Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Depression and Anxiety are Ugly Things

   


   I know that I have not been posting on my blog or even reading and commenting on friends blogs lately and I feel like I need to explain why.  It's not that I don't want to visit and comment but I just don't have the energy to do so.  Depression, anxiety, panic attacks and my OCD has been ramping up, I'm not sleeping well at all and am up most of the night and it is taking most of my energy to just hold it together at times.  I do have happy times between these down times and my family has been wonderful about being there for me and understanding that I am not choosing to feel this way...it is just happening and I wish it would stop.

   Last week it finally got to the point where I called my doctor's office in the middle of a panic attack and they were able to get me in within a few hours.  They are wonderful!  There was a new nurse there and she told me my blood pressure was a bit on the high side.  I told her that was because my anxiety was really high.  She told me that you could not tell by looking at me.  I told her that I had gotten good at hiding it on the outside but was shaking on the inside.  Later I realized that is what I had been trained to do from a very young age.  I have survived through the years by faking calm when I am falling apart, scared and feel like a caged animal that needs to escape danger.

   My compassionate doctor, who has been a huge blessing to me, and I talked about what was going on and came up with a new plan to help me.  My anti anxiety medications are being adjusted, I have something to help me sleep (that is not working so far), will be getting some counseling to help me deal with the grief that comes with the loss of who I used to be and who I am now and I have a disabled parking placard to help me since walking can be painful and very tiring a good majority of the time.  I think the thing that helped me the most though was my doctor looking me straight in the eyes and saying "This is not all in your head, what you are feeling is real and you are not alone. There are a lot of other people who have this (Fibromyalgia) out there and are going through the same things you are."  He validated the fact that this syndrome is real and is multifaceted with so many painful things going on physically, emotionally and is totally draining and exhausting.  The depression, anxiety, and panic attacks are just a few of the many symptoms that can come with this but honestly, they are some of the most challenging to deal with.  Well that and the "brain fog" that frustrates me to no end.  That makes it hard to focus and concentrate on anything and leads to more anxiety and depression and I also believe contributes to the OCD at times.

   Living with the uncertainty of IF and WHEN you will get to sleep (last night I was awake until 5 this morning when I finally was able to sleep and here it is closing in on 2 a.m. now and I am still wide awake even though I am exhausted), what your pain levels will be like, if you will be able to walk without holding onto the walls or if you are out shopping if your legs, arms, and back will hold out until you are done is scary.  It's not being able to get the words out or even find them in your cloudy mind.  It's fighting back tears and pretending that everything is ok when people ask how you are doing because you don't want to let them down or let them see your pain and struggle.  It's the confusion of having a manageable pain day one moment where you can do a load of laundry and the next being in horrible pain and having to sit or lay down trying to find some relief because regular OTC pain meds don't do a thing to help.  It's unpredictable and it hurts to have to cancel plans with friends and family because of it and know that I am letting them down. It is also knowing that at this point, there is no cure for this thing and that I may have to live the rest of my life like this.  And, it's the added financial burden for more meds, counseling costs, etc. and me not being able to work to help pay for all of it.  That is a lot to deal with.

   I'm sharing this because I need to get it out there.  I'm not asking for sympathy, just understanding.  I'm struggling at the moment and I hope that my sharing this will also help someone else who may also be struggling so that they too know that they are not alone.  So please understand that if I don't always respond to comments, blog, read and comment on friend's blogs, it is not because I don't want to...it's because I just don't have the energy, can't focus or am putting everything I have into trying to just survive at the moment.  I'm working on areas that I can to feel better and I hope to be back to being more upbeat and cheerful and at least regaining that part of my life  soon.  Thank you for understanding and God bless.

   



   

   

   

22 comments:

  1. I understand exactly what you are saying. The last two years I have felt my anxiety building. I finally had to say something this summer as I had lost my joy. Like you I was good at "fake it til you make it." My husband didn't even know how bad it was. I have a wonderful doctor who was extremely helpful. I am taking a low dose medication and feeling better. Not 100% better, but enough that I am feeling real joy. I'll be lifting you in prayer, my friend!

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    1. Thank you so much Wendi and I am so glad that you have found your joy again. :) I'm also glad you have a wonderful doctor...that makes a huge difference.

