What Do A&D Look Like For You?
A post on Anxiety & Depression
What a lot of individuals do now know is that Anxiety and Depression go hand in hand, a fact that a lot of people do not understand. Depression will have you too exhausted from nothing, really, and make you sleep all day. Anxiety will have your mind racing and make you stay up all night. For me personally, it starts with waking up. I hear my alarm go off and something inside me cries. I do not want to move, but I know that I have to. I have to get my day started, let my dog out, go to work, try not to appear lifeless so people do not ask me what is wrong, put on my best smile and deal with people I really do not want to be around, then I go home and do it all over again the next day.
My day starts. It continues with different variations throughout the day, and makes me so tired that sometimes when I come home, I just take off my uniform and go to bed for a few hours. It is not a physical exhaustion, but a mental and emotional tiredness that could only be cured with rest. Each day brings exhausting new challenges. I was told to speak to someone about what I was going through, maybe it would help or they could at least give me some medication to take the edge off. After being evaluated, I was diagnosed with severe anxiety, clinical depression, and PTSD.
My doctor explained what each condition was and how it was most likely affecting me in day-to-day life. Finally, everything was starting to make sense! I did, of course, receive various medications that needed to be taken at specific times each day. For a while, it did help. I did not get anxious, I did not have depressive thoughts often, and I was able to work with more fervor and focus. I was also able to gain what I call a "middle-stage" frame of mind. In my experience, there are two major parts of the stage when I am angry: I am either going to hit the person, or I am going to let the person walk away, which will let the person think what he/she did was okay. The middle stage was where I could take a few minutes, breathe and think before I reacted. That lasted for a few months, before once again I ran into the same routine everyday of hating my waking moments and looking forward to moments when I was asleep or alone.
I started drinking, heavily, everyday. As soon as I got home, I would take off my uniform and pour a drink. Whenever we went out to sea, I would go out with friends and come back to the ship extremely intoxicated. Sometimes I would need assistance walking up to the ship because I was seeing double and could not tell where I was going. I even started taking my drinks to work, hiding them in coffee and a few fruit juices, sometimes soda. My friends were the first to notice, as they could smell it sometimes. They let me do my thing for a few months, but after I became unpleasantly drunk during an outing one night, they had had enough. They told one of our supervisors and I was sent to a rehabilitional facility for 28 days. There, I was involved in exposure therapy with regards to alcoholism. One medication was anti-anxiety, another was an anti-depressant, and the last medication was meant to be a booster for one of the other medications.
They worked, I suppose, but I felt like a zombie the entire time I took them. I just wanted to be normal, or at least what I felt like normal might be for me. Eventually, I got tired of feeling like a robot and stopped taking them. Honestly, I feel so much better physically and emotionally. I do plan on seeking hollistic medicinal help, for now I am going to continue meditating, cooking and painting to relax and ease my mind. I have recently taken up gardening. There is something about putting your hands in the dirt, caring for a species that is not your own, and watching it blossom. I equate it to caring for a child, though it is definitely not nearly on the same level.
When I get my mental health in order, I will be unstoppable, I firmly believe that. For sll of you out there going through similar if not the same situations, I am not going to say that "it gets better." I will say, you are in control of your own life, you can make things happen, it is up to you. There is help out there, please do not think that you are alone. If you feel the need to speak to someone, or even if you don't, please consider it.