A Tearful Optimist.

10 years ago I decided I didn’t want to be medicated anymore. At least not for my depression/anxiety/PTSD. I was determined I could fight the fight with a good therapist and the tools they taught me. And, for almost 10 years, I’ve succeeded. It’s been anything but easy, yet, I did it! So You can imagine my disappointment, frustration and heartache when having to lay my armor down and admit that I can’t do it on my own right now. I’m in tears. I want to make myself feel better by reminding myself how strong of a person it takes to ask for help and that this is only temporary until I can get a better, safer, more solid grip on life. But there’s still the nagging feeling of failure that I just can’t shake.

Today I had to go to the mall to return a pair of jeans that I ordered online. Yeah, the mall, during the holidays… Ugh, help me. I made it to the store with heightened yet manageable anxiety. The girl who helped me was super kind and commented on how pretty my nails are. She also ordered me a new pair of jeans and honored the sale price. I was momentarily super excited! Then I had to leave and that’s when shit hit the fan. I walked out and it was crowded. My chest felt like I was having a heart attack and I could barely get a breath in. I was waddling because the pain but I didn’t want to stop and rest so I kept going. Suddenly, someone walked right in front of me! Then two, then three, like a train of people, as if I wasn’t walking, as if I didn’t almost smack into them and suddenly I blurt out “Seriously?! What the fuck?!” They stopped and looked at me, I glared and kept going. It was so unlike me, yet I meant it! How rude! The least they could have done was say “excuse me”. I comment on rude people sometimes if I have someone with me but rarely to their face. The worst part is, if I wasn’t so determined to get to my car so I could sit down, I probably would’ve had more to say! Argh, I was so frustrated. By the time I got to the car, I looked like someone breathing into a paper bag, I was gasping for air and holding my chest. As soon as I sat down, I lost it and started crying. I tried to tell myself “You did it! It wasn’t glorious by any means but you did it! You got in and got out. Win!” But, as many of you can relate, it didn’t feel like a victory… I criticized the heck out of myself. Why was it so awful? Why did I say what I did? Why did I have a full on anxiety attack? Why couldn’t I control myself better? The answer is, I don’t know. I mean, sure, I know why I said what I did to those rude people and I guess if I dig deep, I know it was the crowds and the staring and the chaos of a mall in general. I know I’m not alone but it sure felt like it. I was so embarrassed.

I’ve gotten so used to proudly working through things and hiding them, so much so that my family never even knew I suffered from anxiety and PTSD. They knew about the depression but no one ever talks about it unless I’m in crisis mode and call my mom or sisters. Anyways, I hid it. I hid it well. Now I’m freaking out in front of crowds and crying in the car…

At the grocery store I had my headphones in and was listening to piano music to keep calm. When I realized my grocery list had fallen out of my pocket, I got so flustered that I just walked out… Ugh. On the bright side, a lady in a pretty and very soft looking sweater told me that I have beautiful hair. It made me smile and I said thank you as I continued booking it to my car, where I sat and cried all over again.

It’s time. I’m exhausted. I’ve put all my tools to good use, upped my therapy and am attending a DBT class but I’m still struggling immensely. I am striving to see the good in each day, to soak up each and every positive moment and to be grateful but… It’s not enough. So today, I lay my armor down and will call the doc.

You win anxiety, well played…

2 thoughts on “A Tearful Optimist.”

  1. hugs i have bipolar n pstd too Holidays n shopping make me want to hide under my covers. good for you for bravibg the mall during holiday time

  2. I also have anxiety and depression along with OCD. I have tried going unmedicated and I am just a mess. My anxiety got so bad I couldn’t breathe right and could never get a good, deep breath. The medicine I am on now has worked until recently and I was starting to feel sad and depressed and could not sleep at night. I have fibromyalgia and the pain kept me from sleeping well and I’m sure also has a lot to do with my depression. A year ago my doctor took away all my pain meds because he no longer does pain management so that really threw me into a bad place. I have recently been put on another medicine that helps with depression and also helps me sleep well. I feel no shame for needing the medicine and neither should you. Depression is a real thing and there is chemically reasons for it so taking medicine for it is no different from taking medicine for any other illness. The new medicine he put me on has done wonders for my sadness and depression and I am also sleeping good again. The only side effect is that it is causing weight gain. I have started back riding my stationary bike and am now losing weight so I am going to stay on the new medicine. Reading on…

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