On Moving On…

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I don’t remember much of last winter. I was too buried in grief colder than any squall. The sharp bite of bitter wind was a welcome distraction from the sickness of my heart.

I put all the things he gave me in the back of my closet, not brave enough to throw them in the trash but not bold enough to keep them around either. Like all bad memories, I hoped they would just fade away.

I found things enough to keep me busy during the days, but the nights were filled with inescapable loops of all the things I could have done better. Of all the things I might have done wrong.

I don’t remember the first day after January 7th that I didn’t see his face every time I closed my eyes, but it must have come. Yes, it must have. Because the sick sinking feeling in my chest now feels like a faded picture.

I grasped for anything that might save me. Desperately, I entered entropy and let the world devour me with new experiences. And yet only within myself did I finally find healing.

For a late blooming flower, I found that each bruise he gave me wilted my tender petals. But those scars will grow a stronger bud come spring. Every beautiful rose wonts to be plucked. And every summer they bloom again.

Moving on is all about compartmentalizing. The pain never goes away. You just box it up and bury it somewhere in your mind and try to think of better things to come.

Wishing stops working after a while, when you realize that people don’t work like shooting stars. They don’t fall on command, and they have pasts that they can never outrun.

I walked into something karmic, and fuck that’s unfortunate, because you were the start of my journey, and I was only a distraction from yours.

Sometimes I remember the way he rolled his eyes while I drove us home one December night, and in that moment I knew there was no saving this. And it took all my strength of will not to burst into tears as we ate our blue cheese burgers while we tried to think of something, anything to talk about.


Here’s some prose from last winter, about my broken heart and learning to move on after that.

Bad things happen in life, but we shouldn’t view those as negatives. We learn much more from pain than we do from success. And sometimes a broken heart is just what we need in order to transform our lives into everything we’ve ever dreamed of. So thank those who have taught you the tough lessons, and pray that they someday find the healing they need as well. Forgive them, and find peace.

Stay up to date with new blog posts by following me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Take care, and don’t forget to take your medications!

Kat 

 

Pittsburgh Light Up Night

Last Friday, November 16th kicked off the holiday season with Light Up Night sponsored by Comcast. The festivities began at 5:45 with the first lighting of one of the many trees around the city, and ended at 10:00 with a spectacular fireworks display over the river. 

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We arrived around 7 and were not disappointed by the amount of energy and cheer in the air. PPG place was packed, as it always is, with couples and friends taking pictures in front of the largest Christmas tree. Surrounding the festive tree is an ice skating rink open to anyone who would like to skate, for a fee.

This year was our first time attending. If you are adverse to crowds, this event might be a bit overstimulating for you, but the experience is well worth it. Even if you don’t spend the whole night, it’s nice to go and experience the excitement. The only event I’ve seen in Pittsburgh that had more people would be the 4th of July.


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My accomplice and partner in crime, Taurus, stood guard while I snapped some gorgeous shots of the city both downtown and on the North Shore across the river. I was a little apprehensive about bringing my expensive camera downtown, but Taurus dutifully stood guard and ensured my camera’s safety. It was a magical moment being able to watch the fireworks with Taurus. We walked until our feet hurt, and after the fireworks, decided to stop by Sheetz for some late night dinner. Over jests about how we could appreciate both fine dining like the Le Mont, but also enjoy gas station food, we closed out our wonderful night together.

If you’ve never been to Light Up Night, it is certainly an enjoyable experience. Especially if you go with someone special, whether that’s a partner, a group of friends, or your family. It’s fun for all ages and offers a wide variety of activities including live music, ice sculptors, carriage rides, and entertainers.

 


All photographs are © Antiquarius.org and antiquaries.wordpress.com. Any unauthorized redistribution, use, or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited and punishable by law. 

