Every year since 2009, I've done a yearly review post, all my favorites, all the good and maybe not so good things that happened to us that year. And maybe...a really small maybe...I'll get to that. But I doubt it. Because you know what? This has been one of the weirdest years I've ever had. And although we did do some really fun and good things; if I think back on the year as a whole, I was very much wrapped up inside of my head and this year feels pretty lonely.
First of all, I feel like this is like some bare your soul kind of post so be prepared for that and its loooong. Sorry. This is hard for me to write, its pretty personal and something I'm still trying to figure out and deal with. If you remember, I wrote a post awhile back about being extremely tired. Basically, I've spent months being tired. And this isn't like you didn't get good sleep tired, its I can't exercise because 2 minutes in I'm exhausted and about to fall over, its vacuuming the floor and having to take a nap afterward, its getting one main thing done in my house because that is my limit for the day, its feeling completely overwhelmed by having to do anything MORE, not wanting to add anything to my plate because I can't DO ANYTHING but lay in bed and feel tired, tired, tired.
In that post I talked about not wanting to go to the doctor. I kept hoping against hope that I would just snap out of it, that if I rested enough eventually I wouldn't be tired anymore. When that didn't work, I tried making myself do stuff. When that didn't work, I finally gave in and went to the doctor. I went and did blood work, I get a lot of headaches and migraines so as a precaution he had me do a CT scan (funny side story on this for a future post), but before we even got the results the doctor said something that made me laugh: he said he thought I was depressed. He had me fill out a test and said that based off the answers, I was kind of severely depressed. I laughed and said I don't think so. I thought it was the opposite: I'm tired which is making me depressed--how happy are you when you haven't been able to do anything for the last six months except be exhausted?? He thought the depression was making me tired.
So I went home and waited for the test results. I told my husband that the worst thing they could possibly tell me was that nothing was wrong and that I'd have to go on living like this, which I just couldn't do anymore. And what do you think the test results all came back as? Nothing was wrong. No thyroid issue, no anemia, no problems with the CT scan. Nothing.
I started researching what he said about depression, I read and read and took other tests to gauge if I had depression and it still just didn't fit to me. I didn't really feel bad about myself personally, I felt bad I couldn't do anything or live the way I was used to but I didn't hate myself (any more than any woman feels guilt or not living up to what she feels she can). I was still interested in all the things I was before, I just didn't have the energy to DO them. I didn't want to commit suicide. So in my research I came across some things about anxiety and it hit me. THAT was what I needed to be researching. And so I started reading about anxiety, and I started seriously freaking out. I started having major anxiety about having anxiety. I was probably on the verge of an anxiety attack when my mom called. She said she had a feeling I needed her to call, and it was good because I really, really did. We talked for about an hour about everything I was reading and how I was feeling and it helped me come out of my own head a little bit.
So when I went back to the doctor we talked about that a little bit and he said, well, I want to put you on medication. Honestly, I know how people feel about medication, especially antidepressants. I was scared that it would change my personality, I was scared what people would think of me, would they think I'm crazy? Would they not want their kids to be around me because they think I'm unstable? There was a lot of fear in starting medication, but the overwhelming thought was that I would do anything to not feel like this anymore. If you haven't been there, don't judge.
(Side note, about a year ago I started seeing a homeopathic chiropractor. I went to him for months. He had me take a good amount of supplements (for thyroid, for energy, for yeast, etc.), he did adjustments, he did stuff for my allergies, he changed my whole diet, he made me wear different colored glasses and tell myself that I am worth it, etc. I tried really, really hard to go that route. My sister loves this doctor and he's helped her a lot and I was really hopeful that this would work out so well for me too. I didn't see any results with the allergies after three or four treatments and after so much time, the supplements made me really sick. I felt nauseous every single day. I could't live like that and so I stopped taking them. I just wanted you to know, that I didn't hop right on the antidepressant band wagon.)
Anyway, this is getting super long and I'm sorry about that, bear with me for a little more. I started on a really small dosage and I've worked my way up, if you don't know anything about antidepressants it takes up to eight weeks for them to fully work and the beginning side affects kind of suck. For me it was more headaches and insomnia. That went away after about a week but when they upped the dosage it came back. I'm still trying to figure out the insomnia part. :/
I want you to know something about anxiety though. I didn't realize how much energy I was exerting to be normal in public. Its hard for me to be around people I don't know, I hide that. I like people, I like making new friends, but its a scary and terrifying thing for me sometimes. Loud noises are hard for me, substituting in Primary took all my self control to remain calm because when the children get really noisy, it makes me feel insane. It makes me feel like someone is banging the side of my head every time someone bursts out. I just want it to be quiet. I need that quiet. This is the best way I can put how anxiety works for me: I have to think about every single thing that could possibly ever happen to me (especially if its bad), because then I have control over it. If I've thought about my house exploding, then I'm prepared for that eventuality and it probably won't happen just because I've thought about it. Its the things I HAVEN'T thought about that are going to hurt me. I'm also pretty obsessive, if something bothers me (it could be anything and I never know what its going to be--it can be bobby pins for goodness sake) it is going to be stuck on rewind in my head for days, it is going to replay and replay until I can figure out a way to make it stop. Basically my mind is like a hamster wheel, going in circles, constantly thinking about things, constantly analyzing things, constantly wondering why this is going on or what I should do about that and never getting anywhere. Its exhausting. And I've lived this way for a long, long time without realizing that it wasn't okay.
I've been on the medication for almost two months, and I feel like its starting to help. I'm still tired (the whole insomnia thing...) but I feel like things are starting to turn around. Christmas is the most stressful time of the year for me, its gotten so bad the last few years that I was starting to absolutely hate Christmas. Truly. This year was so odd, I knew logically in my head that I should be stressed out because I had a lot to get done and there was only three days until Christmas but I just WASN'T stressed out. I just felt like, it'll be fine, I'll get done what I get done. When I could remember how I felt the year before and how tense and high strung and manic I was, it was such a weird feeling to know that I SHOULD be like that, but I wasn't.
I'm still getting used to this and all it entails and where I'm supposed to go with it long term, but for now I thought it was time to share. Its something I want to share, but I'm scared for people to know. I'm scared what people will think, I'm scared of the judgement. But I also believe that we hide too much of ourselves, and we walk around thinking we're the only ones like this, and that everyone else is great and normal and fine, when really we all struggle with something and maybe we need to stop with the act so we can reach out to each other and just help.
So friends, here's me sharing what this last year was really like for me. Thanks for listening. :)
Star Wars Celebration 2017: Episode 3
3 hours ago