Hiya friends, welcome back. I am forever apologizing for my absence, but I’m going to explain why. You might want a snack, and maybe a drink, shit’s about to get real. It’s also gonna be a long one, again, I apologize.
Since I started this blog thing, I’ve tried to be as open and honest as I could be about my life and dealing with anxiety and panic disorders. I have to admit, while I would discuss any of it, what I wouldn’t talk about was just how bad it had gotten. I tend to downplay the struggle because I don’t like to come across as whiny or weak.
For the better part of seven years, I’ve worn this mask of the funny girl, who gets awkward when she’s anxious and makes silly jokes to keep people from seeing the fear and pain that hide in her brain. I’ve lied and said I’m fine more times than I care to count. I’ve smiled and laughed when in actuality I just wanted to hide and cry. I never wanted people to look at me and see the broken, hurt, fear, or lonely. I wanted to be tough, and brave, I needed to be the one who fixed everyone else’s problems so I could be proud and feel useful, but I was really just running from my own baggage and the emotions that came with it.
Around the tail end of last year, my mask started to slip. It became increasingly difficult to play my role when inside I was just in fucking tatters. I knew that something had to give, I’d come to a crossroad and a decision had to be made. Essentially the door in my Memory Warehouse, behind which I store all the shitty things I don’t want to deal with or think about, had broken (shitty craftsmanship on my part) and the Asshole was in there having a fucking field day. I had run out of duct tape and wood. I dealt with it as best I could, and all but crawled my way through the holidays and the new year. I wrote my cookie cutter blogs about happier things and tried to fake my way through.
I think those closest to me had some inclination that something wasn’t right, but I also think they were too afraid to tell me they could see behind the mask. I tend to get a bit snippy when people ask if I’m okay, especially if I’m not. It meant people were seeing me for what I was, an anxious and panicky mess.
Cut to April. The happy blogs had stopped, and so had I. My days were just a roller coaster of anxiety and panic. I was having trouble sleeping, and when I did it was not very restful. I came to the realization that I’ve been fighting this battle solo for a very long time, I was drowning and it was time to ask for some help.
The next day, I made an appointment with my GP and from there she put me in touch with a woman in the practice who could help. After an appointment with the behavioral health specialist, she gave me the number of a therapist that she thought could help. I called him that day and scheduled an appointment.
It’s been about six weeks since I started seeing the Brain Wrangler (hereby known as Doc), and I feel like I can breathe a bit easier now. It’s a slow process, but I’m working through it and this time I’m not alone. Doc thinks it’s time to dismantle the door and clear out the infection. I am about to stand toe-to-toe with every shitty piece of my past, and I’d be lying if I said this didn’t petrify me. Just thinking about reliving some of this shit makes me want to run and hide, but I know it has to happen. I know the only way I can find peace, and the elusive beast that is actual happiness is to do this. I know I’ll never be “cured,” I’ll deal with anxiety and panic forever, but I can find some relief. I deserve it.
Well, there you have it, the truth about where I’ve been. I plan on writing some more about this, so if that sounds like something you’d be interested in…stick around. If not, I totally get it, looking inside someone’s brain isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
Until next time…