 

Blog Update | October 2018

I tried to pick up my blogging game by creating better content more frequently. The month of October saw a blog post for every day except Saturdays and Mondays for three weeks, but because of this, I feel like I’ve gotten writers burn out. It was cool doing it, but I think in the future I am going to cut back on the number of posts I publish in a month. After all, quality is better than quantity, right? I just wanted to see if I could do it. It was a point I wanted to prove to myself.

Therefore, for the rest of this blog, I will limit my content posts to twice a week. However, I will still keep the Sunday Pep Talks and Words of Wisdom Wednesdays, as those are relatively simple to create but offer some great inspiration and motivation.

In addition to this, I wanted to document my blog progress. In the span of one month, I grew my follower count from 127 to 172. I couldn’t be happier for that! I promised myself that once I hit 500 followers I was going to do a giveaway to show my appreciation for you all, so stay tuned for that.

I’ve been blogging consistently since February and have almost 100 blog posts, almost 200 followers, and have met some amazing people. I hope to continue growing my blog and meeting more likeminded people. I will be posting a blog goals post in the future as well, so stay tuned. If you are looking for blogging ideas, you can create a goal post too, and link me. I’d love to hear about your blogging journeys.

As always, take care, and don’t forget to take those medications!

Antidepressants Killed My Creativity

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I used to be very depressed, and very anxious. There was a voice in my head constantly berating me and degrading me, telling me I wasn’t enough and I shouldn’t even try. I projected that negativity onto everyone around me, but mostly I projected it onto myself. But that voice did something else too; it created incredibly complex scenarios in my head that fueled my creativity. After all, good art is complex, and often darkest before it begins to grow light.

The things that I produced were dark, flawed, and filled with emotion. Being on antidepressants has done wonders for my mental health, but since I started taking them six months ago, I haven’t been able to write on any of my fictional stories. The nonfiction seems to flow just fine. It’s part of the reason this blog is doing so well. I am able to put together coherent thoughts in the nonfiction realm, but when it comes to creating in that paracosmatic world that I so often lived, I find that my well of creativity has run dry. There is no desire in me anymore to work on those stories, because to get to that negative headspace again would be miserable. Oh sure, I created some interesting pieces of writing, but to do so I had to depress myself so entirely that I felt on the verge of mental collapse. I would isolate myself for months at a time, especially during the winter where most of my writing happened. I would research dark topics to fuel my ever growing imagination. I would let myself spiral down and down in order to create what I created.

It seems to be a difficult tossup. Be mentally stable, healthy, and produce orthodox blog posts, or let myself sink back into that tortured psyche and create vastly interesting fictional worlds. Some of the best writers in history were known to have suffered from excruciating mental problems. Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, Sylvia Plath. In one way or another, through drugs or simply lack of mental stability, these authors produced some of the most tortured works of fiction. After all, how can someone create such dark literature if they live in a world of light?

In some ways I feel like that darkness was a piece of who I was, and I owned it completely. By medicating myself to become more mentally and emotionally stable, I don’t quite feel like myself. Oh sure, I feel happy. Actually, I don’t really feel anything at all. The pills I take are quite enough to deaden all of my emotions, which has definitely helped me in the real world and dealing with my anxiety. But I don’t feel like myself. Because depression is something I identified myself with for so long that it became a part of who I was. Now without it, I look back at the life I lived and wonder if that was the truer life, the truer way to live, the reality which I was born into this world to suffer through. Am I learning the lessons I need to learn by dulling my emotions? Am I fulfilling my life purpose this way? What if my life purpose was to create beautifully dark fiction and then leave this world? Surely Edgar Allan Poe’s life purpose was not to become a successful accountant. No. His life purpose was to create great works of dark fiction. That was his gift that he was born into this world possessing.

Are we, in effect, disrupting the natural flow of destiny by making ourselves comfortably numb? Is it better to take the red pill and escape the matrix of our minds? To live with the pain and discomfort of mental instability in order to grow as humans and use our greatest gifts we as creators possess; our creativity and our imaginations?

