Beneath the Surface: Anxiety & Depression

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It’s time I admit that medication plays a major role in my ability to keep a regular blog. I’ve felt completely worn out for the last few weeks, ever since I decided to try to get off the anxiety medication. I wasn’t given as many refills for that prescription as I was for my thyroid pills, and with the price of summer electric bills and the thyroid bloodwork, I couldn’t afford to see the doctor early or make a second trip later. It seemed like the best bet would be to test myself without the pills.
I’d been taking Citalopram for anxiety. A year ago this month, we had to transfer to a different apartment, because the upstairs neighbor’s plumbing was pouring into our bedroom. Over the course of the move, I started to have some panic attacks. Turns out I’d been taking too high of a dose of thyroid medication, so they brought that down and put me on citalopram. I also cut most caffeine out of my diet at that time. It seriously felt like my heart was going to leap out of my chest and I didn’t want to be one of those urban legends where the girl drinks an energy drink every day for over a year and dies from a heart attack in her 30s.
While taking the anxiety meds, I noticed that I was able to grow my nails out. That’s how this blog was born, if you’re just now joining me. I felt better, and I felt better about myself. Why would I want to give that up? Oh yeah, there’s that whole doctor thing and how much insurance sucks in Texas. I had great insurance last year, until I needed it and found out my clinic quite literally laughs at anything the ACA offers. This year, I bumped my coverage down to whatever wouldn’t cost me anything, because I’d already be paying for all my medical expenses regardless.
I miss being active on my blog, but I’ve felt so completely overwhelmed lately. Overwhelmed by absolutely nothing. Little things. But so many little things that my clouded mind can’t retain them all, so I make lists so I remember to take care of everything that’s got to be done. My brain is on autopilot. I don’t want to complain and be so negative. I do want to be honest about a problem that I know I’m not alone in facing.
Anxiety and depression go hand in hand. The anxiety leads to depression, and depression to anxiety. Anxiety is exhausting and we’re left totally drained and depressed, and in our depression many things get neglected which causes more anxiety as the list piles high. If we ever do find ourselves fully rested, that only means we’ve got the energy to panic about our responsibilities.
I’m not and have never been suicidal. I have relieved my stress through self-harm in the past, but I’ve had that demon under control for 3 years now. Even without my meds, I understand that I need to be kind to myself, and that the people I care about would be very upset with me if they found out I’d done it. In the moment, I’m not sure which of those two things stays my hand, but it’s been strong enough this many years.
I need to get back to a better headspace. I need to get back on the anxiety meds and resolve all the old business that’s been neglected. I need to share this experience with others who may be struggling, because it’s going to be okay, and it’s not the end of the world if you need to fall apart sometimes. It’s not selfish to say “I’m not doing so great right now; I need some help.”
If you’re on this same battlefield, follow me, we’ll make it through. We’re much stronger together on higher ground.

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