While being on the right medication has made a world of difference, there’s one little thing I can’t get past. My medication makes me think clearly, it makes me not want to harm myself, it allows me to get out of bed, and it’s helping me start to live again. But that one little thing, I don’t know how to deal with it. 

I’ve always been terrible at releasing my emotions in a healthy way. I was never taught how to do so. I was yelled at when I started to have an anxiety attack. When I was anything but content, I was doing something wrong. It was not acceptable to go to someone else with your struggles. Between my parents not validating my emotions and my high school friends not believing me, I learned to release emotions in toxic ways. 

So far my biggest struggle with medication is how to release the feeling of anxiety. I can almost constantly feel it bubbling up under my skin. It’s there, but I can’t have an attack. My medication keeps me from reaching my “crazy.” And while I’m somewhat thankful for that, I’ve begun to miss my attacks. I miss crying and letting it all out. I miss hyperventilating and feeling like I’m not in control. It’s odd, you’d think I wouldn’t miss it. I don’t understand. 

-Liz

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I’m in Recovery, But I’m Still Depressed


Yesterday I was an emotional wreck because I skipped a dose of my antipsychotic. As much as I hated being in that place, I can now look back and see just how much I needed it to happen. I needed to be an emotional wreck, I needed to self harm again, and I needed to lay in my bed and have an unusually calm panic attack. I needed the reminder. 

I was in this thought of thinking that my depression was cured by my new medication. I hadn’t touched my self help books, I hadn’t made any effort to keep up my routine. I was still depressed, but not acknowledging it. And that is dangerous. 


Yesterday, I was reminded that it’s all still there. The desire to harm myself, the need to just cry, the loneliness is all still there. It’s been buried under my medication and ignored by my busy weekend. 

I’m in recovery, yet I’m still depressed. I may not feel the physical side effects of depression anymore, but I still need to be working on myself. I’m not all better just yet. 


I should have realized it by the fact that I sleep in so late, I sleep so long. And it takes me hours to convince myself to get up. Last night, I slept from 8pm until 10:30am. My alarm is set at 6am. Instead of turning it off, I dreamt it was a beeping sound in an airplane simulator game. Yeah, I’m that much of a nerd. 

The first sign of a Depressive Episode, at least a bad one, is sleeping a lot. I even took 2 naps yesterday. Maybe 3. I was ready for bed by 7pm. I had been ignoring this major indication that something is terribly wrong. I didn’t even walk my dog yesterday, now I’ve got a mess to clean up. 

Being depressed while on a medication that makes me not depressed is something new to work on. It’s uncharted territory for me. But I’m here, and I need to start exploring. 


I’m going to take it easy today, let myself gain some strength back up from yesterday. I might do a couple things around the house, but for the most part I will relax. Maybe do some creative things. 

I’ve ignored my bills, those need to be paid. I’ve ignored the clutter, that needs to be cleaned up. But first, I need to open my depression book and dive back into my recovery. I need to remember the only way to beat this is not only medication, but therapy and self care work. 

Take the time you need today to evaluate where you are. Write down things that are wrong, write down things that are right. Write down improvements you can make to those that are wrong. Seek help. Seek a listening ear. Seek love, comfort, and support. 

-Liz

On A Date With Anxiety Plus Some Guy I’m Just Meeting


My original plan for today was to write about what it’s like getting ready for, and leading up to, a date when you have mental health issues. That’s why I took the above, “before” photo and then was going to document my entire getting ready process and all that fun shit. 

However, I got side tracked and completely forgot to document my getting ready routine. Which, turns out, is totally okay because the story alone of just getting TO my date is way better. 


Here’s the after photo, though! 

We were both running a bit late, me because I had to stop and get coffee before I went to see a movie. Makes sense. Anyway, on my way there driving didn’t seem so bad. And then, I almost hit someone on a bike going about 50mph and about died of a damn heart attack! Like, that was not an okay “almost” moment for my anxiety. At that point, the chain smoking was about to start.

And then, I got into the parking lot of, I swear, Arizona’s busiest dang mall! People were assholes, cutting in front of me, going around me, blocking traffic. I literally had a “fuck people” moment. This moment occurs when even coffee and a cigarette won’t calm my poor nerves!

So, giving up, I decided to try the parking garage. Boy, was that also a nightmare. It was like the people in the parking lot only in a smaller enclosed space. So, yeah, anxiety definitely was high. I was pissed off, stressed out, and just ready to go the hell home. But, no. I had a date. I was determined to go on this date. 

I finally get inside the mall, after finishing another cigarette.  I parked by Tiffany’s so, that at least brought a smile to my face as I love Audrey Hepburn. However, my smile quickly faded as I was forced to be walking in groups of people that didn’t give a shit about who they were cutting off and other people staring at me. I changed that mindset into, “damn, I must look good!” And then a hot guy complimented me on my shirt. He knew who Joan Jett was. Had I not been about to go on a date, I would have totally gotten his number, guys. Still actually kinda wondering why I didn’t. Oh, well! 

