I believe I mentioned here sometime before that I struggle with anxiety. Like real, sometimes crippling, anxiety. People who have never suffered from something like this sometimes have a hard time understanding me and therefore my relationships suffer.
I’m writing this because writing can sometimes be freeing, and for me sometimes just getting it out there is the first step in dealing with it. Lately I’ve gotten so bad that I am avoiding everything and pushing everyone away from me. I skipped my remicade appointment last Monday because I was too anxious to go (why? I don’t know) and then got too anxious to reschedule and then didn’t tell anyone I skipped it because I found that to be too hard to explain, so instead I just said I went. I didn’t. Confession #1. Don’t worry, I have rescheduling taken care of now.
I’ve also been avoiding emails and messages and phone calls because talking to people seems too hard. Unless it’s simple and light hearted and quick. I haven’t been able to leave my house much, visit friends, shower, or take care of what I need to do unless I absolutely have to. Instead I use my time to do mindless things like write blogs, search the internet, and watch garbage on tv. Because I can handle that.
I ran out of my anxiety medicine and have been too anxious to call for an appointment. Counterproductive I know.
I can’t explain it and I don’t know how to explain it to people. And I know that it causes strife in my life, especially with the people who fail to empathize with it. I lost friends awhile back because according to them I wasn’t doing a good enough job at letting them know what was going on in my life. But the thing is…sometimes I can’t. It’s not that I don’t want to. It’s just that I can’t. It makes no sense, but anxiety and depression often do not make sense.
The funny thing is, when you see me you’d never guess I go through such things. I put on a confident exterior to people. I look like I have it all together, and most of the time I do. Just not during times like these. My anxiety comes and goes and it varies in the length that it sticks around. There have been times it has only lasted weeks, and more traumatic times in my life where it has lasted years.
I thought this was a good time to bring this up because it’s National Mental Illness Awareness Week.
I hate that term,
It makes it sound as if I am some sort of crazy. Okay, well maybe. No really though, there is such a stigma associated with that. I’d rather talk about “mental health”, rather than mental “illness”. As patients with IBD it’s not uncommon to suffer from things like anxiety, depression, and even disordered eating. Currently my anxiety is not related to my disease, but it has been in the past and I am sure it will be again sometime in the future. There are so many things about this disease that can make a person anxious or depressed, I am sure I don’t have to tell you that.
That was really all I wanted to say. I just wanted to get it out there in internet land so that I am not carrying this weight on my own. I have decided to do a few things to try and work on this. A lot of it has to do with routine. Waking up at a set time every day, going to sleep at a set time every day, accomplishing at least one task, and getting ready and at least leaving my house for a few minutes.
How about you? Is your current state of mental health in balance? What can you do to help it?
Happy butts & guts!