rBST/rBGH – The skinny on bovine hormones.


Recumbinent Bovine somatotropin (rbST) is an animal drug approved by the FDA, to increase milk production in dairy cows. This drug is based on the growth hormone bovine somatotropin or bovine growth hormone (bst or bgh), that is naturally produced in cattle. Growth hormone is a protein hormone produced in the pituitary gland of animals, including humans, and is essential for normal growth, development, and health maintenance.Early research in the 1930s and 1940s in Russia and England found that milk production in cows could be increased by injecting cattle pituitary extracts, specifically bST. English scientists attempted to increase milk production in cows during World War II with pituitary-derived bST to alleviate food shortages. However, it wasn’t until the 1980s that it became technically possible and economically feasible to produce large commercial quantities of bST by a process using biotechnology. The bST derived by this process is typically called “recombinant” bST or “rbST”. This process is also advantageous for producing a more consistent and purified source of bST.

The FDA approves an animal drug only after information and/or studies have shown that the food (in this case, milk and meat) from the treated animals is safe for people to eat, and that the drug does not harm treated animals, or the environment. The drug also must be effective, meaning that it works as intended. The labeling for animal drug products provides all instructions for safe and effective use and is approved by FDA. The FDA publishes public documents (Freedom of Information Summaries) on its website that summarize the information that the FDA used to determine that the drug is safe for the treated animals, the animal products (edible tissues such as meat and milk) are safe for humans to eat, and that the product is effective.
FDA approved a bST product in 1993 with the brand name “Posilac®” after determining that its use would be safe and effective. Posilac® is approved for over-the-counter use in dairy cows starting at around 2 months after the cow has a calf until the end of the lactation period. During this time, cows are injected with Posilac® subcutaneously (under the skin) every 14 days. A cow’s typical lactation period is approximately 10 months long, starting right after she has a calf. Thus, treated dairy cows are typically given Posilac® for about 8 months of the year. After the 10 month lactation period, the producer stops milking the cow to allow a 2-4 month period for her mammary gland to rest and regenerate before she has a calf and starts the next lactation period. As these are guidelines, some dairy farmers choose to use rbst for different time frames. Regardless, dairy cattle are not injected every day, or in quantities that would make them ill, or be traceable in human consumption.
A key factor in FDA’s determination that milk and meat from cows treated with Posilac® is safe for humans to eat is that bST is a large protein. When they are eaten, proteins are broken down by digestive enzymes in the human gastrointestinal tract. Furthermore, even if it was injected, the human body doesn’t recognize bST because its structure is significantly different from the somatotropin produced in the human pituitary gland. Posilac® has a zero day withdrawal. This means that the milk and meat from cows is safe for humans to eat at any time after the animal is treated with Posilac®. Numerous international health and food safety organizations and many national regulatory agencies have confirmed the safety of milk and meat from bST-treated cows for human consumption.
FDA evaluated the results of numerous studies before approval, to determine if Posilac® was safe for treated dairy cows. Many of the studies were conducted under typical farm conditions in multiple regions of the U.S. The effects of treatment were evaluated on all aspects of cows’ health, feed intake, ability to have a calf, and the health of their offspring. FDA concluded that Posilac® was safe to use in healthy dairy cows. Some increased side effects were observed in Posilac®-treated cows, but FDA determined that these effects were manageable under normal U.S. farming conditions. The labeling for the product identifies the potential side effects to treated cows so that dairy farmers can make an informed decision on whether to use Posilac® in their herd. A post-approval monitoring study in 28 herds around the U.S. and including more than 1000 dairy cows confirmed the safety of the product to treated dairy cows. 

