Anxiety. Apparently.

My watch just yelled at me. To get my ass out of bed. And move.

It’s 8am.

On Saturday.

So fuck your judgement, watch.

But also I think it’s less about the hour and more about the fact that I went to bed at 9pm.

And possibly 11 hours of lying in bed is a tad…excessive…

So maybe its judgement is legitimate.

Whatever.

So…

Depression. And anxiety. Apparently.

That’s my diagnosis.

I went into therapy. Because for the first time in my life I can actually afford to. Thinking I just needed someone to talk to. Because stress and hormones. Easy stuff to address.

No.

Depression.

And anxiety. Apparently.

Anxiety.

Really.

Huh.

I am an obnoxiously optimistic person.

I always just know that, whatever is happening right now, things will be ok.

I don’t worry.

But recently. The feeling that I’m right on the edge. Of everything spinning completely out of control. And falling all the way apart. And there’s nothing I can do to stop it. Has been hitting out of nowhere.

It goes away. After a few hours.

But it keeps coming back.

That’s called anxiety. Apparently.

Cool.

The depression? That one was slightly less surprising.

I was calling it stress. And hormones.

But the therapist called it depression.

Honestly. I would be surprised if 80% of people working in American public education right now didn’t have depression. And anxiety. Apparently.

Like, the magnitude of stress and work and the impossibility of getting it all done but the absolute necessity of getting it all done and devastating situations that our kids are facing and the powerlessness to do anything to help them and the current state of the world and having nothing left to even start to address any of that while knowing that it absolutely needs to be addressed and…All of that has to have somehow altered our brain chemistry.

And I gotta say. While I think a two month break from all of it is exactly what educators need. I’m a little worried what will happen to them during that time. Once the distractions of non-stop work and worry are gone. What they’ll be left to face.

Some of us are working summer school. (Yeah, I know. I’ve been walking around for months talking about, “I ain’t doing a damn thing this summer that is not pleasing to me.” But sometimes I forget how fucking contrary the universe can be. And I said to Tina Fey, “I wish I was working summer school just so I could be here to support you.” And then 20 minutes later. I got called to the principal’s office… Dammit, universe. I wasn’t serious about that. I was just pretending to be a good friend.) Anyway, while I think every damn one of us needs that two month break. I also think maybe this scaled down version of work might be better.

Like, maybe we can slowly transition into something resembling normalcy.

Maybe it will help…

Stop it. That’s not delusion. That’s optimism. Because I still have that inside of me. Somewhere.

There are some educators at our school who’ve taken on the role of caregiver. To the rest of us. This year. They leave uplifting messages in our mailboxes. They bring us snacks. And bad jokes of the day.

Like, really just awful jokes.

That I love.

I have had bars of dark chocolate and bags of Doritos handed to me. Sometimes thrown at me. On a regular basis all year.

And on Monday morning. This.

And then Friday morning. This.

I’m not really into flowers. As gifts.

But these.

Caused me to go into the bathroom to cry. Because someone cared enough to do that. Twice. While also carrying their own massive amount of stress.

Yeah. I needed these.

But also. Apparently. I need medication.

No. Not apparently. I know. I absolutely need medication.

For depression. Sure. But also for anxiety. Apparently.

I’m still trying to come to terms with that one.

I mean. As we walked through all of the questions. I kind of knew it was coming. I know the DSM. I know the symptoms. Of depression. So I could feel that diagnosis coming with every yes response I gave. But the anxiety caught me off guard.

And I have to cut back on the caffeine. And alcohol.

Like, good therapists are very good at keeping judgement out of their tone.

But I could still feel it.

“How much caffeine do you drink a day?”

*sigh*

Like…8-10 cups? Of coffee? Every morning? But it’s all before I leave the house.

I rushed to add that last part. As though that coffee magically dissipates from my system after I walk through my magic apartment door portal into reality. So it doesn’t really count…?

