin.  Make my eyes water.  Even the “smell” of life, is not there.

What makes me gaga over being outside?  Feeling the grass beneath my bare feet.  Smelling the seasonal flowers breezing through the air.  Seeing the magnificent trees, shrubs and bushes blossom with beautiful green leaves…In the Celtic myths, Autumn and Winter meant Jack Frost was out and about, dropping hints of frost and ice among everything alive, telling them it’s time to die or go to sleep….In the Spring and Summer Months, Jack in the Green is our go-to guy.  He is the one who warms the skies and the Earth, and instead of frost, we have beautiful droppings of dew.

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(one of MANY Jack in the Green Parades held every year in Europe)

This is what makes my pulse quicken, my heart smile and my soul beam.  Warmth, light….like Persephone feeling so out of touch down in the Underworld, where she could not use her Gift with the Living World, and patiently waited until it was time for her to go back up, and be among the Living again, to feel the warmth of the Sun on her skin…Yes, I feel the exact same way.

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Since going off all Depression and Anxiety medicine, and opting for my Kratom intake, I can honestly say it hasn’t been TOO smooth sailing.  Of course it would be easy for me to put some chemicals into my body and numb myself…but it would be a disservice to me to do so.  I know not everyone agrees with me on that.  I always welcome other’s opinions and ideas…it’s just…it’s not for me.  I’ve been very careful over the last several years to deal with my addiction to pain killers…and for someone like me who is always in some kind of pain, it’s an easy excuse for me to pop a pill and call it a day.

No, as much as times like these where I wish I had something to numb my physical and emotional pain of the Winter, I know that in the end, it helps me SEE who I really am, because I am completely bare and open to the senses entirely.  I feel things now more than I ever have.  So, yes, the depression sucks.  But I also know, that there are times I feel such immense joy, that knowing I wouldn’t even feel an inch of that when trying to control my depression with medicine, gives me the honest knowing that I’m doing the right thing.

Don’t get me wrong:  I think about taking something every day.  Even right now, I feel incredibly blue (Get it?  Winter “blues”?) and staring at the walls may be what I need right now to numb the sadness of the lack of life outside….

This depression began in 2001.  And slowly progressed as the years went on…Now that I am in the beginning stages of my body slowing down and turning into the Crone, I feel this even more.

How do I deal with it?  It’s a demon inside of me I deal with every day between Thanksgiving and about Mid-March.  For some people it’s less time, and for others, it’s more.  It feels like the Postpartum depression I had for the first 4 weeks after my son’s birth.  It begins as a nagging feeling, that turns into a feeling of dread.  Dread?  Yup, dread.  It overtakes me like a demon overtakes a human…I cry at everything and anything, I sleep more, I stare more, and I tend to lash out more.  My husband, sons, parents, sisters and closest friends know it the depression talking.  The know this silly little hobbit doesn’t usually act like this, and know how to approach me during my times of struggle.  They know and respect the fact I don’t want chemicals in my body.  They are patient and kind, and allow me the time and patience I need for myself to understand how my body reacts to this rough season.

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(seriously, whoever created these are a GENIUS)

Kratom certainly helps, but, it is just a band aid.  It does NOT take away the full feelings.  But it does lessen the load.  And the best part?  It does not numb me.  If there could be anything that I hate, it is the numbness of my body, mind and soul.  To lose the essence of your life just because there’s a period of time each year where I feel sad, it’s just not enough for me to make that kind of decision.  That’s not for me to judge anyone who DOES.

So, for the next few weeks, I will be quietly tinkering away at my new home.  Putting things in their place, and dealing with the sadness I not only feel for the cold months, but for other things I cannot control.  It’s a continued lesson in humility, and I love that I’m always up for the challenge, no matter how tired and sad I’m feeling at the moment.

What makes me happy during the colder months?

