I’ve felt like I’ve been drowning lately and I can’t catch my breath. I have felt on the verge of panic attacks so many times and my heart races at the thoughts my anxiety produces. I am having such a hard time coping, because I don’t know how to cope. I’m not sleeping well and and when I do sleep, my sleep is so restless. I’m not eating very well, my appetite has been so poor. The things that bring me the greatest joy and that have helped me cope so much in the past aren’t cutting it right now. I’ve been looking so forward to the warm weather so I could finally be in my garden again and getting my hands dirty. Doing something so purposeful and meaningful and pouring my heart into that soil to see what will grow, isn’t helping like I hoped it would. Going on long walks daily, watching my Fitbit light up with 10,000 steps by mid-afternoon with a feeling of accomplishment, not helping like I hoped it would. These are a few of the things that are supposed to curb my anxiety, but it’s spiking again and I can’t understand why.
I was due for a doctor’s appointment for my yearly physical and for a prescription refill of my anti-depressant medication I take for anxiety. I have no shame in the way I’m feeling and I want to get better, so I shared with him what I’ve been feeling like. He’s a wonderful doctor and he gave me a few options. In the end, we decided to try to increase my medication. I was so confused as to why it had been working so well for me, and suddenly I feel almost as worse as I ever have. My rational brain knows that I won’t feel this way forever, but I am in such a funk and I really don’t know why and I don’t want to be here longer than I have to be. I kept trying to tell myself that it will pass, it will pass…but my doctor told me that expecting the same result after staying the same way for so long isn’t working…and I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes you need someone else to say it to you before you accept it.
I’ve always always known that my biggest trigger is family relationships. I’m not ashamed to say it, and I don’t say it to “call anyone out”, or to be perceived as being passive aggressive, but I know that I have such a hard time with it, because it is 100% out of my control and I. cannot. fix. it. I am a control freak and a fixer, so believe me when I say that I’ve tried and it’s not in my hands. I’ve fixed things in the past by being the first one to extend an olive branch, but no one is accepting my branch anymore and it makes me so sad, to put it simply. I cannot fix it, and it makes me so sad. It makes me sad that two of the people I love the most in this world have cancer diagnoses. It makes me sad that people cannot look at the big picture of life and realize how short it and precious it is. What’s even more sad to me, is perhaps they have realized how short life is and that their life is better without me in it, but I know that I do have to accept that if that really is how they feel.
Today is the first day of increasing the dosage of my medication Pristiq. I know that a medication alone will not magically fix my life, there are a lot of things I still need to address, and I need to find the right therapist to do this with. The one I previously had just wanted me to read old books…it wasn’t a good fit for me, so I stopped seeing them and haven’t made an effort to try another one. However, I’m hoping that the medication will bring me back up to my happier baseline that I was doing so well at. I also recognize life isn’t the easiest with a two year old who has recently discovered YELLING as a new form of communication and the word he loves to yell the most is NO!!!!!! He’s also extremely high energy and has become a flight risk requiring the utmost attention, every waking minute of the day. I also have a 5 year old that is being very stubborn and I find myself closing my eyes and intentionally taking deep, slow breaths often throughout the day so I don’t “rip his head off” with the words I want to scream.
This too shall pass, but it doesn’t have to be so difficult while it does. I’m praying that the increase in medication is a positive first step to getting me out of this anxiety hole I’m in. Never be scared to reach out for help or change if you’re struggling.