I had a realisation this morning that I'm ok with starting meds. I really am. I look back on the last 7 years of my life and there's probably only been about an 8 month period where I didn't suffer with either full blown panic or just underlying constant anxiety. For such a long long time I've been stuck in fight or flight, adrenaline and cortisol streaming through my veins and I am absolutely 100% sick to death of feeling like this. I am absolutely sick of 'white-knuckling' through life. Anxious minute by minute, hour by hour, dreading the next meeting, the next phone call, the next morning, the next appointment, the next social occasion, the next email I have to send. I've spent so much time dreading my life.
It all came to a head because I panicked, I completely melted down and I hurt myself. Both my brain and my body. I had to come clean at work and let them know I struggle with my mental health. A friend drove from the other side of town just to make sure I got to the docs without passing out, my partner came home from work early and I let a lot of people down last week.
I'm embarrassed about it and I'm ashamed. Why? Because when you come out the other side you start to think 'I'm an adult, I should have my shit together' and it just feels bad...all round. It feels really really bad. Yet, when the adrenaline and cortisol disappear, it feels really, really good too.
I have learned though that people are good. People are really great. Humans are amazing and the things people have done for me these past two weeks, I can never, ever repay them. I can never say thank you to them enough.
I got some amazing love and I got some tough love too. My boss cleared my plate for me last week and is insisting I do the bare minimum which I so appreciate but I also don't want people to tip-toe around me either. I'm broken but not that broken.
However, I understand now that I have to take all of this and get myself well. So the next time around I can handle it better. For a couple of days it felt like there were fireworks, forest fires, gunshots, nuclear bombs, the lot going off in my head. I was terrified. I thought the anxiety would never end.
It was time for Meds. I've been vigilant with yoga, exercise, meditation and my general lifestyle up until about 4 months ago (maybe even longer - since I hurt my knee) and it all started to come apart at the seams. Amazing really, that if you don't keep up the work, it goes downhill and it goes downhill fast. I have immediately started back on my exercise, eating and meditating regime but I think I need the extra help. To help me think logically (not emotionally) for the first time in years. For the first week I was basically walking around an high alert. Massive anxiety. I had some extra medication to help me sleep but I have had insomnia and zero appetite. It's something I knew could happen to me and I also knew it wasn't something doctors are all that forth-coming about. I've been in constant contact with my GP though, and if I can give anyone a tip about first starting meds for your mental health, talk to your doctor do not try and manage the symptoms and problems you face by yourself. Keep a diary and make sure they know where your at, no matter how scary the side-effects are, do not bottle them up. I'm pushing on with them and almost two weeks in I can feel the fog clearing and my energy slowly coming back. I have spent more money this month than I wanted to because of doctor appointments, ubers (driving wasn't a good idea), trains, prescriptions and I also booked in 3 sessions in a sensory depravation flotation tank. Yup, I took myself off to a place called 'float culture' and I got in a tub full of extremely salty water and floated in the dark for 90 minutes at a time. It had a serious affect on how I felt and it brought down the levels of cortisol in my veins significantly. I attribute my getting through this first week a lot to doing those sessions, so it was worth every dollar. Still, I could've been doing without emptying my account the very day I got paid.
My anxiety has stolen my summer from me. It has stolen a lot of the last 7 years from me and I'm done. If I have to take a pill for the rest of my days, then so be it. I want to wake each morning feeling rested. Not with a knot in my stomach about the day ahead. Because honestly, that's what I've been doing. Waking up nervous about the day, every single day. I'm so tired of it. I'm looking forward to finding some balance in my life.
I just wish I had asked for the extra help earlier instead of letting it get so bad that my usual 'superwoman' loud, bubbly, whirlwind, happy nature got stripped so suddenly from me that everyone close to me saw what I was like around my kryptonite...my anxiety. My work colleagues being the hardest to lift the veil in front of I guess. Because, well, it's my job. 99% of the time I'm like a machine, and I work really hard but I have horrible self-doubts that now I think they can all see. Like they can now see through to my soul. I also really feel for anyone who has to work in a company where mental health isn't taken seriously. That must be hell on earth. My guys were and have been amazing, again I can't ever thank them enough.
Thanks for reading this. Thanks for reading all of my posts. I never thought I'd have to get this down and dirty but man, it feels really, really good. From now on I'm going to throw everything at this, including my writing. I have to hold on to hope that I won't continue to go through life with an imaginary gun pointed at my head (because that's what it feels like).
I'm on my knees. I'm done and I'm giving it all up for the gods to decide. My self-care evidently needs to be more consistent, I need all my tool and a couple more. I need some peace, and some space from my own head. And then I'll be ok.
Much love xxx