My SSRI Story

SSRI stands for Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Simply put: Antidepressants.

joshua-coleman-623113-unsplash.jpgJOSHUA COLEMAN

The last week or two of September were exceptionally cruel to me and even still the withdrawal symptoms linger. I have been strongly against taking these pills ever since I was a child. My childhood Psychologist would constantly mention these as an option to help curb my mood disorders and I was always hesitant and frustrated. I would put up a fight till my eyes were read and tears were streaming down my face.

This was not something I wanted to do. I did not want to partake in taking pharmaceuticals to help me. I didn’t even like taking Tylenol for any generalized pain.

I felt like being alive was bad enough;

I might as well suffer.

Fast forward to now and I still feel like a shell of myself. I’m always worried about the actions of other people and how they create a lasting impression on me. If someone says something rude, I dwell on it. I ask myself repeatedly why they did that and I start to feel unwell about it. I negatively obsess.

My activism, coupled with the horrible emails I receive from companies, corporations and wealth management companies make my mood worsen. I try to focus on the bigger picture and the hopes of creating a positive impact through my own pain and the pain and misunderstanding associated with my peers in the #actuallyautistic community.

I just can’t deal with anything very well.

I have tried three types of pills: Escitalopram (Cipralex/Lexapro), Sertraline (Zoloft) & Venlafaxine (Effexor XR) with absolutely no positive experiences.

The Cipralex left me feeling very hollow, very distracted and very much like I was just dragging myself to do anything – although, out of the three I tried, it worked the best.

The Zoloft didn’t seem to do much at all.

The Effexor XR just made me feel really unwell and my mood was worsened so, I decided to just stop without tapering off. The withdrawal effects were worse than what I expected. Sweats, vomiting, car sickness, the worst nausea I have felt in what seems like forever and a “shaky brain” feeling. There was also a strong need for a whole lot of sleep.

I went to another appointment to my Psychiatrist and it didn’t go particularly well.  He is incredibly dismissive and has me in and out of his office in 5 minutes or less.

He asks me questions completely unrelated to my suffering:

“How are your parents?”, he asked.

“Well, I don’t REALLY talk to my Dad… so.. yeah. My Mom is fine though.. but why didn’t you just increase my dose of Cipralex?”

“Oh, If it wasn’t working at that dose then it’s unlikely it will work at a higher dose.” He then followed that statement up with another unrelated comment.

The sense of defeat and the dark cloud over me seemed to take on more rain at that instant.  It’s apparent, This person, this professional, this DOCTOR who is supposed to help me just wants me out of his office as fast as possible. I like to call them “Fast Food Doctors” because you’re in and you are out very quickly so the Doctor can see more patients and make more money in a shorter amount of time.

My depression and anxiety make my already intense light sensitivity and poor balance much worse. I often feel like I’m going to faint or fall over and my heart starts beating a mile a minute.

What now?

Well, I can’t even work. How am I supposed to get anything done when I just am running out of viable options? I can’t afford to get any kind of mental health assistance where I can talk to a psychologist. That’s not in the cards for me.

 

 

Disclaimer: Please don’t take my advice for professional advice. If these medications worked for you then I wholeheartedly commend you on your sucessful wellness journey. These are my own personal experiences and do not necessarily reflect my readers mental health/wellness plan.
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I am 30.

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My Birthday was a couple days ago and I felt as though a new decade in my life deserves a tribute.

 

This past year I have felt like a lot has changed. I’m not sure if it’s for the better or if it’s just me being a persistent piece of work. I don’t feel as though i’m any different than I was as a teenager. Perhaps less of a social circle, more angry and frustrated. Less energetic and definitely more anxious. Those are not the most positive attributes but I honestly believe that i’m trying to live my best life and create some social change.

This year, I was featured in a local newspaper earlier in September. I also have multiple speaking opportunities coming up and I have done nearly 50 collaborations with various brands and attractions. My traffic to my website has increased significantly from last year (1,454 visitors in 2017 and so far 5,243 this year, apparently that’s a 260 percent increase!) which, I firmly believe, is a true testament to my hard work and fierce diligence.

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Photo by Lum3n.com on Pexels.com

I am able to express myself through art, writing, videos, and podcasts. I always said I wanted to start a blog and I feel that I am finally in the right headspace to contribute my voice to a bigger cause. I have only been diagnosed as an Autistic individual since I was 28 years old and now that i’m 30, the clarity and self-awareness continues to grow.

The hurdles I faced as an infant, child, teenager and now adult are just things I need to live with and I am so lucky to have some incredible people on this journey with me.

Older and wiser voices can help you find the right path, if you are only willing to listen.
-Jimmy Buffett

 

Evolving, slowly.

