Today I went to see my high school's production of Cinderella with my Auntie Sara, little cousin Maya, and my Nana.
It has been difficult for me to go to events or see shows these past few years. During my anxiety sickness spell when i was out of school for almost a month, i brought myself to see the school's musical, Grease. It was difficult for me to enjoy the musical because the entire time i was worrying about having an anxiety attack, and if i would have to get up and leave during the show. It was a valid worry considering during that time i could barely sit in class for 10 minutes comfortably. I ended up being fine, but i still spent the time worrying.
In November my aunt took me to see "Disney on Ice" with my little cousin. My depression was just as severe as my anxiety at that point. I made sure I got the aisle seat, and i found it very difficult to be myself. I was in a fog and i couldn't bring myself out of it. I then was hating myself for feeling that way when i wanted so badly to be enjoying the day out with my family.
Whether it's watching a play, movie, sporting event, being in long car rides, or being at an assembly i worry. The fears are always the same. What if i have to leave? What if i have an anxiety attack? What if everyone stares at me if i need to leave? They probably sound so small in words, but to me they are everything. Those questions used to be my daily struggle for almost 5 months before i got help for my anxiety. My doctor had thought that part of the trauma i experienced with my anxiety attacks last May had contributed to PTSD. Now, even on a good day the same worries spin in my head and i think it will happen all over again to me. When i know i will have to sit for a long time, I tend to starve myself beforehand so i do not have to worry about getting sick.
Today I prepared myself with a snack bag of original crackers and stuffed them in my purse. In case i got hungry, i knew they wouldn't upset my stomach if i was also anxious.
But there were things i noticed today:
Do I still get anxiety and worries? Hell yah.
But they didn't affect me today. They didn't prevent me from going about my daily life as they used to.
I would also like to point out something incredibly important.
I have been happy-truly happy for 2 weeks.
Now, this has happened many times before and then i relapsed. I know that life has it's ups and downs and MY life has ups and downs far too frequent than most with little consistency. But maybe things are becoming more steady for me? Maybe things will only go up from here?
I am putting something out there now....with no shame...
I take anti-anxiety/depressants. It was something i had begged for because the chemical imbalance was making it fairly impossible for me to leave my house. I have had them adjusted many many times. I am not giving the medication full credit for my happiness and progress. Most of it i had to do all on my own. However, i am NOT ashamed to say that I needed medication in order to help get myself on track. Some people need it, some people don't. There is NOTHING wrong with taking something to adjust an imbalance in the chemicals in your brain.
So maybe a med adjustment did contribute to my happiness these past 2 weeks. Most of my depression is triggered by my severe anxiety. My anxiety has been manageable, so of course that must be a factor!
I have also gone 2 weeks without questioning the worth of my life. THAT is HUGE progress. It doesn't mean i have spent these past 2 weeks with full confidence and joy of living life, but i haven't been putting as much thought to it as i used to. I haven't been thinking about living life, i'm just doing it.
Yes, something as small as making it through (and enjoying) a school play gave me many realizations today. You appreciate the little things when it becomes easy to compare where you were to where you are now.
A Boston social work student, using writing for healing. Sharing the peaks and valleys of an empath's mental health journey.