Ketamine: My First Three Years
Hello and welcome. It is Susan from myketaminestory.com.
I am a blogger that suffers with Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD), Anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I was introduced to Ketamine for TRD in January 2015. I am forever grateful that I was. I spent the first two years focused on my recovery. I now have an excellent treatment plan in place but that does not clear me from obstacles or pitfalls. I journal regularly. I educate and advocate for Ketamine Therapy to help treat depression.
I write for The Injection & Infusion Clinic of ABQ, entirely based on my experience with Ketamine therapy over the past 3 years.
I have a long history with treatment resistant depression and anxiety disorders. My mental health has been my primary focus; often times without my permission. I wanted normacy. I craved it. I believe I always will.
I sometimes feel heavy hearted when I reflect on the numerous failed medication cocktails I tried. The months wasted. The horrendous side effects I then had to recover and heal from, not to be outweighed by the withdrawal symptoms these mixtures often produced. To remember the desperation I felt when I went against family and agreed to ECT treatments. The months spent inside frozen walls. I was locked up for safety in multiple psych wards. I would lose years fighting my way to the surface. I would glimpse the light and warmth of the sun only to be torn and unwillingly dragged back to the underworld.
A vicious cycle of torturous hell.
Death would be a blessing.
I have painfully expressed myself over the years. I have dissected my life with my toolbox of tricks. I utilized skills I learned through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Talk Therapy, Art Therapy and journaling, just to name a few, and yet I would repeatedly find myself being a prime candidate for hospitalization.
I admit I understand how all of these treatments could potentially help, but they just never did for me.
I was laying in limbo back in January of 2015. My body was fighting to keep me alive while my mind dove straight for freedom. I had given up completely.
I have stated many times before that my husband and son never gave up their search for a way to lift me up and breathe life back into my corpse-like existence.
I am alive today because of a drug that is raising many questions and concerns from the professional world.
It has now been three years, as of March 2, 2018, since I was introduced to Ketamine for depression and received my first Ketamine Infusion, and I would love to review, explore and educate myself and others on just how remarkable Ketamine is for me with the hopes of reaching down into the dungeons to pull others into the light and offer them hope.
It may not be the answer for you, but what if it is?
Ketamine breathes life into my twisted, confusing, angry and hateful view of the world. It promises to dig deep to locate me. Ketamine offers me all I need. It makes the years of accumulating coping techniques and management skills not an utter waste of time and money. I am revisiting all the therapies I subjected myself to with desire to understand why my world was a horror story even Stephen King wouldn't want to write about. I set out to discover if I started picking up old strategies I was taught but could't benefit from in the past - because the hideous demons claimed ownership of my thoughts and perceptions - if they may be useful to me now. Remarkably, I have ascertained the true depths in which these past therapies can be of practical and functioning aid to me. I absolutely believe it is because the Ketamine suppresses the depression filters for long enough periods of time to make growth and healing possible.
I am elated.
I want to invite the readers of The Injection & Infusion Clinic of ABQ website, as well as those interested parties that found my Ketamine blog through my personal website or social media, to please join with me in celebrating life.
I am, on most days, gleeful to celebrate three years of life.
Thank you Ketamine.
I thought I would ruminate. Reflect. I might even visit a few more avenues of healing I stumbled upon over the past three years. Things like healing through mindfulness. Centering and breathing and their importance when experiencing daily stress and struggles. I have implemented grounding techniques, and I now have them firmly in place to avoid being completely swept away by the goblins trying to steal my light.
I am always reading, educating and experimenting with my creative mind. I have even added a few tools I constructed on my own. I am learning that there are no right or wrong lessons. I discard the methods that hinder me and hold tight to those precious tools that allow me to redirect and disengage myself from the trolls lingering, patiently waiting, for my self-confidence to waiver or shift. They will attack when I am weak.
I know this.
These trolls, they still find clever ways to taunt me. I find it shocking and anger provoking when I am easily fooled and drawn into their web of deception. I am.
I know their manipulation.
They attack when I am looking and enjoying the vast array of colors and positive energy surrounding me. They will appear in obvious places. They often come silently up behind me and cloud my vision.
These creatures of horror that keep waving to get my attention, or worse, when these lying zombies threaten to suck hope from me, they are unearthing my powers. They have to go up against my throng of cheerleaders.
I have attacked and destroyed the chaotic circus playing their mind bending and convincing songs several times over the past three years. The lyrics affect me differently now. I have discontinued my subscription. I prefer the circus not enter my little town again. They move in close. Set up on the outskirts. I can hear them in the background.
Ketamine has allowed me to recognize their voices. It took some time and much patience. I am very low in the department of patience but I strive to find acceptance. I am capable. I have the ability to differentiate. I can often wade past their self loathing comments and hurtful cunning lies. I listen harder for those positive thoughts. I run to the magical voices singing of love, forgiveness, acceptance, healing. They have my attention.
The melody is soothing.