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  2. I figured you were feeling bad, since you have been so quiet. I am sorry.
    You are not disappointing people or letting them down - they know you are sick. Quit pretending - the only person you are hurting is you. When you are alone in the house sometime - JUST SCREAM and YELL! Get it out - it's OK to do that!

    You worry about everyone but you - and everyone else is worrying about you. I am so sorry you are going through this - hugs and prayers for healing sweet lady.

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    1. Cheryl, you are so sweet and your reply here brought me to tears, good tears. Thank you!

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  3. I am so sorry you have to go through this. I have a feeling that I too am suffering a bit more than I let on. I understand the calm face, the frustration. When everything is foggy and your brain doesn't work right. I hate it. But I love you:)

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    1. ((((((HUGS))))) Kim and I'm sure you are dealing with so much right now after all that you have been through. Love you too my friend and praying for you.

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  4. I also have a panic attacks -- anxiety disorder, have some agoraphobia ( I can go out but have to stay close to home). I also have OCD. I have RA so I can understand your pain struggle too. Today is extremely humid where I live and that makes my joints swell and are very painful with the RA. Hugs and prayers to you.

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    1. Meme, I am so sorry that you are in pain and also deal with an anxiety disorder and agoraphobia. Praying for you.

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  5. Sweet Friend,
    I am so sorry.
    And I understand.
    I am premenopausal, and anxiety is so hard.
    Hugs and prayers!

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    1. Hi Billie Jo. I so remember being premenopausal and all the ups and downs emotionally of that. It was miserable. Praying for you to get through it quickly.

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  6. I had somebody explain that depression and anxiety are two sides of the same coin. I thought that was an interesting image, and so true.
    From elsewhere, I love Steve Berry mysteries. Have you ever read Louse Penny, she's a Canadian mystery author? Also very good, imo.
    Take good care. SJ

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    1. That is a great explanation SJ and I also believe it is true. I have not heard of Louse Penny but will have to see if the library has any of her books. Thank you for the suggestion my friend. :) I'm feeling a bit more upbeat and positive today...thee oldest grandboys will be here in about an hour. :) Be blessed!

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  7. Enjoy those boys!! Lots of cuddle time and splashing in the hot tub I'm sure. Hugs,
    SJ

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  8. I do pray that you sleep well. Not sleeping well makes all health problems much worse, at least that is how it goes with me. Take your time and get well. Hugs !!

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  9. I'm sorry to hear that you are feeling down. I totally get it. It seems like so many of us in my extended family have chronic illness and/or severe pain that there's always one or the other of us who are having a bad week at almost any time. I'm so glad your family is there for you, as ours is for each other.

    I think that "mourning the loss of what you used to be" puts it well. I know you will work through it, and it seems like you are taking some great steps to make that happen for yourself. I also see you using the best "cheer-up" mechanism in my world--time spent with the kids:). It seems like there have been so many times in my life when I was feeling down that kids have cheered me up, just by being themselves. Also, I get distracted pretty easily because they take so much care, and that has helped me in the past when I was feeling downhearted.

    Hang in there, and know a better day is coming.

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  10. We aren't going anywhere. We will wait for you to have a good day so that we can chat. There will be good days. Remember that. Sending you lots of hugs and prayers. I hope the meds do what they are supposed to do and you are feeling better soon.

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  11. Debbie,
    Do what you need to do and we'll still be here when you are ready. I'll pray for you and hope that all goes well. Take care my friend.

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  13. I'm right there with you with being up all night, Debbie. When it is 4:45 a.m. and I am still up, I tell myself, if I am still up at 5:30 a.m., I will just get up and have a cup of coffee and take a nap in the afternoon. I've given up on trying to sleep at night! Take care of yourself and take all the time you need.

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  15. Hello Debbie! I encourage you to pray a lot. I have noticed that if I pray in the spirit, it makes me to feel peaceful.

    Rom. 14:17 ... righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit;
    Gal. 5:22 And the fruit of the Spirit is: Love, joy, peace ...
    Eph. 5:18 be filled in the Spirit,

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Thank you for taking time to comment on my blog posts. I really appreciate it and being able to get to know you through your comments. I hope you have a wonderful day!