Another important thing to remember, is that when a dairy cow is given rbst in order to produce more milk, they also have a greater intake of feed, grass, water, and needed rest. It does not mean that the dairy cow will produce more milk on the same amount of nutritional intake. That would not be healthy for the dairy cattle at all, which would cause more health issues for the herd, and in turn cause a financial hardship for the producer. There are plenty of dairy farmers who have decided to stop using rbst strictly for the increased feed intake from the herd, which costs more. The other big factor would be the extremely low milk prices that are putting more dairy farmers out of business. There is no need to produce more milk. With the consumers of the world scared of what could or could not be in their food, that leaves a lot of conspiracy theorists the ability to use inaccurate information and mythical exaggerations as to what rbst or rbgh is or is not. In fact, of all the sites I have been poking through, the funniest one I found was the blog of Mr. John Robbins, who seems to be just the epitome of the  “corporations of any kind are evil and everyone is against us” way of thinking. I laugh when I hear this kind of stuff, not because I want to offend anyone, but because I truely believe in what I do, and in science as a whole. However, if you do want to check out his blog, I’ll put the link below. He brings up a lot of consumer concerns about the whole cancer links to rbst/rbgh. I will also link the information put forth by the American Cancer Society that shows that there are no founded studies to say there is, so chew on that for a moment please. 

Lastly, I will add in, that in no way do I promote Monsanto, but I also don’t feel as though I need to portray them in a negative light. I’ll have another post about them later, but in all honesty I have better things to do with my time and this blog, than to harp on a businesses mistakes and pick apart every little thing they have ever done or said. I leave that for others who have nothing better to do. I have food to grow and cattle to raise. 

Sites/reports to check out for more Info:

2013 FDA Affirmation: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/127845/1/9789241209885_eng.pdf?ua=1

2016 Response to Citizen Petition with Reasons: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FDA-2007-P-0119-0007

This guy: http://johnrobbins.info/blog/is-rbst-the-same-as-rbgh/

The American Cancer Society: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/recombinant-bovine-growth-hormone.html

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Animal Welfare and Nosy Neighbors: When can your passion for a good cause, go too far?

 

I live in Chester County, Pennsylvania. I grew up in this county and have spent most of my adult life in this county, with the exception of west coast dreams and military aspirations. Chester County was founded by farmers and was built  into the booming and thriving economic mainstay that it is known for today, by city dwellers that wanted a “country” way of life for their summer homes. Then they decided to stay all year long. Before long the farms disappeared. Well, for the most part anyway. In northern Chester county, where I live, I am surrounded by developments, parks, open space preserved lots that are still being surrounded by even more developments, shopping centers, a mall, highways, a turnpike, business and industrial parks…the list could go on forever. While I love feeding people with the crops we produce, I am more of the animal lover. I love the livestock. I could spend all day out in the barn with the steers, heifers and cows. I love learning about them (which is never ending), keeping them feed, happy, and healthy to the best of my ability.

So imagine my surprise a couple months ago, when a local police officer knocks on my door and tells me that a “neighbor” has called in to report “excessive moo-ing” on my property and they would “kindly” like it to stop.

I’m sorry, what?

My response: “I don’t think my neighbor understands how a farm works…I should help them. Please let them know that they are welcome to stop by when it is convenient for them to do so, and we can discuss the particularly vocal heifer in question and how a heat cycle works in bovines.”

And considering how cool my local police department is, I’m almost positive my exact message was conveyed in its entirety. Needless to say, I haven’t had any issues, or contact, with said neighbor since. I will assume that they are not interested in the reproductive cycles of cows then. However, we are still open for having visitors that want to learn.

But the real reason for this particular post, is because of a situation that happened a couple days ago. About 2 months ago, we moved the two older heifers to the big farm, in preparation for my Jersey heifer (Coffee) to have her first calf. Wherever Coffee goes, Cole’s Red and White Holstein heifer, May goes. They are kind of inseparable. BFF’s if you will. During this time frame, we found that Coffee had contracted a skin parasite, known as mange mites. Yes, mange. There are an overabundance of foxes that live in this area that carry said parasite, and are known to run through our pastures (thank you fox hunters). So Coffee probably came into contact with the parasite out in the pasture at our house before being moved to the big farm. Because it spread so rapidly, she lost all her hair. Literally. I’ll be the first to admit that she looks like a huge naked mole rat. But we worked with the Veterinarian and after several pour-on treatments and injections, we are finally past the mange issue. Coffee had her calf as well, but the little sweet heifer didn’t make it. She was just too underdeveloped. Coffee is just as amazing as a cow as I knew she would be. She is healthy and milking like a champ, despite still working on growing her coat back. No big deal, right? Wrong. Cows, like kids, need to go outside for fresh air, when the weather permits. If they stay in a barn without proper air circulation, they can get sick. That’s not good. So Coffee and May were let out in a make shift pasture, next to the barn, with plenty of water and hay, to kick up their heels a little bit and to enjoy the 70 degree February weather.  Next to the highway.