Words and questions.
Lesson to be learned.
I am an eager student.
Over the years Ketamine has been a huge asset to me. It aids me time and time again. I have floaters wrapped around my arms and legs keeping me on the surface. Ketamine is my life preserver. I can take these life saving devices off temporarily and put them in the garage for storage.
Ketamine has gifted me with freedom from my illness. It has shined brightly on the demons and I can see them for what they are. What is that, you ask? I see that they are not me!! I know without any uncertainty that I am not my depression.
I felt the difference.
I experience life without the gloom and torturous illusions.
Ketamine graces me with days to learn the subtle shifts. It has taught me where the haters live. It has made it possible to grow and heal.
I want to redecorate.
I see colors and light.
In the beginning, for decades, my world was just hateful blackness. A broken down palace. My insecurities and fears were cement walls. Decaying. But Ketamine, oh Ketamine. It shines the light on all the colors and possibilities.
My new haven is scorching hot. It is burning reds and oranges. The blues dance around. I can bring silliness and childlike curiosity to the center and rebuild. I will decoupage my house with flowers and uplifting quotes. My walls will be constructed with life. I have a beautiful team rooting for me in the basement. They are screaming words of encouragement. I look at the possibilities. I hear hope.
I am working on orchestrating a stellar sound system so I can amplify these messages of well being and love and have them dominate my palace.
I have many sources of light to work by. I continue to question. I observe. I try to be curious. I pay attention to the direction of my thoughts and pull them back from the edge over and over again. I can drag my attention away. Redirect. Reprogram. It is frustrating and painful. It seems I will be practicing forever. Fine tuning.
Practice being happy?
Breathe in the goals and dreams. It may take years to accomplish what my heart and mind desire but with the help of Ketamine and my tenacious attitude, I can rewrite my story.
When I had my first Ketamine Infusion, on March 2, 2015, I was dead inside. I had nothing inside. I remember coming out of treatment not feeling much more than having thoughts that the infusions were very pleasant. As my husband and I were headed back to our hotel, I felt discouraged that the feelings I had during the therapy didn't spill over. I was silent. I was trying not to judge. I had five more sessions before I would allow my negativity to flood and drown me. I just wanted to go back to bed. It was when my hubby suggested going to a New Jersey Mall near our hotel to make a visit to the Apple store that I had my first glimpse at the maybe.
Maybe something is different.
I held my breath.
An act of pure patience, and I am fully aware of repeatedly failing those exams. I would be consumed with anger.
Waiting without expectation.
Our expectations can truly tamper with our lives.
I am not a fan of malls. I have horrible anxiety. In the past, just the thoughts of shopping and crowds could send me into tears. I was a prisoner of my thinking mind.
My husband asked if maybe it would be worth trying. I waited for the anxiety attack. The panic at his wanting me to attempt such a horrendous task. I expected tears. I paused with interest. This is different. This feels strange.
I turned to Geoffrey and in a hushed voice I exclaimed, "Wow, that is odd! I am having thoughts that would have caused tremendous conflict and panic. The thoughts are still present but my body is not responding. Isn't that strange?"
That would be the beginning. I went on to do all six infusions with tiny glimpses at what life could be without depression.
I have feared that my depression was self induced. Terrified. Ketamine awarded me with the jackpot. I am not my depression. That is magnificent.
It would take continuing with Ketamine treatments. I get intramuscular Ketamine shots every 7 to 14 days. I struggle. I fall back into that dungeon and I am filled with hate and anger every time it happens. I want to constantly build and progress. Heal.
My goal this year is to work on anger. I have spent the majority of my life suppressing and avoiding anger. I am absolutely aware of its existences and control over my recovery. I am ready. I am strong. I do worry that the depth of my hate will be disastrous if explored.
However, when I sink into gray, and my focus is only on the circus and the craziness they whisper louder and louder in my direction, I believe it is my anger that keeps me tagging along unwillingly at first.
I continue to explore with interest.
I am not searching for the many, easily found, tapes from the past. If I stumble across one I may be lured if I am feeling weak in mind or spirit and take a listen. I pride myself on being able to toss an old tape aside or replace it with a new track.
I don't take things at face value. There is always more to a story.
I am a detective.
Ketamine has made me an excellent investigator. I am making connections. What is more amazing is I am making changes. Positive growth. A positive life.
I am hopeful.
Three years ago Ketamine opened my eyes. It offers me insights. It makes it possible to appreciate all the glorious colors. It opens my mind. I know that Ketamine helps me see past the depression. It reminds me that I have an illness but I am not my illness. I have been fortunate to have multiple days without symptoms. It is during these moments where the curtains are pulled back and clarity is present that has allowed me to hear the cheerleaders and tune out the circus. I know I can. I believe in hope, because I was given the opportunity and tools to catch sight of what could be.
I would get Ketamine and plan a full schedule to take advantage of the time I felt great. Only, I would be exhausted from trying to accomplish unrealistic goals in a short time slot.
