I feel bad with the way I left things. I loved contributing to this blog and was so excited to come home from my trip and share with everyone my experiences but that didn’t happen. What did happen was coming home from my trip ill, immediately changing jobs, dealing with having to buy a new car, a home insurance nightmare that saw us under construction for months and living in a hotel for weeks. During this time I was too busy to take stock and realize something was just not right with me. Let me start from the beginning…
I’ve talked before about my struggles with General Anxiety Disorder, which I can trace back to my first panic attack at the age of 16. I struggled for years with panic attacks, insomnia, headaches, intrusive thoughts and an overall constant high level of stress. I fought taking medication for years because I thought it meant admitting I was “crazy” and not just overworked. I worked hard through a lot of self-directed learning and self-care mixed with medications to come to what I thought was a reasonable balance for myself. Managing anxiety became part and parcel to daily life and informed my identity probably more then it should.
I felt like I had a good handle on my anxiety. I could tell when it was increasing and needed support. I could anticipate signs and read the underlying cues. What I was unholy prepared for was the emergence of depression. It was milder then portrayed in a lot of campaigns. I didn’t have thoughts of suicide, I was still going through the routine of daily life but there was something nagging at my brain. I was eating and never feeling full. I would sleep at any given chance for as long as I possible could. I wasn’t interested in doing *anything* that once found joy in. No art, no books, no movies, no anything. Everything was frustrating, just moving about my day felt like a chore that never ended. Life felt more dull, like I was under water or trudging through mud. It didn’t make any sense and the only way I could explain it was that “something felt off” and not being able to figure it out made me angry and irritable when I wasn’t sleeping or disinterested.
(I would love to insert a photo here but to be honest
I have almost no photos from this time in my life)
This continued for at least a year before the anger turned to crying in frustration and a trip to my doctor to find a solution. Mild Depression she said. Daily medication to help balance the chemicals in my brain. While I had come to terms with needing meds for anxiety, I only took them when needed not all the time. Daily meds felt like I lost. Felt like I wasn’t good enough to figure this out on my own.
What happened surprisingly was not what I expected. Within weeks it was like my eyes were opened. The fog had lifted, the sun was shining and I was excited by possibilities again.
I was worried that while it balanced out the lows that it would take away the highs. That’s the fear right? Turning into an emotionless robot? Well for me that wasn’t the case. What it took away was that feeling like “something was off” what I felt was more present in my body and mind. I felt like ME again for the first time in well over a year. It’s been over a year now I’ve been on my medication and while I’ll still working on getting the resulting weight off I’m happy, and sad, and laughing, and hangry (lol) and all the things that I should be.
To really show you what I mean I wanted to map it out. Where I was and where I am
I feel like I might be ready to get this blog back up and running again, but to focus only on my travel seems a disservice to myself. While I’ll still talk about travel, which is an important part of my life and share my journeys, my life journey is about a lot more then the places I travel and I’m ready to talk.