October 17, 2017
I’ve been severely anxious all day, and now, all night. I’ve been here so many times and it’s always the same pattern — the anxiety during the day melts into a depressive state at night. I’m much too well acquainted with this cycle.
Over the past few months I’ve rarely taken depression naps, but I’ve taken two over just this past weekend. I know this is seemingly inconsequential relative to how I was before, but it’s extremely abnormal for me now. By Saturday, apart of me already knew what these signals meant, but I was in denial where my mind was going. It’s frightening to admit to myself that my symptoms are acting up because it feels like I’m slipping into a hole that I’m not sure how to get out of. Despite making so much progress in managing my illness over the past few months, there are still many days where symptoms suddenly bring my life to a halt and I feel completely at the mercy of my illness. It’s frustrating because it feels like I’m running a race and I’m almost at the finish line, but the ground keeps breaking apart at every other step,
I was irritable, had no concentration, and had trouble breathing all weekend – evident signs that I was headed in a bad direction. I felt so anxious today that I was completely incapable of moving. This is what my anxiety looks like at it’s very worst, second to having an actual panic attack. I found myself paralyzed in bed and stuck in an old, and terrible, coping mechanism. I was endlessly scrolling through my phone for looking mindless stimulation, trying to drown out how bad my symptoms were. Even the things I typically do to manage my symptoms were completely out of reach today.
Well past 3am tonight, just like a peaking fever, my anxiety finally broke. I was exhausted and my mind, which felt like it was going 100kmph before, flatlined. I felt the anxiety melt into a depressive state, the familiar hopeless depressive symptoms settling in. The completely 180 in perspective when this happens is absolutely frightening. Anxiety is like being hyperaware of everything, while depression is asking “Why the fuck do I bother”. Despite this, at the paralyzing symptoms were at least gone. I managed to get out of bed and open my mental health journal. This journal is one of the few things requiring so little effort and offered enough enjoyment for me to still attempt when my motivation is gone. I scribbled down some notes about the previous days, reflecting on how my mood was, and what my anxiety/depression was like. I had skipped my daily journaling for the past two days — another red sign that my mental health was on the decline was that . This was a good exercise on being mindful of the trends in my mental health, something not very easy to always remember since it is not a physically manifesting illness. So far, I’ve found this journal extremely helpful for a number of reasons beyond just tracking my mental health. I’m thinking of writing a post on it in the new month.
After journaling for a bit, I started organizing my desk, putting things back where they belong, and clearing my space. I find that this likewise helps clear my mind and is always a good place to start when I’m feeling very low. With that small accomplishment done, I could start cleaning the space around me (My room had been a mess for the past weekend, yet another blatant sign that something was wrong), and eventually managed to take a shower and start this blog post. This routine, though very menial is apart of the routine I have to help ‘reset’ my mood. This is something I will write about more later on, because I think it’s super important for everyone to know about and have to help manage their symptoms.
I’m not going to say I will feel absolutely better tomorrow, especially because it’s 4:14am now, but I will say that I’m at least glad that I was able to give myself a better start tomorrow and was able to reflect on it through writing.