My mental state changes constantly due to my mental illnesses. It’s like riding a roller coaster, in the dark, without a seat belt. I am trying to hold on as things are constantly changing. This is my past week of managing my mental illnesses.
I woke up nervous that I was going to have a panic attack at the church picnic. I keep having panic attacks in crowds. The thought of having a panic attack made me almost have a panic attack. I did deep breathing exercises and tried to think positively, took a shower and tried to relax. On the drive there I started to panic again, so we went out to brunch instead. Brunch was nice. But afterwards I had to rest at home all afternoon to recover from the morning’s panic.
I woke up extremely angry for no reason. Part of my illness is that I have dramatic mood swings, for no apparent reason. I pushed myself through work, continually trying strategies to calm and be pleasant. My emotions and anxiety were so intense that I was having thoughts of self-harm. I went to see my counselor, and told him about the anger and self-harm thoughts. He gave me some advice which was a little helpful. Then he told me how he has been trying to get me to change for 2 years and I haven’t really changed. I became angry again and felt like I was hopeless, I would never get better. I left his office intensely angry. My anger kept building, so late at night my thoughts of self-harm were very strong. Luckily a friend texted me late at night and was able to encourage me.
I woke up angry again. After work I tried out a new support group. I went to the group angry and the support group made me angry. I left the support group. But then I felt like I shouldn’t be alone with my anger, so I came back to the group, but the group made me angry again so I left again. I was angry all evening, tired of being angry, and tired of trying to deal with the anger and understand the anger.
I woke up happy and was happy most of the day. But in the evening I started thinking obsessively about why I was angry for two days, and why I was happy today, and how do I manage the anger better, and why won’t I change, and why won’t the self-harm thoughts go away…. All the obsessive thoughts kept circling and circling and I could feel the pressure in my brain building. I drove to my regular support group and I felt like there was so much pressure in my head I was going to snap. I had this strange feeling I get when I am about to dissociate, like I’m about to lose touch with reality and start hearing voices. But I fought hard to stay grounded. At my regular support group I listened to the other people talk about their weeks and I calmed down. I was able to encourage them. Then I talked about my week and they were encouraging to me. I felt happy and calm.
My day off. I felt lazy but happy and calm. I went back to the support group from Tuesday. I liked it ok. I went to my exercise class. That was awesome. I felt refreshed and happy afterwards.
It was an annoying work day, but after work I was happy and calm.
I had to go to this all-day volunteer training, and part of the training was that they educated us on mental illness. I kept being upset about things that were said that seemed to enforce stigma or stereotypes. I kept speaking up with my opinions. I was so angry and upset that it was painfully difficult for me to be there. I kept breathing deeply since my anxiety was extremely high. After the training I met up with a friend who has mental illness. She understood exactly how I felt. When she got there I was incredibly anxious and angry and couldn’t sit still, but by the time she left I was calm and happy again.
By Saturday I was so so tired of how hard I was working to manage my mental illness. I went to a counseling appointment and 3 support groups that week… and I was still struggling. I was working so incredibly hard and still having all these problems. I was deeply discouraged. But Sunday was a new week, a fresh start. The roller coaster starts again… I grip on tightly. I am determined I won’t let this new week throw me off.