Kat Atwell is a freelance writer, blogger & stage presence telling stories that deliver laughs, validation & community.

Mental Health | Wellness & Self Image | Experiential & Reviews


I feel like I haven't written anything substantive in forever. Likely, because I haven't. I had my walk today, and it was beautiful outside, and I'm glad I went. However, I honestly had more fun fundraising than I actually did showing up for the event. Is that weird? I feel like it's peculiar to have that response.

My visit to the psychiatrist earlier in the week went extremely well. She talked to me - more accurately, she allowed me to talk to her - at length, about what I'd been through, what I'd been on, and how I'd been feeling. I'm now in the process of weaning off one medication and adding a new one to the mix.

The amount of pills I'm taking feels staggering. At this point, I'm fairly certain I need one of those pill containers to keep up with what I'm taking and when. Fortunately, they all go down the hatch at the same time, but between anti-depressants, blood pressure medication, something for mania, sleeping pills...not to mention the vitamin D I'm supposed to be taking and haven't yet purchased...it's just overwhelming. The plan is to get me off the anti-depressant and onto a mood stabilizer, which makes me extremely hopeful, but switching from one thing to the other is something that has to be so wildly monitored and takes place as such a slow pace, it's frustrating. I want to feel better NOW.

I failed to take into account how my moods would be impacted by the changes in the medication, too. We had a management announcement at work on Friday, and a woman I really admire got the job, and before I knew it, I was crying. That was awkward. This afternoon, after having taken the walk, I came home and wanted to nap, yet couldn't, and lo and behold, wound up sobbing because I couldn't sleep. It's embarrassing to deal with. I cancelled plans with a dear friend tonight because the mere thought of going to a concert and being surrounded by so many people just completely overwhelmed me, and then was further complicated by the guilt that rose up uninvited because I knew I had to tell my dear friend that I didn't want to go. I'm the asshole here.

Tonight, I was talking to a wonderful, wonderful friend about all of it, and I mentioned that sometimes, I think it's the smartest people that have to deal with the most complicated of mental illness, because (speaking for myself) I'm so convinced I can magically will myself better. If I just try harder, focus more, take life less seriously, quit trying to foretell the future...if I could just do those things, I'd be all better.

Right, because that makes sense. Oh, and it's important to note that now is the point that my inner voice is mocking me for not being smart enough to accomplish the above bullshit.

Despite all the vitriol that's spewed out of my head tonight, I know I'm heading in the right direction. I feel more confident right now about who I am and what I want than I have in a very long time. I'm becoming a lot more comfortable in my own skin, which is significant. There have been so many phenomenal people who have come into my life recently, or who have been around a while and only recently did I recognize how much I care about them, and I don't take that for granted. I hold to the belief that we draw people to us who are reflections of ourselves, and if that's the case, I'm golden. My support network is astounding.

I have books to read tonight and sleep hopefully to take advantage of, so this is it for now, on here. One of the books I'm fighting my way through is titled Writing as a Way of Healing. It emphasizes the importance of going back to points in our lives and writing what we did and how we felt at that time to better understand who we are now and why we react to things we do.

Two things make this book difficult for me: 1) My life doesn't feel like it's been all that difficult, and going out of my way to talk about stuff that has been hard for me makes me feel like I'm dwelling on the wrong things and casting blame, which I'm not comfortable doing, and 2) Why does it always have to be the difficult stuff?

Years and years ago, I went through a period where I got into writing poetry, and went to some readings where people shared their work. It was so dark and emo and ...bleh. Negative. I wound up writing overly happy stuff just to prove a point and be the guy who was able to say that yep, it is possible to look at the bright side. Me and Monty Python.

I look back now and wonder if I've just avoided it out of fear. I could learn more about myself if I had the courage to just put stuff down. Deep breath. I wouldn't still be reading the book if I didn't think there was something resonating there that I needed to absorb, so absorb I will.

Sweet dreams.


Brain chemistry - tricky business.