Monday, October 19, 2009

where i am.


I had complete emotional and mental breakdown on Friday. It was ugly. I was crying and screaming so much that I was hoarse for the rest of the night. It got so bad that I actually had to stop because I felt faint.

It felt good to let it out, but considering it was my mother and brother listening to my complaints, I knew I wasn't going to get the sympathetic response I wanted. Our family lacks that emotional bond - we communicate mostly through sarcastic remarks and jokes. That's part of what had been getting to me, seeing as any progress I made was ignored, but if I tripped up with my sleeping or my diet, judgment would be passed in a jeering comment. As much as I was glad to offer them a real explanation, I could still use a few nice words and a hug.

The problem with complaining to them is that they also make it perfectly clear that all my problems are my own and can only be fixed by me. While I'm completely aware of that fact, I would've liked at least a little sympathy that things suck right now that are a bit beyond my control. I have a habit of blaming everyone and everything for my problems instead of myself, and because of that, my parents have taken to blaming ONLY me for any of my problems. There's no middle ground, and it's frustrating, because I certainly didn't wish anxiety or IBS onto myself.

After explaining everything in a little more detail, it's becoming clearer that my anxiety is playing a bigger part in all of this than I would like to admit. For my entire life, I've experienced all my stress in my gut. Every holiday, family gathering, class trip or major event in school, or presentation in college, I would wake up feeling sick and a bit flustered. When I was healthy, I was able to calm myself by taking some deep breaths and mentally talking my nerves down. The problem now is that my anxiety is compounded with a stomach that isn't functioning right, so everything is made worse. And when I think about it, the worst parts of being sick are the instances where I'm stressed out - I can't go anywhere without knowing that there will be accessible bathrooms both at the location and on the trip there. It's gotten so bad that I even get nervous when driving the fifteen minutes to Target.

I've always known, even if just in the back of my mind, that my anxiety was playing a part here. But I kept convincing myself that if I got the illness under control first, then I would stop having a horrible time driving places and attending events because my stomach wouldn't be flipping out every ten minutes. It seems, though, that I really have to consider working on the anxiety alongside my health, because I think the anxiety has just gotten worse since I've been sick.

This whole thing has taken so much energy out of me, and honestly, I've probably been struggling with depression lately. I spend almost all of my time at home, only going out to see The Boy or to go to work. Any event that I do go to, I stress and worry about it. Just this weekend, I drove to my college campus to visit my cousin and go to a party. It's an hour drive, one I'm familiar with and that is on a main road with plenty of gas stations and stores, just in case I need to stop. The entire drive down was miserable and I had to stop once. When I finally got to campus, I spent fifteen minutes in the student center because I had to use the restroom again and I was getting nervous about actually going into my cousin's dorm. Then, even after the visit went well, I spent another ten minutes debating about even going to the party. Finally I gave in, but I was still feeling less than pleasant.

The most frustrating and depressing aspect of this entire situation is that I used to be fine. I used to go to parties, events, and family gatherings with no issue. I used to drive around for hours without stopping anywhere. Now I feel so limited with what I can do, especially when I'm with other people. But I'm hoping to use my frustration as motivation to do everything in my power to make this better. I'm fixing my sleep, going on an even stricter diet, and working on my anxiety. I want to be normal again, because this? Right now? Really, really sucks.