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My Experience on Hormonal Birth Control

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hormonal

Hey all! We’re getting a little bit personal lately, aren’t we? Hope you don’t mind! Today I wanted to touch up on something that’s extremely important for women of all ages…birth control. There are 7 types of birth control (taken from Planned Parenthood). Abstinence is your best bet to not get pregnant, but let’s be real…that doesn’t always happen. If you are interested in going on birth control, read below for my experiences with three different types of hormonal birth control.

I started birth control when I was 16 for the obvious reason. I was absolutely terrified of taking pills (I couldn’t take tylenol or other pills, they had to be liquid or crushed in applesauce). I decided to go on Depo Provera which is a shot that you get every 3 months. So basically, they inject you with 3 months of birth control at a time (that can’t be healthy…) I was on depo for probably a year, so that means I got 4 shots of it. I liked the convenience of not having to take something everyday, but there were lots of downsides. I did gain a small amount of weight, probably 3 pounds. It happens so I wasn’t too upset about it. I never had any injection site irritation, but that could be different for you. This shot made me very irritable, bitchy, rude and depressed all at once. It was awful. I couldn’t stand to be around anyone and the littlest things annoyed me. I was always in a bad mood and I was uncontrollably mean to people. It also made me insecure, not sure if that’s even something that would happen, but I was. Being on this method interfered with me and my boyfriend (we broke up at one point since it was making me crazy!) and it interfered with my performance at work, I was an unpleasant employee and I couldn’t control it. I eventually decided to get off it since the side effects for me (mood changes) were a little much. The shot made me spot a couple weeks too before it was time for me to get a new shot.

Next I went onto another pill alternative, the patch. I was on Ortho Evra for about a year as well. Again, I liked the convenience of not having to take a pill everyday. The patch would go on your back, stomach, arm, shoulder, butt or leg (basically everywhere besides your breasts). You would put a new patch on every Sunday (or your own choice of a starting day) and you would wear a patch for a week at time. You would put three patches on in a month and the last week of the month you wouldn’t wear a patch, so therefore you’d get your period. I liked the patch when I was first on it, but then I started to get some weird side effects. I would have dry skin and lots of irritation after my patch was taken off. Sometimes the patches would fall off, which is really bad. They itch and don’t feel comfortable. The worst side effect though was throwing up the night I put a new patch on after being off of it for my period week. I’m not sure why I threw up, but I would put the patch on, feel fine, then around 1-3 am I would wake up and have to run to the bathroom. It was quite annoying and uncomfortable, I’m pretty sure puking once a month isn’t healthy. I let my doctor know that I was having that side effect and she prescribed me an anti-nausea pill to take when I put my new patch on. It stopped the puking and nausea but why was I taking a pill to counteract the side effects of another medication and not just taking the birth control pill? It made no sense. So there were two factors into me getting off of the patch, one because I had to take another pill to help the side effects and one time it came off during the summer since I was sweating because it was so hot, so I had enough. I also didn’t enjoy having a full on period on my patchless week.

And finally, what I’m on today. After ending the patch I went to the doctor to see what other options I had. I told him the side effects I had while on the shot and the patch and he decided that a low dose birth control pill would be best for me, since you’re less likely to have negative side effects. He prescribed me Lo Loestrin Fe. It’s just like normal birth controls and as effective if used properly. I haven’t had any negative side effects on this birth control, and I must say I am pretty pleased. I have gotten used to taking the pill everyday, since I set an alarm on my phone so that’s never an issue. I have noticed  a little more acne on my face, but that’s normal. I really have no complaints. My period is super light, it lasts 1 maybe 2 days. I definitely can’t complain about that.

 

***I AM NOT A DOCTOR. THESE ARE MY EXPERIENCES WITH BIRTH CONTROL. WHAT WORKS FOR ME MAY NOT WORK FOR YOU***

I hope you guys enjoyed reading and I hope this helps you if you’re debating on what type of birth controls you might want to try! Going to your doctor is your BEST bet though on finding what’s right for you. Don’t feel embarrassed to go there to get birth control, it’s normal and its better to be safe than sorry.

Xoxo, Rae

April 2, 2016
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One Month Update on Sertraline | Anxiety

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zoloft

Anxiety is a normal thing that everyone experiences in life, some just experience it differently and it can interfere with their everyday life.

I can remember being anxious about random things ever since I was little. First it was separation anxiety from my mother, then it transformed into anxiety attacks in the car, and then hyperventilating and puking due to thunderstorms, panic attacks when I was driving…now anxiety about everything.

I remember my anxiety getting really bad my sophomore into junior year of high school, and to help cope with my anxiety I would pull myself away from people which made things worse. I’ve been to counseling and therapy a few times in my life and I decided to take a step in the right direction and go and see someone during my junior year. We talked and colored during my visits, she also gave me ideas of how to pull myself out of an anxiety attack, but I don’t really have anxiety attacks – it’s just anxiety all the time and some things trigger it to the point where I get red in the face and feel like I’m going to pass out. I eventually stopped seeing her and I was never prescribed medication, I began to pretend that everything was okay on the outside when I was screaming on the inside.

Now I’m in my second year of college and I never went back to counseling, I just kind of drowned my anxiety with sleep and eating. I tried to take my mind off of things with sleep or watching movies.

 

You see, the anxiety never really stops. My mind races of millions of scenarios when I’m trying to fall asleep and it makes it basically impossible to do so. I just sort of feel trapped in my own mind and suffocated by it. It makes me feel crazy, helpless and like I’m the one to blame for everything. I will randomly have flashbacks of things that happened to me 8 years ago and I will remember what I said or did and I will feel ashamed or embarrassed about it…over something that happened 11 years ago! My mind also never stops and it’s exhausting.

