I’ve always been quite an up and down person.
Someone who can experience extreme highs and extreme lows. Often in the short space of a day or less.
I remember shortly after I had my breakdown in early 2015, I visited a psychiatric hospital for an assessment.
There, I voiced my concerns about my instability.
I’ve always been one for Doctor Google. There’s been numerous times over the years I’ve turned to the search engine to help determine what’s wrong with me. Usually arriving at the conclusion that I’ll be dead within the hour. Always the drama queen.
Searching Google is always going to take you to the worst possible scenario. How many people post positive stories regarding illness and symptoms? Especially on those bloody forums I’ve found myself scouring endlessly in the past.
Anyway, back to my visit to the hospital.
Discussing my mental health with the assessor and the symptoms I’d been experiencing, I happened to mention Bipolar Disorder. A condition I’d spent a great deal of time researching and practically convincing myself I had. The assessor was certain I didn’t have it. I wasn’t displaying typical symptoms when I spoke or with how I carried myself. So, that was that. Instead, I was diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder and depression. A treatment plan was put into place and off I went with my new diagnosis.
Last week I wrote an article about my experience with Antidepressants. I’ve now been on my medication (Citalopram) for 2 and a half years.
Initially, once the side effects from the medication had passed, I, along with others, noticed a positive change. I was happier, less anxious, less tired. The intrusive thoughts no longer overwhelmed me, the racing thoughts had slowed down.
It was a great feeling knowing I was progressing. That the medication was working and I was on the road to recovery. Despite enduring many stressful events throughout 2015, I’ll always remember that year as a great one, because of how I felt both mentally and emotionally.
I only wish I could say that right now. I only wish I was feeling both mentally and emotionally strong right now.
Writing that post last week made me realise something. I haven’t been feeling great for a while.
My get up and go has got up and gone.
The last few days especially; I have felt exhausted. The racing thoughts are back. I’ve found myself back in that vicious cycle I know all too well.
Nothing excites me. There’s a sadness within. Behind my eyes. Behind a forced smile.
I never cry but I’m on the periphery constantly. My defence mechanism of not allowing myself to cry is ever present. Perhaps if I cried I’d feel better.
I’d love to sit here and reel off reasons why I’m feeling like this. There are things I want to and need to change, I know that. But part of me wonders whether making those changes will be enough to get me back on track.
I’m constantly beating myself up about things. The fact I haven’t exercised in ages. The fact I’m eating junk food and not looking after myself. The fact my skin resembles a dot to dot puzzle with painful boils making their presence known across my face and neck. The fact so many of my clothes no longer fit me.
Woe is me.
I look at that list and just think woe is me. I’m breathing. My family are healthy. I have a job. A home. Good people around me. Why isn’t that enough?
Because, it isn’t about having enough. Or being enough. It’s about that dark cloud that’s followed me around over the last few days. Were I feeling more like myself, I’d have the strength to deal with my skin problem. Or my diet and lack of exercise. I’d tell myself to build a bridge and get the fuck over it. But I just don’t have that enthusiasm to do so.
I’m going to visit my GP next week. I’ve had a particularly painful period this week, which, I won’t bore you with the intricate details of, I’ll spare that for my doctor. Lucky them.
I also want to discuss my medication. As I worry that because I’ve been on Citalopram for so long they’re no longer having the desired effect on my anxiety disorder or my depression.
I hate feeling like this. I hate feeling like everything is a struggle. The fact that I can’t take pleasure in anything nor can I see the good in all the amazing things and people I have around me. It’s so lonely, so isolating and just so damn miserable.
Having been through the experiences I’ve had with mental illness over the years, that’s allowed me to be mindful of my peaks and troughs. It means I can be pro-active because I have the knowledge of knowing when to seek help. Knowing when I’m not myself. And actually doing something about it.
I know I won’t feel like this forever. I know it’s a temporary bad patch and that good times are just around the corner. It’s just hard to see that when you’re stuck in the thick of it. When the black cloud is always present, raining down on you hard. Those raindrops hurt.
I could ramble on. I could ramble on for days but I won’t. I’ll leave this here for now. I’ll check back in in a day or two with how things are going. Perhaps the black cloud might have passed by then.