There’s a personal health milestone accomplished today. My maintenance medication is no longer a requirement at this phase of life. There are no words to express how happy this makes me. I’ve been dying to get off these pills for a looooooooooong time. 🙂
So what was the magic ingredient that helped me manage my symptoms? SALMON OIL! Haha. All natural OMEGA 3 supplements rock! I had mega-dosing of this magic capsule day in and day out. It was enough to stabilize and add the necessary nutrients to keep me goal-directed, focused, and calm. The most fortunate fact about the whole thing is that my therapist studied this for her thesis at medical school. And as such, she was open to using salmon oil as front-line medication alternative for my mood condition. If I had told another therapist about it and they are “old school” about my recovery, they will refuse to allow me to take the natural route.
It’s been almost three weeks and I am symptom-free. This is a miracle. Exactly one year ago, I thought I was never going to be able to recover from it, that I will be stuck to being drugged daily. I even took a drug (we fortunately discontinued drinking that horrible Abilify) that made me feel like there is an inner apocalypse inside of me. And I wanted to give my husband the very best version of myself so I cooperated with my therapy. I don’t want him to be a casualty for a mismanaged illness if help is available.
In retrospect, I am currently so far away from the very unwell person that I was exactly 1 year ago. By golly, it’s been a year! I made the right decisions and lady luck kissed me for my perseverance to stay alive and healthy. It also helped that I had my husband’s love and support the entire time that I went through this.
I used to drink around 3 tablets at night so that I can sleep soundly, have a stable enough mood to function normally, and alleviate unhealthy thought patterns (yes, there is a pill for that, apparently!).
And you know what’s the worst part of having to take that chemical cocktail? I completely suffered from medical side effects like excessive weight gain, pimples, shaky hands (like I can’t even do calligraphy perfectly or hold a glass of water steadily), forgetfulness, and dizziness. Not to mention the havoc it is probably wreaking on my kidneys. All those salmon oil capsules I took in basically saved me from all of these symptoms. I kind of hated my life already for having to drink so much medication. And the whole time, I was losing a lot of hope for my future. I thought that I will spend the rest of my life taking these pills which are classified as restricted or high risk for pregnancies by pharmacists. As a married woman, all these pills are killers for trying to conceive or build a family because it attacks the fetus’ respiratory system and heart. And honestly, it’s a very unhappy prospect considering that I have always looked forward to having my own family.
Just for not taking the medication for three weeks, I already lost three kilograms and my double chin from the manas effect. Salmon oil was just the first step and not the only step to make it work, though. I made a lot of lifestyle changes as well. I prayed, kept a gratitude journal, took the Khloe Kardashian-esque dairy-free diet (explanation for this merits its own post), cut back on my chocolate and coffee consumption, incorporated regular stretching exercises in my daily routine (got to thank Van for this one), and took some meditation courses online (Udemy).
Before my wedding, I killed myself to achieve a 24.5 inch waistline. I was pretty determined to fit in my gown and I went completely crazy about accomplishing it. These days, I am just happy to do the portion control for health reasons; all the excess medication-produced pounds I will be shedding will only be a bonus for being medication-free. It feels more natural and progressive to make small healthy lifestyle choices then accumulate the effects over time than have a one-time big time crash diet frenzy.
Apart from the health overhaul, I did the things that make me really happy. Since it’s national arts month this month, I managed to score slots to two free photography workshops plus one private design thinking workshop facilitated by a really accomplished architect (many thanks to my friend Bituin for this). And I continued to practice my super amateur calligraphy in my notebook. No dull moment. I cannot imagine living life without lining up activities for me to follow through. I still have a lot of things lined up right now and I am quite surprised at how it’s no longer overwhelming me.
Everytime I start to feel the symptoms of being overwhelmed, I go to bed or take an extra salmon oil capsule. That’s so much better than pill popper old me. <3 I am putting this out here just in case somebody finds salmon oil a promising alternative for health problems. It’s really legit! <3 <3 <3