  • Music – Usually Celtic/Irish/Scottish music, 80’s Pop, and some Sacred World music, from either Lisa Thiel, Snatnam Kaur, or Spiral Dance
  • Painting – I am still trying to find my easle, but the moment I do, I’m off!
  • Festivals – There is an amazing Scottish and Irish Festival that happens in February, and it truly lifts up my spirits EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
  • Garden Planning – For the first time since 2007, I will have my own garden again.  Planning it has definitely helped tremendously during this time.
  • Snuggles – My boys know all these need to do is snuggle up to me, it will bring a big smile.  I love my family.
  • Cleaning – I tend to light A LOT of incense that smells of lavender, jasmine, and other springy smells…as well as light lots of candles…and the smell of Pine Sol?  OMG Don’t go there with me…it’s like heaven haha!
  • Ritual – if there is anything I love to do, is to be in ritual with myself.  That time you give to yourself, whether it is meditating, chanting, praying, or even something simple like taking a nice, warm bath…yes, it helps a great deal.

I know there are probably more, but these are the big ones.  Tell me about what you do!  I am always looking for suggestions.

Lots of Hobbit Love,

Bridget

 

The Times They Are A Changin’…

Sad-girl-alone-sitting-in-beach-watching-waves-image-picture-1111x738It’s funny when depression and anxiety hits a person does the writing muse want to take a vacation.  Sadly, the lack of finding the house (yes, I know I’m beating a dead horse by continuously talking about it) has caused me to retreat.  It’s one of the reasons why I haven’t written.  Because finding a house has totally consumed my life.  Well, it’s kind of hard to not have it consume me.  My home, once a quaint bohemian living abode, has now turned into Cardbox City.  Everywhere I turn there are boxes, filled and empty, waiting for my next move.  It is a constant reminder that my life is out of alignment and unstable.  Two things that literally drive me crazy.  Feeling that I don’t have control over my own life can really take a toll, and so, I have found myself feeling rather blue during one of the most beautiful times of the year.

I’m sitting at my laptop today because some movement in my personal life hit this morning, and whenever that happens, I need to act on it immediately before my rational mind tells me to step back.

Now, I know people who read my blog read it for many purposes.  Some like to actually read what I have to say, some are here just to be nosy and check up on me, and others, well, others are simply here to find out what crazy shit Bridget is up to now.  It’s sadly the truth, and although in the past the judgements have haunted me like never ending nightmares, I have learned through a lot of soul searching and maturity that I need to stop focusing on how people view me, and start focusing on how I view me.  A liberating experience, to say the least, coming from a reputable and conservative family, to have their eldest child break out of a box to protect me, unleashing emotional turmoil along with equal bouts of total bliss.  It’s who I am and at 41 years old, I refuse to change me.  Funny, I will never understand how I am now, and how some people question me now, and wish I could return to the former me, when the former me most people couldn’t stand.  Being free from the social experimentation of trying to “fit in” has been the most uplifting and amazing journey of my life, next to the birth of my son.

This week I was told that in the next couple weeks I am going to learn my fate of the position in my current job.  My department at my job has decided to consolidate with other groups, forming one big department.  The problem with this, is that my department is not defined by the regulations that the other groups are bound to.  But, the higher ups are considering putting us within this mold.  This could mean my life will change drastically over the next year, and it frightens me to no end.  My work currently does not expect me to be licensed within the Federal Regulated guidelines.  But since my team is merging with groups that are regulated, there is a possibility that I will have to become a licensed professional.  I know, doesn’t sound like a bad thing, right?  It would mean a promotion in the end, and a better career path.  But here’s the thing that many people who didn’t know me 5 years ago: 5 years ago, I took a similar license, smaller and easier compared to the license I may be required to obtain now.  I didn’t pass.  And I was terminated from my company.  But my love for wanting to work there resulted in me coming back as a contractor, thus coming back into the company through the “back door”.  I have since worked within unlicensed departments over the last 5 years, and my career has been amazing.

Now, I see myself at a cross roads.  June 30th I am going to be told my fate.  My insomnia that has already been on the radar over the house hunting is now adding additional lost sleep because of this.

What do I do?  Will I have to quit and find a new job?  Is this the opportunity to actually leave this career and begin a new one?  I know many of you know how much I love Juice Plus and the fact I have been trying to wait until I move into a new home to start this little side business, making additional money for my family.  Should I begin now in case I fail this test?  Should we just stay in this apartment?  Should I sell most of my things?  See, these are the very things going through my mind, because I have to be realistic.  I can’t assume I’m going to pass.  I have to think ahead and figure out what will happen if I go through what I went through November 29th, 2010?  Looking at a computer screen, realizing I was 1 point from passing a test, and thus no longer an employee at my beloved company.

