So, even if you’re pretty stable (and I like to think that I normally am), when you’re on prescription medication, you have to get checked out my a professional every once in a while. To that end, I went to my psychiatrist on Tuesday to get my papers renewed.
Let me set the scene for you: imagine me, no makeup on because I was running late but tasty ice coffee in hand, pretty dress on, and feeling fucking good. First words out of my mouth are said with a smile (“Which chair do I sit in? You redecorated!”).
This woman has seen me at some of my worst points. She did her best to put together the pieces I had broken into during my early 20’s with a glue of medication and just good ol’ life advice. And here I was, together. Smiling. Joking. Talking excitedly about my future, despite my unstable current situation (please refer to section 1: ffs just make me full time with benefits already). The bad patch I went through two weeks ago came up, but the tone was so different from the last time I came in, right before I was about to be kicked out a grad school, right when I was both relieved and petrified.
Near the end of the appointment, she looked me in the eyes in a way she never really has and said the following (paraphrased, of course):
"You’ve made such great progress, but I want you to keep in mind how your anxiety works. Another doctor who saw you in your bad patches might have wanted to change your medication or try something else entirely, but that’s not what works for you. And I want you to remember that, when the bad moments come and your anxiety seems like all there is, that you’ve made so much progress and that those feelings are only temporary."
I started crying and she asked why. And I said, “I just hate remembering how bad it is.”
But that was the point. I have to remember how bad it was and can be. I say this because today has been a bad anxiety day. While work is fine and I continue to kick its butt (cautious optimism!), anytime I popped on any social media for a break today, including enjin and facebook, I kept getting those nagging thoughts that come with my bad days. Seeing someone that I consider a good friend mentioning another friend of theirs brought out the (so stupid) thoughts: “I guess I’ve been replaced.” Seeing people tag each other on tumblr triggered a: “I’m so removed from all of them, I should just leave. No one would care.” Replying to a funny facebook post with my own joke brought up: “Who the fuck are you kidding with these jokes? These people don’t care about you.”
So here I am, waiting to be picked up at work and feeling like I need a drink, a nap, and a cry. And fucking why? Something in my head that’s cross-wired, that’s spiking for no reason or flattening our when it should be spiking. Who the fuck knows, but that was my doctor’s point, right? That I have to be aware that this is how my brain works (for now, let’s hope) but that doesn’t mean that’s how the world is.
Yeah, there’s some truth in my nagging worries. I should stop isolating myself from people. I should try to be better at being friends with people without feeling like I need their constant reminder that they actually do like and care about me and accepting that they can care and like about me and other people. Acknowledging that I like cracking stupid jokes and not everyone has to appreciate me beyond them since there’s nothing be lost in it. But those are things I can work on. They aren’t worth just throwing in the towel on.
This place is starting to become where I come to just try to figure myself out, which means it comes out pretty negative and attention seeking. Trust that most days are pretty good. Trust that I think things are going in the right direction. That’s to myself, too. Trust that this history is not my entire history but it’s an important part of it and it’s part of how I’m working on going into my non-young adulthood as less of a wreck than my early adult self has managed to be.
Is it time for a moral? A point? I guess trust your doctor. Don’t take silence from people as a sign that they don’t care. Let yourself have a fit as long as, in the end, you say, “Ok, now what do I do to fix it?”
So there you go, internet, my end of week, mid-study-crunch, end of workday random introspection on being an anxious wreck.
Maybe someday I’ll talk to some of you more consistently that shouting into this echo chamber. I have one week to go until my (second) GRE and then hopefully I can try to engage. I miss you guys.