Any guesses on what happened next?

Needless to say,  we were told that social media blew up with the sick looking, under fed cow that should be immediately taken away from its owners and the cops should be called.

Now I am all for animal welfare and being involved in honest, fact-driven, and honorable causes. Having a passion for something is a wonderful drive to have. But when you slander someone on social media because you think you know what you are talking about, or simply because you are behind a computer screen and feel anonymous, that’s when you need to take a step back and ask yourself a couple questions. For instance, if you see an animal that is causing you concern, are you willing to go talk to the person that lives there and offer to help? Can you honestly look at the situation in front of you and know you can tell the difference between a healthy and an unhealthy animal? No matter what species of animal it may be? If you can’t honestly answer these questions without a shadow of doubt or fear, then you should probably mind your own business and move along. Or at the very least, talk to someone you are comfortable with who DOES know about that kind of animal, or is able to go check it out for you. Especially before you post something on social media! I do not comment on any topic that I am not sure of the facts about. Ever. I have no problem telling someone, that I do not know the answer and I will get back to them when I do. Or, I find someone that does know about that subject, and point them in their direction. The more I know about something, the better I can help people understand. That goes for animal welfare, farming practices, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Fibromyalgia, etc. I am passionate about a LOT of things people! But I am also not going to make things up to fit my own opinions or agenda. That does nothing to advance fact based thinking. I want people to think before they react. Seeing a cow in a pasture, with another cow, enjoying life and basking in the warm sun, is the sign of a responsible farmer.

So in the spirit of transparency, I’ll add in some pictures to go along with this narrative.

This is what Coffee normally looks like:

img_7368

 

And this is what Coffee looks like right now

img_7621

Yes, she looks like a giant naked mole rat with an udder. But do not shame my cow. She’s special.

I mean really, if we can complain about body shaming women who do not fit a media induced “standard”, then why can’t I put a stop to complete strangers shaming my poor little Jersey on social media?!? And any farmer who has had ringworm or mange go through their barn, feels my pain. These things happen, and its our own worst nightmare. We don’t need any outside help to make it worse.

So I implore you, for those that have passions as big as mine. Do your research. Use facts, not biased sources. Don’t use social media as gossip column. If you want information, ask someone who knows, or go to the source itself. We would have been happy to tell you exactly why Coffee looks the way she does, as well as why you shouldn’t jump to conclusions.

And if you want to have a good laugh, Check out this Penn and Teller  video on YouTube. This is exactly why everyone should know what they are passionate about.

++Strong Language is Used++

 

And remember to stay positive and smile. No one likes having a bad day.

 

Changes and Improvements

Please excuse the length of this post. But please read the whole thing, if you want to know more. I know its a double negative, but for those who will take the time to read it, I appreciate your time. 🙂

There once was a time in my life that I thought the most important thing I could do, was to keep my kids and husband happy. It didn’t matter what struggles or adversities I went through, it would be worth everything to make sure my kids were content and not wanting for anything. To have my husband know that everything on my end was taken care of and he would never wonder what I was doing or where I may have gone that day. He would always be taken care of.

Now don’t get me wrong, there is something to be said for the sacrifices Mothers and Fathers make for their children on a daily basis. It’s part of being a parent. Same thing goes for being a spouse. Each of you has to give 100% to the marriage/relationship, or else it won’t work. It’s not 50/50. It is 100/100. Trust me on that one. But there is also someone else that needs taken care of and pampered too. Someone that Mothers, Fathers, husbands, and wives often forget in trying to keep the rest of the family happy:

Yourself.

