Tag:

generalized anxiety disorder

depressed-anxious-young-woman-suffering-from-mental-disorders-illness

A friend asked me to send her a link of my articles regarding anxiety and what helps. I quickly did a search for my columns at the Caller-Times, but I noticed that 1. there weren’t many and 2. I didn’t give any advice about what to do, I just talked about what it was.

I did write more blogs about it, so I sent those. But it made me think — I still don’t have a handle on my anxiety. It has been three years since leaving the Menninger Clinic yet I have few ideas on how to cope, even for myself.

depressed-anxious-young-woman-suffering-from-mental-disorders-illness-2

As of now, I’ll do some deep breathing or box breathing. I’ll take some anxiety meds (which usually help very little). I’ll talk to my husband or a friend about what I’m feeling. I’ll get under my weighted blanket, which honestly feels the best — when an anxiety attack occurs, I often feel like my insides are trying to get outside of my body. Weird, I know. I digress. A lot of times, I’ll slip and overeat on snacks or candy. That would be an unhealthy coping skill. I used to get weekly massages, but now I don’t. I haven’t seen a difference in anxiety levels.

Even if some combination of these things helps, it doesn’t make it go away completely. And the anxiety always comes back. Most people think it’s just everyday worries, but it’s not like that. It’s often worst-case scenarios that get trapped in my brain and intrusive thoughts that I can’t control. I counter them by praying over and over to the point where it gets obsessive. I’ll try to distract myself. It’s hard. And depression is hard, too. I am in no way saying it’s easy, but at least I get relief from the crushing sadness, fatigue and apathy. I never get a break from anxiety.

And if you Google tips on coping with anxiety, you get some annoying answers. I say annoying, because while these tips do help some, they don’t help someone like me who does them anyway and who has a severe anxiety disorder.

For example:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Exercise
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Maintain a positive attitude
  • Try yoga
  • Watch for triggers

I guess we get the same trite answers because nobody knows how to really help — and again, I’m talking about people with severe anxiety, not those with day-to-day worries (not that I’m discounting them either).

So really all I know that helps in the moment in my weighted blanket. But the problem with that is I’m not always home when anxiety strikes. Breathing helps, too. Sometimes singing at the top of my lungs in the car helps. Oh, and bingeing on my favorite shows. I’ve watched them all 100 times. The familiarity is comforting. Nothing new is going to surprise me. It’s just the same old characters doing the same old things. That may seem sad to you, but it’s calming.

I gotta do what I gotta do.

It’s just that sometimes that’s not enough.

0 comment
1 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail
279271365_5096160000467504_6320920901680993306_n-1057345

Crazy…Like a Fox?

by Heather Loeb

I recently sent a meme to one of my friends that said, “I am the friend you have to explain to your other friends before they meet me.” She laughed it off, but I feel it’s so true.

279271365_5096160000467504_6320920901680993306_n-1057345-1024x1024-7669898-9833985-3459018-7755989

See, I have baggage. A lot of baggage. I don’t mean to bring it with me where ever I go, but sometimes it just sneaks into my daily life. For example, I have retrograde amnesia. I also have trouble with my short term memory — this is due to the electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) I did for my treatment-resistant major depressive disorder. Sometimes I’ll introduce myself to the same person twice (or three times). It’s hard for me to remember things so I try to write everything down. It’s not a huge deal, but it’s annoying and sometimes I come off rude when really I just can’t remember.

Then there’s my anxiety. When I start to feel I’m not in control, I become irritable and I snipe at people. On a good note, my anxiety makes me show up early every where I go. It makes me plan ahead, and I feel like I’m always prepared. But there are times where my depression takes over and I can’t get those things done. Then am I note only irritable, I’m overly emotional and feel very out of control. I hate feeling like that.

My diagnoses include:

  • Major depressive disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Persistent depressive disorder
  • Avoidant personality disorder
  • Binge eating disorder
  • Migraine disorder

I feel like I’m missing some, but you get the point. I’m more than my diagnoses, but my behavior is hard to explain when someone doesn’t know what I’m going through.

More recently I started a new med for my migraine disorder. It’s called Topamax, and it has helped immensely. I haven’t had a migraine since I started three or four weeks ago. BUT it has the weirdest side effects and when I explain them to people I feel like a “crazy” person.

  • It makes carbonated beverages taste gross
  • It leaves a weird taste in your mouth
  • I’m not able to sweat when I’m exercising so I have to drink tons of water when my body temp rises
  • I have to drink tons of water, period
  • It causes indigestion
  • It causes memory loss (just what I need)
  • Constant eye twitching
  • And it causes brain fog – I’ve literally forgotten words while I’m talking

There’s so much more.