For me, my anxiety makes me shakey and nauseous. It makes me feel really hot and faint. It makes me feel uncomfortable and I just want to escape the feelings or the situation but I usually can’t. I would get chest pains randomly, which would freak me out and make things worse. I would also feel like I had an irregular heartbeat and would focus on correcting it, although nothing was wrong with it. I would turn red, get the sweats and shake when putting creamer in my coffee at the Cafe at school. Enough was enough.It has gotten to the point where I just feel lost, so I finally decided to get help.

I went to health services at my college and made an appointment with a doctor. I just kind of broke down and cried and told her everything I was feeling. How I felt tired all the time, and the mind racing was getting unbearable. The random chest pains and the unnecessary sweating and overthinking everything was getting the point where I couldn’t handle it anymore. She was very understanding and kind and since I had been to counseling before (that didn’t do much to help), she suggested we go the medication route which I was totally ready for. Anything to make me feel better.

I have currently been on 50mg/a day of Sertraline for a month now and I feel great. When I first started the medication, I did have an upset stomach but I do feel like that’s normal whenever you start a new medication. It has gone away and my stomach is back to normal. I take my medication a few hours before bed, since it does make me feel sleepy (but could be different for other people). I can make it through my day without feeling anxious or uncomfortable. My concentration and motivation have gotten a little better, but somedays that changes, but I am a female so that could be a factor. Today I put creamer and sugar in my coffee in front of people and didn’t even think anything of it. I used to get embarrassed that people were watching me and judging me, but I didn’t have that thought at all today.

My doctor has also suggested that I excerise daily to help me with falling asleep but also just to be healthy. So far I haven’t done that yet, since I do have a busy schedule but I am hoping to get some motivation to get into it daily. Maybe I’ll start doing morning yoga on my bed. She also suggested that I go to the amazing counseling services at the school, which I haven’t done yet. I don’t really have a reason not to go, other than time, but I will try my best to make time just because it might help me if I get all of my stresses and worries out to someone who won’t judge me.

But, so far, so good. I’m really glad that I took that step and made the appointment. It was so relieving talking to her and not being judged or feeling different.

***I AM NOT A DOCTOR. NOR HAVE I BEEN FORMALLY DIAGNOSED WITH AN ANXIETY DISORDER. MEDICATIONS AFFECT PEOPLE DIFFERENTLY AND SO DOES ANXIETY.***

If you ever need anyone to talk to, I’m ALWAYS here but also remember that there are numerous hotlines out there for people if you or a friend needs help.

(US NUMBERS)

Suicide Hotline: 800-784-2433
Immediate Medical Assistance: 911
Crisis Call Center: 800-273-8255 or text ANSWER to 839863

I want the comments to be a SAFE ZONE for people to share their experiences or questions. Any harmful comment will be deleted immediately and you will be blocked.

Thank you for reading and I hope you understand how I feel inside. I would love any feedback you have to share, whether you liked the post or didn’t, or if you wanted to know anything else.

Everyone struggles with some form of anxiety or mental illness, you are not alone.

Xoxo, Rae

March 31, 2016
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New Year’s Resolutions/Goals

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header-turquoise

It’s crazy how 2015 is almost over but I am glad to begin a new year – hopefully it will be as eventful and great as this past year has been.

I thought I would list some of my New Year’s resolutions and share with you why I am trying to make these changes in my life for the New Year.

 

  • Blog more. I really enjoy writing and don’t do enough of it. I feel like it challenges the mind and I find it entertaining to attempt to get my thoughts down on paper. I took a journalism class last semester and enjoyed interviewing people and trying to figure out a story to write. It was a challenging class (since I’m shy so my interviews didn’t go well) but I passed with a 3.7 and I now have the knowledge of how to write a proper news story, which I’m sure will help me later in life. I hope that I will post at least once a week, if not more.
  • Read more. Reading is very important to me and I think it helps to expand your vocabulary as well as spark inspiration. I used to read quite often but once I got into high school, I stopped unfortunately. I love reading Ellen Hopkins and mystery stories. I think I might start a goal list for every book I read, I get to reward myself with something for completing the book (totally bribing myself…) I got I Am That Girl by Alexis Jones for Christmas and have already started to read it. So far so good and I can’t wait to finish the book and have all this knowledge about how to be a better me.
  • Meet new people. Since I’m shy, I really don’t take to anyone other than the friends I already have (it’s awful, I know). I need to get myself out of my comfort zone and meet new people. I’m also not entirely close with any of my friends (unfortunately) and would love to have someone that I can talk to whatever about, whenever. I need to find those who will give me an extra push to reach my goals.
  • Save money. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who sucks at saving money too…I pay all of my bills monthly, then decide “Oh hey, now that’s all paid I can buy something I want.” But I shouldn’t be like that and should realize that my money should be in my savings account and not in my savings. I would love to go on a vacation so I might start a vacation fund just incase I ever get the opportunity to go on one.
  • Start a graphic design portfolio. I guess this isn’t really a resolution but more of a goal. I used to constantly be playing with Photoshop but as I’ve gotten older, I don’t experiment with it as much (which is ironic, since graphic design is my major in college). I want to create more work that would be useful in a portfolio and for my own experience. I also would like to start my own design portfolio/website and Etsy store to sell prints and invitations and such. Just a thought, but a really cool thought (maybe someday!)

Well, I hope you enjoyed reading about my resolutions/goals. I will keep you updated as the year goes on of how my goals are coming along, I might also need some support with some of my goals.

What are your New Year’s resolutions/goals for 2016? Let me know in the comments below!

I would also like to thank you for a great year and for reading. I truly appreciate it!

 

Xoxo, Rae

December 30, 2015
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