It has been a very long time since I posted here. I could sit here and bore everybody with updates, but nothing extraordinary has happened. For the most part things have been the same, except for quite a number of negative things recently. Things from this point on get very personal. Not in a gory details kind of way. Just my thoughts on my struggle with anxiety. I honestly thought about not posting it but after thinking about it I decided I should. Maybe in posting this, it will help me feel more comfortable talking about it.
It has been a rough few months for me. There have been a lot of very big changes in my personal life and in the people I associated with. Not trying to go into the details or anything but I’ve been dealing with these things twice over because I am trying my hardest to remain strong and help my mom with what she is going through as well.
I’ve never been that person who is able to say, “Okay I will help you but I need you to understand that I am going through stuff too,” because I don’t want to make everything seem about me or take away from the other person. But it is very hard and exhausting to be two people all the time. To most I’m pretty normal I guess, kind of soft spoken, a little quirky at times, but normal. Only very few people have a slight insight to what I struggle with on a daily basis. No one knows the full extent of it, probably never will for that matter. It’s something that I just can’t put into words and its even harder when its someone who knows me and sees me all the time. I don’t want to make it a big deal because I don’t want to draw attention to myself. At the same time I want to be able to say, “hey, I’m kind of not okay and it’s nothing you or anyone else did in particular, it’s just something I am dealing with,” and just talk through it. What’s the problem with that wish, you might ask?
I literally cannot imagine those words leaving my mouth. How could I even describe it? I’m anxious more than I am not. I have had at least 2 panic attacks in the past week. Some days it feels like all the energy has been drained from me. I have actually applauded myself for going outside on a few days that were harder than others. I was actually diagnosed with depression over a year ago but never actually told anyone. I took about 1 week’s worth of the medicine then took myself off of it. I can’t say exactly why I did it. But maybe the outcome of that is that I never truly got over it, I just pushed it further down.
It sounds…well to be quite frank about it, it sounds crazy. I’m terrified of someone saying that I am faking it or that I’m just overthinking it. I have an excellent support system in my friends and family so it’s not so much them that I am worried about. It’s the doctors. Or other people. I’m studying psychology so I don’t want to be accused of self-diagnosing. Basically my biggest fear is telling someone the way that I have been feeling, and have it be completely written off. Or shrugged away with nothing more than a “just calm down” or “it could be worse”. I know it could be worse. But see the problem with that phrase is that it takes away from the very real problems someone may be experiencing. I have a pretty good life actually but that doesn’t mean that I should be happy because its not as bad as it could be. I’m grateful for that, truly and completely.
I don’t know where these feelings came from. I don’t know why. I can’t even really pinpoint an exact time in my life when they started. I do remember having, when I think about it, 1 or 2 panic attacks as a kid. Of course I didn’t know what they were then. When I do have one it is not the stereotypical rocking back and forth somewhere in a corner. Most of mine are silent to everyone else. To me, it’s something that starts as an uneasy feeling. Somewhere in my gut I just feel like something is going to happen. This feeling can come and stay for a few days or a few hours. But it hits a peak. That’s the moment that I characterize as a panic attack.
Because in that moment I can’t focus on anything else but the overwhelming fear. I feel like my heart is leaping out of my chest. Often as a counteraction to this I will knock on a table, or a door, something that will make a distinct sound, so the sound can distract me just long enough to say stop, breathe. Count to 10. If it doesn’t work I try again, repeating the cycle until I can rationalize what is happening and what I am feeling in that moment, and know that this feeling of fear is cause by no physical source. I am safe.
Wow. This post kind of went away from where I was originally taking it. My original plan was to say 1 or 2 things about mental health and go into a rant type thing about the stigma surrounding it. Apparently my brain had other plans. It’s weird to sit here and read over all of this that I have written. I mean, they are all thoughts and feelings from me, but they are ones that I hardly acknowledge myself. What’s less put them down and into words like this. Maybe this is what I needed though. Maybe this will be a push for me to confront some of my fears. Maybe this blog can finally be updated on a somewhat normal basis even if nothing more than somewhere for me to go and write things that I haven’t fully admitted to myself yet. Who knows.
If you have stuck around and read through all of this, thank you. I’d like to think that my ramblings aren’t just sent out into the void, never to be seen. Not to say that I want this to be some sort of renowned thing either. I’d be more than happy, even if I never knew it, if just 1 person reads this and recognizes some of these feelings in themselves, or maybe in a friend or a family member, and feels comforted in knowing that they are not alone.
As a very special celebrity role model of mine says, Always Keep Fighting.
“Don’t underestimate your own strength. To persevere. To make it through the most difficult of times. And, JUST as importantly, don’t underestimate your ability to help someone ELSE during THEIR most difficult times. Sometimes all it takes is a kind word, or gesture, to help someone make it through their day.” –Jared Padalecki