So i have a pretty lengthy history of mental disorder. The diagnoses started rolling in when i was 14. First it was mild depression. Then depression with anxiety. Then Major Depressive Disorder. Then depression-inducing anxiety. Blah blah blah... Until the whopper at age 19 - Panic Disorder. Panic Disorder fucking sucks. It ruins everything, all the time, forever. It makes me angry to have panic attacks looming around every corner. So i get mean. Then i get sad for being mean. Then i remove myself from everything and everyone under the guise of getting my shit together, but really i'm sleeping all day and staying up all night, manic-insomnia-style, worrying about how much i'm screwing up and when will i "wake up" four months or six months later, 60 pounds heavier with no job and sleeping on someone's couch or in their guest bedroom or in their basement wearing sweatpants with fucking elastic hems...
And writing epic run-on sentences.
The bottom line is i haven't had any issues since 2008. That's FIVE YEARS, mang! Before that? 2004. I was certain i had a lid on this crap - without therapy and without drugs (since 2004). In 2000 when i was 22, after i had had my most major episodes (including disassociative amnesia fugues - whoa! My brother died, so sue me.), i started college. My first class was PSYCH 101. My teacher was awesome! I got the tools i needed and learned how to treat myself fairly successfully with cognitive behavioral therapy. I went off anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills for the first time in 6 years. I faltered briefly 4 years later after giving birth at 18.5 weeks. It was fucking traumatic, okay?
I wasn't on drugs long in 2004 because they took away my sex drive and made my ears ring so loudly that i couldn't sleep. It was ridiculous. I lived alone, in a new city where i only knew like 4 people and i couldn't even pleasure myself? Torture. The endorphins you get from sex or masturbating are irreplacable - drugs can not give you those. Not the ones the doctors give you, anyway.
Fast forward to 2008. One panic attack on a severely shitty day. I was on it! No drugs - just good ole fashioned making myself smile for five minutes and not letting myself stop doing all the stuff i normally enjoy. Plugged. No probs.
But NOW? Now i'm so far into this spiral i can't believe it. I'm barely making art, my diet is all kinds of fucked up, i can not fall asleep at night without booze and i catch myself being an uber bitch all the time. I don't even drink coffee in the morning anymore which is one of my favourite things in the world. I've had 3 panic attacks in the last six days! I'd rather sleep than do almost anything during the day. I quit a perfectly good job for virtually no reason. I'm so broke i'm hiding from my landlord.
This shit is getting sneakier. I am not amused. But now that i've caught its scent, i know just what to do. Sleep - that's the first and most important thing. Sleep AT NIGHT. Coffee in the morning, smile for 5 minutes, take my allergy crap and iron pills and maybe some St. John's Wart and art, art, art. Oh, and i need a mantra. . .