I know how easy it is to put everyone else first. To get lose yourself in the everyday tasks of housework, laundry, cooking, babysitting, errands, phone calls, play dates, outside chores,  appointments….well you get the idea. And I am not saying that my life is harder than the next persons. I don’t think there is should be competitions on who went through the worst divorce, or who’s life is tougher than who’s. Everyone handles things differently and that is fine.

As a farmer’s wife, and a  special needs Mom, I found myself lost. I went back to school to get my associates degree last year (virtually), which is going well, but I was not organizing my time correctly or as well as I could have been. I was still putting everyone else’s needs and wants first, and not including what I needed or wanted. Some of you who have read my past posts, my know that in December of 2015, my middle son went to a Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) due to his ASD and behavioral issues. Since Cam has been away, we have been able to do little things that we weren’t able to do before, but we have also spent a lot of time where Cam is, and even taken Cam on a day pass to a battlefield in the area and toured it. Together. For the first time ever.We didn’t have to leave early, we didn’t have any arguments or screaming fits. And I actually witnessed my son using his coping skills on his own, for the first time ever. It was amazing!! I was relaxed on a family outing. And that’s when it hit me:

When am I going to focus on something I want to do, for me? I made the decision to go back to school, but that was also for our families livelihood. My major is in Agribusiness Marketing & Management. I love Agriculture. Its what keeps the world feed and healthy, and puts money in our pockets. I have a passion for what we do. I also am a co-leader for one of our county 4-H Dairy clubs. Both of the boys are avid 4-H members and love to show their dairy heifers. Even though Cam is not able to be an active member right now, he is still helping me (over the phone) with the care of his heifer, and now that she is bred, he will be getting her calf to show next year! He is very excited.

So I started thinking, I am passionate about agriculture, kids, and 4-H. What could I do with that?! While it might be easy for some people to come up with a ton of different ideas that work, I have problems with brainstorming workable solutions. My brain works so fast sometimes that thoughts get jumbled and ideas get twisted and they end up being ridiculously undo-able for a starter project. Then a changing moment happened. A very good friend of mine got into a debate with me over the dairy industry on my Facebook page. I was shocked at the information she had researched and found on the treatment of animals and how we produce milk. And no matter what facts I was able to give to her, she would not believe me.  That hurt, to know that people I care for were reading information that was not only fabricated, but grossly inaccurate about the dairy industry as a whole, strictly for an organizations movement of anti-whatever. I understand that people will only believe what they want to believe, and that is their right. But there is a difference between fact and opinion. I was so upset at this situation, that I literally could not sleep. And not at my friend, but at the resources she was looking at. The people that put these resources online or in a book and decided that it would be a good idea to invoke peoples emotions for the betterment of their own cause. Factually, the information she had was not true at all, or grossly exaggerated to serve their own purpose. And I realized there are probably tons of information of that nature, for every commodity we produce, in order to gain an emotional response to anti-whatever movement against agriculture in one way or another. They sure gained an emotional response from me, but I’m not sure they will like the end result.

And that’s when I knew what my passion is. I attended the PA Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer’s and Ranchers Conference soon after all of this happened and realized that I wanted to be more involved in some way, to help the Ag community spread truth and facts. To help the non-Ag community understand what we do and why we do it. And while I am actually almost too old to be involved in the YF&R committee (only a year left until I age out, but Paul is younger than me, so he is my ticket in 🙂 ), I found out about the PA Farm Bureau Ag Promotion Committee. Well that sounds exactly like what I was looking for, uh? So I am now our county Ag Promotion Committee Chair and possibly the district rep for the state committee (cause I have nothing else to do, right?). But if this is what it takes to help our communities understand the difference between what we do, and what you are being told, from the experts who actually do it, then I will spread myself as thin as possible in order to help educate and dispel the myths that have been out there for far to long.

And I can still volunteer my time with 4-H and be a leader and help the kids in the county get more educated about their own industry and the other Ag commodities that everyone enjoys everyday. Plus, I could also work with special needs kids and show them different careers they could handle in the Ag community. With my degree, I could even make a job out of this, while still helping at home. Its a win-win for me and hopefully, everyone else!!!

