All the talk from the #BellLetsTalk hashtag on Twitter today has me thinking back to a rough time in my life.
In 2007, I wrote about the issues I had with anxiety three years earlier. Go and read that if you want to know what happened. I still stand by the statement that I wouldn’t wish that level of anxiety on anyone. I barely ate for months and had constant stomach and digestive issues. My brain was cycling so hard between “Shake it off” and “WTF is really wrong with me?” that I was always exhausted.
I’ll never forget looking Sean in the eye and saying to him “Maybe I’d be better off if I jumped in front of the train”. We had been married for less than six months.
I knew deep in my heart that I didn’t really want to jump, but my brain was just so tired of all the cycling.
I was on a platform at Bloor station on the way to the doctor’s office when I told him that so he physically guided me up to the escalators and made sure I was on a southbound train. I wasn’t sure if my doctor would tell me to tough it out with the new prescription she had given me less than a week before. When I saw her, she must have seen something in my eyes that told her I was Not Okay. I am grateful to my doctor for seeing that in me and guiding me to treatments that worked for me. I am grateful to Sean who had to live with me during that time, feeling helpless that he couldn’t help beyond hugs and soothing words. I am grateful to my parents who fielded my early morning phone calls talking through what was wrong with me. I am grateful for friends, family and colleagues who told me they had been through similar issues and made it out okay.
Talking about it makes it less scary. You are not the only one.
I’ve had occasional issues with anxiety in the nine years since my breakdown. They have never been as severe, and I have better coping skills to deal with them. Knowing that it is anxiety and it will pass makes a huge difference.
I am a worrier and overthinker by nature. Worrying is not the same as anxiety but it can lead that way. If you feel yourself losing control, please reach out for help. People want to help and more people have been there than you think.
The song I used in my 2007 post, The Right Stuff by Monster Magnet still inspires me. I don’t want nerves of steel all the time but nerves of tinfoil are far worse.