I’ve been working on new patterns while we wait for our fabric tags for retrophiliac and co.

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I am very anxious and I have been really internalizing my stress. I’m trying not to, but my appetite is gone and my sleep patterns are all screwed up. I’m napping a lot and I haven’t gone outside as much as I should.

I’m going through a dramatic change. I have a job interview next week and I am crossing my fingers that I get it. It’s something i’ve done before and loved immensely. It’s also walking distance from where I am staying and right down the street from where my sister works.

Making friends or having a social life and getting involved in things that this city has to offer is something I would like to do a lot more of. I feel incredibly lucky to be back here, surrounded by family. I never felt like I spent enough time with them.

Please bear with me. I am growing as a person!

-Margaux

SensoryGoods.com Weighted Blanket!

This is a WIN WIN!! I hope you have a chance to check out my video and hear all about this Sensorygoods.com Weighted blanket!!

I am Colour.

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Yes, I will admit it: I am Weird.

I believe I have embraced this as my identity in a very subconscious way. I have no fear when it comes to expressing myself and I don’t think I ever did.

Anxiety is also a big part of who I am. It sometimes forces me to freeze and feel very weak-minded. It takes over me. I sweat profusely, I get heart palpitations, I just want to run and cower. It even can prompt me to sleep a whole lot.

Art is something that can help calm me right down, it is my soul doing the talking. It is an everlasting moment of freedom. I can look at my Art and think “I made that?”. It can be incredibly hard to believe.

I have hopes and dreams with it. Literal “close-my-eyes-and-fall-asleep” dreams. I see myself in the heart of a big city with my art in a gallery. I know it can be considered low brow and heck, I know there’s people who don’t like it and who could truly care less about me. I still have this dream.

“It’s too small. It should be bigger!”

“I can’t be your friend because I can’t stand your Art.”

“Your art is ugly.”

Tell me this. Tell me this over and over and over and over again. Please.

Why? Get your negative thoughts out, it’s good for you.

But for me?

I’ll keep creating.

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Love,

Margaux

What’s my time worth?

I have been suffering from some of the worst anxiety lately. Sleepless nights accompanied by cold sweats, tossing and turning and waking up repeatedly. I’m irritated during the day and I want to be silent at night.

I’m wholeheartedly frustrated.

I feel like I’m someone who can relate to a fuzzy picture on an old television. Sometimes it’s in focus and sometimes it’s just completely static.

 

When I reach out to corporations and companies I hope my time is valued. I hope that the work I put in to it is either offered with some kind of trade like being provided a service in exchange for a review.

So here I am.

I approached one of the largest computer/tech companies.

They are trying to create a resurgence in the marketplace with products marketed to Millennials in hopes that they will be converted from silver products to colourful cubes. Oh, did I mention their net worth is 200+ BILLION DOLLARS? 

Naturally, I would have expected compensation for my time. Knowing a computer is an expensive and hefty piece of equipment to offer me, I would have been happy with  money that I could use to reinvest in items for my blog (a microphone?!) to better my content.

Apparently this corporation does not have the budget to pay me to essentially borrow their item and spend time analyzing it and reviewing it. I am just entirely blown away and what I’m trying to do is show neurodiverse (and neurotypical) individuals products that would enhance life. I like to interject my own humour and thoughts. I love to interact with all of you and hear your precious feedback.

Brands: Please value our time as bloggers. If you say you’re going to cross promote us, please post our content on your website and channels as well. Please provide us some kind of incentive and show us that we are appreciated. Please WORK with us.

Margaux

 

Actually Autistic: Rejection and Defeat

L’Oreal needs to be inclusive

If you are a fully abled individual without any sensory or mobility issues, you may not notice what’s wrong with this picture.

For months and months now i’ve been waiting for a response to what prompted this entire thing in the first place which i’ve described in the video above.

Here’s the entire story.

Summer, 2017. I had just attended my very first Autism meet up and was feeling like I finally fit in with people. I felt good about myself. I was happy. I also had time to kill and thought it was a great opportunity to visit Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby BC, it was on my way home and I thought I could get a few things done.

I noticed an Urban Decay store and they were celebrating their birthday in the mall. How exciting, I thought to myself. I love their products, the pigmentation and thought that this was just super cool and I wanted to get in on the action.

My heart sank and the mood quickly changed.

Why?

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This is why. Yes, it may look like your very ordinary wind booth where you have various pieces of paper flying around but only ONE will win you a coveted full size product.

I couldn’t figure out what someone who had sensory issues or mobility issues was to do since they were not presented with that opportunity.

