“I can’t make it stop.”
“I’m not okay.”
“This is not normal for me.”
I’ve been having a hard time lately. I don’t sleep well. I oversleep. I’ve had more nightmares this year than I have since I was four years old. I don’t sleep enough. I get distracted easily. I’m forgetful of the types of things I usually recall easily. My phone anxiety is off the hook (for those who’ve used phones with cords, you’ll get that this is a pun). I cry a lot. My reactions to negative stimuli are not reasonable. I get nervous about leaving the house. The idea of pumping gas can make me abandon my plans of going out. I have a hard time focusing on tasks at hand. I find myself not being able to do my daily tasks. My head is constantly running away with reminders of things I need to do, relationships I ought to foster, things that would be good for me, and negative self-talk. I’m tired all the time.
This year has been traumatic.
I don’t want to put the specifics on loud speaker, but here’s the gist. I’ve had the foundations of my life shaken. Old trauma was brought into new, brighter, meaner light. I can’t think about a time of this year without my heart pounding, my breath quickening, and my eyes welling up. There are people I can’t see or speak to without feeling that pain, that racing pulse, and the desire to curl up in a ball and never come out.
Suffice it to say that the things we experienced as children are just as harmful when we’re adults. Having insults hurled at the well-adjusted self for which I’ve worked hard has damaged me all over again. New trauma atop old traumas you’ve worked to bury, to learn from, to grow from – they’re just as fresh, raw, real, and scary.
No one wants to admit there’s something wrong. Not to themselves. Not to their spouse. Not to their friends. Not to anyone.
But there’s something wrong in my head and it really effing terrifies me.
I’m working on confronting it myself. I’ve been working on going to church, which I find calming. I’ve been working on communicating my feelings better to Tom and my friends. I’ve been working on making reasonable to-do lists and ticking off the items one by one. I’ve been trying to face my emotions, recognize them, and address them. I’ve reached out for help from those I trust.
Sometimes, being terrified is when I’m most honest. Being depressed makes me feel like I have nothing to lose. Being exhausted is the only thing that wakes you up to the problem.
So today I called someone I love and haven’t talked to in a long while, even though I could hear my heart beating loudly. I trusted myself in conversation and tried not to worry about saying the “wrong” things. Today I set an appointment with someone who can help me through my problems. Today I’m going to get out of the house.
For many people, these are easy tasks. For me, they are little victories.
All this to say that, if you’re struggling, seek help. I’m taking a cue from that badass princess and working hard.