The Importance of Self-advocacy

In a recent blog: (https://youareenough712.wordpress.com/2022/05/06/has-the-system-failed-me-again/) I mentioned that for more than 4 weeks after my (macrodosing) Psilocybin treatment I was too scared and too embarrassed to tell anyone, including my husband and therapist as to how I was truly feeling both mentally and physically. 

How could I though when some of my symptoms I’d been experiencing were too awkward to even talk about (I won’t be surprised if one day I’m written up in The New England Journal of Medicine! lol). Once again I felt like such a complete and utter failure and I felt very much alone.

It’s so much easier for me to advocate for others than it is for myself but I knew I needed to speak up (besides the fact that I’m now part of an ongoing research study!) but more importantly my symptoms were becoming too unbearable to live with and my mental health had started to take a very sharp decline. 

I’m glad I finally did. 

The conversation may have begun from within but once I got the courage to release the words from my lips, it quickly set off a domino effect and within days of me finally opening up to my Psychiatrist in particular he had reached out to his colleagues in the Neurology department at the hospital he works about my symptoms and an urgent referral was then made to a nearby Neurology clinic for me to be seen and within 24 hours of doing so, an appointment was scheduled for the following week (which is where I was today).

Suffering in silence, no matter what, is no way to live, trust me. I really do have a difficult time asking for help or accepting help because more often than not I can’t see my own self-worth but learning self-advocacy skills can sometimes be the difference between life or death, trust me on that too. 

Self-advocacy takes lots of practice which I’ve sadly had plenty of over the last 8 years. I’ve needed to learn how to navigate my way through our very broken healthcare system too many times to count (I could teach a course by now!). It’s not an easy skill to aquire but a very important one to have. Essentially self-advocacy involves learning how to speak up for yourself, knowing your self-worth, communicating it, asking questions and problem solving (hmm…could that be the course outline perhaps?); I’ve definitely got the asking questions part down pact! I’ve always been very inquisitive and I have a yearning for detail and knowledge; I guess that’s the creative writer in me (I’d also make a damn good Investigative Journalist!).

I asked lots of questions today. I retained lots of information too. I took lots of notes. And for now I will take some much needed time to privately reflect upon and process the information I received today while I await the next steps.

I really appreciate all your continued support and encouraging words. I am truly grateful. Hopefully one day I will finally get this right. I’d just like to finish off with an extra special expression of gratitude to a few of my many incredible friends who in particular didn’t hesitate to offer to help me out today as Rich was unable to drive me to my appointment and knowing that navigating my way through the congested streets of Toronto can cause me severe panic attacks, especially when I’m already in such a vulnerable state. It wasn’t easy, but I accepted their help!! And I’m sure glad I did.

#neurology #thebrain #psychedelics #treatmentresistantdepression #selfadvocacy #psilocybin #macrodosing #clinicaltrial #labrat #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #nextsteps #youarenotalone #selfworth #itsoktonotbeok #itsoktoaskforhelp #friendship #youmatter #investigativejournalism

Author: Kim Fluxgold

Wife, mom of 3 beautiful children, dog lover, creative sole and children's book Author. Sharing my journey with depression and anxiety through blogging in hopes of educating and ending the stigma.

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