Because I take a karate class, I had to explain to the instructor about the body temperature thing, and boy did I feel crazy. I’m sure he’s never heard that before. Like when I explain to people I have retrograde amnesia from “shock therapy.” It sounds unbelievable.

I shouldn’t care what people think, and normally I don’t, but sometimes I can’t help think I’m making excuses listing off my limitations — are they really limitations?

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail
portrait-of-an-attractive-woman-at-table-lotus-pose

I was hanging out at my desk this morning, waiting on a Zoom meeting to start. I pulled out one of my drawers, just looking around when I saw my Wellness & Relapse Prevention Plan from the Menninger Clinic on top of some papers. I wrote this plan before I left the psychiatric hospital, as everybody does. It’s mandatory before leaving. I was at Menninger for six long weeks, and I was ready. I couldn’t remember what was inside, so I took a gander.

portrait-of-an-attractive-woman-at-table-lotus-pose-5

It started off by saying that triggers and warning signs of relapse will occur, but by preparing the best we can could help prevent another relapse or depressive episode. It urged you to be honest in your answers, share it with you loved ones and refer to it often. It was in question and answer form.

It covered areas of wellness such as Emotional Wellness, Relationships, Physical Health, Work/School, Spirituality, Financial, Leisure, Self-Awareness/Insight and Addiction Management. It asked what did I look like or act like when I looked healthy in all the areas I just mentioned. Under Physical Health I put that I would exercise, eat healthy, stop drinking Diet Coke, not use food as a coping mechanism, I’d have good hygiene habits, and that I’d appreciate my body for what it is. Sounds good, right?

Then I skipped to my Core Problems, my deepest, darkest secrets. I listed all my diagnoses: Persistent Depressive Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Avoidant Personality Disorder and Binge Eating Disorder. I listed the negative thoughts that too often cross my mind: I’m a bad mom and wife; I’m a burden to my family; I’ll never be good enough; and I’m worthless.

Next I wrote about short and long-term goals I had socially, emotionally, spiritually and physically. For example, for the social goal, I wanted to volunteer for my kids’ school book fair in the following September (I left the hospital in August). Long term I wanted to have a girls’ night at Alamo Drafthouse every month.

I did the book fair (and met a really good friend!) — I was actually in charge of it that year — and the girls’ nights were at least every other month if not every month.

But other things like, “take a daily walk around the neighborhood, go on a healthier diet, go to the gym three times a week, make an effort to go to the synagogue more often,” things like that didn’t become a habit. Not because they aren’t important, but because life happened when I stepped off those hospital groups. I had a four- and two-year-old to take care of. I had to figure out how to be a healthy me — a wife me, a mom me, a friend me, a daughter me and a me me — in just a few hours a day I had to myself. I had just begun blogging, and I knew that I wanted to write, but I was still lost and overwhelmed with all the working parts I was supposed to incorporate into my “new” life.

But, as I look as this wellness plan, I see that a lot of the goals on here I’ve hit. I may have done it in a number of years or taken a different approach, but I still made it. I still go to therapy every week (every other week now because my therapist says I don’t have to come weekly anymore). I am healthier. I work out each week. I eat a healthier diet. I volunteer. I have my own column in the Caller-Times. And that did not come easily. I monitor my self-talk. I check in with friends.

And get this: I can ask for help. I can say, “can you take this off my plate, please?” and not feel the slightest guilt about it.

I didn’t know what to expect when I was filling out that Wellness Plan. I didn’t know what challenges would occur or how hard it would be. I just knew it would be hard. Real hard.

But was nothing compared to hitting rock bottom and being sent to a hospital, away from your friends, husband and children (and other family).

I would’ve never dreamed I’d be this happy. I still have bad days; we all do. That just makes the good ones all the more sweet.

Here is a summary of my strengths from my Wellness Plan:

“I’m grateful for my kids. I’m a good writer. I’m grateful for my husband. I’m compassionate and empathetic. I’m a good friend. My cherished moments include both of my children and my wedding. I have more work to do here.”

