As you may know since reading my recent posts, I’ve been struggling with the difficult combination of both anxiety and depression. Over the weekend, I essentially had a massive breakdown. This breakdown included the worst elements of my anxiety (full-blown panic attack, hyperventilation) and of my depression (hopelessness, thoughts of self-harm, helplessness). Basically, I just felt trapped.
Thankfully, I was surrounded by family who I trust very much. (And by the way, they all know what’s going on with me so fear not – I’m being taken care of). But I still had to deal with it on my own. It was still in my own head, not theirs. Aside from their comforting words, they could not take this pain away.
I’ve had panic attacks since I was a kid. When I was a kid, I would tell my parents how I felt. Although their advice and their love didn’t comfort me immediately, it always helped.
But this, this is different. As an adult, I fully realized I was in this alone. My parents can’t fix my problems anymore. My parents can’t make the pain go away anymore. My husband, my friends, my counsellor…none of them can do anything. And so, I felt trapped. At this sudden realization that I was on my own with my damaged brain, I felt scared and I wanted to escape.
I always want to escape. When things get messy between my husband and I, I want to mentally escape. When things get tough at school, I escape. I leave. Or I don’t go in the first place. When things got tough between me and my parents when I was a kid, I ran up to my room and slammed my door. I need to escape.
But I couldn’t escape this time, because in order to escape my breakdown, I would have to be dead.
And I’m terrified of dying. And I’m terrified that these thoughts even entered my mind in the first place.
There was no solution. There was no escape.
Right now, my husband and I have a stressful living situation. I won’t get into the details, but it puts a lot of pressure on me and I feel like I, for the past 10 months, have had no safe place. I feel like I have not been able to truly relax in almost a year.
What are our other living options? Well, they’re limited. We could move in with my parents, they graciously told us that if we ever need to, we could live with them. But their basement is not set up as an apartment. We would have to share a kitchen, a laundry room, and a bathroom with a shower. It doesn’t seem ideal either.
So, I feel trapped there too. Everywhere in my life, I feel trapped. I feel trapped at school and trapped at home and trapped in a body that doesn’t work properly. Right now, I am doing better. Better than I was on Sunday, anyway. But I’m still not great. There is no easy fix. Sometimes, writing about it makes me feel better, but I mostly do this so people struggling with mental illness know they aren’t alone.
And trust me, you are not alone.