One step forward, two steps back

The really fun thing about mental illness is that you never quite know what it’ll throw at you next. (The part about “fun” is sarcasm, of course.)  Right now, this is what my anxiety disorder is doing to me.  I’ve always been better at expressing myself in writing, which is why I’m blogging, not calling a bunch of you or telling you face to face just what’s going on inside my head.

To some extent, my brain has been quieter since I started taking my antidepressant.  There’s less static, so to speak: it’s been easier to put away unnecessary worries and devise solutions to actual problems in my head.  For the most part, I’m not lying in bed awake for hours and hours worrying about things I can’t control, things that don’t involve me, and things that aren’t even worth worrying over.  I’ve been able to put it all away, do some breathing exercises, and go to sleep with nothing on my mind.  However, that hasn’t been the case lately.  I’m fairly certain it’s work-related stress because everything else is going fine.  (If you’ve ever worked the holiday season in retail, I’m sure you understand why I’m unusually stressed.  Two of the long-term triggers for my anxiety are being unable to make people happy and feeling as though I’ve disappointed them in some way, and I’ve spent a good amount of the period from Thanksgiving to now being yelled at by customers, and occasionally people I work with, for things that weren’t my fault.)

It’s been difficult most mornings over the last couple of weeks to make myself get out of bed, and I’ve gotten into the habit of giving myself a half-hearted pep talk in front of the mirror before going to work or otherwise out in public.  I cry a lot more than anyone would like to, and sometimes I don’t even know why I’m crying or how to get myself to stop.  It’s been hard on my family, especially Dallas and his mom, who have definitely seen me at my worst these last few weeks.

I would give anything–anything–to be “normal” like most of you, but unfortunately, that’s not the way my brain is wired.  I know that my medication won’t fix everything, and I’m hoping that as work slows down, I will start feeling better.  I work tonight, Thursday night, and Friday morning, then have all of next week off for our trip to London, and I hope that will help too.  If not, I guess I’ll be going back to the doctor.

I guess the point of all of this is to say that, should you cross paths with me in the near future, please keep in mind that I’m really not feeling like myself.  If I’m sad, if I’m irritable, if I’m quiet, please don’t take it personally, and please be patient with me.  It’s not you, it’s me.  Really.

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