I’m trying to hold back the tears right now typing this, because I hate more than anything not knowing what is going on.  I will admit I hate abrupt change.  But yet, there’s a fire in my belly that’s telling me it’s going to be okay.  And that there are reasons, specific reasons why things are going this way right now.

It has been absolutely imperative that I be authentic.  Even if it means upsetting those I love around me.  I wish I could change that, to appease other’s fears. But doing that would only make me unhappy.  And I love who I am.  I really do.  I know people don’t understand that.  I know and really, I am truly sorry for that.

I am a 41 year old woman.  I’m a wife, a mother, a step-mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a godmother, a niece, best friend, a lover, a business woman, a gypsy, a bohemian, a wild woman, a domestic goddess, a writer, a hobbit.    So here’s my question:  How do I merge all of these things into one aspect of myself?  The answer is:  I can’t.  I am many things, and that’s that.  I am many things to many people, and some to some people.  There are so many facets of myself, and just like my job, one can either accept it or walk away.  But it will never change the course of my fate.  It is the only thing I like about change.  The evolution of it.  Rather than abrupt, coarse change, I love the slow, loving, almost ritual aspect of change.  Watching someone turn into the person they are supposed to be, during each chapter/level of their journey.  And as you all know from everything I’ve said above, I’m going through just that.

Today I looked in the mirror and noticed I wanted to change something.  It took me a while, but I realized it was my hair.  Last fall I did something drastic and cut most of my hair off and put low and highlights in it, to gradually accept my ever coming in white hair.  However, winter has passed and summer is upon us, and I felt another longing.  Last year I started wearing dread-lock extensions in my hair.  They are simply beautiful and I always get compliments every time I wear them.  I find it incredibly ignorant for people to think only African Americans are the only ones allowed to wear dread-locks.  They are simply beautiful and if used correctly, anyone would look amazing.  So, today, I decided to test my hair.  Already so thin from my thyroid disease, I was hoping this wasn’t going to fail, and my hair did not disappoint!

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I know, I can already hear the groans….”oh Bridget…what ARE you doing?” and “You’re 41 and a Mother!” I know!  And guess who was the one who suggest I do it????  That’s right!  My son!!!!

He always tells me how beautiful I am, and that no matter what I wear, how I do my hair, my inner beauty stands out.  Such an old soul.  So, going to run a trial and see how this looks in a bun tomorrow, and see if I can pull this off in a professional manner.  I’m curious.  I have realized that although I love my job, I cannot be who I really am there.  Who I am is not part of society’s version of “professional”.  Well, I’d like to change that attitude.  Gradually.  Starting with something like hair.  I’m actually kind of excited how I’m going to look tomorrow, and if it’s a go, I will continue down this new path and see how it goes.

I guess in the end I need to remember this very important point:

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2 days of work this week, then a mini vacay with my husband and kids.  I guess there’s good in change..whether its work, scenery, your home, your hair, beliefs. whatever.  I guess in change, it gives us the opportunity to blossom even more into who we are meant to be.

And the anxiety slowly drifts away….Hello muse…I’ve missed you.

50 Things I LOVE!

Hi everyone!

Well, we didn’t get the house.  So, we are still searching.  But in the meantime, here’s a little fun reading of 50 things I love.  It wasn’t enough, but it would have become obnoxious if I allowed it to go past 50!  Thank you to my friend Melissa/Raven who brought this over on Facebook!  Here it goes!

