same life, different outlook

I haven’t written in… a while. To be more honest… It’s been months.

Usually, when I stop writing, it means I’m overwhelmed and cannot process my thoughts.

This time, I stopped writing because I was OVER processing my thoughts. I was so stuck in my head that I could barely live my life. I spent hours upon hours on the couch with Netflix blaring in the background as I ruminated about my life. Simple thoughts that usually only entered my brain for a few moments at most began to consume my being for days on end.

The last time I wrote, I was unknowingly on a one way train straight to the center of my anxiety. Last time I wrote, I thought I was okay. I mean, I was working, I was coping… But really, that’s all I was doing.

My days had 10 steps.

  1. Wake up
  2. Have panic attack about the day ahead
  3. drink copious amounts of caffeine
  4. go to work and try not to have a panic attack
  5. go home
  6. lay on the couch, watch Netflix, cook and try not to have a panic attack
  7. inevitably end up having a panic attack
  8. take Ativan
  9. go to sleep
  10. wake up 100 times during the night with racing thoughts.

And those 10 steps would repeat and repeat, each and every day. I slowly felt like I was losing control over my life. I wasn’t enjoying a single thing. I was isolating myself and was so consumed by my distorted thoughts. I started to wonder, “Is this going to be the rest of my life?”

Then, I made a hard choice… one of the hardest choices I’ve made in a long time. I reached out. As a mental health advocate- I so often stress the importance of reaching out. But, when it came time for me to do it… I was terrified. But, I did. I sought help. I took a sick leave from my job and dedicated myself to a new therapist who has helped me break free of the thoughts that consumed me and has taught me to acknowledge my emotions, but not give them more power than they deserve.

I also tried a few helping professionals who were… less than helpful. I tried new medications (or didn’t after doing research about the drugs that my doctor failed to provide information about). I altered my lifestyle.

And now, now I feel ready to write again. I am now in a place where my thoughts don’t take up 100% of my time; where I have room to truly live. I am so glad I made a hard choice and took the time I needed in order to continue recovering.

My days are a lot better now. They don’t have 10 steps. They aren’t mundane and isolated. They are more vibrant and connected. Or maybe, I am.

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