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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The ups and downs

One of the hardest things for me are the ups and downs that depression leaves me with.  More days than not, the things I want to get done don't get done.  Every night when I go to sleep I think about what I want to do tomorrow.  I feel hope that tomorrow will be better than today.  Tomorrow isn't better than today, no matter how many times I tell myself it will be.

My favorite therapist told me not to think of today as failure.  Think of tomorrow as hopeful.

As a person with chronic depression, I have to think tomorrow will be better.  If I don't, what am I living for?  When I think that question to myself or aloud, it doesn't sound good, does it?  I've been told it sounds like I don't want to live anymore.  That is absolutely not the truth.  Questioning my purpose in life doesn't mean I don't want to live my life.

I want to be normal.  I don't want to be on medication.  I've tried going off my medication and it did not go well.  That was in 2007.  After much research and talking to professionals, I understand that I have a chemical imbalance in my brain.  After taking a psychology class, I understand the intricacies of the brain.  I still ask, why me?  How do I get myself out of this hole?

One of my biggest fears is that my kids will remember me as that mom.  The mom that was up and down.  Up and down. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Conquering a fear

Fair warning...my mind is very scattered today.

I had two anxiety attacks today.  We were at a bowling tournament for my son.  Unsurprisingly, there were an abundance of people.  Being shoulder to shoulder with strangers is stifling.  The fact that I am 5'2" doesn't help; not only are we wall-to-wall, everyone but the kids tower over me.  Some kids even do.  I held it together by focusing on my son, walking outside, and generally staying engaged with the parents.  I didn't think until just now that I made it through the anxiety/panic attack with no medication.  I just did it naturally.  I suppose that is what mom's do.

It was a few hours after we got home that I was hit with another anxiety attack.  This one was worse than the first, which was strange.  I got dizzy, couldn't get enough air, and started feeling claustrophobic in my own house.  That was a horrible feeling that got me really worked up.  My home is the only place that I have felt safe since the anxiety and panic attacks started.  Frankly, I don't leave the house alone.

In what seems like a past life, I was a runner.  Once I got into the routine, I was exercising 5-6 days a week. Now, going outside for a fraking walk is almost more than I can bear.  I guess the claustrophobia helped me today because I was so upset that I had to leave the house.  Alone.  I took a walk down the street to a little park we have in our subdivision.  All I wanted to do was sit in the sun (40 degrees or not) and soak it up.  I concentrated on my breathing and calmed down.  Some.

It can be strange what triggers certain thoughts.  Sitting on a bench in the sun, I looked down at my shoes.  White and black checkered Vans (one of my favorite pairs of shoes).  I started thinking that it feels like my life is like a checker board.  I'm at the beginning again.  It has been a year since I became unemployed and I haven't found my footing.  I don't know how to move to the middle of the board, let alone the other side.  I sat there until the sun went down and walked home.  When I got home, I realized something.

I was a conqueror today.   

Friday, February 8, 2013

A perpetual state of panic

I just updated my blog template and noticed that it's been over a year since the last time I posted on this blog. That's quite some time. It took me three months to decide if I wanted to use this blog or blog anonymously about what I have been doing and going through in that time. In the end I decided what the hell? I'm not looking for sympathy. It's more a diary (hence the MyDiary template) or forum to get my feelings out there. I've googled a lot and if anything I post helps one person, it's worth it. So this is my way of saying, here I am. Back on the world wide web. I'll start with a short beginning of my story.  

pan·ic /ňąpanik/ (n) Sudden uncontrollable fear or anxiety, often causing wildly unthinking behavior. I have had a history of depression for as long as I can remember. I have had brief moments with anxiety, but nothing that an average person hasn't felt now and then. I have even felt panic; when I couldn't reach my kids from work, when we were in the emergency room. Situations like that. Anytime I felt panic it wasn't in relation to myself.

I didn't realize what I felt because after I lost my job on 2/14/12 (a memorable date), I turned myself into a recluse. Sure, I left the house. It was gradual, but it was less and less. Until when I did go out, I would have panic attacks. Hyperventilate. Get dizzy. My vision pinpoints so I can't see much of anything. So I stopped leaving the house. Except for going to the bus stop or school. I would make appointments only to cancel them even if it would cost me a $60 cancellation fee.

Having this happen to me was so embarrassing that I didn't know what to do at first. I tried to hide it, like a drug addict would hide their habit. I was ashamed and didn't even know where or who to go to for help. I felt like someone that went from being strong to someone being weak. Even though I have dealt with depression and been in therapy, I always had some sort of handle on it. I didn't have any sort of handle on this. I am getting a handle on it, but I don't go to the mall by myself. My panic attacks aren't as bad in general. As of this moment, I can be in larger crowds, but not for a large length of time. There has been progress, even since the beginning of the year.

If you have a bad week, think of the past month. Progress is just that.  Progress.