I title this as part one, because I am currently on a part two. Best part is out of the way now, so lets get started!
Back in June I had a very difficult time. I was constantly stuck in my head and I was over analyzing everything. Which is something I do all the time. I’m constantly overthinking, while trying to stay positive at the same time. It’s hard trying to multitask like that, very taxing on the mind and body. For as long as I can remember, I’ve actually always thought this way. Which in conclusion made me exhausted and I didn’t even think twice about that. I guess I should set the mood a bit more, and rewind to how it all started.
(You can watch/listen to my life story here about growing up with anxiety, IF NOT CONTINUE READING! )
At the beginning of this year, I felt good. I was working two jobs, going to school and felt normal. I felt like I was fitting in with everyone around me whom constantly worked. I didn’t have a social life, but I didn’t care. I was working for my future and for money and that’s really all I cared about. In mid February I found myself bed ridden with some illness I like to think was pneumonia. No point in me guessing though. I didn’t see a doctor and I was pushing myself to get to work. I was confused, throwing up and all around just not there. I was so disoriented that when I was driving to my 7am morning first at my second job I didn’t even know I was driving. And I suddenly felt unsafe. I’m already late by 10 minutes, and my managers are wondering where I am. Needless to say, I was only employed for four weeks. I was out sick (in bed) for two weeks. I don’t remember much aside from when I thought I “felt better” I went to work. I was wearing three layers of clothing with a jacket on top. My eyes were droopy and I was forced to breath through my mouth. No one wanted to interact with me. Just that month alone changed me.
From the disappointment of quitting my second job, I was once again pressuring myself to find secondary income. Application after application I finally put the pen down, and accepted that right now at this time I wasn’t going to be able to fulfill that mental pressure. Letting that go, I was able to just focus on my primary job and just continue on. In doing so, I found myself rewarded with a promotion in March. With excitement and so much enthusiasm I took the reins and speed off. My chariot was on fire for months. I was able to see a positive future and I felt my confidence return. I ran lap after lap after lap as I felt myself achieving personal and work goals. My happiness in those few months was so indescribable. However, it soon came to an end.
My mother was diagnosed with a foreign cancer. We were unable to get answers for two months. Which, surprise! The end of May beginning of June my mother took a medical leave to find out what was wrong, and to rest. Her doctors did not joke around and told my mother to rest up which is why I say it again. This was new to her, rest. In the last 12 years of her working near 350 days out of the year, she finally had time to herself. Granted though, not in a way I think she anticipated it to be; however time none the less. And she loved it oh so much. I loved seeing her so happy. Ever though she was in constant pain she was still grateful and happy. By the second week of June, I felt the same feelings I typically find myself facing a dozen times out of the year. This haunting pressure from my anxiety. At the time, I wasn’t able to make anything out. The only thing I could see was “I’ve had enough of trying to help myself. I need to see someone”. So I called my new PCP and told her that I needed whatever help I was able to get for my anxiety. I didn’t know what to expect. I put off seeking treatment for so long.. so when I found myself in her office just 3 days later I couldn’t help but sob the whole time. My anxiety flared up so hard I thought I was going to just stop breathing. But in that moment.. I was also grateful. Everyone knew why I was there, and I thought they would treat me differently. They didn’t. In all honestly they probably didn’t even think twice about it like I would have. The staffs kindness eroded into me. I felt safe.
That day I walked out with two different types of medication. I was put on a plan with my PCP and I was thrilled to finally start in the right direction. I took the medication that evening and went to sleep fulfilled. Those few weeks leading up to the doctors visit, I was tanking at work. I wasn’t able to focus, and I wasn’t able to do my job. I was drowning and I didn’t know how to signal the life guard. The work place grew stressful and I just wasn’t able to cope. So on day two of my new medication I snapped. I was told by a higher up that I needed to do better. And in that frazzled state, I lost it. I left early that day sobbing. And I didn’t return back to work for weeks. However that day, that day in particular struck me. It was the 13th of June, the last day that I physically showed up to work. That Friday, June 16th I had called my doctor and told her what happen. She granted me a medical note and that was the day I called for my medical leave. So with my back story said (the long part) lets get into how this medical leave helped me. Because it was the worse and best time of my life.
The first week on my medication I honest to God felt like they were really working. They typically take about a month or so for my body to really take them in. I couldn’t tell you what it was, just that it was working. My racing thoughts subsided, I didn’t feel so triggered and most importantly I didn’t feel so sensitive. This was a huge deal for me. I was still terrified of the stigma around mental health, and I say that because I had to tell my family why I stopped going to work and why I wanted to be around them so much. I had some opinions, however I didn’t take it in a bad way. They were learning as much as I was. I might have known more, but this was my time. I had to speak up and teach.
