I used to believe black and white were the only two options in life. Then life really sucked, and all I saw was grey. All the lines blended- black and white, right and wrong, depressed and numbness, life and death. I lost my way in a sea of grey. Slowly, I began to change and heal and grow. I began seeing color for the first time in my life.
I began looking at life with glitter and pastel unicorn colors, but lately those colors just seem to taunt me. Maybe, I was a little too ambitious, to believe so quickly in all things unicorn. I felt if I no longer saw the darkness of the black and greys, I could keep my head above water.
It has been two years, five months and fifteen days since I have cut myself. And it’s been a little over a year since I weaned off my antidepressants and antianxiety pills with the help of my psychiatrist. A psychiatrist I no longer have weekly sessions with. I still take Ambien to sleep and keep Ativan in my purse “just in case,” but I have come a long way. I believed in my heart, that overtime my depression and anxiety would magically disappear. Maybe, that’s why I want to so strongly believe in unicorns. To believe in the magic. Life isn’t magic, it isn’t unicorns. And even though my life is wonderful, I struggle.
This week my anxiety has been worse than it’s been in as long as I can remember. My heart is beating out of my chest. I feel like I have a band across my chest so I can’t breathe. I haven’t even had coffee in three days, because I am scared my heart will literally explode. My hands are shaking and stomach hurts so bad I could cry. This is how I lived every day for years before I reached my breaking point. I don’t know when my anxiety crept back in, but it is beginning to cripple me again.
I am terrified out of my mind for my brother who talks about joining the marines. Naked truth- my mental health couldn’t handle that. My house is still in the remodel state and I hate things not being in their standard location. RJ is still recovering from his shoulder surgery, but not where he should be in his recovery and may have to get another surgery. I’ve been having crazy stomach issues to a point that is effecting my everyday life. Work is slow right now, so that means no paychecks. I am a stepmom at twenty-five to three kids who wish I weren’t around. I feel like I am failing at being a wife. Each day my anxiety grows, some nights I can’t even sleep because I am afraid RJ is going to stop breathing, so I have to stay awake to make sure he breathes.
My anxiety is a million little things I could never fully explain, but something I have learned throughout this whole process is to appreciate the joy that also comes with life. My brother is my solid rock and my best friend. My house may be torn apart, but in the end, it will be a beautiful home I share with my husband. After all of the months of physical therapy and doctor visits, RJ’s shoulder will have full range of motion and pain free (Lord willing). I don’t know where the joy is with my tummy issues, but I’m sure it’s there somewhere. Work is slow right now, but it’s allowed me to help focus on our renovations. I have a dream job that I love when I do work, but in the meantime, I have a wonderful husband that helps take care of me. I never planned on having kids, and it’s an untraditional situation, but I pray one day, I will have a close relationship with all three of the children.
I internalized everything I was struggling with, until yesterday, when a best friend reached out to me. She told me she was struggling. We confided in each other and just after one conversation, I felt a little bit of that band get lifted off my chest. I decided to confide in my husband instead of continuing to keep my walls up with him. I was determined to just pour out my heart to him when he got home from work, but I didn’t. I text him today while he was at work, because that’s easier for me. I don’t care if it was silly or childish. I recounted all the ways I was feeling, but told him I didn’t know how to fully explain my struggles. We went back and forth and ultimately after another texting conversation, I felt like I could breathe a little more.
I think sometimes life gets overwhelming. I struggle with anxiety and I get so frustrated because my life is great. I guess I was hoping it was something I would grow out of, but I am becoming aware of the fact anxiety is something that will be a constant companion of mine. And that is okay. I am stronger now; I am reaching out for help. I am blessed to have my husband, family and friends, even if they don’t always understand.
Maybe life isn’t glitter and unicorns, but it’s not black and white. Sometimes it’s grey, sometimes it’s dark. Sometimes it’s so bright you have to put sunnies on. I was naïve to think anxiety and depression would just disappear, but I am hopeful over time my struggles will get easier. Until then, I am fine with an Ativan on my unicorn float.