This title is misleading. I certainly don’t assume to tell you what to do. I can tell you what I did to get through one of the lowest times in my life though. And why.
I didn’t want to go to a doctor when I was feeling my worst. This was for two main reasons:
1.) I wasn’t emotionally up to it
I get that this will have you shaking your head. There are things that you think I MUST do, no doubt. But I know myself. The stress of making a doctor’s appointment for myself would have pushed me over the edge at that time (I am right now in this moment ok with the thought, though it is far less necessary now than it was 8 months ago).
2.) I knew what a doctor would say
Actually, I knew what a doctor should say. And if they didn’t say those things I’d probably get a very large amount of irritated.
Are you exercising? (no)
Are you getting into the sun? (no – it’s too bright)
Try these antidepressants (nope, not ready for that)
Here’s some anxiety medications (still not ready – plus anxiety meds make anxiety worse before better and worse right now would be hell)
Chronic fatigue? (maybe but you can’t test for that so what now?)
ADD? (yes maybe but I’m in denial a little bit still so please I’m not ready – though I’m more open to medicating ADD than I am anxiety/depression)
So now what?
So now I have a bunch of things that I would like to kind of deal with on my own. Slowly, and in a manner that will not overwhelm me.
Because here’s the thing: I know that I can feel ok, I’m just not feeling it now. So before I go to a doctor, let me exhaust my options. So that I can say “I’ve tried all of these things” before just rocking up and going howsit I’m really tired, doc.
And what exactly was I dealing with? There were so many things. I marvel that my husband didn’t bail. And that my children didn’t ask me outright what the hell was wrong with me. Though I try to be open with them about my own state of mind because I do feel that they should know that it’s ok to be open about theirs. And yeah it’s hard. But we should talk about these things.
A very heightened sensory processing issue. I told you I was getting frights a lot, and struggling with panic attacks. But I was also struggling with dealing with things like people having a conversation near me (it was too much to process and overcrowded my ability to think) so I couldn’t bear being in a room full of people. I couldn’t handle chaos like if the cats were chasing each other near me. I couldn’t handle the brightness of the sun – at all! Mornings? Save me. And my sense of smell and taste were completely out of control. These are two very heightened senses as it is, but I could smell if the cat had urinated in a room that I wasn’t anywhere near and food was becoming a bit of a flavour nightmare.
Seriously no energy. People love to tell you to exercise when you’re “feeling down”. Guys: I wasn’t “feeling down”. I was fucking broken. Because the thing is I know that exercise is a mood elevator. Yoga works for me that way. Sometimes. But here’s the thing: If you can only spend a very small finite amount of energy per day before you are so exhausted that you absolutely cease to function, then you have to choose how you spend that energy wisely. I need to spend that energy on my kids. And even I thought maybe I was being silly and I should “try exercise”. I let myself do 15 minutes on my mom’s Powerplate. A VERY low impact 15 minutes. By the time I was done I walked into my mom’s office and burst into tears. It was 9am and I already couldn’t face the rest of the day.
I couldn’t wake up. There is a definitely a difference between not wanting to wake up and not being able to wake up. The only thing I can compare it to here is that when I take anti-histamines (which I sometimes need to do because the air around here makes my mouth/throat swell up) I kind of can’t wake up in the morning. I’m in like a bit of a fugue state. At the lowest point I was struggling like that without the help of anti-histamines.
Everything hurt. From my bones to my joints to my muscles. All of it hurt. All the time. This dull ache that felt like the beginning of flu but never turned into anything other than a throbbing pain for me to dwell on. My wrists hated typing. My ankles hated standing. My knees hating existing. And half the time I even thought I was imagining it. Like I was somehow putting it there with my head.
Add to all of that a lot of crying and self shaming because for heaven’s sake, self, snap out of it. I was properly falling apart. And like I said before… Something had to give…