I was sweaty, anxious, visibly upset and mustered up all the courage I had inside of me to march in to the store and ask for a manager and said I wanted to speak to the marketing department, that I was an autistic individual and didn’t think it was inclusive at all. I met this lady, Tania Garrigo-Meza and she did not tell me she wasn’t the manager, she’s actually the “Retail Biz Dev and Education Executive for Urban Decay Cosmetics”. Her response to me was the most disingenuous “oh, i’m sorry, our marketing team just left!”. Ugh. I asked for a pen and paper and she reluctantly gave me it. I wrote down my information, expecting a prompt response.

Did I get one? NOPE.

I then found her on Instagram. I found her with pictures of the staff and yes, I commented in regards to this situation. The assistant manager contacted me. She knew nothing of what happened. I wrote to every single channel I could possibly think of. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Email and LinkedIn.

Want to see the response I got from Line Miserere who’s position is “Information Management at L’oreal Canada”:

September 13th:

Thank you for sending all the communications. In terms of future contests/promotions, nothing has been determined yet but we have certainly learned a great deal from your experience. It would be my pleasure to send you the full-size product at home, unless you prefer something else. Please let me know.   

A course of action? Policy change? Nope. Just excuses, excuses, excuses.

I decided to write the mall too – because I believe there should be strict standards when promotions are run in the walkways of the mall. Their response:

Hi Margaux Thank you for reaching out to us. We are sorry to hear about this unfortunate experience that occurred with one of our tenants events. Please also allow us to apologize for copying you on our initial response. We review customer concerns received on our social media platforms internally, and that first message was meant for our internal group. In regards to this event, It is something that is put on with the Tenant, Urban Decay. They were responsible for all items. Accordingly, please do follow up with them directly in regards to your concerns. Regards, Metropolis at Metrotown

There isn’t a single person who wants to take responsibility for this and wants to come up with a policy for inclusivity moving forward.

Just take a look at the stocks:

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Falling. Sure, it’s climbing back up there–but maybe they’d learn a thing or two, if, OH, I DON’T KNOW- they LISTENED to their (former) customer base?

I just want a policy where they have criteria that ANY promotion has to meet to include EVERYONE from ALL walks of life and ALL abilities.

L’Oreal owns ALL THESE BRANDS and until I get a response or a resolution, i’m not supporting them and i’m not wearing them.

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You know what else is complete irony? They are working with AUTISM SPEAKS which is all kinds of HORRIBLE! MMMM EUGENICS.

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Want to make your voice heard since they’re not hearing me?

SIGN THE PETITION HERE

Twitter:

Facebook:

Instagram:

Hey Urban Decay_If you want to be inclusive

 

 

I’m a Chewigem Ambassador!

 

Chewigem Products are made for the NEED TO CHEW.

I wish I had these around when I was a kid. I always twirled my hair and chewed on it. I also chewed on my pencils, erasers and my nails.

Their products are not only totally functional but they are very attractive looking. They have a chew chart to showcase the different densities offered to suit different needs.   They are safely made from FDA approved silicone and provide a great anxiety and stim tool, which can be super calming.

I’m excited to be one of their ambassadors as this is something that is incredibly important to me. Products like this help make managing daily life and challenges a bit easier. Having a product like Chewigem on the market fills an important void.

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For more information, please check out:

A fresh new start

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I got a new job!

I’m also super, super nervous about it. You know when nerves mix with excitement and a sprinkle of anxiety? That’s where I’m at. I actually kind of feel sick about it.

I’m going to be learning the skill and art of the Barista. Here’s to hoping I don’t get overwhelmed. If that does happen, I have to remember to breathe and utilize the support systems I will have in place.

I haven’t worked in four months and I haven’t totally minded it, but obviously it’s not sustainable since I have bills to pay, cats to look after, food to buy and so on and so forth. I’m constantly thinking of what’s the next big thing for me and I’m thankful I started this blog because the feedback, the support and the sense of purpose it’s giving me–well, it totally fills my heart with joy!

My inner dialogue goes a little something like this:

  • Will I remember the recipes?
  • Will I please the customers?
  • Will I handle the pressure?
  • Will I remain calm and focused?
  • Will I be able to handle the lights, smells and sounds?

I’m usually very nervous around food handling – especially if it includes leafy greens which is a big sensory-trigger for me. I know: A Vegetarian who doesn’t like leafy greens? Yeah, that’s right. I don’t do salads. I don’t do Lettuce, Kale or any of those Green, plastic-y foods. Nope, Nope, NOPE!

Fortunately, the company that hired me is exceptionally inclusive in their hiring and they will be able to work with my support lady at the local autism centre to ensure I have all the resources I need to be successful. For me, that’s everything. That’s the key to my success. I want to be viewed as being able to perform the job. I want people to know that those on the spectrum are capable of greatness! We don’t need a cure, we need support.