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“I cried over spilled milk” — A saying that according to Cambridge Dictionary means ‘to express regret about something that has already happened or cannot be changed.’
The other week I cried over spilled milk. Well, actually, it was a smoothie. A good, expensive one at that. But still… I cried over it.
But it wasn’t about the smoothie. (kind of)
My mental health came to a breaking point. A breaking point that I don’t think I’ve ever experienced to this capacity.
It started off with a panic attack. Then another.. and another. They continued throughout the evening and within a 12 hour time span I experiences 6 panic attacks, vomiting, uncontrollable outbursts of crying, overwhelming amount of paranoia and fear, constant accelerated heart rate, shaking, and flashbacks. I wasn’t able to eat, sleep, shower, or function.
When the symptoms finally calmed down a bit, the only thing I could stomach was a smoothie. I sipped a little more than a third of the smoothie then BOOM … my shakey hands knocked the container over and I watched it smear all over the floor. I scrambled to try to salvage any bit of it (two second rule), but as I was trying to scoop it up, I was getting no where. I grabbed some paper towels and began cleaning it up. And as I cleaned, the tears began to fall.
“I can’t believe I ruined the one thing I could stomach.. as if I haven’t had a bad enough night!” I grumbled, to myself, out loud.
I’ve experienced days where the symptoms of my anxiety and complex ptsd are more difficult to manage than others. It would be rough, but would always pass.
This didn’t pass. I went 10 days of 4-6 panic attacks a day, at least 4 crying outbursts, was petrified to leave my house, and my heart was racing.
I felt trapped in my body. Everything I wasn’t I was being. I’m a usual happy, bouncy, outgoing person. These days had me irritable, depressed, anxious, and petrified of everything and everyone. Even my own cat Pete didn’t bring me the comfort he usually does.
Even just typing this now is making me a little anxious.
I saw a psychiatrist and I am now trying medication management for my mental health disorders. I am also seeing a therapist for EMDR therapy.
I pushed myself too far. I took on too many responsibilities. I took on others’ emotions and problems. I neglected self-care for months. I suppressed trauma for months. I suppressed symptoms of my mental health disorder for months. And I stayed quiet about it all, kept it to myself, put a smile on, and kept pushing. I finally pushed myself over the edge.
I felt so angry, so humiliated, and as if I was a huge burden. I was also upset with myself. How can I work (and intern) at places and speak on the importance of self care and mental wellness… meanwhile I was neglecting my own and I was turning into someone I didn’t want to be.
I needed to practice what I preached. I needed to get back into taking care of myself. I needed to accept further help in order to be helped so that I can help others.
How am I doing now? Eh. I’m getting better. Less panic attacks and emotional outbursts. But I’m still anxious and feeling depressed. I’m taking it easier on myself and forcing myself to stop when things are becoming too much.
What has helped me? My parents, especially my mom. My friends and my boyfriend. Pete of course. And … Medication. I’m adjusting to it, but it’s working so far.
And as usual, I’m turning to my faith. I’m diving into devotionals on mental health. I’ve been meditating on verses on how He has overcome the world.
I’ll be checking back in soon.. But for now, just wanted to talk about what I’ve been facing.
Recovery for me is not just abstaining from heroin and other substances. It’s taking care of my mental health. It’s not beating myself up for completely breaking down. It’s continuing to move forward, maybe a bit slower for the next few months, and remembering that my God has overcome what I face today, tomorrow, and eternity.
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