Monday, February 22, 2016

Really??????

So .... you hear a lot of politicians talk about mental health.

They don't do much to help  .... but they talk a lot about it.

And if you listen to them, you would think that all mentally ill people are bat-shit crazy loons, roaming the streets of America, trying to harm everyone else.

Well ..... this is mental illness in my world.

I suffer from severe clinical depression.  I spent years in therapy and on medication.  (I personally believe it should be a combination of both ... not merely drugs .... but what do I know??)

The last several years, I have been off medication and have felt wonderful!!!

I know my depression gets worse in the winter (SAD) but with good friends, a loving husband, and spending time in creative endeavors ..... I have done well without meds.

Until this year.

This winter has become a bit of struggle.

Remodeling is a total disruption of my surroundings. I reach for a pan and remember it is packed away.  I turn to grab a cup of coffee .... and realize the coffeemaker is in the laundry room.

Boxes filled with  flooring and electrical boxes and appliances litter my living room.

So I have worked doubly hard to keep the darkness of depression away. And on the whole, I have done well.

Until last week.

And suddenly, I am being confronted with another problem that I have never had, anxiety.

Yep.  Twice last week, I had anxiety attacks ..... panic attacks.

It first happened on Thursday as I was getting ready for class.

I was teaching an Introduction to Interior Design class.  This has been a difficult class for me to teach.  I know the subject inside and out.  I have the resources and the knowledge but I have had concerns that I am not reaching my students.  Getting them to participate and share has been difficult.  I have tried projects .... asked questions ... and I feel I am not exciting them.

As I was going through my notes and my Powerpoint, it started.

My heart races .... I get nervous and upset.

And I brushed it off ..... What in the heck was that????

I took a couple of deep breaths and I was off to class.

Until Saturday morning.

I was speaking at Nursery School at the I Wireless Center.  And as I double check my photos one more time, just one more time ................. my heart starts to race.

I know what is happening and I try to control my breathing.  But it is much worse than before.  Deep breath.  Deep breath.  Just keep breathing deeply.  You'll be okay.  You'll be okay.

I try to talk my way through the panic and fear.  I am totally frightened and scared.

It is beginning to make sense.

All winter .... I have wanted to stay home.  I want to stay in the space where I feel safe. I need to feel safe with the people around me.  People that don't judge ... people that love me.   And now, I am beginning to know why.

Another phase of mental illness is striking me.  And as someone that does a lot of public speaking .... Wow! Anxiety can be debilitating. 

Back to therapy ..... back to medication. 

The struggle never seems to end.







7 comments:

Linda Ault said...

Wishing you well. The kitchen mess will end.

Michelle said...

I'm sorry it's rearing its ugly head in a different way now. That's the problem with any public discussion about mental illness – it can manifest itself in so many different ways, and no one but a professional in the field can possibly have a handle on all of them.

Cindy's Mary Kay said...

Sorry your going through that. And it is so true that it can and does manifest itself differently with each individual. ..and can be living hell ,at times.
Sending out immense positive, warm , energies..prayers ,too.
Big Hugs!
Cindy
(Crazy Cleaning Lady)

Cindy's Mary Kay said...

Sorry your going through that. And it is so true that it can and does manifest itself differently with each individual. ..and can be living hell ,at times.
Sending out immense positive, warm , energies..prayers ,too.
Big Hugs!
Cindy
(Crazy Cleaning Lady)

Carol said...

Sorry that you are having this reaction, but thanks for sharing. It is helpful to have a face to go with an illness. We know how physical illness manifest themselves, but those of us who don't suffer from a mental illness don't know what a mental illness looks or feels. It's also good that you know when you need help.

Anonymous said...

you have just given words to something I have been struggling with for a couple of months - I think I am beginning to understand that I maybe need to consider that depression is something that can pick anyone and I may be that one right now. Thank you for sharing your journey and your challenges - it gives those of us that don't have the voice a chance...ME

Miss Effie said...

ME ..... ((((Hugs!!!)))