And so I am back

"Fall Leaves" by Rob Schillinger

I’ve never actually thought that my story with anxiety was over during all these years, but I was keen on believing that I was not going to fall again as bad as I did back then, when I decided to open this blog.

Well, I was wrong. At least kind of.

I’ve been thinking a lot on whether to write this post or not.

When I opened this blog, I did it because I wanted to offer my story to anybody who was suffering from anxiety to let them know that the battle can be won. I said to myself “I’ll tell the story of how I got out of hell, so that whoever is in the middle of it can possibly find some hope and comfort, the way I did when I read about success stories”. 

Therefore I’ve been having mixed thoughts about getting back here and telling the story of my new “adventure” with anxiety. I really don’t want to discourage anybody. But at the same time, since the beginning of it, I’ve made a point of telling my story in the most straightforward way, with no omissions, no sugarcoating. 

Probably, even if I’m still fighting the idea, this is the way life works. We fall and we get up. And there’s the chance that we may fall again. Hopefully, we will get up again too. 

So, long story short: I’ve been going through anxiety bouts again since last february. After more than 5 years from that first time. The onset this time was probably due to some health-related issues my mum had earlier this year.

From that moment on, not only I did feel anxiety for her condition, but I’ve also started manifesting an endless list of physical symptoms that have been investigated by an endless list of medical tests. At each new symptom and consequent medical test, my anxiety has been increasing, leaving me completely unable to find some long-lasting comfort, even after my mum’s condition was stabilized.

That’s how I work: I never let go. 

At times, when negative emotions and suffering are prolonged and I can’t find a way to manage them, they sum up in my body, create physical symptoms and wind up affecting my mental health, shaking me first with anxiety bouts, then transforming into a constant status of alert that progressively steals away from me my joy, my serenity, my sleep, my everyday life.

And even if at my age I should be able to recognise the patterns of my behaviour and emotional reactions relatively soon, I got scre**d by anxiety this time again. 

And exactly like the first time, the progression of my anxiety (this vicious friend of mine) was the same: something scary happens, I get terrified and react by soldiering on as much as I can, my body starts suffering from all kind of physical symptoms that mimic any illness existing in the world, I lose sight of the original source of my anxiety (the emotionally dramatic event) and start running after a diagnosis for the disaster happening to my body. In the meanwhile my mind starts slowly (sometimes not so slowly, actually) collapsing under the stress of not being able to solve either the original traumatic experience or the physical issues that it has caused.

I unconsciously stratify anxiety day after day, till the moment in which my mind and my body can’t take it anymore.

Then it’s time for the fall: I stop functioning, stop working and curl up in a corner of my existence.

The fall happened almost 2 weeks ago in the form of a very bad insomnia, continuous muscular tension, loss of appetite and bad mood, summing up to months of anxiety, weight loss and pain everywhere in my body.

I’ve been on sick leave since 10 days, with 10 more to go.

I’m on day 7 of my medication.

I’m seeing my therapist every week.

I’m not happy to be on meds again, but I’m happy I’ve had the courage to start them.

I’m afraid they won’t work, but I desperately hope they will.

I’m not happy I am back in this situation, but I’m happy I’ve managed to act a little bit earlier then I did last time. I’m not feeling well, but I’m not as bad as I was back then.

Most of the things I have to do during the day cause me anxiety, but I’ve managed to do most of them so far. It’s costing me a lot (and I mean A LOT) of energies, but I hope those energies are rewarded with a faster recovery.

Where am I right now?

When I feel like this (hence like sh*t), I tend to get more and more scared by all the things I avoid, so at the moment, as silly as it may sound, being at my parents’ and on sick leave from work, I’m scared at the idea of both going back to my apartment and to my office.

Anyway my bad mood at the moment is begging me to write something positive too.

So, I’ll admit I had a very good day yesterday: I slept well for 6 loooong hours, I had good mood almost all day, no anxiety, no depression, I spent my afternoon after my psychotherapy session walking in the park enjoying the beauty of the trees welcoming the autumn, the sound of the river flowing along, the scent of wet grass. I thought bad days were definitely over and only good ones were ahead. I was wrong, today it was not so bad, but not as good either. 

I easily tend to forget that recovery is not a linear process.

But I seriously hope I’ll have to go through fewer curves this time.

 


If you’ve stumbled upon this page and reached the bottom of it, you’ve just made me happy, but if you really wish to make me thrilled and proud, please feel free to leave a comment here below. I’d love to read your feedback, suggestions, opinions of any kind (and I’d love to reply to them too). Come on, just scroll down a little bit… 🙂

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