So last year, I may have mentioned this before, was a shit year. It was the type of year that liked to kick you while you were down. The type of year you keep trying to pick up the pieces and then you get a slosh bucket of pigs blood dumped on you at the prom. Okay, maybe not that specific, but trust me when I tell you last year put me through the ringer. Add to that I have always been a high anxiety kind of person, and depression runs in my family. By the end of the year I was a babbling mess and I just wanted to surrender the white flag and I didn’t quite know how to pick up all the little broken pieces of myself to assemble as a whole again.
(damn me – writing these posts where I admit to being less than perfect makes me feel like I am drawing a giant connect the dots picture. I don’t want to not give you enough information for you not to draw a complete picture, but at the same time I don’t want to just dump all the shit from my life into a very public place either. We all have issues. I have issues. Most days I am fine with my issues. Sometimes though like last year, certain events triggered those issues, and then compounding that with a whole lot of other SUPER stressful events, and I was a mess.)
I made the resolution to myself, if not aloud to anyone, that I would go to the Doctor about this in the New Year. So I got up the nerve and called and booked a Doctor’s appointment. But to be honest, when they make you wait like 6 weeks to get into to see them, well a combination of things happened to me in that time. I looked up symptom – I was scared about symptoms of depression and anxiety. Do I try to hold on to these bad feelings so I feel justified in this Doctor’s appointment when I finally get to see her, so I wasn’t crying wolf? Or do I enjoy when I have those really beautiful sunshiny days where I feel like the sunshine is just pouring out of me from my center? Yes that is how I used to feel a lot of the time. The sunshine. To say that last year I hadn’t felt like that pretty much at all was horrible but true. But the closer I got to the Doctor’s appointment and the more proactive I was being with myself, the more these days would break through.
One of the things I researched in that time of waiting was what I could doright now? I was already forcing myself to go to the gym, weather I wanted to or not. I had started taking vitamin D. I was making a conscientious effort to eat better. They said to tell people you trust around you that you are having a hard time. One of the things I was trying to do was pretend that I was okay, and that meant hiding my issues as best I could from those around me. But the need to crawl up into a hole and ball my eyes out was scary, and so I got up the nerve and I told Cowboy. He has been my partner for 8 years. He has been amazingly supportive. There should be no reason for me not to trust him with my daemons. Except that I grew up in a household that was mentally and emotionally abusive. I know there are worse environments out there, that still doesn’t mean that I would want anyone to grow up the way I did. When the going gets tough it makes it even harder for me to be open and vulnerable even with Cowboy, who has never turned against me and thrown anything in my face the way I have seen done in my childhood. I told him. He was of course very awesome about it. Telling him relieved a lot of pressure.
By the time I got into see the Doctor I was on the cusp of being able to move on. I was having a lot more of what I would call my inner sunshine days. I was having a lot less of those want to curl up in a hole and bawl my eyes out days. My doctor listened and took notes. She recommended talk therapy and medication for my issues but what scared me most was how far back this would put me time wise on the road to recovery. I guess I wanted to be better all now. Where was my magic wand? Why wasn’t there a magic wand solution? I was a mess after that Doctor’s appointment. I was crying and worried and didn’t know what to do. Do I go on medication I may get off of in six months, or may have to take for the rest of my life, but definitely does have the possibility of birth defects when I want to start my own family soon? Do I go to talk therapy that is supposed to be confidential but I would have to take time off of work in order to go to? How do I open up to a stranger and trust them with me when I have a really hard time trusting my partner?
I tried to get on board with the Doctor’s suggestion for recovery. I really did. But the longer I thought about it the more wound up about it I got. Less than a week later I backed down from her plan. I talked to my partner instead. I told him some more scary truths for myself I was really holding onto. He was good about it. Cowboy is quite frankly the best thing that has happened to me. If that makes me co-dependent than that is what I am. The thing about having a partner is that you are a team. What is the purpose of having a partner if you don’t get to depend on them? This negative stigmatism towards co-dependency bothers the crap out of me. I have done the keep all of my shit to myself be an independent person thing. You know what it got me? I was a FUCKING MESS!!
(Yes I swear a lot – there should at some point be another blog post for my proclivity to use those deliciously evocative four letter little words)
Right now, the number one lesson I have learnt in all of this is to talk to my partner. Believe in the strength of our relationship. We are in this through thick and thin. He deserves to know when I am having a hard time. And if you don’t have the type of partner you can talk to about this sort of thing, then maybe you might want to take a look at your relationship. I know you may be in a dark place right now, and having to reconsider something that at one time might have been a source of strength to you is hard. Maybe you feel like you just can’t take any more, even if that is getting rid of something that is bad for you. If that is the case find someone you can trust to talk to. Build yourself back up till you can face the issue of a dysfunctional relationship. Facing your issues is hard. Doing them alone is impossible. We all need support systems.
Look the world is a crazy place out there kids. I finally feel like I am in a place where I can admit that last year was awful without feeling like a wrecking ball when I do this. The only way through these issues is through them. We spend a lot of time as a society sweeping mental health issues under the carpet and not talking about them. Let’s talk instead.
Next up: Probably a post on me getting back to writing. Because um, being in a bad place last year, really totally took a shit kicking on my writing! Go figure!