I would love to write that I have it all figured out. That through research, counseling, and medication I now have my anxiety completely under control. That would be the biggest lie of all. Like the person who has been overweight their whole life, I have had mental illness my whole life. If that person wants to stay thin they need to work at it every single day and so do I. I forgot this recently and lucky for me I have a best friend who use to be 300lbs…
The Bubble of Paradise was Popped By Reality
The track that I was on seemed to be going full speed ahead into the promise land. What seemed like a smooth ride got interrupted by my train being derailed and flipped about thirteen times landing me right back where I started. At least that’s how I felt. I felt like this image I had portrayed of a functioning person with mental illness was about to come crashing down. You see I have made a commitment to share my story and help others. In my mind, I had conquered my demons. I was greatly mistaken when news headlines started replaying stories of memories I was trying to forget.
Honestly, I thought I was doing a damn good job of not showing my loved ones just how low I had gotten. I was no longer sleeping at night. When I did fall asleep I was tormented by nightmares. I would cry the whole way to work and the whole way home. Being alone with my thoughts was the scariest part of all. When I am in this darkness I usually fail to notice just how much it is affecting the people around me.
My Mask was Becoming See-Through
I didn’t want to reach out for help because I was ashamed. Here I am writing a blog about anxiety and I’m trying to help others and I had become a shell of myself. Lucky for me the people closest to me saw right through my mask. My husband was the first person to threaten me with action if I didn’t start helping myself. My husband looked at me with concern. He threatened to call my family and let them know how “good” I was doing. He ended his lecture with, ” If you need to be committed to help yourself through this that is okay. I am in this forever, sickness and health.” Even with the sincerity in his voice, I blew off what he was saying. All I could think was he was over exaggerating and he just didn’t want to deal with me.
It wasn’t until my best friend texted me about someone we knew overdosing. This conversation with my best friend and I have turned more casual these days. It seems our yearbooks have turned into a memorial of those we have lost. This time I responded in a cavalier way, “I don’t know last week, where I was, I completely understand drug addicts and suicide. I would have done anything to stop my mind.”
Well, this lit my best friends spidey senses up like you wouldn’t believe. The conversation we were having ended immediately and she was in protective mode. I never said to her I need your help. She knew me well enough to know the way I was talking was reflecting the way I was still feeling.
I had two people, who even when I couldn’t think to ask, pulled me aside and said, “What can I do? What can we change to make you happy again?”
When I finally got a chance to sit down and really talk to my best friend she completely changed my mindset. I was ashamed of myself as I sat across from her. I had been adamant recently I wasn’t going to turn to pills every time things got hard. So when I started a new medication I was ashamed. Looking at her with tears in my eyes I said, “I feel like I’m starting over.” I have always had this pride that I am able to reign myself in and to function in society I was doing neither. All I could think was that I lost the game of mental illness. She explained to me my journey was going to have set back and twist but, one day I will reach the end.
Guess What! Anxiety Doesn’t Go Away Over Night!
This is a journey , my journey to overcoming anxiety!