I am so tired of being tired of being tired.
I feel like if the sentence above makes sense to you then you get the kind of tiredness, fatigue and exhaustion I’m referring to. It’s the kind that comes from the brain, not the body. I feel like even standing up is taxing because it’s “safe”. Safe for me is sitting down somewhere I am comfortable and covered in a blanket. I feel secure, safe and out of harm’s way.
Today was full of meetings for me, which I usually hate having to participate as my usual work is very solitary, but it was a welcomed distraction from the ups and downs I go through during the day. My husband mentioned being concerned about me tapering down on one of my medications, the one that makes me super tired. He got emotional and it opened up another aspect of anxiety that I avoid like the plague: guilt.
Guilt plays a huge role in my mental well-being. I often feel guilty for not being what I once was. I feel guilty for not being able to have my parents not worry for me constantly. I feel guilty because my husband could be married to someone who wanted to travel, especially fly, and go to the grocery store with him. Basically the feeling of guilt of being alive. Although I have never been a person with plans to end my life, the thought of no longer existing or never having existed often crosses my mind. How much easier would life be for my parents? Husband? Friends?
I ended up crying. And not the kind of crying I partake in on an almost daily basis but the kind of crying where you are wailing and can’t breathe and gag and are hysterical. I was angry at him. Because I was sitting, after work, watching Easy A and had just ordered some dumplings. I was looking forward to watching a mindless movie and eating my dumplings and the fact that he expressed his feelings (which he should be able to do whenever and however he pleases) sent me in to a spiral where I am so upset because I have to then allow those feelings, the feelings I avoid like the plague, slowly arise. I can’t think about feeling bad for the people around me because I would never get better. I would stop being honest, I would pretend and I would stop taking my meds and care of myself at the level I do now. This would obviously eventually result in my absolute demise and I have issues every single day at the moment.
I explained guilt to my husband for the first time in our relationship. How it’s like the last thing I need to explore when I recover from mental illness or become more stable. And with that there is even more guilt. Why is it the last priority? It’s not the smallest problem but the fact is mental illness is a selfish business. If I wasn’t selfish, I would be hospitalized. If I didn’t need my husband to rub my back at 3am or hold me when I’m having a panic attack then I would be alone and not cope as I do now.
The basic facts are that if you are mentally ill, part of protecting yourself and those around you is being a selfish person. Prioritizing yourself and your own needs. Do I feel for everyone around me? Absolutely. But I honestly, as bad as it may sound, feel worse for myself. Because as much as it must be horrible for them to worry for me regularly, I can guarantee it’s much more horrible to live with these mental illnesses. Much worse to live in my head, as me, 24 hours a day with no escape. Once the people around me are done worrying about me, or they go to bed, or they do something fun, they are done. It NEVER ends for me. It’s every second of every day. There is no such thing as doing something fun. Everything is worry, concern, ups and downs, anger, sadness, being terrified of nothing, being terrified of impossible scenarios.
My final point is that as much as our loved ones worry about us, part of the way I feel anxiety is the constantly worrying about my loved ones. I worry about something bad happening to them or being a burden on their mental health.
In the end, we’re all just doing our best and I know my best is not good enough for me. I see a psychiatrist for the first time in a couple of years on the 4th of February and I am praying to god they give me a proper assessment and really take my issues seriously. One blessing of being on this journey for so long is that I don’t take shit from any medical professional. If a doctor dismisses my mental health issues then I will leave and not see them again. I have a GP, OBGYN, Dermatologist and therapist that all are modern, open minded doctors that take all my medications and mental illnesses into consideration and I simply will not settle for less with any other doctor. Even if it takes me months to find the right one.
Thanks for reading, whoever is out there.