So, it's been nearly a year since my lost post. Why? Grief. Depression. Anxiety. Fear. Moving. Starting a new life.
Yeah. That's a lot.
I have a knack for shutting down when things are hard, messy, or scary. I don't like for people to see my inner chaos. It terrifies me and always has. Throw health issues into the mix and I can damn near become a recluse. Why?
I listen to the general public from time to time, why is beyond me, but I do. For whatever reason, nobody talks about grief, or at least people make you feel like after a certain amount of time since the loss of _______, you should be able to handle it; like just because your entire world was turned upside down, you should be fine. And perhaps after a certain amount of time, most people are for the most part, able to cope and deal with a new life they never asked to have. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people. I have anxiety that stems back to being a child. I have PTSD that stems back to being an early teenager (and several things that have happened over the years that have only added to it). I have depression that began on a pretty heavy level when I was a fourteen. I have deep routed fear, that sometimes can consume me, despite the fact that my God has never failed me. On top of all of that, I have had a new onslaught of health issues, or a reemergence and worsening of old issues. (We'll save that for the next post.)
About a week ago, I had a day that in terms of grief, was really hard for me. I have this new medication (more about that in another post) that makes me feel fairly lousy when I take it, so I laid down for a little nap. An hour and half later, I woke up crying hysterically from a dream I'd had about my dad. In this dream I was supposed to meet him somewhere, but he never showed up, didn't answer his phone, and I just couldn't find him anywhere. When I woke up I was just devastated. A dear friend of mine said "God blessed you with a heart that loves hard. It's tough, but in the end it's a good thing. You are as loyal as they come." Truth. I have in fact always been this way in every type of relationship I've ever had. I will say that I was not prepared, nor could I have ever been, for how hard my dad's death would be for me. If I didn't have such a tumultuous past with PTSD, depression, anxiety, or grief, perhaps it wouldn't be THIS hard for me.
Whenever I've talked about my anxiety in this past year, I can't even tell you how many people just don't get it. If I hear "the past is the past", "you need to let it go", "you're better off now", "yeah, but you didn't die", or anything else like that one more time I just might go off on them, something I generally try to not do. People who haven't truly experienced anxiety, the kind that doesn't just go away when a project, an event, a trip, or whatever is over with, they simply can't understand. Nobody wants to live with anxiety. Of all of the incredible people I know who have lived with it as long as I have, none of us asked for it. We've all taken medications for it, read books on how to cope with it, talked to counselors/therapists/psychologists for it, and have tried to take pointers from other people who suffer from it. But you know what? It's not that easy. Sure, it can get better. Mine was in fact completely manageable for quite a while. What changed? A relationship that lasted for much longer than it should have. The sudden death of my dad. Spending more than two weeks in the hospital, nearly dying, spending time in isolation, having a three month recovery at home. ANXIETY. It sucks. Anxiety makes you question EVERYTHING. It has made me doubt myself more times than I can count, doubt others, worry about things that I literally have no control over, over-analyze things I can control, and replay all of things in my head on repeat. In August, I was sitting in a doctors office, wearing a hospital gown and I lost it. My pulse started racing, I started getting hives, and felt like I couldn't breathe. When I wear one, it brings back memories of those horrible 15 days I was stuck in a hospital bed, fighting for my life, and in the worst pain I've ever experienced. Was I in any sort of pain while I was sitting there? Of course not. But anxiety isn't logical.
This post is hard for me. Why? Because I've spent so much time in the past five years sharing my story, wanting to help others, and yet I've felt stuck for about a year now. Stuck in my ways. Stuck in my anxiety. Stuck in a cycle where my depression wins more often than not, thus making me just not care. As much as I know about health, wellness, and genes, it's still very frustrating. And it is hard letting people in on that. It's hard to let people see that I don't have it all together. Most days it seems easier to fake a smile than to let someone see my weaknesses, and my struggles. Why do we do that to ourselves? We all struggle. Every single one of us. I have friends that love me and want the best for me. Do they all understand what I deal with? No. Do some of them understand quite a bit of it? Yes. Internally though, my head likes to do this whole thing where I tell myself that everyone is tired of my crap...tired of hearing about my grief...tired of hearing about ongoing health issues. The reality is that they just want me to be happy and want to help however they can. The hard part for me is letting people in instead of shutting them out when I'm in a rut like this.
In the spring, I decided that I need to overhaul my life. Again. At the end of June I moved to Northern California for work. The biggest reason I decided to do this was because it would allow me to really truly focus on myself, and my health. Mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, California has been great for me. We will talk more about this in other posts, but part of my problem in St.Louis was that there was this constant reminder around of a life I once shared with someone in my past, of the pain of losing my dad so suddenly, and the horrible physical pains I incurred from nearly dying last May (and the horrible recovery). I've learned that I'm not someone who is capable of simply just letting go and forgetting things that happened. It's not my nature, and I have NO idea how it took me more than 31 years to realize that. I need to go somewhere and truly have a clean slate. I have that here. I have a job that I love like no other. I live in one of the most beautiful areas that I have ever seen. I am blessed. I have struggles just like everyone else, but I am blessed.