Over the years I have taken a lot of medicine.

I have to take thyroid medicine for the rest of my life.

I have taken a lot of pain medicine in my lifetime.

Besides these medications I have taken quite a bit of psychiatric type medicine.

It’s sort of overwhelming as I think back at all of the different medicines that I have taken. I have a lot of issues and that required a lot of medication. Depression, Anxiety, insomnia, ADD, arthritis so on and on the list goes.

Finding the right medication can take a long time. Usually I was on a couple of antidepressants at a time because they sort of enhanced each other. I will say that there were really good things about them. I suppose in some ways I was happier. I left the house more. But it was weird. I didn’t feel like a real person. It was like a fake happy person all of the time and I was never comfortable like that.

Even taking medicine I didn’t sleep well. And holy cow-the side effects totally kicked my ass. Weight gain, tremors, sexual side effects, dry mouth. When I say dry mouth, I don’t mean dry mouth like I had smoked a little pot or something. This was serious dry mouth. It was so bad it hurt and I couldn’t talk at times. Stomach pain, nausea and vomiting. Plus I always was worried about unknown effects that could come years down the road.

There came a time where the side effects weren’t outweighing the benefits so I decided to stop taking all of it.

That was a rough time. No sleep. Brain zap things for months. Sweats and nightmares. Pain increased. Anxiety increased… but it was more tolerable. Over the years I have worked hard to find things to take place of the medicine.

I would have to say that, for me, meditation has helped me as much or more than anything. I’m not great at it but it helped me to get a better grip on my anxiety and it has helped me to relax enough that I sleep better.

Another thing that has helped me a lot is fermentation. I don’t know if it is the probiotics that has helped me or the fact that I have a hobby that I care about that has made such a difference. To be honest, I don’t care which it is. One way or another, messing around with yeast and bacteria, making healthy, tasty food has improved my life.

Besides the fermented foods I eat a much healthier diet now. I used to eat total crap. Cookies and BigMacs… a ridiculous amount of soda. Now I mainly follow a plant based diet with rare junk food.

These things have made a difference to me. Is my pain under control? No, but I can poop freely now. I still have anxiety and depression but I am learning to cope with it. I am taking little steps and learning that mindset has a lot to do with this stuff.

I sure don’t judge people that choose to go the medication route. I understand chemical imbalance. I just choose to try to address mine by actually attempting to get things into balance naturally rather than force it or cover symptoms up.

Each individual needs to find what works for them. This is what I find to be one of the keys to life. Sit a while. Listen to your heart. What calls to you. What seems right for you?