50 Things I Love

  1. Gardening – I love getting my hands dirty and digging into the dirt and planting things.
  2. New Age/World/Earth Spirituality Music – Spiral Dancing, Native American Healing Music, Enya, Lisa Thiel, SJ Tucker, Dead Can Dance, Clannad, Blackmore’s Night just to name a few…
  3. Kratom – This little miracle tree has basically saved my life.
  4. The smell of Springtime in the air
  5. Campfires
  6. Chocolate Fudge
  7. Sitting on the Beach in the late Autumn
  8. Early December sunsets
  9. Celebrating the Seasons
  10. Impressionstic Artists – Edgar Degas, Vincent Van Gogh, Monet, just to name a few
  11. Everything Jane Austen ever wrote
  12. Every Jane Austen book that was put into a movie
  13. Everything that is Tolkien. Like everything.
  14. Going to sleep with my window fan on a coolish evening.
  15. Anything of a Celtic nature
  16. Anything of a Native American nature
  17. Crystals
  18. Oracle/Tarot decks.
  19. The Rosary. And everything that is the Virgin Mary.
  20. Strong and empowered women like Brighid, Hecate, Persephone, Diana, and Mary Magdelene.
  21. Jesus
  22. Moscato Wine
  23. Willow Trees
  24. Dream Catchers
  25. Playing Video games with my friends online (you know who you are!)
  26. Painting
  27. Early Autumn Days that are filled with rain and cloudy skies, so I can light candles and watch holiday movies.
  28. Halloween/Samhain
  29. Being a Wild Woman and empowering my Divine Feminine Self
  30. Yoni Eggs
  31. Being Healthy and learning about things to keep me healthy
  32. NOT being on medicine!
  33. British Comedies on PBS
  34. Collecting Tea Kettles
  35. Chocolate Fudge
  36. I love ALL animals.
  37. The feeling of getting off the parkway on the exit to the beach. It’s like all my worries go away
  38. Dreaming of making my life better
  39. Making my own incense
  40. Fuzzy socks on a cold night
  41. Folk Music
  42. Fairy, Celtic, Music and Renaissance Festivals
  43. Going to the Spa for the day
  44. Twinkle lights everywhere I can put them
  45. Lemonade Iced Tea
  46. Hammocks
  47. Thanksgiving
  48. Wearing dreadlocks in my hair.
  49. Pickles
  50. Putting my feet into the grass

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A New Dawn, A New Day….

bohopeaceEach day we are presented with at least a thousand decisions to make.  Decisions that only we, as a person, can only make. Whether we are children or adults, mentally stable or challenged in some way, each one of us has decisions to make.  And each decision, great or small, will always have a PROFOUND impact on our future lives.  Now, when we are children, little to no responsibility is put on us because of our age and intolerance for understanding the repercussions called consequences to our actions.  But where is that line drawn?  How old do we have to be to become mentally competent of our decision making process?  Well, I think to each his own is the best answer I could come up with in the last several hours of contemplation yesterday.  Some people mature at a young age, some, like myself, take 40 years to mature.  Some, well, some are still learning.  You can be the best parent or guardian in the world, but in the end our accountability is ours, no matter how much you want to slice it.  How people treat us is their karma, how we respond to it is ours.  This, my friends, is the biggest lesson in life I will ever learn.

See, many years ago before I became a troubled kid, mind you, I was basically a normal little girl, until an event in my life changed that.  We try so hard as parents to teach our children to follow a certain guideline when life throws us a bad curve ball, but we don’t always listen.  See, this is where accountability comes in.  How old does one need to physically be to be held accountable? I can’t give you this answer.  BUT, I CAN say, that when one emotionally and psychologically has the impact of becoming responsible, then it’s fair play.  Sadly for me, so much was blocked out until a few years ago, that when it finally came to pass, I had to become accountable for my own faults that happened 30 years ago. 

Each day we are presented with at least a thousand decisions to make.  And in the summer of 2012, I made a big decision.  One of the biggest of my life, presumably.  Let alone the hardest.  Granted, my memories from long ago swayed back into my life like the winds along the reeds, but these winds were sadly stormy.  If not hurricane-like.  Having to take accountability for things that happened so long ago can be difficult for someone because yes, it WAS long ago.  But when someone was hurt in the process; that long ago can feel like yesterday to that other person.  Taking in that perspective then, one has to stop their own process and understand that not everyone heals the way you do.  Not everyone understands and processes the same way you do.  And the moment one becomes to fully understand this, respect will take place, followed by a solemn bout of humility. 

