I've never been one to shy away from talking about mental illness, and how it has impacted my life. In fact, I'm pretty much an open book about everything, so why not this, something that is (as much as it bothers me) a huge part of my life.
I have struggled with anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember. I mean, it didn't get really bad until I was 12, but even as a young child I remember worrying about everything. To the point where I would give myself stomach aches, or migraines. And I also remember having times of debilitating sadness that would stop me in my tracks, and confuse me terribly. I used to refer to it as the "sad feeling" I would tell my mom I had the sad feeling, and she would hold me until I felt better, well, good enough that I could get on with my day anyways. I used to wish and wish I could grow up so I could never have to feel that way again. Obviously, at 6 you think that being an adult is easier than what you're going through. Huh.
I have been on and off antidepressants and anti anxiety meds since I was 14. I need them....always. But, I hate going to the doctor, my doctor in particular. (Now this is the part where I panic because living in a small area means that there is a very good chance you know someone who is related to and/or good friends with said doctor) But, oh well. Being honest, he never gives me a large enough dose, and in fact my old therapist was shocked that someone with my issues (OCD,GAD,PPD) was on such a low dose. She fixed that immediately, and asked to be in charge of my meds. Well, that was 5 years ago, and here I am. I am not on meds, I am not in therapy, and I am struggling. Big time.
I am overwhelmed, with the normal things. Kids, marriage, House, finding time for yourself. And I often ask myself, is this a normal reaction to being overwhelmed, or is this something bigger? And, in the back of my head, I know, depression and anxiety can't really be cured. Only treated. And I know I need to be on meds, but that means going in to see my doctor, and advocating for myself when he insists on putting me on a low dose, or refuses to give me anything to help me sleep, or help with my panic attacks, which are happening daily at this point. I feel like a different person. I am worried about everything, I have moments of pure rage, which is how depression manifests itself for me most of the time, and I have moments of such sadness, that I feel like my chest is burning, and my head will explode.
I feel like my kids deserve better. Better than a mom who yells, and loses her patience, and just can't get her shit together. I look around my house, and it's disorganized and messy, and yet, thinking about getting up and cleaning, and doing everything that needs to be done exhausts me. Who am I? When did I turn into this person? I have these amazing kids, and I can't seem to let that be the most important thing. I feel selfish, and weak. And I know that this isn't my fault, but damn, it's hard not to feel that way.
I'm not even sure why I feel these feelings so intensely this morning. I have a puppy, and a 3 year old....which are almost the same thing, who are intent on destroying the house. I feel unmotivated, and exhausted, and then I feel panicked when I see how much laundry I have to do, and I notice that the dog has chewed up 3 rolls of toilet paper, and the toddler has dumped Lego everywhere. And when I get upset, he tells me "I hate you" and all I can think is, yeah. That seems about right. This stuff isn't hard. It's just life and parenting. But, I can't stop myself from crying in the bathroom, and attempting to do deep breathing exercises while he kicks my bedroom door.
Before I wrap this up, please don't think I'm doing this for attention, or that this is a cry for help. I'm the only one that can help me, I know that well enough. But, that means picking up the phone and making a doctor's appointment. And that's usually where I get stalled. In the meantime, how do you cope when you feel like never leaving your bed? How do you get up every morning, and put a smile on your face, and try your hardest to not let this affect your children? That's the hardest part for me. My kids know I'm human, they understand that everyone has bad days, and sometimes needs a breather. But, I'm starting to be very fearful that this will affect them negatively. How do I take time for myself without feeling selfish? How do I explain this need to a partner who maybe doesn't understand how much I'm struggling? I just don't know...
As always, thanks for listening, as odd as it sounds, putting all of my feelings out there helps.