It's overshare time again. Well, overshare for my generation, anyway. We didn't talk about things like mental health and miscarriage. This week marks the 17th anniversary of my first miscarriage, but it's the former subject that I want to talk about today.
I've been plagued with anxiety and depression since I was in my late teens, beginning with a mild fear of social situations and leaving the house when I was about 19, and continuing throughout my life as depression, post-partum, and panic attacks. Grief, physical exhaustion, and stress all play parts in my mental health--or lack thereof, and when all of those things combine I begin to downright resist leaving my home, I hyperventilate, I sometimes have a pulse rate of 96.
This month I am experiencing something new on the mental health spectrum--and I should be concerned. I want to be concerned. But I simply cannot.
One afternoon about a week ago I experienced a major disconnection to my feelings. A separation--as in, I know when I experience something that makes me angry. But I don't feel it, not in my heartbeat, not in my breathing, not in a sinking feeling in my chest, not a thickening of my voice or a pooling of tears in my eyes. Just nothing.
My therapist calls it a form of disassociation. I call it kind of liberating.
I'm a worrier by nature. I spend most of my day worrying about a myriad number of things...but today, nothing.
I stress over things that have already happened, and as a component of anxiety I am stuck replaying them over & over. But today, nothing.
I have buyer's remorse, every. single. time. I leave the store--even the grocery store. This week I bought a car, fixed my oven, bought replacement pieces for the car's entertainment system and managed to make it to the register with two nightgowns for myself and a set of socks without putting them back, and felt, nothing.
I would be more worried, if I weren't giddy with it. I just read the most asinine federal budget I've ever read, and while I'm able to look at it and see its absurdity, I'm not stressing about it, because today, nothing.
My therapist assures me it's a defense mechanism, and it'll come back. But right now, I'm like this:
Why am I telling you this? Because maybe your anxiety has caused this in you, and you feel alone. Because maybe you think it's probably embarrassing (even if you can't feel it), it's weird, or that there's something sincerely wrong with you.
I'm telling you so that you're not alone. I'm here, and even if you can't feel the emotion of me holding your hand, you'll know that I'm here. We didn't talk about anxiety, and stress, depression and poor mental health when I was experiencing most of it. We didn't have internet support groups. I thought I was alone--not alone as in, no support--I have the best support system a person could have, with family and friends who care and empathize. But alone in the way that it made me think, "What's wrong with me? Why am I like this?"
You're not broken. You're a little bent, today, but a great therapist can help; mindfulness activities are useful; and writing it down can do a world of good.
You're not alone, not that it would bother you if you were. Not today.