Coming out of the fog

Since finally being unemployed, a few things have cropped up, and mostly they are things in my head. I have referenced a couple of times that I’ve been dealing with major anxiety, which sort of snuck up on me and took over for no reason that made sense to my logical brain. The past couple of weeks have been a bit of a struggle; it’s been hard when it gets dark out, it’s been hard when the TV is on and when it’s off, it’s been hard when my wife kisses me or if she doesn’t kiss me.

Luckily, I have a kick-ass relationship with my awesome therapist, and she knows me well; she hooked me up with a doctor who could prescribe things that might make me feel better, and after exactly 18 days of nearly paralyzing anxiety, I am finally starting to feel clear-headed.

looking towards clearer, happier days

This is something that’s sort of tough to write about, but also really, really important to read about. I find strength every single day from reading Karen’s blog, Uncomfortably Honest and Honestly Uncomfortable: she is such a cool person and if she lived closer I would want to be friends with her, but also she deals with all this crap stuff all the time and talks about it in such a normal way.  Plus!  Heather Armstrong of Dooce routinely references the tough mental stuff she’s gone through – and all of this, I think reaches people who realize that it’s really okay to ask for help.

Again: It’s okay to ask for help.

So if posting has been a bit less entertaining than usual, it’s because real life has been a bit more challenging than usual.  But it really is getting better.  And along those lines, I want to thank Karen, for helping me realize that there is hope and that I am not the only person in the world who is dealing with this; I want to thank Ellen for sharing her experiences with anxiety, and how they’re over (i.e. There’s hope! There is an Other Side!); and I want to thank my wonderful wife.

Turtle and I have been married for four months today, and the last four months have been wonderful and challenging.  For the last 18 days, I have been needing her support more than maybe I ever have before, and you know what?  She’s there.  She’s checking in with me, checking on my meds, making sure I don’t get into bed with all my clothes still on.  She’s stretching her own limits and she is doing a damn good job.

best wife, on a better day

When we say “in sickness and in health” (which, actually, I am not sure we did say), I picture someone in a hospital bed, or vomiting over the toilet, or needing a ride to a doctor’s appointment.  I don’t picture the mental health aspect of it, but that’s it, too, you guys.  In sickness and in health is checking in, saying, “How are you feeling today?” and just asking about moods and emotions.  Funny, the things that we promise that we only learn the meaning of later.

And this, four months in.

So, to my readers: thanks for sticking it out, despite the foggy posts.  Knowing you’re out there makes it worth all the trying.

And to my wife, as I said yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that: Thank you, in all the ways.

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8 Comments

Filed under Relationships

8 responses to “Coming out of the fog

  1. Melissa

    Hey Kiddo~ You know what we’re dealing with here…help is ALWAYS good. My anti-depressant probably saves other people’s lives more often than not, and after this hospital deal with Olivia I’m finding that I need more help than I’m getting right now.

    I love you, I’m here, and I understand. Talk to me any time~ ❤

    • Hi Melissa! Thank you for your note – it means a lot! Things are looking up a lot, thank goodness. And Turtle is really the best – putting up with so much and keeping the house running. It’s so good to know it’s not just me. I know you guys are dealing with a lot, too… I’m thinking of you!

  2. Ahhh, ahhhhhhhhh.

    How many ways can I say yes to this? You need an “Exactly” button. 🙂 I have struggled with anxiety and depression for years. And I’ve seen a therapist off and on as needed, and she is immensely helpful in working through things. But the thing that has been problematic lately is my trouble with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Basically, I’m an anxious, depressed lump once October rolls around. And by the time I figure out I’m not Feeling Right, I see my therapist twice before it’s spring and I’m feeling Much Better. But this winter I’m struggling mightily. And my husband has been amazing. We went back to our therapist last week to re-start couples therapy, and both of them realized I needed help for my SAD. And so now we’re talking about medications. And it’s kind of unnerving and worrying, but it’s liberating. My therapist told me that I didn’t need to suffer. And it blew my mind. Crazy, huh??

    Meanwhile, my husband has been amazing. I first realized I might be depressed when I was taking high school psychology courses and saw ALL the symptoms in myself. That was the first time he held me while I cried about it, and the first time he encouraged me to find help. Eight years later, and he’s still supportive of me. He has his own mental health struggles, but he has stood by me from the very start. And I feel so, so lucky.

    Help is good. We will make it through. And we are so lucky to have such great partners in this fight. ❤

    (…So, I have this Facebook email sitting in my inbox that I keep saying, "Man, I need to reply to that." and then something shiny happens and I miss out on it. *facepalm* I'mma get on that. BRB.)

  3. First: It rocks that you are feeling better.
    Second: Thank you. A huge part of why I’m writing is to demystify the whole being crazy thing and hopefully help folks going through similar stuff. I am tickled pink that there is someone out there actually finding it helpful! See, the crazy can occasionally do a good thing!
    Third: It really really rocks you are feeling better.

  4. Mannnnn, I really relate to this. I am not usually an anxiety-prone person at all, but I was grappling with a really intense bout of it on and off for about two months before our wedding. The wedding stress (I truly did not believe I would experience wedding stress, and then I DID, BIG TIME) combined with realizing my unemployment was looking pretty indefinite combined with money combined with normal marriage cold feet combined with other personal stuff was a perfect storm for freaking the eff out. The last three weeks were downright scary sometimes–I had never known what intense anxiety feels like. BAD, it turns out.

    Ken, like Turtle (hee hee, I feel funny calling her Turtle) was a saint the whole time. I really have a lot to learn about unconditional support from him sometimes. I’ll be honest, if he were having the level-5 red zone amounts of crazy meltdowns I was having surrounding marriage and our wedding, I would not have handled it nearly as well. Isn’t it amazing to have a partner who never doubts you, even when you are driving yourself bananas with fear and self-doubt?

  5. I’m glad to hear that you’re asking for, and getting, the help that you need. And thank you for being willing to talk about it out here in the open. There’s such a stigma in this country surrounding mental health issues, and talking about our problems is the only way I see to make that stigma go away. Kudos to you for being brave enough to reach out for help and brave enough to share your stories with others.

  6. I am glad you have a good support team. I think therapy is really important and I hate the stigma attached with getting help for mental issues. I’ve seen a therapist in the past and it was one of the best things I ever did. In fact, I probably should find a new one in my new home.

    And yay for Turtle! She sounds like the best partner for you!

  7. Oh man. This post hits me at such the right time – I’m in the middle of what Carrie was talking about. I’m a month out from the wedding, I’m still unemployed, I have no idea how we’re going to get through and the anxiety and stress feels like it came out of nowhere and has landed on my head and will not move. I’ve never felt this way in my life, and it scares me. Luckily B has been a freaking rock star (and putting up with me getting mad at him over stupid things, realizing that it’s part of the bigger issue, not that I’m really mad he didn’t put a fork in the dishwasher). My dad and brother are really affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder, and I’m pretty sure that’s part of what’s going on with me right now, too. Anyway. I have no answers, but I’m glad that you’re feeling better and I’m hoping I will soon, too!

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