“Try to cut back on that. And avoid other substances. These can all interact with your medication.”

Ok. You can take the beer and whiskey. But…I need the coffee…to survive…

Wait. That’s not…we wouldn’t call that addiction, right? Because I really don’t want a third diagnosis. I’m still trying to wrap my malfunctioning brain around depression. And anxiety. Apparently.

And then we talked about side effects. From the medications. (Plural. Because I need a medication for the depression. And a medication for the anxiety. Apparently.)

Headaches. Fine. I’ve had one of those for the last month anyway.

Nausea. Yep. Already got that, too.

Trouble sleeping. Check. It’s all or nothing for me right now. So, meh.

Increased appetite.

I’m not sure how much more…But ok. Whatever.

Weight. Gain.

Fuck you.

No.

I just bought new dresses. To squeeze my expanded ass into.

I refuse.

I will not size up. Again.

I already can’t get myself to the gym. Or out running. Without another human being begging me to.

I haven’t done shit in the last seven days.

I had just stopped having to take rest breaks while putting on pants. But seven days of inactivity and I’m back to walking around in the morning with my pants around my knees trying to gather the strength and energy to pull them the rest of the way up.

So all I’m saying is. If this Lexapro is gonna try to throw a bunch of weight at me. That bitch damn sure better give me my motivation and energy back while she’s at it.

*sigh*

But also. If she helps pull me out of this place I’m in right now. I won’t complain about having to carry another 20 pounds up a mountain. As long as she gives me the motivation to go to the mountain in the first place.

Nah. I’m gonna complain. Complaining is one of my coping skills.

And when the therapist gave me a list of other coping skills to try. Journaling was the obvious choice.

This is my journal.

That I share with all of y’all.

For reasons I’m working through in therapy.

Because depression. And anxiety. Apparently.

4 thoughts on “Anxiety. Apparently.

  1. I related to all of this. I’m sorry for you, but happy for me that I’ll see you at work this summer. I also believe COVID inspired the feelings of “hopelessness to control or fix anything”. It showed us all, we are one event from knowing how out of control we are of our lives in general. Just like you though, I know it will be ok. Okay just may not look like what we planned and for those of us that need that to function well, we aren’t okay lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel everything you said! I started my new position and practice as an NP at the beginning of this mess! I have not gotten any time off. Although I’m not in the direct care of the sickest patients I am seeing cancer patients who may have had it and now dealing with more complications. Plus, I have been navigating the education of my own two kids with their IEP’s and new anxiety and depression. So yeah I feel ya sister! I have been down the medication road before all of this. I have always been the type of person that refuses any kind of psychiatric Med. But. I did take it for a short period of time just to get me out of a slump. I refused to stay on it and found other coping skills. Then the pandemic hit. And as a brand new Nurse practitioner just trying to learn a new job, deal with my kids and all that changed so suddenly, I should have gone back on it. I didn’t. Instead I resorted to what I know. Bottle it up. Keep my true feeling from everyone else. I try to make it look like I’m doing ok. I’m great at faking it!
    Anyway, I hope you feel better snd don’t have to stay on medication for too long! Mental health is not addressed enough! Of course there are other things that could be contributing to depression and anxiety. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can cause some of those same symptoms. (Just saying I have learned a lot about iron and vit. D, Vit. B12 deficiencies causing very similar symptoms.) you might not even realize you are deficient. I certainly didn’t. I think you are amazing and I enjoy reading your truth and honesty!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Charity! I really think the therapy is what I need more than anything. I’ve got a lot of trauma I’ve just been carrying around for 30 years unaddressed. But I am absolutely willing to utilize the meds until I get through the worst of it.
      I hope your kids can enjoy the summer. I know this was hard on them, too. And hopefully if they can have a fun summer away from all of the school stuff, that can take a little of the load off of you. Because nothing is harder than parenting. I’m so so thankful I didn’t have to parent through this.

      Like

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