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail
young-woman-is-having-mammography-examination-at-the-hospital-or-private-clinic-with-a-professional-female-doctor

Don’t Worry About It

by Heather Loeb

I hear these words far too much, and I’m here to tell you that if you have anxiety (multiple forms), you can’t help but worry.

young-woman-is-having-mammography-examination-at-the-hospital-or-private-clinic-with-a-professional-female-doctor-5

For example, I noticed that my left breast had a red spot and I could feel a tiny knot/lump. It hurt a little. This has happened before — I had to get a mammogram then a biopsy. Luckily, it was benign, but the radiologist told me that I should start getting mammograms because my breast tissue is so dense.

Looking back, it wasn’t a huge deal. Was I worried? Yes. Did I ruminate? Oh, yeah. And now that it’s happening again, it seems like my anxiety disorder is in overdrive. Since discovering it, I’ve Googled everything from “dense breast lump” to “lump in breast” and “breast cancer lump.”

I feel like it’s normal for me to do that, but then my brain takes it to another level. I start to think about getting cancer, and losing my hair, and radiation, and whether I’ll be able to work as I’ve been doing. I texted the picture of the red spot to a friend and kept repeating myself, “It’s probably nothing. It’ll be like last time, right?” Then I awaited her reply, searching for assurance. I did the same to another friend.

I realize that it is probably nothing, that I’m overreacting. I also know that my brain is an asshole, always exploring the worst case scenarios. This is what I hate about anxiety. It’s relentless. And what also sucks is knowing that there are people out there who can really tuck an issue away and worry about it later. Or not at all.

It’s important to know a couple of things: when someone has an anxiety disorder, they can’t control it. Also, it takes a physical toll.

The Mayo Clinic reports the following symptoms:

  • Persistent worrying or anxiety about a number of areas that are out of proportion to the impact of the events
  • Overthinking plans and solutions to all possible worst-case outcomes
  • Perceiving situations and events as threatening, even when they aren’t
  • Difficulty handling uncertainty
  • Indecisiveness and fear of making the wrong decision
  • Inability to set aside or let go of a worry
  • Inability to relax, feeling restless, and feeling keyed up or on edge
  • Difficulty concentrating, or the feeling that your mind “goes blank”

Physical signs and symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Muscle tension or muscle aches
  • Trembling, feeling twitchy
  • Nervousness or being easily startled
  • Sweating
  • Nausea, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome
  • Irritability

Some people think that anxiety is “all in our heads,” but for me, and millions of others, it affects our everyday life and relationship to others. It’s difficult to deal with. It’s difficult to control with medicine. Believe me, I’ve tried. I even got addicted to Klonopin a few years ago. It’s pretty easy to do.

The Mayo Clinic also reports the following:

Generalized anxiety disorder often occurs along with other mental health problems, which can make diagnosis and treatment more challenging. Some mental health disorders that commonly occur with generalized anxiety disorder include:

  • Phobias
  • Panic disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts or suicide
  • Substance abuse

Unfortunately it’s not something that goes away. Learning healthy coping skills helps, as well as therapy. It can be manageable, but it’s still a major bummer to deal with it. To say the least.

My whole point during this rant is that I can’t control my anxiety. I try my best, I take medicine and I go to therapy but it’s still there. It’s like my brain just wont turn off. It’s non-stop intrusive thoughts, and I rarely get breaks. It’s just fucking dark in here, y’all.

I know there are others like me, and I’d just like to say that you’re not alone. I urge you to seek help, such as support groups and therapy.

I’d like to hear from you guys and ask what you do to manage your anxiety?

That’s it for now. Thanks for listening. Stay in the light.

0 comment
1 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail
mental-health-medical-treatment

What Would I Write About?

by Heather Loeb

I was on the phone today with a friend who had just read one of my blogs about core beliefs. Without getting into all the details, my friend thanked me for being vulnerable, but at the time, I couldn’t really remember what the blog was about.

mental-health-medical-treatment

So I re-read it.

Wow, I thought. I put my deepest, darkest secrets in my blog including that deep down I don’t think I’m good enough. That I’m fat and lazy and worthless. Why didn’t I remember this blog? I re-read it again. Then again. I grabbed a notebook, wrote my negative core beliefs down (not good enough, fat/ugly, lazy and a bad mom) and started “looking” for evidence that they were true but couldn’t come up with anything.

There was one belief that seemed to hold more water than the others. The “fact” I think I’m fat and ugly. That it’s bad to be fat. And honestly, I laughed. My first thought was “so what if I’m fat?” Then it evolved into “fat is something that I have, not what I am, which is exactly what I tell my daughter. I’m overweight according to the BMI chart but barely. I guess it would matter if I were unhealthy and overweight, but I’m not. I’m healthyish.