I was given a gift yesterday that I did not deserve.  A gift of closure.  Just because my life has taken a turn for the better does not mean it’s time to forget the hurt I may have caused others along the way.  And trust me when I say, that is not the case.  Every person I have ever lied to, cheated, stole from, is on my mind every single day.  I think back to 20 years ago, 30 years ago, and I can honestly say, I don’t know who that girl was.  More and more my memories of that Bridget have faded, mainly because the beliefs, feelings, and understandings no longer resonate with the woman I am today.  I am a proud 41 year old woman.  A mother, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, a godmother, soon to be wife, and a friend.  And every single person who is connected to me I love with all my heart and am protective to the core for their safety.  30 years ago, hell 20 years ago, I can’t even say that about myself.  Life for me began at the age of 40, and I am grateful to have been given a second chance at life.  But that does not mean I can forget the first 40 years and those that were hurt along the way.  I promise you, I will never forget.  And I will always ask for forgiveness, even though I probably don’t deserve it.

People, remember who you are, and if it’s not good, change it.  Be real, be honest, be blessed and most importantly, be humble.  Each one of us is fighting our own battles.  Some of those battles others are fighting are because of something we did to start it.  Own it and never forget.  But forgive yourself and continue to do the best you can every day.  That is really the best way to repay someone you’ve hurt.  Never forget and utilize those consequences as a tool to make those thousand decisions each day.

Being held accountable is a bitch.  But when it’s time to move on to the next chapter in your life, at least you can say you were, and it can never come back to harm you in the end. 

~ Bridget

morning

The Kratom Chronicals: KDK Botanicals

KDK BotanicalsHi all!  I wanted to give you guys a review on the two blends that I happen to have tried from KDK Botanicals.  Last night I was able to take the Red Blend.  No question, out of all the blends I have tried from all the vendors, KDK Botanicals has an amazing product and I’m glad I can share this all with you.

So, last night I tried the red.  I usually take the Kratom in powder form, so this review is based on the way I make it:  As a tea.  The way I make my tea at night is I use 2/3 of a cup of hot water and filter 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons in it.  The Red blend packs a powerful punch, and I was looking forward to seeing how it would help my pain, since I am currently battling a minor hairline fracture in the top of my foot.  So, the taste:  Because it’s a red blend and I use more of in the that small amount of water, it’s definitely a stronger tea.  But I put a nice helping of organic clover honey in the tea to help with the taste.  Usually, I expect any Red Leaf Kratom to be more bitter, and this particular blend is actually very smooth and not bitter at all.  So, it was very easy to drink the tea, and very pleasant.  Within 5 minutes the effects began.  Now, it did give a bit of the “good feeling” vibes, aka euphoria, but not much, at least for me.  What I DID notice, was that the pain I had been battling throughout the day were completely GONE.  I mean, really just GONE.  This effect lasted a good 4-6 hours.  I woke up this morning and although the pain was beginning to come back, the calming feeling I had was amazing, something I am not used to with Reds.  This is definitely a blend I would like to use during my nightly ritual.

The next day (today), I decided to finally try the White blend.  Now, I have to tell you, I have always used only Red or Green blends.  But I have always wanted to try to White.  So, using the same amount of water, I used only 1 teaspoon of the White blend this morning.  Great static, which always means it’s a good product.  Smooth taste, hardly bitter with the honey.  Now, the effect started a little later than the Red did the night before.  I want to say I started to feel it around 30 minutes in. It gives off a warm feeling, almost like after you take a five hour energy.  The good thing is that it does give off a rush of energy along with the feeling of euphoria.  Again, not as much as green gives off euphoria, but enough along with the energy to make it probably the best blend I’ve ever had. 

My goal tomorrow is to mix the white and the green together, and tonight I plan to mix the red and the yellow.

All in all I am really excited about KDK Botanicals.  Their product is excellent with a price we can all get behind on.  And as I post this review, I will be placing another order with them. 

Kratom on!

How I Became the Bohemian Hobbit.

