It’s the most wonderful time of the year, or that’s what they’d have us believe. In reality it can be one of the most difficult times of the year for those of us with anxiety, depression, or indeed any mental illness. The dark nights, grey days and myriad of social events can leave many of us drained and struggling.
For me, this year’s festive season is proving very difficult. For several weeks now I have been waging war on my anxiety…or, more accurately, it has been waging war on me… I have missed several weeks of bowling, numerous dog agility classes and also a festive music night that we hosted due to overwhelming, soul destroying fear. I have a Christmas meal with the expats coming up, a Christmas party at dog training and a Christmas party at bowling. At this moment I don’t believe for even one moment that I’ll make it to any of them.
I want to, oh God I want to. If only you knew how much I wanted to. How much I ache to be ‘normal,’ to enjoy these social gatherings, these special occasions, without the panic, the anxiety, the sweaty palms, queasy stomach and shakes. Sadly my reality though, is that, even on my good days, most social occasions cause me anxiety. It may be manageable most of the time, but it’s still there. Now though, I feel that I am getting worse again.
I desperately do not want to be housebound again. To find myself weeping, unable to breath, just from touching a door that leads outside. I cannot go back there. If I do, I wont make it out again. I am not strong enough to fight that fight all over again, I don’t have it in me. So my only option is to keep up this fight.
Only, I’m not sure I can win right now. I wrote about my psychiatrist appointment the other week, and about how let down I felt by him. Now I feel angry at him; angry that he didn’t listen, that he refused me help that I obviously so desperately needed, angry that I am fighting alone, again.
While I do have the support of my parents and friends, my psychiatrist is the guy who arms me with the stuff to battle those demons, and right now I am armed with a chocolate teapot. That is how useful my current anxiety medication is for me. I take it, nothing. I take some more, more nothing. I take even more, I find myself totally wiped out and unable to function anyway because of the fatigue.
This is no life, and I fear that the constant failures and knock backs from not being able to kick this episode of anxiety will kick off a period of depression. I am already starting to feel useless, a waste of space, a waste of oxygen. I feel there is no point in my being here. I am not living my life, I am barely existing, and I’m bringing others down with me.
So what do I do? Well, I keep taking the useless medication because if I don’t it will be even longer before my psychiatrist changes it, I have to somehow prove that I’ve tried his way for long enough, whatever ‘long enough’ is. I’m cutting down my caffeine intake so he can’t blame that and use that as a reason not to change my meds. Basically I’m trying to put myself in a position so that next time I see him he has no choice but to change my medication.
Next time I see him will be April…only 5 more months of this hell…