Everyone has heard about the problems the VA has. Many of us have either experienced it first hand, or have a friend, family member, or co-worker that has. But my recent experience with everything that is going on in my life really re-inspired me to continue on my path of helping others heal naturally. I am using the VA for the first time since I separated from the military. I had a different and better insurance for the last 12 years (was married to a military member). As I know longer have this insurance I have had to use the VA. Which is just as nightmarish as you have heard. My most recent experience has been trying…
I take anxiety medication to deal with some PTSD symptoms. I use meditation and yoga to cope with most of the symptoms. However I have been on this medication for 12 years and every time I try to get off of it I go crazy. I am addicted to it. My body literally has no idea how to cope without this med. I will continue to try to get off this med, and the more I heal, the more I have hope that someday this will happen. But today is not the day. So I contact the VA to get an appointment to get this drug that I hate from them instead of my old insurance. I call and get an appointment that is 6 weeks after I call. Ok. I count out my meds and feel a bit of panic as this puts me close to the end of my supply. But I wait. When the appointment comes I show up, and they tell me the VA does not have this exact medication and I will have to be switched to something else. Insert Panic here. If you have ever had any doctor play with your meds to find the right one or the right dosage…its hell. Literal hell. Sleepless nights, hot flashes, emotional surges… so many side affects. Have you ever felt electric shocks through your brain… not pleasant. I say “ok” so lets get this started. The doctor then proceeds to tell me that the Mental Health clinic will contact me for an appointment. Seriously, more waiting? Five days goes by before the mental health clinic calls me to schedule an appointment to see me. Which of course is another four weeks away. So I cut my dosage of my meds so that will last till this appointment.
All of this waiting, and panic of running out of meds, and being told I have to switch my meds, and just wanting to so badly not even need meds is not even what re-inspired me.
While I was in the office waiting for the doc to come in, I found a pamphlet that broke me. “Taking Opioids Responsibly: for your safety and the safety of others”.
Really? The VA gives us these meds, makes our appointments so far out, gives us no options to get off the meds, and then tells us to be responsible? The pamphlet tells us that there are all these other options besides the medication, but the VA does not pay for these. The pamphlet says don’t get off your meds on your own, yet its so hard to get an appointment you may have no choice but to run out. The side effects it talks about are terrifying. Yet they pay for the opioids. They don’t pay for yoga, Rolfing, meditation, where is the funding for these modalities? It even talks about getting you help once you become addicted and they take it away from you…
This pamphlet, this need to overmedicate our veterans, my fellow veterans, is why I do what I do. If 12 years ago I had been prescribed iRest meditation, and learned to feel and accept these emotions, traumas, anxiety inducing things…. I would not be addicted to my medication. What has this done to m my body? Can I ever even get off them? Is my body capable of functioning without them? I believe the answer is yes, I will keep trying, and I will keep helping others try.
My ask is that if you know someone who is struggling, send them anywhere but the VA, or western medicine of prescribing drugs. Being Human is hard, but we can learn the tools to heal ourselves. Once medication is introduced we are numbed to things that we are suppose to feel. There is a reason we feel scared, pain, and sadness, there is a reason to feel all of it. If we have the support system and tools to feel these things, they will live their cycle. The sadness or whatever will be born, live, rise, fall, and eventually die off. We cannot numb ourselves to it, if we want to heal.
Please contact me if you or someone you know is considering medication, or is interested in working with me, and their doctor to come off the medication. Never stop your medication alone. I have tried; I almost lost my life because of it. But there is hope; there is a way to heal naturally.
I am here for you.