I would discuss with my doctor.
When I am tripping over myself and overflowing with anger because I have to experience any sadness or days of depression, my son gently reminds me how far out of my nightmare I have traveled.
Three years. It went by fast. It went by painfully slow. There has been one very obvious change in the past three years.
I am living.
I sink and get stuck. I don't always understand why.
I can spin and be out of commision for days or weeks.
I do stop spinning.
I have a solid oak tree with thick, massive branches. It catches my fall. I tumble for what feels like a lifetime but it is an illusion.
My depression surrounds me and begs for me to give up and follow obediently. It yanks on every appendage. It demands my full attention. It promises me freedom. I just need to tag along and enjoy the nature trails. It paints a world without fear and hate. It is sinful how convincing these lies are when the depression is demanding every thought I have and feel.
This false freedom has a cost.
It will cost me my life.
In the three years I have been getting relief from these debilitating symptoms with the help of Ketamine and my creative toolbox, I can honestly state that I do see growth and healing.
I informed my doctor that this year my goal is to tackle anger and make her my bitch! Ha. I am terrified. I am ready.
I can read over my journals and feel the subtle shifts. I want the changes to be dramatic and life altering. I laugh at this. I hate change. I can't win.
I am living. Three years longer than I thought possible. It is my anniversary. It is my birthday.
Ketamine and I will be celebrating on March 2, 2018. I am sure I will revisit the topic and share my insights and discoveries in the coming months. I am on a journey of self discovery.
I stop by my doctors office and reconnect with Ketamine and head out ready to take on the world once again.
I am thrilled to be here today feeling the way I do. I look forward to sharing more anniversaries with Ketamine. I am excited to see what is in store for me.
It has been a lengthy process and I am aware that I have many obstacles ahead of me. I do. I will skip and hop. I will also lose my footing and painfully slide into the abyss. It won't take me as long to save myself and head into my doctor's office to get another Ketamine shot.
Ketamine is Hope.
I have had freedom without death.
Thank you Ketamine.
It is fantastic to have you in my corner.
I will battle on. I will fight my way to the surface each time knowing I have Ketamine to aid me in my life-long recovery.
If you are interested in educating yourself further on Ketamine therapy for Treatment Resistant Depression, check out the four-part series I wrote answering questions about Ketamine use, based on my experience with Ketamine therapy over the past 3 years, for The Injection & Infusion Clinic of ABQ.
My first blog, Ketamine: Addressing Questions & Concerns focused on my early experience with Ketamine Infusions.
In part two of the series, Addressing Questions & Concerns About Ketamine Therapy for Treatment Resistant Depression I addressed questions and concerns about Intramuscular Ketamine verses Ketamine Infusion therapy.
In my third blog, Frequently Asked Questions: Redefining Depression With The Assistance Of Ketamine Therapy, I was a bit more random. I had emails with several questions and themes, and I addressed as many inquiries as I could.
In my final question and answer dialogue, Pondering Concerns & Questions: The Benefits Of Ketamine For Treatment Resistant Depression, I discussed research, clinical studies, and the need for changes to occur within our insurance companies and federal government so that maybe one day Ketamine will not be so difficult to afford or obtain, from any qualified professional.
I hope these personal blogs from a patient that suffered for over four decades with treatment resistant depression will be helpful in convincing you why Ketamine could help you or someone you love.
Also, if you would like to become a provider of Ketamine Therapy try enrolling in The Ketamine Academy's online Ketamine Infusion Therapy training course; it would be an excellent decision and could be extremely helpful for others like me. The Ketamine Academy online program will surely benefit you and the mental health community.
In conclusion, If you know of anyone suffering with treatment resistant depression, like I do, let them know that Ketamine therapy may be an option worth looking into. It has been and continues to offer me relief from my symptoms.
If you, or someone you know, are considering Ketamine infusion therapy, please visit Jason Duprat's Ketamine clinic at www.infusionclinicabq.com for low cost Ketamine Infusion and injection options.
If you are not in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area I would also like to suggest that you, or a trusted person in your life, approach a local professional and start educating them on the benefits of Ketamine. Again, it doesn't hurt to ask for what you need.
There is definitely more education available for you to make a case for yourself and your mental health.
I have been generating a Ketamine Providers and Locations list and I update it regularly. The provider list can be found here. Please visit my personal website for the full provider list. This list may help you find a clinic in your city or state. I update the provider list regularly. I highly recommend individuals contact me if you administer Ketamine or if you are aware of a Ketamine provider not in my directory; I will happily add new Ketamine clinics.
Feel free to visit The Ketamine Academy to enroll in your dream today. If you are fascinated, but not yet ready to commit, I suggest the free trial to help you determine whether you want to invest in yourself and in this is new online Ketamine Infusion Training Course. Just think, if you enrolled in The Ketamine Academy your new clinic could easily be added to my directory for the grand opening!
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