End of Month Recap and Goodbye Bullet Journal| September 2018

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Wow! September was an incredibly busy month. I filled two whole pages with to-dos. For reference, I usually total out at around six or seven. This month I had thirty two (blurred for privacy, of course)! And out of those thirty two, I had only ten unfinished tasks that I will need to move to Octobers to-do list. Which, I am excited to say, will be the start of my second bullet journal.

That’s right! After having bujo’d for one full year, I have officially filled my first journal. And while that doesn’t seem too impressive, I cannot stress how beneficial keeping a bullet journal has been. If you are a person, like me, who suffers from a bad memory, procrastination tendencies, and daydreaming, trust me; a bullet journal does wonders to keep you grounded in reality and on top of your shit.

Switching out journals is a little scary, since so much of my life is in the old one, but I have found that sometimes it’s best to keep the past in the past.

With that being said, Rest In Peace old bullet journal, and good riddance to some of the most trying and challenging months of my life. On to bigger and better things!

The journal that I use is super basic. It’s a dotted moleskine that you can find online here, or in any of your local Barnes & Noble’s. I usually opt for black for that classic Indiana Jones look, but the universe just wants me to have colored journals, it seems. I was stuck buying a teal, and now a beige journal. Although the colors are growing on me. I’m actually quite fond of the beige one.

Maybe I will make a post going into more depth about my bullet journaling adventures. So stay tuned for that!

So as September comes to a close, I look forward to my favorite month of all. October. Hoping it’s a little less hectic and a lot more adventurous.


 

Thanks for reading! How have your Septembers turned out? And how many are officially ready for the fall? I know I am!

Take care, and don’t forget to take your medications!

Get to know me(me)


Hello lovelies! I figured it was about time to put a face to this blog, and to make a get to know me post to share a little bit about me. Is it better to remain anonymous on a blogging platform? Like wearing a mask, does it make it easier for everyone to relate to me, instead of just those who fit their lifestyle around what I look like and who I am? I don’t know. But I felt like the time was right to get personal.


Favorite book

My favorite book is Alice in Wonderland. I’ve read it so many times I’ve lost count. Alice is a character I relate to more than anyone. She is driven by imagination, yet has no idea what she’s looking for. In a way, throughout most of the story she is lost, and yet being lost means she encounters so many unique things. A bit immature, Alice would rather run off and avoid responsibility and the orthodox life set before her. I often wish I could escape reality, and find myself daydreaming most of my free time away. Much like Alice, I would rather be in a world of my own.

Biggest inspiration

The vision of my future self is my biggest inspiration and motivator. When I find myself taking a step backwards, I always envision where I was heading in the first place, and it helps to keep me pushing forward. One day it will be possible to reach the height of my halo. I just have to keep crawling my way out of the pit. And one day my future self will be me, and all the failed prototypes of myself will be left in the past. Each day I wake up inspired to work on myself and become better than I was the day before. Sometimes I fail, but these days I’ve been seeing a little more progress in that area.

Favorite Youtubers

I will admit that I watch far more youtube than I read of blogs, and that is because I’m a more visually driven person. The only reason I’m a blogger and not a youtuber is because I’m very good at writing and not so good at the talking bits. I find it silly watching myself after filming, and I often forget what I wanted to say in the first place. On a blog I can take my time to find the right words. That being said, I do have a ton of favorite youtubers, but I’ll just list my top three.

AN66SAw71AQHQkmu80B5mCeQhdPJObZSBAYJFZl7ig=s176-c-k-c0x00ffffff-no-rj-moKiera Rose is by far the number one youtuber I follow. She’s a free spirited Sagittarius from the UK who inspires me when I’m feeling down in the dumps. I fell in love with her through watching her makeup videos. She’s just so pretty! And her makeup always looks flawless. She is one of my biggest inspirations to work on my appearance and be as radiant and gorgeous as she is. But her looks aren’t the only great thing about her. She is one of the funniest women online, with a down-to-earth super chill vibe that just makes you feel good watching. She always has interesting things to talk about, whether it’s her pet rats, vegan recipes and shopping lists, coping with anxiety, or her latest thrifting hauls.