I scheduled visits with my doctor when I needed too. Which was.. just about every (rest) week of June. I went through some things I’m honest to Dante I don’t want to bring back up. But I’m going to anyways, so buckle up. The reason why I took my medical leave was because my meditation took me down the roads of horror. And not like the ones you see at the movies. Week one was a great week. Thought I was cured and would need to be on medication the rest of my life. And I was SO ok with that. (I still am by the way) However week two.. not so much. I started to feel lonely. I was shutting down and I knew I was. I knew the feelings and the warning signs. So I tried desperately to reach out to whomever I could to help distract myself. Although no matter what I did, I was left feeling alone. ( You can read about how I was feeling in that specific time here ) And then came the insomnia. I’ve never experienced insomnia like this ever in my life. Even in high school when I “thought” I had insomnia, HA! I’m laughing at myself. Have you ever seen ‘Fight Club’? The one with Brad Pitt and Edward Norton? (One of my favorite movies and books btw) In the beginning, Tyler (Edward Norton) is seeing his doctor about how he can’t sleep. He’s shown on the couch flipping through the channels and he’s talking about how he buys things and blah blah. But in that frame of him laying on his couch, mouth wide open and dark purple and black circles under his eyes? That was me. I was like that for so long that it felt like YEARS. I don’t know how else to describe how long I felt that way. It was terrible. My sleep schedule was so out of order and all over the place, that I was grateful for ANY type of slumber. A NAP even! I can’t imagine trying to go to work with literally no sleep. I was so moody and just all over the place. Literally. Which caused me to go back to the doctor and ask for some sort of treatment to sleep. I was given non addictive sleep medication, which in all honesty didn’t work. But that’s ok. I accepted it as is. Sadly enough I’m still trying to get back into a health sleep routine and schedule. Happy ENOUGH to say that I don’t have insomnia anymore.
Week three I don’t remember, and in all honestly I don’t remember much until week 5. A whole month later I look back (thankful of my blog posts) and I can see I was in a terrible place of depression. My anxiety made me overthink, and I constantly had racing thoughts and tiny voices and so many other things bothering me. But depression, oh boy. Depression is a sibling I don’t want to have. See, she is soul sucking. She’s like the grim reaper from ‘Final Destination’. Where you are aware that you could die at any moment so you team up with whomever you can and ride it out. Hopefully you don’t die. I mean, just remove the “dying” part and replace it with “soul sucking”. I hope that paints a picture. I remember trying so hard to keep my soul. I was drawing, reading, watching tv, you know common distractions you don’t even think twice about. But in my case, I was pushing myself to do them so I didn’t find myself sleeping on the couch for days. Which I did. For three days I sat in my family loft with ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ playing on the tv and I just slept. I only woke up just to tell Netflix to fuck off, I’m still watching. It was my safe place. My happy place, and the only form of rest I was able to receive. ( You can read about my depressive episodes here; scroll all the way down. ) OR READ THESE TOP POSTS –> [Empty but full. Honestly, how can I help myself. Gear up like Dante. The lost woods. ] are my most favorite posts I’ve done. (Terrible to say, but I’m proud. ❤ )
I forgot to mention, I also started therapy on week two. I wrote about those as well, which you can find (HERE). It’s not major however these visits where the only thing getting me out of the house. I didn’t leave for any other reason, and got very angry when I was asked to go “out”. I just didn’t want too. I wanted to curl up and just sit in the corner. And that is healthy to say. I accept it now, being in that dungeon called my brain. I’ve adapted and actually built off that dungeon. Anyways, After week 5 I noticed myself getting better. I was sleeping and my return to work date was creeping up on me. The week prior I was back into my routine. I slept at night and woke up early. I found myself productive and just so eager to return back to work. I felt as though I was losing my mind just sitting at home. (Funny to say it now, but I rushed back tooooo quickly. Ended up tripping over myself. TWICE) I wasn’t able to get back on the work schedule until (Week Eight). Which leads us to part two of this story. -claps hands-
In conclusion, as you can see. I wasn’t fit to honestly battle with work and my body AND my mind. The condition I was in… made me into some sort of demon. (Again, I’m proud I went through it. I don’t ever want to again, but if I DO! I’ll know what to do next time)
I was in a fight or flight mode, but dead at the same time. I don’t want to go through that while going to work. Nope. Nu huh. SO! That concludes part one.
THIS POST IS IN NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM TO SCARE YOU INTO THINKING MEDICATION IS TERRIBLE AND NOT HELPFUL!
PLEASE CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE STARTING OR ENDING YOUR MEDICATION TREATMENT!
Finding the right medication is a LONG HAUL! PLEASE DON’T BE DISCOURAGED IF THE FIRST ONE DOESN’T WORK! Have a healthy conversation with your therapist or doctor about changing your prescription. MAKE SURE YOU ARE HEARD! Let them know ALL of your symptoms and why you feel like you want to try something else. DON’T BE ALARMED OR SCARED WHEN TOLD THE SIDE EFFECTS! Most are NOT permanent. I went through this in only 6 weeks, and I don’t have these side effects anymore. SO PLEASE ASK QUESTIONS! DO RESEARCH IF YOU WANT AS WELL! GET ALL THE INFORMATION AND BE KNOWLEDGEABLE!
If you would like to know MORE or have ANY questions that I could answer PLEASE leave a comment or contact me on any social medias. Your mental health matters! Keep going!