It would be amazing to take a day off. To not deal with everything going on in my head. To not be anxious and not be stressed and not be a hot mess all the time (and this is one of my better stretches).
But mental illness doesn’t work that way. You can’t just ‘take a day off’ from anxiety. It’s there, always, in your mind, in your thoughts, in your actions and your dreams.
Am I anxious?
You fucking bet I am.
Am I stressed?
Am I depressed?
Maybe a little bit.
But let’s do a little recap of the year:
- A new, rare, genetic diagnosis of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
- A breakup from a partner of four years
- Going back to work after a year of not working
- Being an editor in the mental health section when you are having mental health issues yourself — reading all their pain and suffering and being able to 100% relate.
- Medication Changes
- Having issues living at home
- Having driven taken away
- Have my dog get attacked and need stitches
- Panic Attacks… again
- Waiting on the results from my SSDI hearing from January.
- Insomnia.. again
That’s a basic list. Now let’s see what I’ve done this year:
- Gotten out of bed every day
- Sat on the porch
- Sat on the couch
- Freaking went outside
- Went to a big dinner (which I haven’t done in years)
- Survived two months of aforementioned job
- Doing a lot of work on a project for my mom, all on my own
- Getting dressed every day
- Brushing my hair every day
- Brushing my teeth every day
- Writing again
- Spending a shit ton of money on something I don’t know will work out
- Making new friends
- Getting up, each and every day, and doing my best.
Chronic and mental illness are always there. You can’t just ‘take a day off.’ You can’t just go for a walk and be cured.
My list might not seem that impressive, but considering where I’ve been the last two and a half years, it’s fucking amazing.
I am doing a kick ass job. I am fighting. I am not letting the fact that my person who I thought was ‘the one’ doesn’t want to be with me and I’m not his one ruin my life. I’m not letting the fact that I wake up most every day with different joints partially dislocated ruin my days. I’m not letting anything ruin my life. I keep going. I keep chugging along, slowly and steadily.
I’m sorry if my illnesses are an inconvenience to you.
Imagine what they must be for me, as I live through them.