It has been a difficult few months. What started of as a change in anxiety medication became nothing short of a nightmare. It amazes me how much psychiatric medication can affect how one feels and thinks. The feels part, I understand. It is hormones etc. but the thinks part? I am absolutely astounded. There have been times when I have sobbed into the middle of the night (or day) and thought of things like what exactly is making me cry to what exactly is the point of this life. It is baffling. And it is difficult. It is difficult to recognize that it isn’t you, it is the medication talking. You as a person could not, could never think like this. To know that what you think should never lead to action.
A couple of months I took a decision to not work while I pursue studying part time. I did that to ensure that I don’t lead myself into a situation where I would have to choose between three priorities. I just had to save myself from situations where everything suddenly became a challenge. Every day became a challenge. I did this while knowing that it may not be the wisest thing to do. Career gaps are ridiculously difficult to explain. Especially in the world we live in. There are no mental health days. There are no sick days for those who deal with extreme level of anxiety and depression. You can’t walk into a boss’ cabin and state anxiety as the reason why you are taking time off. You just have to live with it.
This decision of protecting myself has really come at a cost. It has lead to loss independence, something that matters to me greatly. It makes me feel weak. As outrageous and stupid that sounds, it really does make me feel like I am on the back foot. It doesn’t matter if what I think is right or wrong. It doesn’t matter if it is healthy or not. It is (probably) the disease or the medication talking but it is how I feel. Even the best of people and situations do not counter this well.
When I started off on this endless journey of accepting and dealing with having psychological diseases, I decided not to hide. I am extremely open with those who I interact with about the fact that I take medication to manage my anxiety and that it is a constant struggle. Even the ones closest to me can’t stop themselves from occasionally saying push yourself harder or snap out of it and do what you have to. As much as most people read, acquaint themselves and try to understand, it really isn't easy for those who haven’t been in the same shoes to understand what it means to deal with this. Word don’t seem enough to explain this.
I think of self preservation, emotional first aid and countless other things that I have read while I have learnt to live depression and anxiety. These are concepts very easy to understand. These are things everyone should be aware of but irrespective of how simple they sound, no matter how honest you are and no matter how much you know people care, it is foolish to think and expect that they really know your struggle.
It has taken a monumental effort to get through these few weeks without breaking down at every possible moment. To remain composed and visibly okay while dealing with everyday life. It is like fighting an untamed force inside me every time I do something “normal”, seemingly easy every day things.
No matter how much one recognises and understands, nothing can prepare you for volatile journey like this.