Lately, I have felt like I am on this journey down this long road with my diagnosis. There is so much road behind me, and the road in front of me is so long it seems daunting, but I must journey on.
Up to this point, my blogs have been about my past, poems, or articles that I have written. I haven’t written my first honest post yet, so I figured why not now? It has been a rocky 2017. I started the year in the hospital for a week with bad ulcers. For almost eighteen hours I coughed up pints of blood. The stress had just gotten the best of me and my body was reacting accordingly.
Months before that my anxiety peaked, so much so that I was spending almost every night in so much emotional turmoil that for months I barely left my house. I feared things, but social situations were what drove my anxiety. I avoided it all, and though I missed the outside world I let myself get lost in my anxiety and depression. It wasn’t until around April that my life started to receive some normalcy.
I started working on cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and for weeks and the subsequent months, I slowly got better. I could leave my house again and go to my favorite coffee house. I could sit for small intervals and enjoy my writing. I took a semester off from school so that I could recharge my batteries. It was hard most days as I worked extremely hard to get my depression and anxiety levels to a manageable place.
I have functioned at a high level of effectiveness for the last few months. I was learning to take my thoughts and change the thinking behind them (CBT) and it worked. I learned to use listening to my breathing and to spending ten minutes a day just listening to the world around me. When I drove my car, one of the areas that for some new reason raised my anxiety, I used my breathing techniques to make driving manageable again. I even found a way to take favorite music and make connections to my past and figure why I have so much anxiety.
In some ways, some my progress has gone backward in recent weeks. Some old habits have crept back up in my life. I have missed appointments with my therapist, a sure sign that things are not as great as I’d like it to be. For the past few weeks I have been having some bad anxiety late at night, and for the first time in a while, my panic attacks late at night have come back.
It’s probably time for me to make my point… Today, I felt really disconnected from myself. I was doing my usual thing. Woke up early. Did some laundry. Gave someone a ride and then went to do my usual study/writing session at my favorite coffee house. It just felt as if I was here, but mentally I was just checked out. It happens sometimes when my depression and anxiety are at war with one another.
I am usually at my best when there is the right structure in my life. I have an appointment with my therapist tomorrow and I plan on getting back on track. It will take everything I have, but it will be better when I take control of things again. It’s not all bad. I finished my screenplay and I am close to finishing the novel version. It is interesting that as I approach my ten-year anniversary since my diagnosis that I finally have a place to write about my experiences.
Photo by: Pablo Garcia Saldaña