AN66SAxBpa9PgYLTFTbUdiu4haNm-4o1E7DmQJsdEQ=s176-c-k-c0x00ffffff-no-rj-moEmzotic is another favorite of mine. She is a pet-tuber and public speaker and her channel is all about animals! What I like so much about Em is that her videos are packed with information about the animals. Instead of just showing cute animals, it’s actually very educational. She is an animal educator in real life, so it’s only natural she knows so much about them, and she always has such a diverse range of animals to show and tell about. My favorite is Grinchy, her rescued red hornbill. And bonus weasels are also totally rad too!

AN66SAwDOx9hRe8aBWVGO3xqytoXZeDdKEo7gf6ogw=s176-c-k-c0x00ffffff-no-rj-moThe Quietest Revolution is third on my list of favorite youtubers. She is a professional tarot reader and spiritual leader. She incorporates not only astronomical occurrences into her readings, but also just general life guidance and paradigms which make her readings so incredibly deep. She knows so much about the zodiac signs and really connects to each energy differently to do the separate readings. She talks so much in her videos, and it is all so substantial, that sometimes she doesn’t get to the reading until ten or so minutes into the video. But no one complains, because she always espouses wisdom!

Favorite Fictional Character

00/00/1939. Film "Gone with the wind" (Autant en emporte le vent) By Victor Fleming

Scarlet O’Hara. She is the good and the bad in all of us; the selfishness and the selflessness; the jealousy and the possessiveness; the desperation and the survivor. She doesn’t always choose the morally correct decision in life, but she does what she needs to do to survive and keep her loved ones safe. Being faced by impossible circumstances, she perseveres. And like most of us underdeveloped subspecies of humans, she falls into the trap of believing she is in love with a man just because he doesn’t want her, and as soon as he admits his feelings for her, she realizes that she doesn’t actually love him; she loves the man who has been nothing but supportive to her through it all. She’s not a character to be proud to be, but somehow she makes you think otherwise, because she handles difficult situations with such cunning and ambition that she makes it look cool. And how inspiring is her signature line? “After all, tomorrow is another day.”

What made you start blogging?

I wanted to keep track of my life progress but I also wanted to motivate people who might be going through difficult times in their lives. There can never be enough positivity, and the focus on mental health, depression, and wellness literature, I hope will encourage others not to give up. I also want to use this blog to keep track of my progress as an author, although posts about my writing have been few and far between. Also also, I wanted to be one of those super cool people who make blogging their full time job so that I never have to wear pants.

Zodiac Sign?

Aquarius. HMU fellow aquas! Pisces cusp, Sagittarius rising and moon.

Favorite Quote

“All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you.”

Biggest Fear

Choosing an incorrect choice in life. Committing to the wrong thing. Deciding on an answer that I am not 100% certain about. I have let this fear of indecision halt my life progress so many times. I want everything to be perfect, always, so when something presents itself as imperfect, I often choose to let it pass, even if the something is a good thing. Because I believe that there might always be something better out there in the future that I might miss if I commit to the something that has come along now.

Goals in Life

My ultimate life goal is to become a published author. I’m not sure yet which genre I’d like to tackle, but I have worked in fiction, fantasy, psychology, and poetry. I will have my first poetry collection up for sale on amazon by the end of the year, so stay tuned for that. My other life goals include getting married, having children, becoming an archivist or librarian in a research library, and pursuing a career in boudoir photography on the side. Yep, I’m a multipotentialite. I couldn’t decide on one career, so I chose three, plus a family. And slowly it’s all coming together. Very very slowly.



So there we have some facts about me! I tried to pick interesting questions for equally interesting answers, instead of generic surveys. Let me know if you have any other questions, and please leave a comment down below with some facts about yourself as well! I’d love to learn more about you! 

Take care! 

Withdrawal Symptoms After Antidepressants

An article published by Benedict Carey and Robert Gebeloff discusses an issue many people never really consider when they begin taking antidepressants; the risk of quitting. I would like to offer my thoughts about this article, as I myself am on antidepressant medication.

