Art show and an unexpected conversation

I currently have a piece of art up at the JCC Vancouver’s Community Longing & Belonging exhibit. Tonight was the grand opening of the exhibit and a lot of people made it out. I was happy to share the space with so many talented artists, some of which included my Mother, who painted a Hamsa and birdhouses, as well as my two Sisters, one picture missing. My younger Sister used a pouring technique.

I was also interviewed by an old school friend of mine, Alison, for Co-Op Radio which will be on this Sunday.

I was taking a photo of myself with my art and lingering around the same general area when a Lady came up to me and started talking. I can’t recall the exact conversation but it got to a point where I tried multiple times to end it. Being an Autistic Person is part of my identity and I harbour no shame towards that. I believe I may have introduced myself as an Autistic Artist. This Lady was very forward with the things she said, some of which included how we shouldn’t label ourselves and how she does not believe in that. I was saying it’s part of who I am. I can’t remember what else I said but she was still persistent. I felt really invalidated and upset but I didn’t want to show those feelings.

If someone wants to refer to themselves as the way they identify, there’s no reason for someone else to decide that for them. I wasn’t saying anything negative about myself! I find it empowering because it’s a celebration of what Autistic people are capable of and bringing light to how diverse we can all be.

I just want to add that i’ve felt incredibly depressed lately and my emotional sensitivity is taking a beating. I can’t handle very much and I am in no mood to argue. It completely depletes me of any energy I was harbouring.

I was able to channel my negative mood in to some new pieces of art that are very bright, happy and positive.

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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 article for professional advice. If these medications worked for you then I wholeheartedly commend you on your successful wellness journey. These are my own personal experiences and do not necessarily reflect my readers mental health/wellness plan.

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Check out my article: https://www.vancouverisawesome.com/2018/04/12/margaux-wosk/

 

My Story: Part 1

I was born near the end of the 80s. A time of plenty.

My entrance in to the world was a rocky one. I was born with a couple of birth defects and had surgery shortly after I was born. I had another surgery months (or weeks?) later.

I grew up in an upper class neighbourhood (in Vancouver, BC Canada) in a big pink house that wasn’t much older than me with my family being the very first owners. The houses surrounding us were mostly heritage homes, few of which are still standing today.

I attended a religion-based private/community school from Nursery 3 up until the 6th grade. It was horrible and I spent nearly every day crying. I’d start my day with a sense of dread, spend the middle of the day battling with my own self esteem as those around me diminished it any chance they got. I’d come home and have one of my parents ask me how school was or what I did. It was the last thing I wanted to answer and I would get scolded for being evasive.

I then transferred to a private school and the very same problems followed me there. 6th grade and part of the 7th grade. I wanted to vanish, forever. The kids were just as cruel but they didn’t spend 9 years of their lives growing up with me- not that it made any kind of difference.

I transferred schools again, this time it was a multi-modal program with another very high price tag for me to attend (yes, the last two schools definitely cost notable chunks of change). I had made a couple of friends, but I still felt like I wasn’t supposed to be there. I wasn’t sure where I would ever fit in. This time, it was a couple of teachers that I clashed with. Mr. H – he got mad at me through my ’emo’ years for wearing a spiked bracelet. He told me it was banned and that I was NEVER to wear it again. I kept asking why? What was wrong with it? I didn’t get a solid answer. I was very upset. I went to the office and the receptionists were talking about me right behind my back. I called my Mom and within NO TIME at all she came to the school and confronted the teacher. She asked him, point-blank, if he thought it was some kind of “S&M thing” and he wouldn’t say anything! She then confronted the receptionists and they admitted they were talking about me.

I love my Mom so much, she’s always been my #1 and ALWAYS been there for me. She’s my best friend.

The second teacher, Mr. F was the art teacher. He told me once that all my art looked the same and constantly excluded me from events that were meant for everyone. It was a struggle to KNOW that i was purposely left out.

This is Part 1 of my story. If you’re interested in knowing more, please let me know.

Love,

Margaux