Why is there so much stigma attached to being fat? Ugh, I hate that word. Like I said, fat isn’t (shouldn’t be) something we are. And if that’s the “worst” problem I have, my life is pretty good. And it is…really good. Who wouldn’t want to be me? I have everything I need — a great support system, good physical health, means to take care of my mental health conditions, a beautiful home and a kickass therapist. I’m grateful for everything I have. Does that mean I cant complain or vent? Hell no. I still deserve to hold space for myself.

Let me address another core belief: I’m lazy. I started to jot down all the ways I’m not lazy then stopped. I am lazy sometimes. My car stays messy, as does my desk and work space. I have crap everywhere, and most of the time I don’t care to change that. But that’s okay. Why wouldn’t it be? It’s not hurting anyone. This core belief came directly from my childhood so it’s deeply ingrained. But it doesn’t matter? I don’t need to change this part of myself, I just need to acknowledge and accept the fact that I am. Really, who the fuck cares? It’s no reflection of my character; it’s not a flaw.

I realize now that I’m more than these thoughts. I’m more than my mistakes and worst moments. I’m complex, but I am love. I’m beautiful, even with my flaws and illnesses. Especially because I’m flawed. I couldn’t do what I do without them.

What would I write about if this weren’t the case? How boring that would be?

I love what I do. I’ve learned to be vulnerable. I’m brave — I put my weight in the newspaper, and I confessed my darkest secrets on my blog. I help people. I lend my voice to others’ pain and give them permission to feel what they feel and share their experience. That’s huge. I’m not tryin to toot my own horn. I only want to honor my journey, which has been dark and so taxing. And it’s still not over. I’ll battle depression and anxiety my whole life. My eating disorder, too.

Yet I’m free. I’m so damn free, and it feels so good. I’m not a prisoner to everything bad in my life. By talking about my issues, I shine a light on them, ridding them of shame (which always lurks in the dark). I’m learning to love myself, despite my mental health conditions. I don’t fit the mold, no.

But I don’t want to.

0 comment
1 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail
collage-of-beautiful-girl-with-different-facial-expressions-isolated

Past Versions of Ourselves

by Heather Loeb

As Christmas approaches, a lot of us are spending time with old friends and family, which can be stressful for anyone.

collage-of-beautiful-girl-with-different-facial-expressions-isolated-4

I checked in with one friend who traveled to Texas for Christmas, and even though she was around her sisters and her parents, she felt left out. They still treated her like a child, she said. It was like they could only see her as a bratty teenager, a role she has long abandoned.

I can understand that. Not about the teenager thing, but I feel with some people who have known me for a long time see only a past version of myself and don’t see or acknowledge that I’ve grown.

It feels like I’ve grown a lot, especially in the past three years. I’m not even the same person I was last Wednesday, and I think that’s fine. But it can be disappointed when someone gets stuck on who you were. An example (I admit it’s not the greatest example) is a comment a family member made about me being a picky eater. I was puzzled when the comment was made and later I asked my husband if I was a picky eater. I remember being one as a child but not so much now. A better example might be when another family member prefaced her statements with, “OK, try not to fly of the handle when I tell you this…”

I thought it was weird. I don’t usually get overly emotional or irritated when people tell me things, contrary to what my husband might say. I took the news just fine — it was nothing to get emotional about.

But that’s what I’m talking about. Maybe years (previous Heathers) before I would’ve gotten upset, but not now. Maybe my growth isn’t apparent to others, but I definitely know it’s there. My therapist would agree with that, for sure. I’ve come a long way, and I work hard to be emotionally healthy. Especially since returning from the psychiatric hospital. Before I didn’t take care of myself. I was about instant gratification, doing things that I thought felt good (binge eating, cutting, abusing meds, etc). I was suicidal, but didn’t take my meds regularly or even attend therapy often. I ended up being a sick, miserable version of myself, and it was hard to swallow who I was.

That person wasn’t bad, necessarily. It was just I was then. I was doing my best to survive, and I think it’s important to appreciate that. Sometimes we have to go through things like that to grow; I’m just glad I came out of it healthier. Now I’m a better wife, mom, friend, daughter, etc.

Maybe I should’ve pointed out my growth to those family members, but then again, I’m not growing for them. This is about me. I’m proud of who I am and the 796 previous versions of me.

So if you’re spending time this week with loved ones who have known you for a long time, give them a little grace. And be sure you’re not judging them for who they used to be, too. It’s easy for me to list my limitations, but when it comes to others, I don’t always acknowledge theirs, or their growth. I (you) should be present and get to know them as who they are now, not who I think they should be or want them to be. Read that again.

