So last night, I had nothing but nightmares from the instant I fell asleep. I woke up five or six times that I remember, each time unable to remember the dream but clearly able to remember the terror and dread.
I have been so unsettled and upset since I woke up, and I can’t even remember the clear details of the dreams so I can at least try to process them and get on with my life. I’ve had a ton of generalized anxiety all day, so I went to NAMI to do some research and see if there’s something I can do to help myself. It looks like it’s just my brain being a dick (exhaustion from travel, jet lag, and missing my regular medication time because of all the timezones I’ve been in recently will contribute to that) and it’ll get steadily better as the day goes on.
And yet, I feel like this right now:
- ?: KNOCK KNOCK.
- Me: Who’s there?
- ?: ANXIETY.
- Me: Anxiety who?
- Anxiety: BECAUSE FUCK YOU THAT’S WHO. LOL.
Gallows humor, y’all.
It’s especially frustrating to know that it’s just a thing I kind of need to wait out (everyone’s anxiety is different, but this is how my particular version of it works), but it’s also incredibly reassuring to know that I just have to wait it out while my brain gets back into normal balance … and now I have a (mostly) guilt-free excuse to watch The Avengers when I should be doing other things. The thing is, I wouldn’t know that it’s going to get better if I hadn’t spent lots of time talking with my doctor and other humans who suffer from depression and anxiety. I wouldn’t know how or why it happens to me without warning if I hadn’t gotten professional help, and I wouldn’t know how to handle it and make sure that I don’t let it completely take over my life.
So because I was visiting NAMI this morning, I wrote about it on my Tumblr. I’m reprinting what I wrote there because it’s important to me that as many people as possible see this: You are not alone in the fight against mental illness.
NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) is an organization that I am proud to support. NAMI helps people with mental illness get the treatment they need so they can get their lives back.
One of their major campaigns is to remind people YOU ARE NOT ALONE in the fight against mental illnesses like Depression. The link above goes to a webpage full of stories (likely trigger warnings, gang) from people who have battled Depression and are currently winning the fight.
Please know this: if you have Depression, you do not have to suffer. There is help available, including talking therapy and safe, effective medications to help balance the chemicals in your brain so you can feel normal again. To borrow a phrase from my friend Jenny Lawson: Since I got treatment for my particular flavour of mental illness, I may have Depression, but Depression doesn’t have me.
Here’s my blog on my personal battle with Depression, if you’d like to get a firsthand account of my experience with mental illness.
Please, if you’re suffering, know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE and you don’t have to suffer. You can get help. Please do.