Don’t worry, I am not turning my blog into nothing but Ag Promotion information to cram down anyone’s throats (of course, there is always an unsubscribe button if you get the need to whine or complain about anything that is written. I am always up for questions and comments or differences of opinions, but trolling or bashing of any kind will be blocked). There will still be family drama, issues with life in general, a few DIY posts, and maybe even a funny story or two. 🙂

Changes and improvements are exactly what we all need sometimes. To ourselves, we need to put our passions into the mix of what our families need. Because if we don’t take care of ourselves, how can we take care of anyone else?

-Mel

New and improved…but still me

imageOk, so those of you that have been following me for the last two years, will probably notice that this blog is looking a little bit different. That’s a good observation, because you are correct. I am revamping the blog in order to help people learn more about me and maybe get even learn something about themselves as well. So strap in and hold on, cause it’s going to be one hell of a ride…

 

Today, I need strength.

There has been a lot of offhanded comments made to special needs parents by others. Most of this conversation has focused on comments such as “You are so strong” or “I could never do what you do.”

I can easily understand why these comments may make some uncomfortable. I, just like the next mom (or woman for that matter), am often looking for ways to put myself down or point out areas where I just don’t feel like I’m measuring up. But being a strong mom for my child with special needs is not one of those areas.

Also, I don’t just think I’m strong — I know I’m strong.

I know what I’ve witnessed — and what I’ve encountered — in my son’s ten years on this earth. If you have a medically fragile child or a child with special needs, I’m convinced that sentence is self-explanatory. I know I have felt fear that is blinding, heartbreak that is gut-wrenching, hopelessness that seems insurmountable and helplessness that seems debilitating. I have felt all of these things through every fiber of my being one minute and shut them off like a faucet the next when my child needed to see a brave face and hold a calm hand. This is just one small demonstration of the strength special needs parents’ possess.

But please don’t interpret this to mean I’ve always felt strong.

There were countless points in our journey where I didn’t feel strong at all but the exact opposite: weak, vulnerable and helpless. I certainly didn’t feel strong when I was crying into my pillowcase in sadness, avoiding loved ones’ phone calls in denial or watching my child undergo another medication change in anger.

I believe strength entered the equation when I wiped my eyes, called my friends back days later and continued to hold my son’s hand throughout another bad day at school/home/therapy session.

Is it necessary that we always feel strong in order to be strong?

Please don’t interpret this to mean I’ve always been aware of own my own strength.

There have certainly been instances where a courteous smile and “thanks” covered deep feelings of insecurity and failure; times when I myself would have been the one brushing off others’ attempts to support me or build me up.

When you watch your child suffer as a parent, you can be forced into visiting some dark places, which can be full of heavy emotions. When I was in the midst of that darkness, I felt anything but strong.

Today, I do not feel strong. Yesterday I sent my son to a residential treatment facility, to get help for his behaviors and his lack of cognitive skills, that I cannot help him with anymore. I feel like a failure. That I let my son down, and now I am going to crawl into a dark hole and stay there for a while.

But eventually, God willing, I will come out of that dark place. The emotions aren’t left behind, but are carried (or dragged at times) alongside me. Special needs parents carry these heavy emotions every day, regardless of how visible it may or may not be.

Is it necessary to always recognize our strengths in order to be strong?

Whether we realize it or not, I believe there are many points when we choose if we are going to allow our struggles to weigh us down, or if we are going to squeeze them into a backpack, strap it on and keep going. We can let our thoughts and actions continually be gripped by fear and sadness, or we can do our best to choose another way in those moments.

I don’t believe carrying heavy emotions is what defines weakness; I believe carrying on despite them is what defines strength.

We can accept emotions and weaknesses are a part of us, but that they do not define us (in the same way we wouldn’t want our child to be defined by them), and they certainly don’t rob us of our strength.

Perhaps the times others reference our strength, it should serve as a reminder to us that, quite possibly, we are. Could it be that these people are able to see something we aren’t yet able to? Is it possible that even though we certainly aren’t feeling like it in that moment, we could still consider ourselves strong?

