The thing that I’ve noticed about mental illness, specifically my mental illness (everybody experiences things differently!) is how devious it is. Lately, I haven’t been having panic attacks, but my anxiety will slowly ramp up to near attack level and just hang out there. It hangs out long enough for me to worry that this is my new base line, or my new “normal”. I get worried, and then the depression kicks in and I lose motivation to keep trying. Then, after fighting my anxiety and my depression (and usually after a nap on a day that I feel overwhelmed), it lifts.
There is almost always, though, that moment, worrying about if this is my new “normal”, that a part of me panics and worries about handling life with this new level anxiety or depression. This is the moment that defines how fast I recover. If I give in and believe that I will never handle anything ever again (hello, THOUGHT DISTORTION!), then it is going to be a few more days, at least. If I thought challenge and acknowledge that this moment sucks but most likely isn’t going to last forever, then I get back to my regular “normal” quicker.
Let’s be straight, though. I am constantly experiencing varying levels of anxiety and depression. It is part of the “chronic” part of my illness.
Oh, and life forced me to take a break today. I fell off my new apartment building’s back stoop in an effort to push through my anxiety. I sprained my ankle. I ended up at the hospital making sure my ankle wasn’t rebroken. Thankfully, it wasn’t, but the doc told me to rest up and stay off of it as much as possible for a day or two. I ended up coming home and curling up in bed with kitties for about an hour and half. Now that I feel up to doing stuff, my ankle isn’t.
Tomorrow, though, tomorrow is a new day and another chance to move forward, which I plan on taking.