Better and Better...

I have never been one to think I would have a blog. There are so many out there already that it’s like, really, what could I have to say that isn’t already out there? But recently, some friends have told me that I should start one and so here we are. My only promise is that I will be real and it will be random. Real random. Sometimes it may have to do with hand lettering or calligraphy, sometimes it may not. Today, the first plog (why not change it to a ‘p’ for peculiar? plus it reminds me of pogs) is definitely not about lettering…but I hope you will find it enlightening or interesting in some way or another.

There have been lots of changes in my life in the last few years and I have experienced some traumatic episodes over the course of my twenties, as many of us have in our life. At too young of an age, my dad died at age 57, which no doubt came as a complete shock - a heart attack in 2016. I don’t know if we are ever prepared for losing a parent even when we know it is imminent. I can say that I am glad he didn’t go through a long period of suffering. Dad (Roger or ‘Rog’) had always been very open with me and my brother. Probably the definition of too open. He shared history, his feelings and his own experiences with us - and he knew history well since that was his major in college. I learned so much about life and love from him but we also had a troubled relationship.

One of the greatest things I learned from him was to question everything. The old quote that goes something like ‘believe nothing that you hear and only half of what you see’ created quite the cynic in a young me. Today I am thankful for that because as I get older, I realize that it has allowed me to think independently. Though I do listen, I don’t rely on what others tell me - I do my own research. If it then proves to be true, I have learned something in more than one way. That’s not to say I walk around with a chip on my shoulder, disbelieving everything going on around me. Quite the opposite really as I am almost too observant. I have been “over” sensitive for as long as I can remember - taking on the burden of the feelings of those around me. Now I understand it as being an empath and I can handle that much better as long as I am protecting my innermost heart.

As I mentioned earlier the troubled relationship I had with dad, I inherited his propensity toward the dark side of life and I suffered from depression and anxiety (like so many of us) for over 17 years. I tried therapy, I tried antidepressants, I tried drugs (no shock)…I tried everything — nothing helped. I found out recently via peer-reviewed psychiatric journals about an effective new way of helping treatment “resistant” or “refractory” depression. Ketamine, which has been used since the 70’s (or earlier) as an anesthetic (but mostly known as a club drug to my generation) had proven to be a very effective treatment for PTSD, anxiety, depression and that ilk, having somewhere between a 65-85% efficacy rate. I decided that there was no price to put on my happiness, knowing inside that I was capable of getting through this world more easily than I had been and there must be a light at the end of the tunnel. Once I’ve set my mind on something, I will accomplish it.

I went to see a doctor in Sarasota, FL and it turned out he was absolutely amazing - bedside manner, knowledge, overall understanding of the condition he is helping patients with. Over the course of the three infusions (during which I cannot describe time, space or what the hell happened), I received the treatment I had read so much about. I should note that this should not be done by doctors who don’t have experience with the drug - just trust me on that. Even though you couldn’t kill someone with it if you tried, you can certainly worsen the problem(s) a person is already having if you don’t know what you’re doing. The doctor in Sarasota (if interested, email me for his name - and I would definitely not recommend going to the clinic in Dothan) said that very slowly, my depression, anxiety and PTSD would begin to get better. Perhaps even my friends and family would notice before I did.

Turns out…he was right! Here is a great example of how things have been improving: I took at least a year away from hand lettering, something I had finally found a true passion in as I was entering my thirties. I couldn’t pick up a pen or one of my many supplies - even think about being creative. About a week after the infusions, I was back at it. I was learning new tips for hand lettering and writing again to express myself (it does help). I began to feel that the world wasn’t as bad as I thought and the judgments of others truly reflected on them, not me (I have always worried too much what people think).

So here I am, doing my hand lettering again, coming up with new ideas, writing this blog. I am more than grateful for having the privilege to afford such a treatment and I wonder when it will become more accessible for the masses. Right now, it is said that around 16 million people in the United States are depressed or have had a major depressive episode in the past year. One-third of those 16 million people do not respond to traditional treatments. This is an absolute breakthrough for people like me who are at the end of the road, barely getting by. So for this reason, I wanted to share it publicly so that if even one person can benefit from it in the way that I have it will be worth it.

So that is it for now. I am off to do some creative projects in my studio (which I just painted, by the way! How is that for feeling better?!) …I hope to continue to keep this up. If you are interested in anything I’ve written, send me a message. I am always up for discussing ideas and thoughts.

Claire Taylor1 Comment