Well, it's been a while since I've last blogged and I've been laying here WIDE awake. I can't fall asleep. I am not interested in a single one of the things I have recorded on the DVR. I don't feel like reading. I know I should be sleeping but I just can't. So here I am.
I'm still encouraged by the people I know and people I don't know who have reached out to me regarding my anxiety and depression. Think about it. There are millions of blogs out there and somehow, some way, these people from all over the country have found MINE. And read it. That's pretty spectacular. I've enjoyed connecting with new people and encouraging those who have the same struggles that I am facing. I've learned a lot since being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and depression. Some of it I have learned from hours of research online, some from doctors and some from other people. As an anxious person, the most tempting thing to do is to go online and read all the horror stories from people. Let me tell you..DO NOT DO THIS. Seriously. It's bad. After all, you are an individual and your life and your story are unique to you, right? The thing about anxiety and depression is that it isn't like going to the doctor and them telling you that you have the flu. Ok, take some Advil, drink a lot of fluids and get rest..in a week, you'll be back to new. You carry on your life and probably don't think twice about having the flu. Nope. It isn't like that at all. It's something that is a struggle every since day and quite frankly it can suck all the motivation out of you.
After being home since March and seeing a therapist once a week...and being on COUNTLESS medications which have caused me to have crazy side effects..I finally decided to put my foot down and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Something wasn't clicking for me. I was sick of my therapist. Each week it was the same thing..."Give it time...you'll eventually feel like yourself again...how was your week? Well, try to go out at least once a week and let me know how it goes..again, just give it time." Ummmmm???? Sorry, that did not help me. No offense to the therapist, I'm sure she's great for some people but it just wasn't connecting with me. I still felt awful and more hopeless than ever before. I had already decided that this was my life. One big failure. One big disappointment to my family. All my dreams..shattered. Then I started to think about all the people out there who must have gotten help SOMEHOW. I mean, it seems like everyone I know is on antidepressants and they seem to function and carry on a normal life without much disruption. Now, there are all different levels of anxiety and depression and I'm labeled on the very extreme end of both. Thankfully, I have a sweet friend in Nashville that experiences the same horrible thoughts and issues I do and she has been there to support me. We have bounced ideas off one another and she really encouraged me to dig deeper into research. In other words, I had to stop reading what other anxious people were saying because what works for them may not work for me.
Long story short, I prayed and prayed about it. I was willing to put in the work if God would just lead me in the direction that I needed to go to get help. I ended up talking to an anxiety disorder specialist at Harvard who told me that I was on the wrong treatment plan and needed to be doing cognitive behavioral therapy. The "talk" therapy I was doing was not going to help me overcome my fears. From there, I found a psychologist who specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy...AND he took my insurance. I was happy about this but then I thought about how long it takes to get in and see someone as a new patient. I called on Friday and they called me on Monday to tell me that they had a last minute cancellation and asked if I could come in that afternoon. YES. I was there.
It took about ten minutes for this psychologist to read me like the back of his hand. I had a feeling that he was going to challenge me and push me. Tough love. I think that's what I need. He gave me some homework assignments. I decided I was going to really push myself to do things that made me uncomfortable. So I did.
I saw him again a few days ago and am convinced at this point that I made the right choice by changing therapists and taking control of my problems.
I believe that this was all a direct answer to my prayers. If you only knew how many times I have prayed for God to take this pain away from me...but I was missing something very important. It is up to me to do the work. Nobody can fix me but myself. Yes, I can get help from professionals but if I don't do my part, there is no way I can ever fully recover. So, here I am two weeks into this new therapy and I've done more in the past two weeks than I have done in the past two months. I would say that is an improvement and I'm feeling a lot more hopeful.
So, what I'm saying to all you people who read my blog that are anxious or depressed is DON'T GIVE UP. Maybe you'll have to change doctors and/or therapist a few times, try different medications, push yourself, make yourself uncomfortable, make life changes that scare you...but DON'T GIVE UP. We all have different lives with different paths. Find what works for you and remember that there is a God who loves you and wants you to live the life that He has planned for you!