I believe regardless of how often we feel weak and shattered, we can still define ourselves as strong by virtue of doing our best.

Regardless of what we attribute it to — God (true in my case), our children or even having no other option — and regardless of how or why we keep going, it is still strength that enables us to do it.

If you are a special needs parent or a parent of a child who deals with medical issues, you may be at a point in your journey where you are not feeling strong. But I see your strength. I see strength in the way you make it through the day and love your child. I see strength in the way you keep going.

My hope is you get to a point in your journey where you are able to own your strength, value it and give credit where credit is due. Until then I will give it for you.

The secrets we keep and the wisdom we share.

Last night I saw this article:
35 Secrets of being a special needs parent. It is on TheMighty.com website.

I decided to pick some of my favorites and added my own comments.

“I cry. All the time. Joy, frustration, exhaustion, successes, good days, bad days — I cry for all of them.” — I honestly don’t think there has been one day in the past four years that I haven’t cried.

“You’ll need a sense of humor… Fast!” — The only way I’d ever survive.

“It’s a lot harder than it looks. It infiltrates every crevice of your life and affects every minute of every hour of every day. It’s right there when you wake up in the morning and doesn’t stop challenging you until bedtime (and doesn’t stop even then).” — So very true. It consumes me. I try to have the most normal life possible for me, my husband and my two “typical” kids, but I never ever can forget how our life is ultimately different.

“You are not weak when you get angry and upset.” — I have to vent and rant and rave, to stay sane.

“You know your kid best. Don’t be concerned with what others say. Trust your gut.” — especially with his family on his Dad’s side

“You’re now in a secret world. You’ll see things you never imagined: ignorance, rudeness and discrimination. But you’ll also witness so many everyday miracles, and you’ll know it. You won’t think a milestone is just a milestone, you’ll know it’s a miracle and be present in that moment. You’ll treasure things most wouldn’t think twice about. You’ll become an advocate, an educator, a specialist and a therapist, but most of all, you’ll be a Mom to the most wonderful child.” — couldn’t of said it better.

“It’s lonely. But when you meet someone who gets it, it’s transforming.”— I can’t even begin to tell you how wonderful support groups are….

“There is consistency in routines.” — Not just for Cameron, but for me as well. It gives me a sense of calm, that can help me deal with Cameron so much better.

“I’ve found that optimism is exhausting and realism is a source of comfort.” — I remember being such an optimistic person growing up and in my younger days. Now I realize that being realistic about things doesn’t give you such a let down.

“It’s about progress, not perfection.” — Even the slightest bit of progress makes me feel like he is getting somewhere, and I always remember that every little step forward, might not be there tomorrow. Enjoy it while you can.

“Some things may never get better, but your ability to deal with that problem will improve.” — I hold onto this advice that someday this will come true…lol

“You have to also take care of yourself.” — This is a quote from the website, but to be honest, I credit this tidbit of information to my Mother-In-Law, who has to be the coolest woman I have ever met. She sat me down a long time ago and told me that I am worthless to Cameron, if I do not take care of myself. It took me a couple years, but I found out yoga does wonders for my mental health and my physical health, and THAT allows me to deal with Cameron’s meltdowns and temper tantrums in a better state of mind.

I know this post really doesn’t have an agenda, but hopefully someone will read this and get a better grasp of what special needs parents go through. Or maybe a special needs parent will finally feel understood. Or maybe even a special needs sibling will read this and know that they have the same feelings as their parents sometimes and that could bring them closer together.

Because you just never know who your words could touch.

If you’re thoughts are jumbled, get them out. My rant on my Mental Health Issues.

Every once in a while, I get confused about all the different points in my life. What milestone is Ellie at, and should she be there? What is happening in Cameron’s mind now? When is Paul going to fix this? Why can’t I fix it? What else needs to be done today? Why can’t I just go back to bed? Where are Cole’s grades at this week? What is happening at Cole’s house?

Yea, you get why I can be easily side tracked now, uh?

