Once again, I am back to trying to write through Daily OM’s Year of Writing to Uncover the Authentic Self. The last time I did one of these was back in April, so . . . yeah, definitely going to take longer than a year if I want to keep up with this.
And of course, the day I come back is a day with a topic that I need to do a lot of self-reflection on. Connections. Specifically, connections with other people, whether they are with family, friends, co-workers, and anyone else in your life. This one is a bit tricky for me. I’ve been feeling incredibly disconnected from a lot of people I was once very close to. This is purely on my end and through no fault of theirs. As my depression and anxiety have steadily ramped up over the past few years, being around a lot of people is sometimes extremely difficult, to the point of becoming a shaky, nervous mess. I try to push myself, to the point that I nearly have panic attacks that take a day at least to recover from.
This isn’t healthy, I know. Now that I finally have health insurance and am going to my doctor regularly, I am hoping to find some answers. We’ve tried a few medications that have not worked (one of which caused major side effects that were terrible). The mental health is working together with the fibromyalgia to make me pretty miserable at times. Maintaining connections with people outside my immediate circle has been pretty much impossible, at least in person. Social media helps to a degree – at least I can see what people are up to – but it also makes the depression and anxiety worse sometimes. I’m sure there is a balance to be found somewhere, but I haven’t quite found it yet.
I will say that I am extremely grateful for the connections I have to my immediate circle, which is my family. My mom and I have always been extremely close and, although we went through a rough patch a few years ago, we have mended that as both of us have gone through struggles (her much more than me). My daughter is 17 years old now (I know, I can’t believe it either) and has grown into a strong, independent, bold, creative force of nature. She is my kid, but I am happy to say she is also my friend. I am so unbelievably proud of her. Last but certainly not least is my husband. We will have been married for 14 years in October and while we have had minor disagreements here and there, we’ve never actually had a fight. He puts up with my brand of crazy and has never judged me for it. He has unwaveringly supported anything I have wanted to do. I feel incredibly lucky that I found him.
The other part of my immediate circle would also include my co-workers, since I see them almost every day. I am so happy to work where I do. My bosses are good people who truly care about their employees. They have supported me as I went through my health struggles and those of my family, never batting an eye if I needed to take time off to deal with something. My other co-workers are fun and engaging people who look out for each other and who I enjoy seeing every day. We definitely have a work family.
When I look back on all of this, I realize that I am a very lucky person. When your mental illness is telling you that you are alone and disconnected from everyone and everything, it’s hard sometimes to see past that. I know that there are a lot of people who care about me, but “knowing” it and “feeling” it are two different things. Maybe more work with my doctor will help. Going to therapy would probably help too, if I can get that going. It’s all a work in progress, but then, aren’t we all?
Categories: Daily OM