I finally made it through the Anxiety torture chamber and into the public restroom. Which was small and had a line. Which just meant a crowd of even MORE people in an even SMALLER space. I was seriously on the verge of tears. 

To make all this better, I was in the same location I had been in when I had my anxiety attack/meltdown after the movies. Thankfully, when I met up with my date, he was cool with not seeing the movie that started half am hour before we got there. So, we went to grab coffee. 

I was feeling so anxious and so incredibly uncomfortable by this point that I just wanted to go home. No offense to my date, this had nothing to do with him. I was so wrapped up in myself and worried about myself that I just had to get out of there and go back to my “safe place.” Aka: my patio in which I never leave anymore. 


After a day of chain smoking and attempting to get back out into life, I took myself a nice hot bubble bath and put a moisturizing face mask on. It was good to just relax and let life go. Let go of all the thoughts, anxieties, worries, everything. Of course, they all came back after my bath. But, it’s okay. It’s almost time to curl up with a good book and get some much needed sleep. Hopefully tomorrow morning will come with a much better day attached to it. 

-Liz

I am Not My Anxiety 


One of the hardest things to remember while I’m in recovery is that I am NOT my mental health issues. While in recovery I’m crazy aware of how each thing I do will affect my mental state. And sometimes, I forget I control myself. 

Yesterday, I was in a constant state of panic. Could have been caused by too much caffeine, not enough sleep, or the fact that nothing is wrong. I spent so much time making one little thing into this irrational state of panic, that I couldn’t do anything else at all. At one point, I couldn’t even smoke a cigarette. I had had it. I was fed up knowing the rational reasoning yet, still in a complete panic. 


This is what it looks like when I’ve about had it. I wanted so badly to just give in to the panic, but I couldn’t. I tried all day to keep it away, afraid I’d turn to someone for comfort when it was way too soon to turn to them. Eventually, I made a choice. I decided to force it. I decided not to give into the panic, but to force it to happen. This photo was going to be my “before a forced panic attack” photo. 

How do you force a panic attack? I’ve honestly got no clue. My entire life I have been accused of faking anxiety attacks to get attention. Then, I sat down and thought about it last night. I have no clue, after 10 years, how to force myself into panic. I had been right on the edge all damn day, I just needed something to push me over. I begged for something to send me falling into panic. 

I did what I knew had made me panic in the past. I turned off the lights in my bedroom, laid down, and turned up the music on my, “Cry, Cry, Cry” playlist. Name inspired by Johnny Cash, of course.

The first song that came on is one that usually makes me cry. “I Wonder” by Kellie Pickler. It talks about a girl whose mom wasn’t there for her, then she up and moves to Tennessee. My life, right? Well, usually it brings sadness but, ever since I was able to record a cover of that song in a studio, it brings joyful memories. Next, was a song called, “God Sent Me You.” Normally, this one makes me cry because, “I drink whiskey, and I’ve smoked weed.” The lyrics are also my life, and this man is breaking down calling out to God in forgiveness. And then, God sends him his angel. But, I don’t have my angel, so usually, I get sad. But this time, I was full of wishful thinking and hope. Nothing was working, and then I began to cry. 

Then, I got a text message. It had been one I had wanted all day to come. But, I know people have lives so I remained patient. Little does he know, not only did he save me from an anxiety attack, but he made me feel understood. We were able to talk about what was happening. I didn’t mention that I was trying to make myself have an attack, but I did say anxiety was kicking my ass. He put a smile on my face when there had been no emotions just hours earlier. I had felt like self harming again yesterday, I’m thankful I hung onto hope. 


While I’m not happy that someone else pulled me out of a panic attack, I’m also glad they did. What I mean by that is, I want to be strong enough to not have to turn to someone every time. It’s not healthy to have the number one thing on your go-to list being to turn to someone else. Because, eventually that becomes just one person. And if you turn to that person every time, you’re giving them too much power over your emotions. And, if they don’t answer, you’re stuck and it usually makes the panic worse.

However, I’m glad at the same time that it happened. I didn’t turn to him, he had no clue how I was feeling when he texted me. I was only honest when he asked how my day was. And he understood. I wasn’t desperate for his help, but I allowed him to help, even though he probably has no idea how much he helped. 


I could tell that something good was on it’s way yesterday. It may already be here, or it may be on its way. But, yesterday was too calm, the sky too perfect. When I looked up, it was as if God was trying to tell me to just trust in Him. Yesterday, I didn’t have the strength to. Today, I currently have the strength and will keep trying to remain strong in my faith. I’m giving my power of control over to Him. What happens next will not be because of my actions, but because of His grace and His promise. He truly does have a better plan for me, I just need to wait. 

I want everyone who is struggling to remember, these are just passing moments. The anxiousness, fear, doubt, whatever it may be, it’ll pass. Eventually, happiness will come and it will pass too. But, you can rest assured in hope that happiness will always find its way back to you. Why? Because we all deserve to be happy. 

-Liz