Saturday, June 3, 2017

June Wrap Up #1 (Mental Health)

This is going to be a different sort of wrap up because I need to lay out what has been happening to me for a few reasons. 1) I think all of you wonderful people out there reading this- friends and strangers- deserve to know why this year, especially these last few months, I've more or less disappeared, 2) Sharing online is cathartic for me and helps me put my thoughts into words and deal with those thoughts, 3) If anyone reading this feels similar to how I do they know they're not alone, which is something I've needed in the past and found on blogs, and has helped me get through parts of my life I wouldn't have been able to get through otherwise.

I think I mentioned that I'm trying to talk less about my mental illness on the blog because I want this to be a place that helps me remember that there are times when I don't feel as low as I sometimes feel, but I need to bring it up again here. I had an anxiety attack- I talked about this on my other blog a bit, I call it a "quiet" attack because it was crippling in a way that a stranger wouldn't even notice- that stretched across about four days. Not the first four days of summer, but I got home late Sunday and then was hit early Wednesday with this anxiety. It knocked me out and I didn't leave the house until Friday afternoon when I was obligated to, to spend some time with my mom and grandmother. It was a nice little trip and an opportunity for me to escape the anxiety and that worked for most of Friday, until that evening when I was winding down and taking a bath, and it hit me so hard I was crying and completely lost inside myself. In those moments I knew I needed to calm down and go to bed because I knew it would help but I just couldn't. 

Another note: I've been having, and I hate to call it a crisis but it kinda is?, a crisis of faith lately where I just don't know what to believe in and what's true and those thoughts have been cumulating for about a year and a half now, and having come from a part of my life where I thought I had set beliefs this has been hard to really deal with. When these beliefs, which anchored my world and gave me an outlet, came up short against many questions I had about life and many things I was realizing, having now experienced more of life, I lost a major cornerstone of both who I was and how I dealt with many of my mental health problems. I do believe losing my faith- not that it ever completely has gone away, but I've questioned it so much I can't use it as the anchor it was- has led to many of the more recent bouts with depression and anxiety getting as bad as they do sometimes.

Friday night, in that bathtub in the Best Western, this crisis of faith came to a head. I wanted to pray or call out to someone or something and beg them to make everything okay on Saturday but I didn't think I deserved to ask for help from a faith that I'm not sure I believe in. 

I'm in the middle of reading The Name of the Wind, which besides being a good book, deals with the idea that if you believe something will happen it can happen and that having this steadfast belief, such as a rock floating upwards instead of falling, has power. I've also been watching American Gods, which is, beyond being an amazing series so far, my favorite novel of all time and has had a profound effect on me. This also deals with the idea that a steadfast belief can give something life.

Somewhat unconsciously, but also somewhat consciously, these ideas came together with my crisis of faith and my anxiety attack and I realized- I can just believe. If I believe- and I mean actually believe, not pretend, not hope, not think, but believe completely and utterly convincingly believe- that things will work out, then things will work out. I sat in that tub and I believed it. I let not one doubt creep in and I just sat there and believed it. I reached out and touched the water and felt that and believed it was wet and also believed that things would work out.

My anxiety didn't vanish like a magic trick but it wasn't there anymore. It couldn't be if I believed it was real. I know I'll have more anxiety attacks, because they happen, but if I believe that things will work out, things will work out. It may sound crazy, but this morning I got a call and that call worked every single thing I was anxious about out. Every caveat I was worried about made an appearance and straightened out and it was okay. I think I almost cried again, not out of disbelief- because I had believed- but out of sheer happiness. I wouldn't say I've found my faith or spirituality or anything, but I've found something to believe in.

That's a long story and not what I intended to pore out when I started this wrap up, but I'm glad I shared. Now, that's the most recent line of things happening. Prior to that I've had other mental health struggles that have kept me battling for the last two months or so. It's not quite depression, at least not in the refined sense that I've often had, but some offshoot of it that makes everything, even the little things, overwhelming. It's prevented me from logging on and blogging about anything and that breaks my heart.

But now expect to see me every day. Either here on the blog or on social media. I WANT to be a part of this and if I make it my routine I will be. It will help me get back on track and returning to this really does help with my mental health because it gives me both structure and something to be proud of, to look at and say "Look what I did today. I did something today." and that's such a great thing to be able to say when getting out of bed can be difficult.

Now, I must be getting to sleep because I have to work early tomorrow. Good night everyone, and thanks for reading. There will be blog posts, book reviews, regularly very soon, and I look forward to returning, full (well, not full, but you get the idea) force to this community.


  1. Hey Sam,
    I'm sorry that things have not been all bright and beautiful lately - sometimes life catches up with you and it gets hard to cope. Find people to talk to, write about it, basically anything that helps get your thoughts together. I'm glad you found something that helps you get through. And remember, even though opinions usually differ and there can be drama, the bookish community is mostly a bunch of introverts who are great listeners (or readers in this case!)
    Take things day by day, one at a time, and have tea - tea works wonders! (I would suggest caramel-vanilla, it's cozy and sweet without being overpowering ^^)

    Caroline @ Just Another Bookish Blog

    1. Thank you for all the kind words. I have been taking it day by day and things have been looking up (finally). Caramel-vanilla sounds like great tea I will absolutely give some a try.

  2. I've had to reevaluate a lot of things in my life over the course of the last year myself. It sounds like what you've been experiencing is a lot of cognitive dissonance which can be a struggle to work through. I hope you find needed clarity and peace and that the second half of this years turns out better for you.

    1. Thank you so much. I think things have finally begun to settle into place and since I've met several of the issues head on, now, I've been able to deal with them a lot more clearly.


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