I’m Feeling Much Better

I’m Feeling Much Better

I’ve been waiting months to finally be able to say this: I’m feeling much better now. Last month, I wrote about my decision to manifest less in my life. It’s proven to be particularly helpful in getting my life back on track. It was like I had bitten off more than I could chew and rather than spitting it out, I just kept chewing and getting frustrated that it was more than I could take. It’s been nearly a month since I shared that decision and I’m happy to say it’s really been working. But it wasn’t the only thing I’ve been doing to try to get myself balanced.
I’m really grateful to be part of a generation that has pretty much destigmatized mental illness. I’ve not really had any shame in sharing the fact that I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety. In fact, when I get help for those things, I tend to just do better. I started using antidepressants a little over a year ago to help get me out of this funk I’ve been living in. It’s been helpful. I tried a few things for my anxiety and found a way to live with it. When it was time to get my prescription refilled for my antidepressants, I figured it was as good a time as any to go ahead and check in with a psychiatrist and make sure we were doing the right things to support my mental health.
There’s this crazy thing that happens when you let professionals do their job. They can actually help. I know. It seems so obvious but to do that, I had to get out of my own way. I had to let my doctor give me a proper evaluation and be open and honest about all of my symptoms. You know what happened? My diagnosis changed. It’s not just anxiety and depression. I actually have PTSD. I was diagnosed back in July and I’ve been working for these past few months to fight back and get my life back. Here’s some of what I’ve been doing to help myself.

Medication

I was already using an antidepressant so medication wasn’t a hard sell for me. If I were to need insulin, I’d take that. If I needed blood pressure medication, I’d take that. So if my brain doesn’t wanna make enough serotonin on its own, yeah, I’m gonna give it what it needs. The thing about medication is that you really shouldn’t just rely on that to get better.  So I’m keeping all of my doctor appointments, giving feedback on my experience and trusting her advice to make adjustments to get the right combo in place. I’m pleased to say, I think we found my magic cocktail and I’m feeling much better because of it.

Talk Therapy

Twice a month, I meet with a therapist who actually specializes in PTSD. We discuss the progress I’ve made, experiences I’m having, and areas where I’m struggling. He gives me tools to help better deal with the stresses of life and learn how to live past my trauma. I have always been kind of resistant to the idea of paying someone to listen to me talk about my problems but that’s the wrong way to approach it. I’m paying a professional for his expertise, just like people pay me for mine.

Honesty

Ugh. So simple but so complex at the same time. I don’t think of myself as a dishonest person but I do have a way of spinning circumstances to make them easier to palate. It’s like I’m my own PR rep. For me, that means I often put on rose colored glasses about things that honestly just kind of suck. That includes things about myself. Do you have any idea how tough it is to identify your toxic traits and actually work on them? Maybe you do. Maybe I’m the only one who has a hard time admitting things about myself. Maybe… but I would guess not. This side of healing can be so tricky. I saw a tweet one time that said anxiety is just conspiracy theories about yourself. Finding the balance of admitting flaws while not hyperbolizing them into more lies… it’s not easy. Healing isn’t easy. But it’s so important. No… it’s a priority.

Human Interaction

I call it “peopling.” It’s a big reason I decided to put full-time entrepreneurship on the shelf and return to employee status. I needed to people more. After my PTSD diagnosis, I started shutting people out. Between being exhausted and overwhelmed, I didn’t have anything to give to my friendships. Being in the same room as people was draining. My friends finally started calling me out about it. I let some of them know what I was dealing with but kept others in the dark. I stopped engaging in the Facebook groups I used to be highly active in. I basically couldn’t deal with socializing for more than a half hour or so without alcohol to help make it tolerable. Probably not really a healthy way to approach it all.

What’s Next?

I’m doing a lot to get myself happy, healthy and functional. But I’m not just trying stuff just for the sake of trying stuff. I’m being very intentional in my healing. I made another decision last week that has had profound impacts on my day-to-day life. In fact, such an impact that I can’t easily cram it at the end of this post. Next time I write, I hope to share what my new secret weapon is and how it’s positively impacted my mental health journey.