So much can happen in one week. Seems like a recurring theme for me, doesn’t it? Anyway! Last week, my personal life took a very unexpected turn. And it has caused me to reevaluate my life and what I have been doing for the last several months or so. I haven’t been able to get myself put back together after completely falling apart this November. And when this change happened (I am not discussing it because it’s too personal and involves people other than myself and I respect their privacy deeply), I was initially scared, furious, and sad. But now, I am actually grateful and appreciative in a way. I think I needed this shock on my system to get myself to just WAKE UP. I have been trapped in a very thick fog of depression and anxiety. And this happened for several reasons.
I haven’t had a steady living situation since I moved out of my sister’s house. Which is completely my own fault. I did not realize the impact that was having on me. I wasn’t a huge fan of it, of course, but I genuinely did not realize the toll this was taking on my spirit, how much energy – both physical and emotional – it was depleting. I am an independent homebody with no permanent home situation or independence, it is no wonder I was so miserable.
I have been too focused on everyone else’s problems instead of facing my own. I have been so wrapped up in my own misery and I couldn’t seem to really face it so instead I was getting too wrapped up in other people. I didn’t want anyone to feel as miserable as I did. And I thought that helping others would help me fix my own problems, thinking it would somehow make me feel better enough to beat my depression, which is not how depression works! Of course I can still be there for my friends and such, but I can’t get too involved and I need to allow myself time to work on my overflowing plate of personal problems and hardships at this point in time. I am an empath and need to do a better job of protecting my own mind and energy from the clutter of other people’s emotions and energies. It can all be so loud sometimes and then I can’t think straight or even tell how I actually feel and it’s like a form of sensory overload and then I would shut down completely.
On top of that, I did not have any personal goals set other than trying to get better emotionally so I could start working full time again. But there was no plan, and nothing to actually strive for in my life. I kept walking the same road and expecting a new destination. I kept thinking that with time and therapy, my mind would start to clear up and I would get better. But I had no motivation, nothing to strive for. I am extremely driven, even when hopelessly depressed, but I failed to give myself anything to actually drive toward.
Without anything to drive toward, my mind went into overdrive. Analyzing over and over what was wrong with my life, but again failing to come up with any tangible solution. I thought the over thinking was just a function of my anxiety and I dealt with that poorly. I was just doing anything I could to try to get my brain to shut off for a while in hopes of clearing the mind by getting some rest. But my mind didn’t need to rest, I needed a plan of action.
Some of the problems in my life I simply did not know how to tackle. I was paralyzed by it all. I didn’t know how to actually fix my living situation because I was struggling so hard to get myself to work. I still struggle to get to work, but I am hoping my new motivations will help me catch some momentum and get myself back on track to living a stable life. I didn’t know how to combat my anxiety and depression because I was scared to change my medication, especially since I tried Wellbutrin this January and it was a complete disaster. I was hoping that therapy would be enough, but need to remind myself (the chemist, by the way) that if your brain is not properly producing the right chemicals, you can’t talk your way through that. EMDR is effective, but it isn’t going to change my brain chemistry that way.
With the help of my therapist, new psychiatrist, family and friends, I have come up with a new plan. First, I am looking to tackle the most basic needs that I have been neglecting: shelter, sleep, and food. I am going to find MY OWN studio apartment to live in. It will solely be mine and I am going to learn how to be an independent person like I am meant to be. I am going to be patient and make sure I land somewhere that I will feel comfortable and content, but can also realistically afford. The last time I looked for my own place, I was very rash and impulsive because I was impatient with the process. I had this unrealistic sense of extreme urgency. And I landed somewhere that I really wasn’t happy or comfortable in, so I sought out different places to stay all of the time. It wasn’t like it was a new place every night or anything like that, but I did what I could to avoid the place that was supposed to be my home because I was so wholly uncomfortable there for various reasons. It wasn’t a great neighborhood and it was just a dynamic that did not suit me. So then I was basically a visitor all of the time and that is not healthy. I am not a wanderer. I hunker down and get cozy as often as I can, I am an introvert.
We have changed up my medication. Lexapro is no longer working, that much is clear. If I’m being honest with myself, it probably stopped being effective for me in the late summer, early fall. It’s hard to gauge when I really started to go off the rails to be honest. The majority of my life feels like a giant blur since Matthew died. I am being switched to Cymbalta, and I am hopeful that it will be effective for me. It certainly holds potential, at least. And I’m going back to taking a sleep aid nightly so that I can actually get some sleep. I cannot even begin to explain why I even stopped that in the first place. I don’t have any logical explanation there. I don’t take anything strong or habit forming, yet I was so against it for reasons unknown to myself. It’s so weird when you can’t even understand your own mind. But I digress.
Once I have been in my own place for a couple months and get settled, I am going to get a cat. I cannot even begin to describe how much I adore cats. To give you some idea: one of the biggest struggles of my relationship with Matthew by far was the fact that he was allergic to cats and if I was going to be with him I couldn’t have a cat. It crushed me. I would fight with him and cry about it more often than I would like to admit. It almost felt as if something would always be missing from my life if I didn’t have a cute little kitty by my side. I feel like such a ridiculous person for all of this, but I just so deeply connect with little kitty friends.
I am hoping that the drive to have my own place and independence will help me get back on track at work, along with the new medication. It’s really, really hard to be a chemist when your mind is in a very dense fog. I can think of many occasions where I was staring blankly at my work, getting nothing done. Or I would get overwhelmed at the thought of making a mistake and having to start over and costing the company a bunch of money, things like that. I was so daunted by it all, I guess. So often I was wishing that I had a job that wasn’t as tedious or requiring that much focus and critical thinking. But would then remind myself that when I had a job with very little critical thinking I got antsy almost immediately because I get bored easily and do not handle boredom well.
I have more going on, but I will discuss that later. I feel like this blog is already insanely long. Everything feels as if it is truly coming to the surface for me and it’s hard to cover it all at once. But I will leave on this very positive note: I have felt far more light and clear since making a plan. I think this time I am actually going to land on my feet and be okay. I can do this, I just know it.