Peek Inside an Anxiety Flare-Up & Moment of Self-Doubt

I’ve written myself into a bit of a pickle, I’m afraid. My overarching goals for this blog are candidness and encouragement. Good, great. Those are good goals.

But what happens when those goals are suddenly at odds? What happens when being truthful means I have to share things that are not exactly inspiring or fun to read?

Do I cross over to new territory, and share the hard stuff while the hard stuff is happening?

That’s sort of where I’m at today.

Share or no?

Freeing, but scary.
Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

I don’t discuss my depressive symptoms much, partly because they are less frequent, and partly because I haven’t had much specific treatment for them, which means I feel much less able to share tips and advice. And I also lack the vocabulary to express my symptoms clearly.

I did get a diagnosis of persistent mild depressive disorder at the same time as my social anxiety diagnosis two years back, but my mood has been really stable for a long time lately.

But sometimes, seemingly out of the blue, my mood will nosedive. I don’t just mean I feel a little “blah.” I mean I feel like a piano has fallen on top of me, but slowly. This is what I’ve been dealing with since Saturday night.

Resist urge to hermit

But… so cozy…
Photo by William LeMond from Pexels

I don’t really *want* to share this, because when I have phases like this, my inclination is to retreat, hibernate, and pretend everything is okay when I do communicate with others.

I hate to be a bother. I hate to be a drag. I hate to worry people.

But I don’t want to do pretend anymore.

I don’t want to just blog when things are easy, but let my blog go dead when my mood is low.

And I don’t want my “candid” blog to really only be candid when I’m happy. That really defeats the purpose of what I’m trying to do here.

How it feels

Get that bowl of encouragement away from me, lady.
Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

My mood is low. So low that my chest feels heavy, and also hollow, like it could cave inwards.

My brain is very, very foggy. I’m lethargic. I’m very irritable.

I did miss my dose of sertraline on Saturday, which is unusual for me, but I’m skeptical that I would feel any effects this quickly. (I took last night’s dose.)

Times like this

At times like this, my mind goes to things like, “What do I really bring to my family, other than the ability to robotically go through the motions of life?”

At times like this, I feel like my struggles with anxiety and depression aren’t just restricted to my inner world. They hurt my friends and family. I hurt my friends and family.

At times like this, I feel a little foolish for feeling so optimistic about my “journey.” I see how far I still have to go. How much emotional rubble I’ve left in my wake.

Basically, at times like this I get very melodramatic and doomy-gloomy.

But this time will be different

I just want to feel like this all the time. Is that so much to ask?
Photo by Porapak Apichodilok from Pexels

There is, actually, a faint silver lining.

This time, I know it will pass.

This time, I know I will feel better when the clouds lift.

This time, I know I get to see my psychiatrist in a couple of days.

This time, I’m not hiding.

The more you know

Life will not feel like this forever.

That certainty is greatly comforting to me. (I don’t *feel* comforted, because I don’t really feel anything right now, but in my mind I *know* this is comforting.)

Don’t hate me; I can’t bear it

I hope this doesn’t come across as wallowing in self-pity (I’m not wallowing, maybe just dipping my toe a bit), or fishing for sympathy, or crying for help.

And if you’ve interacted with me recently, please don’t think my mood is the result of anything you did or said or didn’t do or didn’t say. That’s just not how these episodes work.

I’m really okay.

I mean, okay, I’m not okay, but I know how to become okay again.

I just want to share the hard parts, too. Otherwise what’s the point of a mental health blog?

Be kind to yourself

I’ll take this opportunity to say that if you’re struggling today, I feel you. I really do. Let’s send each other good vibes and go easy on ourselves, k?

You dog. Me cat.
Photo by Snapwire from Pexels

Let’s try to think of how we would want our best friend to treat themselves if they were feeling low — and let’s try to be a little like that with ourselves. (I know, I know, I REALLY don’t want to either. That’s the mood talking, though, not you.)

22 thoughts on “Peek Inside an Anxiety Flare-Up & Moment of Self-Doubt

  1. I’m glad you resisted the urge to go into hermit crab mode. Recognizing that there is a problem is positive, and anticipating that it won’t last forever is huge. That will keep you from doing things that you might regret later. Just ride it out (says he, who doesn’t have to experience this personally). Life is a journey, not a destination. There will be ups, there will be downs, there will be laughter, there will be crying, and there will be everything in between. Would it ever be boring if every day was the same. Even in a very down mood you are reaching out and helping others, so congratulations on that. And remember that incident at the post office, and be proud. You may wonder what you are providing to your family–but they aren’t. They already know. And they love you for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “What happens when being truthful means I have to share things that are not exactly inspiring or fun to read?”

    That made me think of when I got brave and told my mother of the existence of my blog. I had debated doing that for a while, because my stories are based on true stories, and the mother character (who only appears occasionally) isn’t exactly portrayed in the most positive light. Also, very few people who I knew during the time period I write about know of the existence of my blog, because I don’t want the existence of readers who were around back then interfering with my ability to be real and honest. So it took a while for me to decide to tell Mom about it…

    … and, go figure, the first story she read was the one about masturbation.

    Seriously, though, I’m new to your blog, but I’d rather read something real and honest even if it isn’t fun and inspiring. You do you. Hang in there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for sharing part of your own story! (And of COURSE the post your mom read had to be about masturbation, right? šŸ¤¦ā€ā™€ļø)

      Thanks for the encouragement to be honest about all the things. I’m going to check out your blog tonight when things quiet down here šŸ™‚ any suggestions for a good starting point?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! Where to start… good question… to some extent, it is a continuing story, but each episode is mostly self-contained and I rarely end on cliffhangers, so you can pretty much start anywhere. There is a page called “About This Site, Start Here” that includes a link to the very first episode if you want to start at the beginning, and there is a dramatis personae page if you get confused about who everyone is, although both of those pages need to be updated. After the next episode, I will be at a good stopping point (the end of a school year), so I will be taking a break for a month or so; if you miss me, that might be a good time to go read through older episodes.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoyed reading your blog. the vulnerability in it, the truth and your bravery for allowing people to see the real you. Authenticity and vulnerability are strength. Keep blogging Its a creative outlet for me that helps with the difficult days. cheers. Im also from Ontario.

    Liked by 1 person

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