430554_3270196878974_73794714_nOver the summer I had to come to terms with some things that I didn’t want to admit to. Sure, I was sure proud of myself for where I had finally found myself weight-wise, but the emotions and psychological changes in me were not what I was expecting to deal with. I knew there would be some, but not at the rate I was expecting. Nevertheless, I found myself at a bit of a crossroads and needed to make some continued decisions regarding my health.

Admitting after working so hard to get to a goal that you now have a chronic pain that resulted in the surgery you voluntarily had to fix a problem was definitely a struggle in itself. My anxiety went through the roof from the pain I was constantly in. The pain would keep me up in night, from my low back, legs, hips, you name it, there was pain. I kept it hidden well through some good pain medication I had from my surgery, as well as taking copious amounts of Alleve, to the point of drinking a glass of wine each night to give myself a buzz, alleviating some of the pain.

I went to my Doctor’s, because I was truly concerned something was wrong. Sadly, my doctor decided to diagnose me with a psychological condition that was so farce I couldn’t even explain it! Speaking with family and friends, they were appalled by the lack of research and how my doctor, who has known me since I was 13, could easily diagnose me so quickly with this issue at 40 years old by just listening to me talk about my pain. Needless to say, I have not been back to him, and am looking into a new doctor. I hate parting with him, but his answers are always “take more medicine”, and I realize I was taking more pills than I was taking anything else. I was on two types of anxiety/sleep aids, thyroid medication, allergy medication, and an endless array or RX and OTC pain medication. When I got on Juice Plus, I finally was able to say goodbye to the majority of the medications, but the pain and a little anxiety was still there. I started doing research, and I came across a neat little plant called Kratom. Kratom (Mitrogyna Speciosa) is a Pacific-Asian plant native to countries like Borneo, Thailand and Bali. Its medicinal properties can be traced between caffeine and/or Opium, but of course without the Opiates. It’s a pure and natural plant that actually is relative to the coffee plant we all know and love. When I found that it was legal in most of the United States, let alone Pennsylvania, I was eager to try. It usually comes in a powdered form, almost the consistency of flour, and it smells just like tea. I found a Vendor down in Texas, who was very kind and understanding in my needs. You cannot buy this at any store, as it is not approved by the FDA. In fact, some vendors, in fear of the FDA trying to take this plant away from society, will put “Not to be used for consumption” on their labels. How sad has our world become that we’ve become so fear-based?

The moment I started taking Kratom, things began to change. My perception of life changed quickly. I became more realistic about life, without losing my rose-colored glasses of hope I always seem to wear. I found a different type of peace within me that I never had before. I mean, sure, for the last three years I had a peace that I was making right decisions with my life, regardless of how others felt, but this was different. I felt…peace. Within my peace. Does that make sense? I noticed I started paying more attention to color more. I have found myself wearing different colors like aqua, pink, purple, lots of pastels. It’s like I found a little hippy inside of me, dying to come out to make change with the world. Instead, she made change with me. The anxiety went away. The pain went away. And so, the little bohemian hobbit awoke. I close my eyes more, but not to block anything out, more importantly, to envision what I hope for my life and those around me. I was driving this morning to work, and I found even on the busiest of roads in my area, I was so focused on the colors of the sky, and how they reflected off the cars in front of me. So much color in this world and I only saw a select few. Now, an array of color almost overwhelms my life, but I accept it with humbled gratitude. I listen to my female folk music radio station, and think about being outside more, think about the wonderful things that will happen in the next year. And my heart just overflows! I know that sounds so freaking sappy and I get it, many people are not where I am at in their life and they are quite happy with not only their presence in life, but with their position they hold with society. Hey, we are all on a journey, and I will never ever again thwart someone’s journey for the sake of hoping they followed mine. How many years have I spent trying to get people to UNDERSTAND me, when in fact it was my job to make sure I UNDERSTAND me!

I just had a cup of my Kratom tea, and the almost euphoric feeling comes over me with excitement that today we close another chapter in the lives of those who managed to make it through the year. I applaud each and every one of you – we did it!

And as I prepare to spend a fun evening with some people in my little community, I know I am walking into the New Year with a positivity I’ve never had before. And the motivation to spread the love around, like a true bohemian would.

Love, Peace, Macaroni and Cheese, and most of all, have a ROCKIN’ New Year!

Bridget