Monday, August 3, 2015

Friend, Not Foe

I am deeply and suddenly exhausted in a way that I think comes from surviving and living my life, which we are all doing in our own ways, but as a person with mental health issues, I am constantly having to find and use healthy coping skills. I am a highly anxious person which I think probably surprises many people, because I hide it well. My co-workers are always telling me how calm I am, but on the inside, I'm often tied in knots. I have been struggling with panic attacks, and intense worry over losing the important people in my life.  I hide because of shame. I have suffered since childhood with dissociative episodes, which means that it is common for me to lose chunks of time, where I remember nothing. It is how I coped with trauma, but now it is maladaptive, and no longer serves a purpose, and yet many things still trigger me to dissociate. I use a lot of energy trying to stay grounded, but also I'm worn out from the anxiety over whether or not I'm going to have a panic attack or dissociate. I have found many healthy coping skills such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing, and general self care, but I still fight my demons on a daily basis. 
I was on medication for many years, which I hated, and although I have generally done very well without medication, I'm back to looking in that direction to get some relief. I haven't decided yet, but it is an option I'm considering. I feel disappointed in myself that I don't handle stress in a "normal" way. I even feel angry in the amount of effort it takes for me to manage all of my symptoms, and then criticize myself for being whiny and ungrateful when other people suffer more than I do. Inside of my head there is constant arguing going on! I catch my negative self talk, and work on re-framing. I work hard on recovery, so I will take credit for that. I also have a deep passion to help other people to find their way through recovery, and that brings immense satisfaction.  
I realize that life is ever changing, but sometimes doesn't it seem like the universe is careening out of control? Maybe it is just me...
My dog is sick, my husband has a brain tumor, I worry about my kids lives, my jobs keep me running, and there are so many things going on at one time. I get easily overwhelmed, and I think too much about the small details that I lose sight of the big picture. I will handle whatever comes my way, because I have an excellent track record, but damn, it sure is terrifying at times! I am grateful for the people in my life who support and love me. I have an amazing life, and I am the one who allows fear to get in the way. I want to improve upon how I deal with stress, because I know it can be better. I have come such a long way, and I easily brush that aside because I'm used to kicking myself. Doing the best I can never seems good enough...
I need to treat myself more like a friend because being at war with myself has certainly never worked.