As you know from my previous posts this week, today is all about shining the light on depression and providing resources to those who may be suffering with it.
Today, I’m bringing a guest blogger who will stay anonymous as long as needed. Please read, respond and encourage. Also, know that we’ll have our #DayOfLight Twitter chat tonight at 9 pm EST/ 8pm CST/ 6 pm PST
Today, as part of the #DayOfLight, I want to take a little time to talk to all of you about Depression and Anxiety. Those of you who don’t know me in real life, and even some of you that do may not know that I have anxiety and depression caused by that anxiety.
I don’t know exactly when my anxiety issues started. I don’t ever remember not having my anxiety symptoms, but I was finally diagnosed with GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) in 2009. That was when I was planning my wedding to my wonderful husband. One of the issues that I have related to anxiety is that I don’t eat when I’m stressed of anxious, so when I got down to less than 100 pounds, I decided that I had to do something. So, I went to see my doctor. She was fabulous, and gave me some medication to try. It got my through the wedding, the honeymoon and my first couple years of marriage.
I was doing so well that I decided to stop taking my medication. That was in December. About 6 months later, which managed to fall at the same time I was supposed to be in my sister’s wedding, my anxiety flared up again. I was getting stressed, snapping at people, not eating… it was pretty bad. I even snapped at my sister while I was at a fitting for my bridesmaid dress. So once again, I started taking anxiety medication, and was doing well.
I did really well through the holidays, but afterward we got a big shock. I was pregnant and it wasn’t planned. A week or two after finding out, I finally started getting used to the idea, and was doing ok. Then I went in for my first ultrasound. That’s when the doctor told me that my pregnancy was tubal (a major health risk to me), and that I needed to schedule surgery immediately.
My surgery was scheduled for the next day. Then, after being surprisingly calm on the drive home, and during dinner, I had my first real panic attack. If you’ve never had one, be very glad. I actually felt like I was going to die. I ended up calling the doctor, who told me to go ahead down to the hospital. They checked me in and gave me some amazing drugs to calm me down, and I ended up staying the night in the hospital before my surgery.
My OB/GYN is amazing, so the surgery went very well. I think I was home by noon that day, though I slept on the car ride home and went to bed when I got there, so I can’t really be sure. But after the surgery, I spent 3 long weeks home alone on leave, waiting for the paperwork to be done so that I could go back to work.
During that time, my anxiety got progressively worse. And it didn’t get much better once I got back into my regular routine. I was so anxious that I made myself sick and couldn’t go to Easter with my husband’s family.
So, after all of that, I decided to give counseling a try. I wish that I could say it worked, and maybe it did for a while, but I was never truly happy with my first counselor. Eventually he told me I was doing fine and released me. I was managing, but I don’t think I was fine.
Just a couple weeks ago I missed going to a conference with my husband because the whole idea of making the 3 hour car trip up with other people was too stressful for me. Needless to say, it caused some friction in the house.
So, in recent days, I’ve been to my new doctor to talk about getting my anxiety under control. He is amazing, and very understanding. We’re making some changes to my medication, and he’s recommending an new counseling center to try. It’s going to be a long haul and a lot of work, but eventually I hope to be to other people the person I see myself as on the inside.
I do well most days, as long as I keep to my regular schedule, just don’t ask me to jump in the car and go to dinner with you, or take a trip to the mall, at least not yet.