My mental health has been all over the map these last few weeks. I have had some incredible days in there alert, lively, cheerful, talkative, totally at peace with where my life has been and where it’s going. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been a frequent occurrence.
I’m not actually certain my current antidepressant is helping me. I’ve had a number of days lately where I’ve felt incredibly depressed and irritable. My anxiety is still horribly out of control: I’ve had panic attacks at work and even at home, in bed, trying to fall asleep. Insomnia has plagued me for as long as I can remember, and now it’s just a waste to take an over-the-counter sleep aid–none of them work anymore. And at this point, I don’t trust myself to go to our family doctor and request a prescription for some other kind of sleep aid.
The therapist I saw for one session before starting to come to the realization that I didn’t belong in that practice quickly classified me as a “suicide risk”, not because I actively think about killing myself, but because I think a lot about what it would be like to die, and I think about it a lot. Will my life flash before my eyes, like they say? Will I see everyone I loved who went before me? What does the light at the end of the tunnel look like as you approach it? If you die quickly, do you just slip away, or do you actually know you’re dying? If you know, as you’re falling asleep one night, that you just won’t wake up the next morning, would it be a peaceful thought? These aren’t easy things to consider, and I won’t lie, I feel like the worst person who’s ever lived when I catch myself thinking these things. Guilty for even thinking them, because after I scold myself for having these thoughts, I think about my family and my friends, think about how much it would hurt some of them if I died, especially if it was because I couldn’t just tough it out and ignore the demons I carry in my head twenty-four hours a day.
I don’t want to die. I want to get better. I want to be able to pass for normal, to be able to look forward to things, to stop holding myself back because I’m afraid other people will think badly of me for one reason or another. Today I got contact information for a different psychiatrist here in town, someone who specializes in not only psychiatry, but also in neurology and sleep medicine. As time goes by, I wonder more and more if generalized anxiety disorder wasn’t the correct diagnosis, or if it’s not the only diagnosis. Tonight, sitting with my heart pounding in my chest and trying to breathe while it feels like an elephant is sitting on my chest, I am so very hopeful that he will take me on as a patient, and maybe I can finally get some answers.
I want to live.