I hope y’all have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

I can’t wait to see who I grow to be this coming year.

As always, stay in the light.

0 comment
1 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail
anxietyattack-1024x683-2311494

Absolute Zero

by Heather Loeb
anxietyattack-1024x683-2311494

My body hurts today. Maybe hurts is not the right word…maybe heavy. So very heavy, and I’ve slogged through each hour of today expecting it to feel different, but it hasn’t. Do you know why? Because the body always keeps score.

It has tallied up all the extra Diet Cokes, Adderall and junk food. Not to mention all the junk I’ve been entertaining mentally. Not on purpose. Sometimes it just happens. You entertain one negative thought then that one gives way to 20. Soon the confines of your psyche are bursting at the seams. There’s no elbow room.

Someone might say it’s my fault for hosting those thoughts in the first place, and maybe it’s not the ideal way to go about on your healing journey, but I would argue that it’s a necessary part of healing. Healing’s not linear, and it’s individualized, but just because I’ve come to a fork on this road doesn’t mean I don’t want to go forward. I do.

But sometimes you have to stew in your own brain filth. You need to sort through the trash and decide what’s valuable and what will serve you. And light the rest on fucking fire.

That’s what’s going on tonight. At first I panicked and thought oh my god, I’ll have to get an ECT, but then it occurred to me that if I get an ECT every time I feel sad or bad, I might never learn to navigate my way out of here.

So I’ll rely on my reserves, go into Low Battery Mode. I’ve definitely been there before. I’ll prioritize what events and tasks that need my attention most. I’ll wear comfy clothes, I’ll make myself drink more water, I’ll go to bed early and give myself some grace. I talk about that all the time yet I never do.

I’ll pray. I’ll read. I’ll practice self-care. I’ll walk the line because I know it will be painful (more painful) than it already is.

I ask myself all the time — why is it so painful being me? And I never quite remember. All of this because deep down I don’t think I’m good enough? It doesn’t make sense. Because I hate myself? I don’t. I don’t even truly hate my depression even thoughI say I do. Maybe I’ve said it enough to believe it. But I don’t like to have hate in my heart, my precious, well-behaving heart. These ideas swirl inside my head then forgotten because I have retrograde amnesia. Can you tell who my ill-behaving organ is?

It sucks holding on to a thought or memory only to have it forgotten an hour later. It sucks more on days like this.

I know it’ll get better. I might feel 100 percent differently tomorrow, but this is me now. And how I feel. My feelings are valid, including the negative and frustrating ones.

The sun will come out tomorrow, I’m told.

0 comment
1 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail
istock-1275828972-1024x891-8919424

Lately I’ve noticed that I’m starting to struggle mentally. It’s frustrating because I’ve been doing well and been very productive, but that all seems to be slipping away.

istock-1275828972-1024x891-8919424

I haven’t been eating a healthy diet, I haven’t kept up with my blog, I haven’t showered as much, and everything seems a more daunting and harder than usual. It’s frustrating for me because I feel like I’ve made so much progress. Sometimes I’m able to get so much done and now not so much.

It’s probably because I’ve been putting too much on my plate. I’ve been highly functional this past year, and I’ve tried to say yes to every new opportunity I have, but I’m starting to think it’s more important to say no. At least right now when I’m struggling.

Room mom at my son’s preschool? Yes.
Volunteer with NAMI Greater Corpus Christi? Yes.
Make mental health videos for my favorite state representative? Sure.
Become Communications Manager for NAMI GCC? Absolutely.

There’s a lot more, at least it’s a lot to me. I have to remember that while saying yes is good, I have to recognize my limitations. I can’t just do it all. My anxiety and depression are hard to manage, and I never know when it’s going to get worse, like now. I try to make hay while the sun shines, but it’s so much harder to do right now.

The only thing I can do is set boundaries — this is especially important now that the holidays are coming up, and it’s going to get more stressful. I need to be honest with myself, take breaks and focus on what I can do (in a healthy way).

I know these feelings I have are overwhelming now, but it’s just temporary. All the bad moods, anxiety and depressive episodes are all temporary. My true state is happy and productive even though it doesn’t feel like it at times. It’s OK to not be OK.

“Depression is like a bruise that never goes away. A bruise in your mind. You just got to be careful not to touch it where it hurts. It’s always there, though.”

― Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot

And right now, I’m just not OK.

