This week, I had planned on talking about the best books I read this year. Maybe throw in a little festive holiday fun. Instead, it’s time for some really personal sharing. And it’s scary.
I’m not okay right now.
It’s hard. No matter how much I or anyone talks about wanting to be authentic and honest, there is something terrifying about being vulnerable and putting yourself out there, with full openness. However, I owe it to myself, and to anyone else who might feel like me and could be helped by reading about someone going through what they’re going through.
I’M NOT OKAY RIGHT NOW.
It’s easy to fall into that pattern, people ask “How are you?” and you automatically respond with “Good” or “Fine”, no matter what you actually feel. It’s even more true on the internet sometimes. I think part of me fears that if I TELL people I’m not okay, that I’m struggling, that they’ll think less of me or that they’ll wonder why they should put any faith in me to help them with their business problems when I’m a hot mess personally. Or, you know, that people will be annoyed for such a downer in the midst of the week before Christmas.
I’M NOT OKAY RIGHT NOW.
Of course, that’s my mis-wired brain talking. The logical part of me knows that, at the least, my sharing proves to people that I’m a real human. And like I said, maybe it will help someone else feel less alone.
My ex actually said this when we were talking today: “I’m…I don’t know the adjective I want. I’m not bad. I’m not great, but I’m not meh.” I think that’s a good explanation for where a lot of people I know are currently sitting.
This year has been EXHAUSTING (and about 3 years long, except for Nov/Dec which were a total of one week long combined), the consensus among so many people I know has been that we’re just TIRED. And when you add mental illness to the weariness-with-the-world-at-large, it’s, well, a lot.
SO THIS IS ME. BEING BRUTALLY HONEST. I’M NOT OKAY RIGHT NOW.
I have an anxiety disorder and struggle with depression. I take meds for this. They mean I can function like a human. Right now, due to a snafu and lapse in our insurance until January, I am off my meds. And frankly, it is sucking major balls.
SOME RELEVANT ARTICLES AND LINKS
This is a great post that’s like a window into my brain on the GOOD days, with meds – Living with High Functioning Depression
This time of year is often rough on anyone with mental illness – Holiday Self Care
A great resource of HelpLines for Mental Health including legal aid, financial assistance, crisis support, and more. – Top 25 HelpLine Resources
Two lists of helpful apps (some overlap)
A PEEK INSIDE MY BRAIN
Uncontrolled anxiety and depression symptoms for me mean constant self questioning and doubt in ridiculous, circling, self-perpetuating patterns, massive amounts of unexplained feelings of guilt and near-constant feelings of panic, a desire to constantly sleep mixed with an inability to sleep well, a complete loss of ability to focus and stay on track, executive dysfunction on even simple tasks and decisions, and more. It ALSO means my fuse is shorter, because I get frustrated with, well, myself, and everything around me. Which means I either shut down or snap at people I love. As if it weren’t already bad, it’s being compounded by seasonal depression and a much more severe reaction to the time change and how early it’s getting dark than I would usually have.
The last two weeks have been especially awful. Like “I don’t want to leave the house because it’s not like anything good is out there and I’m not going to add anything good to what’s out there” bad. Like “I’m just going to not eat lunch today because making a sandwich sounds like the most complicated thing in the world and I can’t do it” bad. Any normal self-care routines are long gone and getting through the day is more like this:
Even in the last two weeks, in the midst of the worst of it, there were good moments where I was more okay, though the constant low-grade feeling of panic was still hovering. Case it point, my birthday outing. Last Friday, my wonderful friends rallied and planned a night out for me. The fact that they took the time to schedule time and do this made me cry. Just the act of “we set aside a few hours Friday evening to hang with you”. Absolute waterworks. And we had a good time! I was massively enjoying myself. And then, after getting home, we were all hanging out in my living room still talking and laughing and smiling, and abruptly, like a light switch had been flipped, I couldn’t sit still, had to stand up, couldn’t look people in the eye, felt a pounding start in my chest, and just needed everyone gone so I could hide in the dark and quiet. Even though I was having FUN just a few minutes before. Oh, irrational brain. Luckily, I think hubby picked up on the vibe and helped me gently wind the evening down and say goodbye and get everyone out.
Today, things are better. I don’t feel 100%, but I’m MORE functional and the constant low-grade panic seems to have wandered off for the time being.
That’s also the thing about this – it’s cyclical. I know it gets better. And sometimes gets worse. But it never stays worse forever. When I’m in the middle of a down slump, it’s hard not to feel like it is forever and always this bad. It takes a lot of effort to focus on and remember the good days and the good moments and the good things in my life, even when there is a lot of good. And there is.
My LIFE is good. It’s important to remember that depression and anxiety are not direct reactions to the state of your life, it’s literally things going on in your brain. There’s a reason that anyone, even the most successful celebrity, can suffer from these things.
I want to stress, I’m not okay RIGHT NOW, but I WILL be okay again. I’m safe. I’ve got a loving husband taking care of me and a great network of family and friends supporting me.
I’m not okay right now.
I will be okay.