Friday, March 11, 2011

Time to Get Out

Now that I’ve come out of the closet, so to speak, about my anxiety et all, I’m still trying to come to grips with what it all means.  I feel like I’m fighting the medication because right now I feel like a failure for having to take medication.  Shouldn’t I be able to control this?  Apparently not, which is why I’m on medication. 

I still feel like there’s a stigma associated with mental illness.  There probably isn’t especially when there are so many people in the world who either need medication or know someone who does.  It was pointed out to me that mental illness is taken a lot more seriously now.  No doctor is going to tell me it’s all in my head and to just get over it. 

It’s weird to think that this is a chemical imbalance.  It’s like any other sickness or pain so why is it so hard for me to accept?  I know it will take a long time to adjust to the medication.  I had a wonderful evening over the weekend, just being a passenger in the car and not feeling any hint of anxiety.  The best part of how mellow I felt was that I didn’t feel like I was under the influence of something masking my feelings.  I actually felt fine and was completely oblivious to the traffic surrounding me.  But I have been frustrated with sudden panic attacks related to nothing.  Those are hard to deal with and feel like they last forever because I don’t even know why I’m freaking out!  It’s easier to talk myself through something when I know what the trigger is.  I have also been almost paralyzed with anxiety over things that have never bothered me before.  That is very frustrating.  Luckily, my family is looking out for me and I had a much needed conversation where I learned that this crazy week was a very normal reaction to what’s happening to the chemicals in my brain. 

The advice I was given was to stop calling myself crazy.  If only I could detach this part of myself and see it for what it is rather than internalizing it so much.  I’m working on it.  I was also told that I can still have bad days even after the medication takes effect.  That’s all it is.  Just a bad day so I should recognize it as such and not read too much into it.  Today was actually a good day.  I spent most of the day outside at a park or playground of some sort and never once felt anxiety.  I have had really bad days this week.  Those should lessen with the medication but I know I will still have bad days occasionally. 

I have hope that I can get better but I’m still trapped in the mental mind game of it all.  I want to talk about it because I have learned that blogging is a great release for me and it’s cheaper than therapy.  I also don’t want to talk about it.  I don’t want to focus on it too much in the hopes that I can put it in the back of my mind sooner.  But I still want to put the story out there in case it can be of any use to someone out there like me.  Plus, my blog is for me more than it is for anyone else.  Keeping it public keeps it from being too extreme. 

4 thoughts:

Dawn said...

One of the problems with mental illness is that while we are limping along before we get help we learn a lot of bad habits that we think are helping us. Once we start working on the cure we have to unlearn the habits. The worst one for me is the negative self talk. I have now moved all my worries and negative frustrations to Wednesdays. If it isn’t Wednesday the thought has to be put on hold. Of course, by Wednesday the issue has usually resolved itself and it forgotten.
Right now my biggest issue is this March Madness Basketball and the fact that it just ruined my evening since the game was not suppose to be on TV. I am going to drink my chocolate milk, eat my peanut butter and curl up with my book. Oh, and plug my ears from all the yelling at the refs.
Hang in there kiddo!

The Piquant Storyteller said...

Bad habits. Yeah, I could see that. Maybe I should save all my worries until the 32nd of every month.

And the March Madness thing - I hate basketball. I tried to learn about it last night and I still think it's dumb. Although I would rather watch basketball until my eyes bleed than watch baseball for any length of time. No offense to Ryan but I HATE baseball!

Dawn said...

You missed the point a little with the Wednesday worries. We all have worries and we can’t just get rid of them. . We need to control them instead of the other way around. By assigning them to Wednesday we give ourselves permission to have them just not to control us. And believe me, it does not always work. I love you!!!!
Thanks for sharing my joy the other night about my A1c during the basketball game when my husband didn’t even know I was in the same house.

The Piquant Storyteller said...

I can hardly save my worries for an hour much less a Wednesday or a non existent day. I'll work on it though.

I'm very sorry that you are a sport widow any time a game is on. It's a testament that you raised your son well because he may watch games but he's still present. Was Barry excited about your A1C later? I think you should buy yourself something with that awesome result!