Once upon a time, in a not-so-faraway land, there was a little girl named Jenny.
She was a sweet little girl who loved to swim. She loved school. She loved dressing up her dog, Molly, in old baby clothes. And she loved to sing country songs to herself while she was staring in the bathroom mirror. She was pretty ordinary, really... except for one little detail. Her brain was a little bit broken. She panicked at the drop of a hat. She was nervous almost all the time. And as she got older, it got worse. She worried about her grades. She worried about feeling different than everyone else in school. She was awkward. She cried a lot. And the kids teased her relentlessly. It was a hard way to grow up.
Fast forward until Jenny is a grown up. Thirty six and 352/356ths years to be exact. Now, she has four children and a little freelance business. She has a husband and a dog. She lives in a modest, but nice house. She drives a mini-van and still sometimes sings country songs to herself while she stares in the bathroom mirror. But her damn brain. It's still a little broken.
Last night, I had myself a good ol' fashioned nervous breakdown. For reals. I cried buckets. My hands shook. I rambled on and on, feeling the pressures of motherhood... feeling like I do EVERYTHING... feeling like I've lost myself somewhere between the corner of my current life and where I want my life to be. It's lonely here. And it sucks ass.
So, between the general anxiety disorder that I've had ever since I can remember, and the crippling depression that can result with so much constant anxiety, I'm a hot mess. I've tried literally DOZENS of different meds and med combinations. They all make me horribly sick or just plain don't work. I've tried all that fancy cognitive therapy stuff, but it's hard to pull yourself back from the edge sometimes. I have to do something different. Now.
For last night, I just took an Ativan to stop the racing thoughts and passed out until morning. I feel a little better today, but I'm still struggling. A lot. And truth be told, I'm waiting for it to get bad again because experience tells me it will.
Thing is, some of my really close friends know about this part of me. However, most folks don't. My family doesn't really have a clear idea of how bad it is. They ask me how I'm doing, and I always give them my best, "I'm going well, thanks." It's all a lie. I don't want to burden them with my broken brain, so I fib.
But, there comes a point when you have to stop pretending that you're okay and be real. You have to admit that you just can't handle things the way they are right now. You admit that you need extra love. You need thoughts and prayers and good mojo. You need phone calls and little encouraging notes in the mail. You need it like you need air and water and nourishment. For me, that time is now.
So, there you go. I'm out of the depression and anxiety closet. It was dark and stinky in there. I have no idea where to go from here, but, I'm out. At this point, I'm trying not to feel embarrassed or self-conscious... or so damn broken. I guess that's something I'll just have to work on.
Now, I guess I have to figure some things out. What's next? Will anybody care? Are people going to be supportive? Are the people who I thought loved me just going to... go away? Will I be forever branded "that crazy girl I went to high school with"? I have no idea. But, I do know that I can't stand another day in the depression and anxiety closet. Did I mention that it's dark and stinky in there?
PS. And for the record, if you call me and I don't answer right away, it's because this post has probably been the hardest thing I've ever had to write, and I may not be up to talking about it right away. But, I'll know that you called. And I'll appreciate it. And I promise to get back to you when I can verbally string together two sentences. Mkay?