My apologies for the length of time since my last entry. There are every day situations whether interacting with family or friends that stress me out and make me question my decision to chronicle this journey. Between that and the level in which the depression and anxiety started to make me second guess myself in everything, I haven’t been able to focus on the topic about which I initially wanted to write.
This entry was supposed to be about the stigma of Depression and Anxiety specifically and then from there I wanted to branch off and examine the stigma of any form of mental illness with the help of testimonies submitted by friends or potential passers-by. I had wanted to focus on facts as referenced in varying journals in psychology (also seen in electronic format on related websites) and from those who had experienced it themselves. The goal was to separate myself from the experiences enough to present it in a way that people who’ve never experienced such things might possibly have an easier time of wrapping their head around it.
But then I felt discouraged.
“Stop victimizing yourself.”
“Are you sure you’re not mixing up your bad memories from being bullied and projecting them onto the family?”
I thought long and hard about that. It was something of which I spoke with my therapist – who only encouraged and supported me. Mind you – therapists aren’t there to tell you what you want to hear. They are sounding boards and will stop to ask you questions that really make you take a long and hard look at yourself, as part of the journey. There is positive support as part of the cognitive behavioral aspect of it, of course.
Before anyone gets their hackles raised – keep in mind this said in open and honest communication where their concerns were being expressed. The point of open and honest discussion is to consider the other half. To think about it. And so instead of writing that initial article, I focused on being mopey while I thought and reflected. Statements like that aren’t bad. They are honest representations of how the other party feels. They are also the kind of statements which trigger me. That’s no one’s fault. No one should have to censor themselves. This is how we simply get through it one step at a time. Needless to say, there was a considerable amount of second guessing involved; but, the wonderful thing about the ‘numbness’ with which I have dealt is that there are times when I’m able to look at things more objectively (though not without a bit of cynicism).
I feel comfortable in saying the following:
This blog isn’t about saying, “I’m such a victim.” This blog is however about focusing on the mental illnesses with which I have been diagnosed and accepting how these things have impacted my life for some time now. In order to grow from it – I need to understand why and how it developed from a rational perspective before I can even get myself to the point of feeling.
By the time I’m less numb, I will have a healthier way with which to cope with these emotions because I will have more coping mechanisms with which to process them and handle the stress accordingly. But as a part of developing coping mechanisms that I never developed growing up, I need to be able to accept my emotions instead of burying them or pushing past them. If I don’t? I will never be able to let go of these experiences and move forward in my life.
Part of that acceptance will come through the aid of writing it down and sharing my own thoughts and feelings. By taking it out and sharing it with others – it is all there out in the open. I can’t run away from it. I can allow myself the experience, to let it go, and to move on.
I remember events happening with clarity. The details do not change. There is nothing added as time goes on. I believe in my experiences – or at the very least the emotional validity of what my body and mind very much remember.
I wish this process were simple. I wish it were anything but time consuming. If it were that simple, I’m sure the psychologist would have suggested me to the MCS (short term state assistance) program instead of the long term route of SSI application. This isn’t about growing up. This is about moving on.
Some days my biggest accomplishments are taking a shower.
Other days my biggest accomplishments involve doing a tiny bit of cleaning each time I go into a room.
If I can have more days like those? And more days in which I can do more things like those? It will certainly leave me in a place to start rebuilding my life. But there is a lot of writing and a lot of therapy to be done in the meantime.
I am grateful to my family for their emotional support. For the open and honest communication. This is simply an example of how my anxiety-related issues make even the smallest of things into something much larger, and the largest of things into something much smaller.
Hopefully something a little more organized will be forthcoming.
(*Edited to fix some glaring homonyms. I wrote this while dealing with a bout of insomnia and when tired homonyms are the first thing to go. D’oh.)