I saw the signs…

Photo by Eileen Pan on Unsplash

Oops. Somehow it’s been more than I year since I posted here. Probably because despite the world feeling like it is on fire I was doing pretty well.

At least, a few months ago I was doing pretty well.

Things were starting to calm down and I was doing a great job of taking care of myself and was even venturing out to take care of the world a little bit. I was handling things well. I was back in a space where I didn’t wake up every day fraught with panic and worry and needless concern.

I mean I still did some days but I was doing better.

Because I was “doing better” and had been for a little while I talked to my doctor about going off one of my medications. It was one that was added during the pandemic and was supposed to act as a “booster” to strengthen my primary medication which was doing the work of both anti-anxiety and antidepressant meds. The thing about drugging your brain chemistry into compliance… well there are a few things.

Some people think you take the medication and then your brain is somehow “normal” and you are just like everyone else. This has not been my experience. The medications get me to the point that I can do the hard work of being human.

But as I sit here reflecting on a month or two of struggling to get out of bed almost every day I realize that those boosters were doing some work that I couldn’t do.

They were softening the edges of my anxiety so that I could be brave and carry on.

They were relieving the depths of my depression so I could get out of bed in the morning.

They were allowing me to focus on the coping methods I’ve built into my life instead of feeling overwhelmed and having no idea where to start.

After a couple of weeks without them, I started to really feel the difference. BUT, I told myself, I just need to adjust to being off of them. Things will be fine as soon as I adjust.

I guess that could have been true. Maybe. But then life kept being life. Bad things kept happening in this country and this world. People I know and love continued to get sick. Oh and then there was that major oral surgery that came out of nowhere all of a sudden. I’d forgotten about that.

Fast forward to 3 or 4 months after going off those boosters. To now. To me clutching the world so hard that my hands are twisted and cramped from clenching them so tightly. To waking up anxious and sad. Or to not being able to wake up at all. To depression. To sadness. To despair. To overwhelming anxiety and a huge increase in my quirks, freakouts, mood swings, and insomnia.

What am I saying?

Medication is not magic.

Mental health is an ongoing struggle.

I’m not okay, but I wanted to remind you that it’s okay not to be okay. And if you’re struggling please please don’t listen to the little voice that says you deserve it.

And yes… I already made an appointment to get the help I need. So I’m doing that.

Yeah… that’s all I have in me today.