I began taking Zoloft in February or March of 2018, a step that in my mind was long overdue. I had suffered with severe depression and anxiety my entire life, to the point where I could barely function on a normal level. I was antisocial, withdrawn, always cranky, uninspired, and detached from reality. I went through two antidepressants before settling into Zoloft, which seemed like the perfect fit for my personality. It dulled my anxiety, which to me seemed like a tiny man running around inside my head, constantly telling me that I wasn’t good enough and people were watching me and no one actually liked being my friend, that they were just using me. After starting Zoloft, that voice was silenced. If you’ve ever seen the movie Moana, when the spirit of the Island turns into that horrible volcano demon, that’s what my anxiety was like. It lashed out at everyone, and tried its hardest to isolate me. The Zoloft was like the heart of the Island being returned.

My depression was how I identified myself. It was the reason I used to justify my bad behavior. I hurt so many people through the years because “I was depressed”, or “I was anxious”, and part of that might have been true, but I now realize that being depressed was never an excuse to be a shitty person.

So there’s some backstory. Now, onto the article.

They state that

Antidepressants were originally considered a short-term treatment for episodic mood problems, to be taken for six to nine months: enough to get through a crisis, and no more.

and that makes sense. Antidepressants may have originally been designed to be taken to get through a difficult time in your life, but that is an example of an environment, and non-permanent form of depression. Someone might become depressed after losing a family member or ending a relationship, but that depression is not a long term issue. Things like that are fixed with time and experience. There are professionals there to talk to about these huge life changes, which can be shocking and depressing.

However, this does not take into account those people who suffer from long term, genetic, or clinical depression. The depression and anxiety that has been there since before they could remember. The depression and anxiety that made their childhoods into nightmares.

“Most people are put on these drugs in primary care, after a very brief visit and without clear symptoms of clinical depression,” said Dr. Allen Frances, a professor emeritus of psychiatry at Duke University. “Usually there’s improvement, and often it’s based on the passage of time or placebo effect.

Yes, as was the way I began my prescription. I filled out a questionnaire to get a broad idea of how bad my anxiety and depression were, and then as quick as ever, I was taking my first pill. Now, was my improvement in mood simply because I was leaving a difficult period of my life, or that I was under the placebo effect? It’s possible. But as someone who has suffered from depression for a very long time, I knew one thing; I was feeling better than I had in years. Placebo effect or not, the pills had changed how I thought about my life and the world around me, and it was for the better.

The article goes on to state that this placebo effect might mean that a patient will end up taking a drug that is basically useless for a much longer time than is necessary. And long time use is one of the things that leads to such bad withdrawal symptoms. Ok, fair enough. However, the symptoms they state sounded an awful lot like symptoms of depression and anxiety returning. Of course a person who was depressed, starts taking pills, and then stops is going to once again experience depression, if it’s clinical. If the depression is environmental in nature, then yes, by stopping the use of antidepressants, they can return to a normal life. But if the depression continues after the discontinuation of the medication, is that withdrawal? Or is that simply the mental illness returning?

Antidepressants are not harmless; they commonly cause emotional numbing, sexual problems like a lack of desire or erectile dysfunction and weight gain. Long-term users report in interviews a creeping unease that is hard to measure: Daily pill-popping leaves them doubting their own resilience, they say.

Emotional numbing? For someone like me, who feels everything amplified ten times stronger, that’s a good thing. I spent my entire life feeling so many feelings, and feeling them so strongly, that I could barely function. Some call it being empathic, some call it being sensitive, some call it being a little pussy. Whatever. There are just certain people in the world that are too emotional, and I was one of them. By numbing my emotions, I was able to function on a normal human level. I stopped overthinking everything and started taking action.

“Many were critical of the lack of information given by prescribers with regard to withdrawal,” the authors concluded. “And many also expressed disappointment or frustration with the lack of support available in managing withdrawal.”

