The Experiment: Day 144 ~ On Red Flags, Slowing Down, But Holding Steady…

“If you ignore the red flags, embrace the heartache to come.” 
Amanda Mosher

I pay attention to red flags. This afternoon there was a big one.This is the first day I felt like taking xanax in 2 months. I didn’t take it, I won’t, I never want to go back there again, but the fact that I even thought about it waved a big red flag in my face. Stop it already Maitri, slow down, enough already…

Yes, I feel better than I have, overall, in so many years I can’t even count back that far. And yes, with diet and lifestyle changes to which I have a firm commitment I have been able to come off of all psych meds. It has been an enormous relief. But I will tell you right now that I am not an anti-medication person. While I wouldn’t like to ever go back on medication I would if I had to. I don’t think that will be necessary if I take care of myself but that requires vigilance and self-care and I intend to do what I need to do.

Today I got an answer to something I have been trying to figure out, a couple of answers really. One was, “What does it mean that I have been able to come off the medication?” Meaning, did it mean I did not have the basket full of diagnoses I was given and have dealt with for decades? No, I didn’t for one minute think that was the case. I know that bipolar disorder, for one thing, can go into remission. The other thing I’ve wondered, and I’ve written about this a few times recently, I have wondered if “the other shoe was going to drop,” and I wondered what it would mean if it did.

Well, first of all, whether I am in remission or not is kind of beside the point. I am a person that is still being monitored by a therapist and a P.A. who has been managing psych meds for 30 years and he’s really good. I love this man. And he has been really working with me and excited for me and he will continue to be there for me whether I am on meds or not. As I said the other day I still have something to take to help me sleep if I need it but the Xanax, the Prozac, and the Buspirone are gone. I’d like it to stay that way, and I think that it can, but it’s all up to me. And when the red flag was waving today I was grateful because it wasn’t a shoe dropping, it was a warning sign, it was “Stop this shit girlfriend or you’re in trouble.” And I stopped, and I took note. Bipolar disorder, I think, will not, in my case, “go away,” but if I am mindful, if I take care of myself, it can be managed without medication. As I said, it’s all up to me.

You see, the thing is, among many benefits and advantages of being off medication, I have woken up! I swear to you it’s like being Rip Van Winkle and waking up after a long sleep. The “brain fog” that many people live with because of poor diet goes away very quickly on the ketogenic diet, it went away in days, and that was amazing, but I didn’t really experience a complete awakening until the medication was out of my system, and it took weeks for that to happen, and when it did my creative spark came back, the ability to really see my dreams, crystal clear, came back, it has been utterly amazing. I hoped I had work to do in the world, now I have no doubt, I can see it, I can see how it will affect all the facets of my life, and I know I can bring it all into being. But not overnight. It is like my favorite haiku that I have often thought about and included in my writings for years by the haiku master Issa…

“O snail
Climb Mount Fuji
But slowly, slowly!”

The snail has long been a totem for me. I needed to call him in today.

And something else that I want to share that I was certain I would not, it is such a private thing, but it is also a wondrous thing, something to share with those for whom sexuality and passion seem to have disappeared forever. I think it is a combination of the ketogenic diet + going off medication but the sexual center of my being is awakening again. It is downright startling. I am 63 and I figured that was over for me, but it’s not. Of course I live alone and I am not about to go singing my wild woman song out into the world, not yet anyway! I talked, shyly, to my therapist about it last week. She was so happy for me. She said that it was the awakening of the chi in my body, that when the energy starts to move this most basic fundamental energy awakens too. It is as if I have been resurrected from the dead. All manner of life is seeping back into my body. It is positively thrilling.

And all of this has to be managed in a healthy way. My life must needs be all about balance. Every area of my life, from the food I eat to the air I breathe to the celebration and release of the new energy flowing through my body. I feel years younger, I feel brighter, lively, far more energetic on every level. But, too, the bipolar part of me could easily get moving so quickly it could move into mania and undo everything. I will not let that happen.

The blossoming of Maitri’s Heart Community For Women is a beautiful thing. It is like the thousand petals of the lotus opening up in my heart and life again. I created something really extraordinary with my Dragonfly Cottage Community For Women that went for several years and it was sad to close it but it was time. This new community is something very different, it is the work that I see doing for the rest of my life, and the technology available today has the ability to make this community something that can really reach farther than I ever dreamed possible even as I woke up to a community of 1500 women from around the world every day for more than 6 years. But the technology is mind-bending for someone who is a content creator, not a techie, and today I spent the day working with two different platforms that will be a huge part of this community. One is the forum which will be the heart of the community, and the other a live platform that will enable me to have live chats and more with patrons to my Patreon page. It is very exciting and very, very difficult for someone who is not a technological genius! I can do it, I can work it out, I spent hours and hours today with tech support for both of these platforms, but finally my eyeballs and brains were beginning to fly out at an increasingly alarming rate. And I kept pushing and pushing until finally I could push no more. I was in tears, I was trying too hard, and that thought came, “Oh a xanax would really help…” And it would have, for a short while, but it would have made it all that much easier to take it again the next time, and Hell no! I’m not about to go there again. I stopped, I took a deep breath, tomorrow is another day. And I did in fact get a good bit accomplished today, my Patreon page looks really nice, I’m really proud of it. It’s not ready to go live yet but it’s really coming along. I did enough, for today, and finally I just let go. This is the work of the rest of my life. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

The thing is, the thrilling thing, is that I do know that I can manage all of this, I know that I can take care of myself. I have now been on the ketogenic diet for 4 months as of yesterday. My health markers across the board are amazing. I am losing weight, am off meds, am no longer in the diabetic range, my blood pressure is normal, and I am getting my life back in every way possible, more ways than I knew were possible at 63. Now I realize how young 63 really is, and I love this age, I wouldn’t go back for the world. Women mid-life and beyond are the women I most love to work with, and it is women my age and older that I most look up to and love to spend time with. And going slowly and gently is part of the wisdom of the age, golden years indeed.

And look out Mama! All kinds of things are waking up up in here. There’s no telling what will happen next, slowly, but man oh man, slow is a beautiful thing…

The Experiment ~A 365 Day Search For Truth, Beauty &
Happiness: Day 1 ~ Introduction To The Project
“Do or do not. There is no try.”