I’ve never spoken about this on here; I’ve literally posted so much about every other aspect of my health but hardly anything regarding my mental health. I’ve touched on it but never gone into detail because it’s something I’ve been struggling with and find difficult to talk about. But here we go.
Please respect my candour, I’m really nervous about posting this.
When I was eighteen I started taking anti-depressants, my mood was variable and my anxiety was sky high. I could barely leave the house, I freaked out if I did, I had horrific panic attacks and I’d cry. I was going through a very difficult period of my life; I was in a lot of pain and nobody knew why. My friends were going off to uni and living fulfilling lives, whilst I was unable to wash my own hair without help and hated who I was becoming. It was traumatic to say the least. I’d stay up late, writing and crying, tears staining every page of my notebook. And then I’d sleep, hoping to wake up and be a newer, better version of myself.
I had counselling and anxiety management, I wore an elastic band around my wrist for as long as I can remember, and after about four years I came off the meds. It was weird, I still felt down but I dealt with it much better, and it was my decision to cut out the medication. I took a hell of a lot of pills for my crappy physical health so coming off the anti-depressants was one less tablet to swallow.
Just over two years ago I went to see my GP and we decided it was time I get back on the drugs (prescription of course). I was prescribed 20 mg of Citalopram and unable to take a higher dose as it would interfere too much with tablets I take of an evening.
I’m a pretty hard person, anyone who knows me would tell you I’m outspoken, aggressive, opinionated and talkative, but that’s only one side to me. Much like my physical disability and hiding pain, I hide the shy, vulnerable, paranoid side of me. I consider this part of me weak, helpless, annoying, I hate talking about it, I hate the thought of being seen as a lesser being. I cry after midnight when I’m alone in my room, when my demons scratch at my head and scar my insides. I cry thinking of the life I could have had if things were different, if I was different. I sometimes just cry and there’s no reason behind it, and then I become angry. It’s all-consuming and I don’t like how it can rip away an okay day and make it horrendous in the blink of an eye.
Then there’s the anxiety; the heart-racing, body shaking anxiety that cripples me. Confrontation is my worst enemy, with paranoia coming in second place. I can’t stand it, I don’t just over-think, I dwell, I’m bathed in it, drowning, there’s no lifeguard in sight. Confrontation literally terrifies me, my whole body becomes racked with nervous energy, shuddering. You wouldn’t think I was the type of person to suffer with this because I’m hard, right? Wrong, I’m scared. I’m scared I’ll piss someone off and it’ll lead to a massive argument, and I won’t be able to defend myself because I can’t think quick enough and my responses are always wrong, thus leading to something so much worse. My brain doesn’t compute as fast as I’d like it to, brain fog and confrontation is a thing of nightmares. Even thinking about a possible confrontation is making my heart race. I’m fucking ridiculous.
Having a chronic condition and suffering with mental illness is tough, I’m isolated, I shut myself off, I end up cancelling plans, and sometimes I just can’t deal with people. Don’t get me wrong I like my alone time, I’m friends with solitude, I just don’t like to be lonely. You know that saying ‘feeling alone in a crowded room,’ it’s easy to relate to and it’s horrible, especially when that room is full of people that love you.
Anyway, I have my first CBT session next week. I’m not nervous about it, I’m just really hoping it will help. Wish me luck. I’ll keep you updated.