Sometimes it Truly is a Bitter Pill to Swallow

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Having to swallow an antidepressant everyday is figuratively and literally bitter some days. I never quite understood why they couldn’t make pills taste like gummy bears. It would seem more uplifting somehow, especially to a mental health patient. Instead, it tastes bitter like most pills, reminding you once again that you are sick.

For the most part, I accept that I have to take medication, maybe even forever for my anxiety and depression. The doctor explained it this way to me. A diabetes patient wouldn’t stop taking their medication, why would you? I get that. It is the explanation they use on mental illness patients to make them feel better. Medication can save our lives or at least make it more tolerable.

Sometimes, I can’t help it though. The sight of my purple pill case makes me sigh. Do I really have to continue taking these? I mean, I had gotten so used to them that I had forgotten that they were even working. In fact, I had gotten the days of the week pill case so I wouldn’t forget to take them in the morning. With a diabetes patient, it is obvious that you can’t stop taking the medication because you can lose your life. However, with a mental health patient, the chance of death is ultimately a choice, or is it? I guess, the answer is not crystal-clear. So I choose to stay on medication because it seems less scary then the other option.

Don’t worry, most days I am fine. I choose to stay on medication, and live my life as I want to for the most part. However, there are always days when I wish I didn’t have to. Anyone else feel this way?

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I Love to Work, But Sometimes I Just Want to go on Vacation

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I’m the type of person that can only enjoy vacation for a certain length of time before I start itching to go back to work. When I am left with large amounts of time to “relax,” I get even more anxious sometimes. During vacation time, I don’t have a consistent wake up time or any kind of routine for that matter. For that reason, the uncertainty of how my days or weeks will pan out create even more anxiety in me. On the other hand, transitioning back to work after a vacation is just as bad sometimes because I have to transition into another routine. As you can probably guess, I have returned to work after a long vacation and I feel happy, but yet, kind of still wish my vacation hadn’t really ended.

I Love Work

As someone that suffers with anxiety, one thing I crave about work is routine. There is a set time to get to work and get off work. This gives my day a sense of direction and stability. As I have worked at my current workplace for quite a while, I find comfort in the familiarity with my coworkers’ personalities and work habits. Furthermore, I feel confident with most aspects of my job and my environment, so that also makes me less anxious. Overall, I think work makes me feel productive, and plus, I can help pay the bills, which just makes me feel happier overall.

I Just Want to go on Vacation

Returning to work after a vacation is always a struggle for me.  Even though work routines are familiar to me, the change in pace always stresses me out a bit. Imagine waking up without a alarm for weeks and then suddenly jolting awake with the alarm again. With anxiety, even though, you feel pretty competent in your job, you often always focus on the worst possible outcome.  I start thinking maybe I am not working hard enough. Maybe my boss doesn’t think I am doing my job well. Those insecurities return again when I go back to work. Furthermore, when you go back to work, you face more judgement as well from your coworkers. I know, to judge, is human, and I feel like I definitely care less what others think. However, does criticism still affect me? Of course. Lastly, I just feel more tired than usual and that is always a terrible thing when you also feel anxious.

Does anyone else have this conundrum? I love working, but yet sometimes I want to go back on vacation.

Blogging About Mental Illness: The Double-Ended Sword

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My main objective for blogging about my mental illness was to share my story. I remembered sitting in my room for days just hoping that there was someone I knew going through the same thing. Therefore, I hoped that those reading my blog would feel less alone in their own struggles. I love writing my blog and reading the blogs of others. You have inspired me and given me strength. However, I want to be completely honest. As much as I love this space, sometimes when I log on too much, I find that it triggers my anxiety. So instead of being able to tuck it in the back of my brain, my anxiety becomes front and centre again. Do you find that blogging can be a “double-ended sword?”

The Good

Blogging Makes My Thoughts Tangible

If anyone ever has the unfortunate chance of entering my brain, it is basically like a hurricane sometimes. I struggle with anxiety the most and it usually feels like my brain continues to spiral around the one thought of that day. For me, blogging allows me to organize one of the spirals in a concrete way. When I write, I am able to take the thoughts and sift them into sentences and paragraphs. Somehow, when I’m finished, I feel like a section of those spiralling thoughts has been contained and dealt with. My thoughts become lighter as a whole.  Anyone else ever get this feeling?

I Feel Less Alone

To some extend, anyone can step into someone’s shoes as a fellow human being. However, there is another layer of closeness associated with someone that has had a similar illness to you. I feel that through reading the stories of others with mental illness, I feel less alone in many ways. I connect with their ups and downs, and feel like we can support each other. Moreover, since I might have gone through the same experience, I hope that I can provide a little encouragement. This is often reciprocal as well. The community gives me hope that we can fight this illness together and help break down the stigma.

The Not So Good Sometimes

It Triggers My Anxiety

I tried going to a face-to-face support group once, and barely made it through 5 minutes before I had to leave. I think this is different for everyone. With my anxiety, I tend to focus on the worst possible outcome for everything. For example, when I heard about how long some of the people had dealt with depression in the support group, I started to think that would be my situation as well even though I only had it for a few months at that time.

Sometimes, blogging gives me a similar feeling of negativity, and I have no idea what will necessarily trigger it. So I don’t choose to log on all the time, especially if I am already not having a great day. That doesn’t mean I will stop blogging.  As anyone with anxiety knows, you can only get stronger by facing your fears. So I log on as much as I can, and if I don’t answer your comments or read your blogposts consistently, this is the main reason why.

Thank you for reading and I would love to know if anyone else has these feelings as well.