Considering how prevalent mental illness is, why do so few bloggers talk about it?

The aim of this blog is to write about my experience with mental illness, developments in my life as well as issues in the field of mental health all the while keeping a feminist framework.

I hope you can take something from this blog, whatever that may be.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A little taste of the reality that is living with this illness

A couple months ago, I had 3 or 4 days of anxiety symptoms. I didn't blink the first day (I had had minor symptoms intermittently over the course of my recovery and they generally go away the next day). Day two, I was like... 'hmmm what's going on?' So, I took an extra dose of my anti-psychotic (as recommended by my psychiatrist. Do not adjust your medication without supervision!) The third day. I panicked. I was an absolute mess. 'It is starting again! It's all down hill from here' I was convinced. 'No, I cannot do this again, I can't!' My partner tried to calm me. 'It's okay, it has only been a couple of days, and if it is a relapse, we can handle it.' It was good knowing that there was someone who would be there for me (I remember many years of never having that privilege and was so thankful that there would be that support for the relapse I felt was inevitable), but I really could not be consoled.

But, after a couple days of bumping up my dosage, everything went back to 'normal'.

Of course, me freaking out, didn't help my anxiety symptoms and my anxiety symptoms didn't help when it came to freaking out.I cannot even explain how panicked I was. What that felt like was so powerful. I was so thankful to all the faith I have in this world.

I wish I had some sort of moral to this story. I learned how thankful I am for my medication and loving support of my partner. It reminded me to be thankful for the 'sanity' I enjoy but also that if things had gotten worse, it would be okay. I would use the skills I have learned in the past and I would have handled it. But god, I am so thankful it was a mere three days. I haven't enjoyed this long of a stretch of 'sanity' since before I was diagnosed in high school. I pray (in a secular way) that it will not be taken away from me. This is something average people don't understand: how fragile our quality of life is.

You know, re-reading that last paragraph, I realise I am completely lying! I wrote, "if things had gotten worse, it would be okay. I would use the skills I have learned in the past and I would have handled it". That is bullshit. I wouldn't have handled it. I would have continued freaking out making my depression worse and probably inspired a manic episode. I would, however, haul my ass to the psychiatrist ASAP and beg for more drugs and then pray they would work (all the while, freaking out!)

It's just, and here is that pessimistic side of me I am more familiar with, I have learned that therapy and the skills acquired there can help but they do not solve the issue (for me, anyways). So I could have begun the practice of self monitoring my thoughts and calming my automatic reactions to them, but my slide into a relapse would not have been stalled. And of course, this mere belief would have helped that fact come true.

Ahhh god, I am so thankful.

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