Holidays & Struggles

With the holiday season comes good food and extra family time, but it all comes at the expense of my mental health stability. Plus, my dominant hand/arm has been having some issues and I can’t really craft without pain which is definitely not helping matters.

Disclaimer: this will not be a crafty post, but a bit of real talk about mental health and how it plays into everyday life of someone who is struggling.

Now, I honestly don’t remember how much I shared about my own personal struggles in my intro and such and I’m already in my writing groove so I won’t go check.  Quick overview time!  I struggle with depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and a bit of social anxiety.  I’ve had them for as long as I can remember, and officially was diagnosed with GAD as a teen because I knew I needed help.  I opened up just enough that they sent some meds my way.  I felt numb.  I went from constant crying to having no emotion for almost a year.  I hated it, I mean, the relief was welcome, but I didn’t want to live an emotionless life either and I ended up stopping the meds on my own.  So fast forward almost 10 years of being medication free and barely managing my disorders.  This past summer I hit my rock bottom of struggling.  Anxiety attacks were happening pretty much every other day and I was not even close to functioning.  So I signed up with TalkSpace (not an ad) merely minutes after finding out of its existence.  I didn’t talk it over with anyone, I had to go with my impulse or I knew I wouldn’t follow through.  And I wasn’t sure how much longer I’d make it without help, so I just had to dive in full force and turn myself around.  So I talked with my therapist for four months before I thought I had enough of a handle on myself to try to manage my disorders on my own with my newfound confidence and tools.  In that four month span I went from having anxiety attacks every other day, to having one a month…  That is HUGE!  And in the few months I’ve been on my own, I’ve managed to keep up with my mental health fairly well, although it was a bit of an adjustment to lose my sounding board for figuring out what was my disorders and what wasn’t.

And then the holiday season hit, and it’s filled with birthdays, and my husband and I FINALLY were able to purchase our dream property in Vermont after a six month roller coaster with a nonsensical and difficult seller.  The past few days have been rough.  And it’s difficult to be open about it.  I am trying so damn hard to not be ashamed, and to own my disorders.  I want people to know that if you are struggling, you aren’t doing it alone.  There are so many people that truly get it.  Mental health is so so important and I’m sick of all the stigma; so I’m stepping out of my comfort level to help end it.  I am wholeheartedly struggling today.  I’m tired from all the socializing and haven’t had time to recharge.  I’m stressed about plans that fall through.  I feel like I’m not holding up my end of the bargain of the mom and wife roles when I’m not able to pull it together and function.  I feel like I’m failing at my own mental health recovery.  And it just snowballs from there.  Multiple times today I broke down crying from all the emotions going through my mind and all the pressure I was putting on myself to be all the things I think I should be.  I had to lay down and hide from the world multiple times to recover.  Not so fun.

It feels good to get this off my mind.  I’m feeling a little better than before I started this blog post.  Maybe because I was used to typing out all the crappy thoughts to my therapist and just releasing all the pressure I put on myself…  I need to remember that healing isn’t linear, and it’s a constant battle.  And tomorrow I shall try again.

Meanwhile, on a positive note: I found an online group (a secret facebook group to be specific) that’s a spinoff of another group I’m a part of for those of us with chronic and mental illness.  I think I’ve found my people!  My social anxiety often gets the best of me and I have a very hard time maintaining friends and such.  So it feels incredible to have found them.  Perhaps at some point I’ll work up the courage to share my blog there.

Apologies if this post isn’t laid out all that well.  Saying I’m a bit scatterbrained at the moment would be a vast understatement.  I may come back and edit at some point, but tonight is not the night for that.  Tonight is for snacks, jammies, snuggles, and vegetating.



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