“She’s strong, but she’s exhausted.”
This quote perfectly sums up this last week, and also why this week’s Writing Prompt Wednesday post will be short.
I have been plagued with all sorts of health problems over the past year or so, and am not much closer to any answers. I just start to feel better, and then something else hits. Most recently, it’s a stress fracture in the spine and some other likely-spine-related symptoms that haven’t been properly addressed yet. I will write a more detailed post at some point, but here’s the quick version.
I was sent to physical therapy. I went to one appointment and was told by the therapist that she’s referring me back to my doctor because, essentially, some of the effects from the exercises she was having me do were “concerning.” I know it sounds crazy, but I was looking forward to PT and the possibility of relief from my incessant back pain. Now I not only DON’T have that option for the time being, but there’s likely something else going on.
Add to that a small bout of anxiety that has had me rattled by a mind full of worries that won’t shut off and… I. am. exhausted. Tired of fighting – for my health, against my anxiety, for my sanity, for everything. Just… tired. If you’ve never experienced the racing mind of a bout of anxiety, you don’t know what that kind of exhaustion is like. Logic can slow it down sometimes, but inevitably, something hits the accelerator again and off it goes. It’s usually nonsense. It doesn’t start off that way, but it almost always reaches the point of absurdity.
Ouch my thumb hurts look there’s a small spot there I wonder what it is oh my god I had a cold sore last week maybe I touched it and now it’s on my hand what if it is and I touched my eye and I go blind or what if it’s in my brain and I have to go into a medically induced coma while they treat it and what if I die oh my god no I don’t want to die I have too many things left to do but what if that’s the cause of all the nerve pain I’m having maybe it’s in my spine or what if it’s a tumor and I am going to be paralyzed and then I can’t drive anymore that would suck I love to drive so much and let me look at my thumb again yep there’s definitely something there maybe I should take some medication what if I get it somewhere else what if I can’t walk anymore what if I can’t use my brain and my memory starts failing I couldn’t handle that I love learning so much and my intelligence is my best quality I need to be able to know things I don’t want to lose my ability to think that’s what makes me so special oh no I don’t want to be a burden on Tony if I am disabled that’s not fair to him would he still want to be with me if I was in a wheelchair or couldn’t remember things I don’t want to lose him he’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me I don’t deserve him who would want to be with someone who thinks like this It’s so not fair I just don’t understand why he wants me I bet he is just going to leave me and I will be alone so I need to get my shit together but I can’t stop feeling this way if I could I would I guess I just have to try harder I still don’t understand why he puts up with me I’m such a pain in the ass I wouldn’t put up with me I don’t know why he does everything is such a project with me why can’t I just be normal…
As hard as that was to read, it’s equally as hard to feel and think that way, I promise. You are in a constant state of fight or flight, and it’s so tiring. You also KNOW that your thoughts are ridiculous, but you just can’t make your brain understand that.
But here’s the thing. I always get through it. The cloud lifts and the thoughts slow and I become “normal” again. It’s not easy, but you just have to hold on and let it pass. Find ways to keep yourself occupied and throw yourself into something so that your brain doesn’t have a chance to keep running on. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but either way, you prevent yourself from being consumed.
I pray, I listen to music, I clean, I talk. I cry. I hold on to Tony and he talks me down and reassures me. Side note: If you are with someone who doesn’t reassure you and support you during these bouts – I tell you now, you are with the wrong person. They don’t need to baby you, but they need to be your soft place to fall so that you feel loved, protected, secure. Remember that.
This is not something that you ask for or did on purpose. It’s an issue that you have to fight, contend with, get through, overcome. And you are stronger each and every time you overcome it. Do not ever let anyone make you feel otherwise. Today’s post was a little ”all-over-the-place,” I know, but I wanted to be sure you understand that anxiety or depression or any other mental health issue does not make you weak – and NO ONE, including yourself, should ever make you feel that way.
It takes a strength and courage some people will never understand, but once you get through it, you shine.