Now’s the time to fall back on healthy habits I put in place while I did feel better: going to weekly therapy, taking all my medications, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, practicing self-care and asking for help when I need it. And taking breaks!

I have to put the work in, especially now. That’s hard to do when I just feel like giving up on everything, but I’ll never get better if I don’t do the work.

I can do this. I can do hard things. I’ve done them before, and this time is no different.

Stay in the light, my friends.

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail
252508995_10105035377839494_1849316262771386908_n-768x1024-2076839

Well, I’m a day later again, but I’ve just been so busy. It’s a good busy though.

252508995_10105035377839494_1849316262771386908_n-768x1024-2076839

As I mentioned last week, I’ve joined the leadership team at NAMI Greater Corpus Christi as the Communications Manager. I’m in charge of newsletters, social media, and I’m trying to update the website a bit, but a web developer I am not.

This weekend is the NAMI Texas awards ceremony where I’ll virtually accept a media award (For accurately covering stories on mental health, reporting the injustices those with mental illnesses face, and sharing the successes in the mental health field). I’m pretty psyched about that and so grateful.

Otherwise I’m just counting down until Thanksgiving. We’ll be able to travel to Dallas to see my family this year because the kids are now vaccinated. I’m really psyched about that.

One other thing…I wanted to ask your help. If you’d like to see a certain mental health topic covered on my blog, please leave your idea in the comments. I want to make sure I’m providing helpful material that everyone is interested in — not just stuff about my life.

That does it for me. Have a great week, and stay in the light.

In case you missed it, here are the past week’s blogs:
Roll With It
Which Voice is Right?

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail
istock-1294477039-1024x835-9709363

Which Voice is Right?

by Heather Loeb

“You don’t fit the mold,” my therapist told me.

I tried to ignore her statement, but I knew she was right.

istock-1294477039-1024x835-9709363

“You’re different now,” she continued. “It can be scary for people who live inside their own world and don’t stray far. It just scares them.”

I had spent half an hour complaining that I don’t get any acknowledgement for my work — my columns in the paper, working with NAMI Greater Corpus Christi, and the most difficult: the positive changes in my life since coming out of a depressive episode in 2019. It’s night and day, at least to me. I’m so grateful, and I want to make sure nobody else feels alone in their struggle, so now I talk non-stop about every aspect of my recovery. I’m sure my family and friends have felt weary listening at times. But scared? I don’t know about that.

Regardless, I have to keep talking.

I don’t do what I do for acknowledgement, but it feels like a slight with family or friends when they don’t bring it up or ask about it. A big slight. I take it personally, and I know I shouldn’t, but at times I obsess about it. Honestly, it makes me feel like I’m not good enough, even though I’ve worked very hard to get where I am.

I’ve never felt good enough. But some part of me must think I am because I marvel at the depressed, anxious person I was just three years ago. I’m highly functional now — I can volunteer at my kids’ schools, go to lunches with friends, work, write, practice self-care on top of everything else. I’ve proven I can do hard things. Yet…there’s that deep-seated nagging feeling that makes me feel rejection, hurt, confused and angry. And poof! The visual of myself stronger and happier vanishes from my thoughts.

My anxiety and Avoidance Personality Disorder no doubt stokes this fire, but where did it come from? I guess that doesn’t really matter, does it?

It’s there, and likely always will be unless I do an exorcism of these thoughts, and for that, you have to put in the work with honesty, therapy and introspection. Who has time for that?

What I need to remember is that my worth isn’t tied to anyone’s opinion, no matter what. I need to tell myself every day I can do hard things — that I’ve done hard things. That I crawled my way back from the darkest pits of despair. At one point, I thought that I was just biding time until I killed myself. I slept all day. I engaged in self-mutilation and abused my medication. I lied to get narcotics from the doctor. I wanted to feel anything but the awful pain I was in.

That’s not me anymore.

I am more than my worst mistakes and moments. I wake up at 5 a.m. I take care of my kids and husband. I work to spread awareness about mental illness. I take my medications, I see my therapist weekly, and I do the work, even when it’s hard. I can see my transformation reflecting in my family’s eyes.

I made it. I lived. I survived.

So it makes me wonder if the reason I get so upset at my loved ones’ apathy is not because it’s painful but because I deep down I “know” I’m not good enough — that I’ve put up a farce. That I’m not worthy of their love.

Once again my brain is telling me conflicting things. And it’s scary when there’s such dichotomy in those thoughts. I mean, who do I listen to?

More importantly, which one is right?

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail
Newer Posts