I should have known, I should have seen it coming especially since I knew I was well over due for the fall but in recent years as I have learned to manage the anxiety that I have struggled with since the age of 19 I got complacent and well that bitch hit me today like a ton of bricks. Depression, my nemesis and the companion to the chronic anxiety that I have lived with now for half my life has decided to rejoin the party and she is not welcomed.
This is the type of post where literally as I type it I wonder am I saying too much. Perhaps I am sharing too much of myself with people I don’t know then I remember a dear friend EH who I lost to suicide many years ago and remember that unspoken truths can become deadly. In EH’s case a happy, calm, helpful façade disguised deep pain that eventually came out when EH took his Chicago Police Dept. issued service revolver and ended his life. Yet the happy façade had cracks, cracks no one chose to see, not even someone in a helping profession who in the past has literally accessed whether or not someone needs mental health assistance.
In my journey with anxiety that later blossomed to include a side of depression, I have worked hard to stabilize myself, at times using medication and therapy, sometimes together and sometimes alone. I have learned my triggers and generally I avoid them at all cost. It is the one reason I have pretty much made the decision not to drive, driving triggers my anxiety, and once I get on the anxiety roller coaster it gets bad. Yes, it is a hard decision to make but my health and well-being rank a little higher than my ability to drive at this stage in my life. Learning to limit the triggers has served me well, throw in the yoga and meditation that I took up over two years ago and well I have been feeling like a brand new person. Sure I have a bad day here and there but nothing that downward dog and pranayama breathing can’t pull me through. I have been Wellbutrin free for years and haven’t even needed a bottle of Rescue Remedy, yeah it was good.
Things started to feel so good that I forgot, I forgot that when I don’t actively know my limits and accept them that I push too hard, too fast, hell I become Superwoman and I have been on a Superwoman high for a while now. Well I woke up this morning to learn my Superwoman cape had been repossessed by the Super Hero plant, leaving me all alone and on the floor in a fetal position. When I woke up this morning, I felt the shift in my bones, that old heaviness, the tightness, the rage and the watery eyes. I knew it when I lashed out at my husband for imagined wrongs and he knew it too, he has been with me too long not to know
Thankfully I am older and wiser and having been down this road before, I know what to do to get myself back on track. Changes… must make changes. For me that means despite the fact that I have been trying to limit how I extend myself I must be more adamant, louder and stand on the table and yell it if need be. It is no longer a matter of feeling bad, but I know if I don’t consistently make time for myself and my needs that stress after a while trips me off and then I am living in anxiety and depression land. I also know that if I can’t get myself back to where I was then I will once more need to submit to the pharmaceutical gods who make products that can rewire me back to the sweet spot.
The decision to not only write this but share it is hard yet for too many years I lived alone in that dark space wearing my happy façade but it took losing someone I considered my rock to learn that there is no shame in admitting our needs and even asking for help. Even Superwoman occasionally misplaces her cape, sometimes she is even puts away in the closet too!