“For as long as I can remember since my young adult life, taking medication was the norm for me. Every single day when I woke up; if I didn’t take that little pill within a few hours of being awake- I was anxious, on edge, irritable, frustrated… the list goes on. I knew no other way. I knew medication was the answer to “feeling normal”, being able to function, being “happy”. If I was off, my close friends and family would joke “did you take your crazy meds?” In 2017, when my Dad was diagnosed with Cancer, he got sicker and I knew I was going to have to be a part of planning his funeral very soon – I could not function. Another medication was added to my daily life and dosages increased to get me through this trauma. I lived life in survival mode, because what other answer was there?
Fast forward to September of 2020, a new girl started at work as an RN. I heard everyone talking about how she was so kind and caring, despite the trauma’s she had endured in the past. I met her and saw what everyone was saying. We talked about her TBI (traumatic brain injury) and her living in Nashville, before she moved back home and started here. She told me about how she found LENS Therapy and how it had changed her life.She decided to become a LENS practitioner, to help others. She offered sessions to people in the office who wanted to try LENS therapy. I was willing, and she confirmed what I knew. Even though she barely knew me, she saw trauma, anxiety, depression, memory issues, etc. I began LENS treatment from there, about once a month. This was new, and unknown to me. I never expected to be where I am now.
As she did each session, she saw improvement. New sites were opening on my brain map, storm clouds weren’t over the same areas they once were up there. At this point I didn’t yet feel any different, but I trusted her. I then started to go weekly, because she did see movement and changes.
I woke up one Thursday morning not knowing a breakthrough was about to occur. I was in the darkest place I have ever been in my entire life. I had thoughts I have never thought of, there were places I wanted to go that weren’t here, I did not want to live. I felt so defeated, like I was failing, like I had nothing to live for… when I know there is a 4 year old that needs me every single minute of every day. I knew I had the most important thing to live for, right in the palm of my hands. Nothing mattered that day and I was very scared nothing was going to change my mind. Knowing I physically could not pull myself from this place, I took a Xanax to calm down that evening.
Friday, I woke up knowing that I embarrassed myself with how I was acting the day before. I knew it wasn’t me, I knew I didn’t really think the thoughts I had, but I felt so different and much better on this day.That Saturday mid day, I realized I had forgotten to take my medication. I thought to myself this is weird, I feel completely fine. By this time in the day without medication, I would have felt withdrawal and been anxious. I thought – I’ll go to work bartending and see what happens. I’ll take it tomorrow….
I didn’t take it tomorrow, and I didn’t take it Monday or Tuesday. I haven’t taken that little pill since July 10th of 2021. I kept telling my mom and my closest friends, I’ll spiral, I’ll have withdrawals.. give it time. I’d say let me get through this week and I’ll believe it… let me get through next week.
I got through all of the weeks. I feel so normal. I feel myself. I feel something I have never felt before, or at least that I don’t recall since childhood. For 29 years I felt like I was staring at a shut door, that there was nowhere to go. That what I had, is what I had and I couldn’t have more. The day I had that breakdown, that door opened so wide.
4 months ago, I wouldn’t walk into a bar to meet my friends because someone would be looking at me, they’d have to come out and meet me. I wouldn’t try to talk to anyone new, because I wasn’t good enough for them and why would they want me? I’d have no patience at all for my own daughter, who is my entire world and then some. I was broken and I didn’t know that I needed more help.
At NO point am I stating that medication is not the answer. I am not a medical provider, I am not advising anyone to stop their medication, I am simply sharing my story. Medication was my answer, for a very long time. Medication does wonderful things for many people, but we are all different and I just never knew there was more out there for me.
The other day I felt myself being very overwhelmed and stressed from normal life stressors. My daughter started school, she started dance, I work 3 jobs, etc. I felt myself starting to spiral into a panic attack. I drove my car down by the water, I rolled down the windows, I told one of my very best friends that I needed to put my phone down and I’d text later. I blared my favorite songs and I calmed myself down. I stopped a panic attack. That panic attack wasn’t mine, that anxiety wasn’t mine- it needed to go away from me. I was me and I was okay. I have never, ever even thought of taking control in my entire life before this. I found myself saying “it is what it is, I cannot control it – why stress over it?” or “it’s his loss, not mine. I am good enough and I deserve more.” WHO AM I?
Cassie is a real life angel. As sad as I am that she had to endure what she did to search so hard to find an answer for healing – I am so thankful that LENS therapy was found and that she started it here in Oswego. If you have any struggles or if you just want to see what it’s about, please take the leap and try it, read her website. Mental health is real and raw and powerful. Listen to your body, don’t let it drag you down. You can do anything you want to… this is YOUR life.”
– Morgan Cliff