I have been having an incredibly hard time with anxiety and depression for over a year now. Well, it really started with anxiety. I had a several long spells of anxiety that I didn't recognize as such until many months later. The first time was in August 2014 after my friend's wedding, when I somehow hurt my neck. I was trying to get it better so that I could go on a week long vacation with K. to North Carolina. But during that time, I wasn't sleeping well at night, and it never got better, even on vacation. I would wake up after being so exhausted within a few hours, and then couldn't get back to sleep. This went on for over a week, and after we got home, it kinda went away eventually. I was so relieved! And then it happened again when K. and I went to Cleveland for my appts a week after coming back from North Carolina. It didn't seem to last as long. I still didn't recognize that I was having anxiety. I thought it was just bad sleeping issues, and just feeling exhausted during the day.
Fast forward to last March. I finally decided to end my relationship with K. after 3 1/2 years. I finally acknowledged to myself that it wasn't going anywhere, especially since he couldn't say he loved me after all that time. There was a period of a week where I had the anxiety again, and this time I understood what it was. I couldn't sleep, I was constantly thinking of what I was going to say to him, I couldn't eat. It was awful. I knew right after breaking up that I would need to go to counseling, and so I did seek that out. And then for maybe a month or so, I had a period of time when the anxiety went away. I was trying to still work out all my emotions from losing K. in my life, but I was ok.
Until then I wasn't. Anxiety started up again some time in June, and it didn't leave. It still hasn't really left me. I was in the E.R. on Mother's Day after several nights of insomnia led to creeping thoughts of suicide. It scared the shit out of me. I have never, ever, ever considered ending my life, EVER. So I called my parents and told them I had to go to the E.R. They just gave me Xanax, which honestly, didn't do much for me. I would take it, get very tired for about 2 hours, and then I'd wake up and not be able to take anymore until hours later. I understood why people could be addicted! Not me. I ended up not even taking them and just living with the anxiety until I had to see a psychiatrist. I ended up in the E.R. once more for suicidal thoughts again about a week or so after the first time, just at a different hospital. I was eventually put on some meds to help me sleep through most of the night, which helped some of the severe exhaustion I was experiencing, and that was causing me to have those thoughts. I saw my therapist weekly to talk about things, and I tried to just stay as busy as I possibly could. It was an incredibly tough summer to get through before I could finally see the psych in August.
I was started on Lexapro, given klonopin, and a different medication to help with sleep. That journey was tough, too. Trying to get used to the Lexapro was extremely hard. My stomach was terrible, I thought I had ulcers it was that bad. Increasing the dosage after 5 days of starting it led me to believe that it was causing neurological issues in my face. I tried to stick with it for as long as I could. I'm not sure it really truly helped me. After being on it for almost 2 months, my psych told me I could go down on the dosage to start weaning off it because of the mouth problems I was having. Going lower seemed to make me feel a bit better. By the time December came, the business of the month and the holidays made me feel pretty good. I actually had almost a month of no anxiety. I was off Lexapro by Christmas day. I felt like my old self. I really enjoyed Christmas and I was starting to see someone, so I got to ring in the New Year with someone who was much better than the person I had left in March. I was actually happy!
And then a couple weeks into the New Year, overthinking got me back onto the anxiety train, and I couldn't get off it again. This time, the anxiety started turning into depression. Now, I may have had depression from all this before, but I didn't really feel it. This time was so different. I basically go through my days because I have to, and I'm not enjoying too much of anything. The guy I started seeing, well that ended because my emotions were so back and forth. A couple weeks ago I called to ask if I could see my psych sooner because there was no way I was going to make it until March to see him next. I had my appt with him this past Wednesday. I told him how I'd been feeling. I asked him if it was possible to try another medication in the same category as Lexapro, and he said he didn't like to do that, especially if I thought it hadn't helped. So he prescribed something called Remeron (mirtazapine), which can help depression, anxiety and help with sleep. I've taken it 2 nights so far, and well, I truly hope that I will be able to adjust to this med. I know and understand that it takes weeks with this meds to get acclimated to them, so it takes a LOT OF PATIENCE to see if they are going to help. But in the meantime, I guess I'm glad that I don't work because I just don't know how I would function at a job at this point. The med makes me groggy for most of the day. And I'm on a low dose that I need to increase in a few days. Crossing fingers that I can stick with this and ride it out until I see my psych in a few weeks again!!
I need to start blogging more about the things that I'm having a difficult time with, and what's been causing my anxiety and depression in the first place. I choose to write in my blog now because maybe my story will be seen by someone and they can relate. I hope to be able to look back one day and realize I came out of a very dark cloud and I'm a better person for it. Right now, I am just trying my best to put one foot forward every day. I have a huge amount of sympathy and understanding right now for people who have suffered depression and/or anxiety for most of their lives. It's a battle that is to be fought every day, and I can see why sometimes people just lose that battle. It's incredibly hard! I have always been such a positive person most of my life, that this has thrown me for a loop. So I hope blogging about things more will help me as well, besides talk therapy and medications. Fingers crossed!