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When a Depression Relapse Hits, but Everything's 'Right'

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I found myself panicking one day and wasn’t sure why. I brushed it off and kept going. A few weeks later, I randomly had another panic attack and ran to be alone. I sat and cried. I couldn’t brush this one off. I thought to myself, “I haven’t had severe panic attacks in a long time, so what’s happening?”

My old work environment was awful. I couldn’t take the abuse I experienced there anymore so I put in my two weeks and left. My mental health was starting to be at-risk, and I found myself another job. I noticed once I got out of that abusive environment, I started to feel better mentally and emotionally.

Or so I thought.

I’m doing OK in life. I have a roof over my head, a job and food to eat, so why should I complain? I try not to think about my internal battles. Lately I’ve been feeling down, so down I don’t want to socialize. I keep telling myself, “Ness, stay grounded and breathe.” But let’s be honest here: there’s nothing I can really do to prepare for a depressive episode. Right?

People keep telling me to “get off my meds,” and “you don’t need a doctor anymore,” but I’m slowly falling apart and I didn’t notice until it got bad. I slowly stopped taking one of my prescriptions and felt my nerves get bad out of the blue, so I said, “screw it.” I’m staying on my meds because I need them for me — not for the people around me. Am I unreasonable? Is it too much to think I’ll always be anxious and depressed? Am I unrealistic to think I’ll never get better? Is it the medical bills I’m tired of? What’s making me feel this empty?

I’ve fallen into a deep hole I cannot seem to get out of. I feel like I’m drowning in my own thoughts and I don’t know how to escape. I know I can’t stay in bed and I know I have to keep going, but I feel sick. I want to cry. I’ve done all of this hard work and have made so much progress and I feel like I’m slowly backing up to the start line again.

I’m sad. I keep telling myself I’ll be OK. I will be, but just not today or tomorrow.

Unsplash image by Ernest Brillo

Originally published: October 17, 2019
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