So I have a notebook I carry around the house with me. That way I can write things down as I go about my day. If its on paper, then I don’t feel like I have to keep it in my brain. It makes me less “weighed down” I guess. Then I can feel more productive, because I am not constantly worrying about forgetting something, or missing something. I hate feeling that way.

Its because of this that I started to write this blog to begin with. A way to get my thoughts and life experiences out. So I don’t forget them. So I can help others. So I can still be me.

As I have gotten older, I have seen certain parts of me disappear. Some things are just the natural order of maturity happening. Things I thought were funny as a teenager or young adult, just seem stupid now. But other things are more, lost. What happened to the woman that never let anyone get her down? Who always kept a positive outlook on life? Who would never have dreamed that someone could make her feel worthless?

Some of this has to do with mental health issues. I know this. Am I happy about that? God no. It might be an answer to feelings and thought processes I have, but its not an answer I am ok with, or proud of (I really don’t know anyone who is). I am constantly looking for a different, more effective and homeopathic way of getting “Me” back. Some things work well and still do. Some things worked well in the past and don’t now. Other things never worked at all. I have taken prescribed medication and hated it, but it worked. I just don’t want to STAY on it. A few people, some who have the same problems or differences as I, tell me to embrace the meds if they work. It’s no different then someone taking insulin everyday because of their diabetes. That is true. I know that. I worked in the medical field for much too long to deny that fact. But that still doesn’t make me want to take that pill everyday. So I take them to get my head on straight and then I wean myself off and work at meditation and deep breathing and finding my “happy place”. It works for a while anyway. Then my thoughts start to get jumbled up again.

Then I feel lost. Where did I go? Why do I keep feeling like this? What can I do to make it stop?

I am not a good Mother, when I am like this. I am not a good wife. Everything is falling apart and I can’t fix it. Paul will leave me. My kids will hate me.

And yet, also in my mind, is the voice telling me that this is a chemical imbalance in my brain. I AM a good Mother. I AM a good wife. Paul loves me and (better yet) understands me. Nothing is falling apart.  The kids don’t hate me. They are confused by my reactions sometimes.

All of this is running through my head. Both sides. As I type right now, I can feel the war, raging within my subconscious.

It’s ridiculous and I hate it.

I can understand Cameron better then anyone else, because I know what he goes through on a daily basis, to some degree. Mind you, his issues are different then mine in a lot of ways that I can not relate to or understand, but there is always the underlying depression and anxiety that we share. Its a painful reality that I face every time Cameron starts talking at a rapid pace. Because when that happens, I hear myself and my own mind, going too fast to stop it and make sense of everything.

There is a fine line between insanity and acceptance. I believe insanity is made up of denial and a lack of self worth. If you deny whats happening in your mind and are worried about those around you will think, then you are insane. Your insane to think that you will have any honest and meaningful relationships without being true to yourself. Letting others define your identity is insanity anyway.  Accepting yourself, fully, is the only way to live happily. Trust me. I have been there.

Of course, the above paragraph might piss some people off, but I really don’t care. Because I lived it. That is my honest and true definition of what I believe insanity to be. I was completely insane to believe my ex-husband when you told me that medication was for crazy people and if I take what was prescribed to me, then I would be a worthless crazy person and he would take Cameron away from me. That no one would ever want to talk to me again and that I just needed to suck it up and get my ass out of bed and “deal with life”. Or when he said I was better off dead if I couldn’t do my “wifely duties”. I put up with that kind of emotional abuse for almost 7 years. I was insane.

After he left and I got control of myself, I stopped denying my issues. I went to the doctors and a therapist and worked hard at my life and my self-worth. I honestly love myself. And when that happened, I found the best thing that ever happened to me, other then my kids: Paul. He loves me for me and accepts me, for me. He tells me when I need to start thinking about calling the doctor for meds again and praises me for keeping my shit together when he knows its hard for me to do. He knows there was a time when I really was the mentally strong and capable person I wish, I still was. But he doesn’t care that its all a facade for everyone else’s benefit now. He still loves me.

And even though I still have rough days and I still hate the meds and I want it all to go away, I also know that its part of me. And that’s ok. Because what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.

Or something like that.

🙂