It is true that during my doctor’s appointment to get on antidepressants, I was not told there would be such a thing as withdrawal. However, as I have weaned between several different drugs, I know the procedure. And I understand that going from a state of drugged to drug free is obviously going to carry some side effects. However, who would ever want to stop taking antidepressants. If I ever had to go back to the way I was before, where I barely left my house and it took every ounce of strength just to wake up in the morning, and putting on makeup just seemed like entirely too much work…if I had to go back to that life, I would be miserable again. I know that my depression would return. My depression was not caused by an environmental issue. It is something that has been there since as far back as I could remember. There is a chemical imbalance in my brain. That’s not something that just corrects itself.

Is it the same for everyone? Obviously not. These are just my thoughts based on my own experience.

In one of the earliest published withdrawal studies, researchers at Eli Lilly had people taking Zoloft, Paxil or Prozac stop the pills abruptly, for about a week. Half of those on Paxil experienced serious dizziness; 42 percent suffered confusion; and 39 percent, insomnia.

Among patients who stopped taking Zoloft, 38 percent had severe irritability; 29 percent experienced dizziness; and 23 percent, fatigue. The symptoms appeared soon after people were taken off the drugs and resolved once they resumed taking the pills.

Stop the pills abruptly? Well that would make anyone have withdrawal symptoms! If you stop a medication cold turkey, you are going to experience things like nausea, dizziness, and confusion. You need to wean off a drug safely in order to prevent severe withdrawal symptoms. And of course you are still going to have some symptoms, but weaning causes a less severe reaction.

And as another point, most of the symptoms listed about for “withdrawal” sound to me like it’s merely the symptoms of their depression and anxiety coming back. I often experienced insomnia, confusion, and fatigue during my years with depression. So can these really be counted as withdrawal? What if it’s just their mental illness returning? And the symptoms stop when they restart the pills? Well of course.

The drug blunted her PMS symptoms, she said, but also caused her to gain 40 pounds in nine months. Quitting was nearly impossible — at first, her doctor tapered her too quickly, she said.

She succeeded in her last attempt, in 2015, by tapering over months to 10 milligrams, then five, down from 20 milligrams and “finally all the way down to particles of dust,” after which she was bedridden for three weeks with severe dizziness, nausea and crying spells, she said.

Blunted PMS symptoms? Sounds like a regulation of emotions. And gaining 40 pounds? Perhaps the gaining of weight is in response to finally eating a healthy diet, as several people who suffer from depression and anxiety have very unhealthy eating habits, like skipping meals due to lack of appetite or energy. And being bedridden for three weeks with severed dizziness, nausea, and crying spells? Once again, sounds like several of the symptoms I often experienced when in the grips of severe depression. Of course these symptoms may be amplified by the lack of the drug. I’m not saying that withdrawal is entirely bullshit. Of course there is always the possibility that she was indeed experiencing withdrawal from her drugs. However, crying spells were something I often experienced when depressed, although I never experienced extreme dizziness. But that is to be expected when you stop taking a drug.

“Had I been told the risks of trying to come off this drug, I never would have started it,” Ms. Hempel said. “A year and a half after stopping, I’m still having problems. I’m not me right now; I don’t have the creativity, the energy. She — Robin — is gone.”

Again, sounds like clinical depression to me. Just a return of the mental illness.

Overall, this article does draw attention to something that is not often considered when discussing antidepressants, and it was very enlightening to read. While I did have some personal points to make about the article, which I have done above, I do agree that more studies should be done around the discontinuation of antidepressant medications, especially with the increase of users throughout the years. To educate myself further I will be having a discussion with my doctor about the effects or side effects of terminating my medication, which I eventually plan on doing if I feel stable enough to live again with my normal brain functioning.


Do any of you have any thoughts or opinions about this article you’d like to share? I would really be interested in what others think about this.

Also, just a reminder if you are one of those who takes medication, don’t forget to take your pills today.

Take care!