How'd you like that little cliff-hanger I left you on in my last blog, Rebecca's Journey To A Healthier Well-Being? I figured splitting up this journey would be best for a) my sanity and b) your attention-span. Not calling anyone out, but, we all know it's hard to give something/one our undivided attention.
Anyways, let's get back into it.
So I was doing great, right? Honestly and truly great. I got my dream job working for an airline, we got a new puppy, we moved into a beautiful new place and mentally my head felt better. Lighter. Clearer. Stronger.
But hey - remember how I said things pile up?
A list about a mile long, and not necessarily all massively traumatic incidents, but events and triggers that made me doubt where I was or what I was doing. Like not getting the reactions I wanted from certain people about our business, or my work schedule getting an abrupt change. But then there were a handful of massive things to really, truly drain the already empty cup.
Our roommate moved out in great haste with really no explanation or closure. Which is something I really struggle with - no closure. I need to be able to understand and close that chapter, I think I find a great void of control which aggravates my mental illness immensely. Michael started self-medicating and becoming suicidal. Again I had a lack of control and felt completely alone and lost. But- how can I feel these things when I know someone right beside me is feeling so much worse? My friends, that's just not how mental illness works. It's not selfish to think about yourself first, in fact, it's how we stay afloat. Still, this is how I felt. Lost, again. Alone, again. Losing control, again. Rumblings in my family, addictions amongst other things threw my mind into the abyss. How do I help? How can I help? What are the next steps? Is this my responsibility?
Gradually, falling asleep again became difficult. I'm constantly tired still. Whether it's my allergies, my depression, or a combination of it all. It's exhausting. Not knowing what the next step is - for me - exhausting. Everyone I talked to, every group I went to, even Michael told me I should go talk to a professional. And yet again, in my stubborn ways, I persevered. I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine. I have the tools, I'm checking in with myself, I'm scheduling time for self-care. It will start to get better. I can handle this.
Guess what, guys? I can't handle it. Not alone at least. So instead of waiting until I couldn't get out of bed and had to leave my job. Instead of spiraling myself out of control. I got help. I went back to the exact resource I went to the first time. The counsellor was amazing, LISTENED, worked with me in finding the best next steps, commended me for coming in and wanting to work on myself and recognizing my desire to help the people around me. She referred me to a group and 1 on 1 counselling or psychotherapy which I know I benefit greatly from.
To be honest the symptoms have gotten worse as I await therapy. I'm eating like it's my job, I'm restless, falling and staying asleep is challenging, I'm irritable and uncomfortable. The thought of getting out of bed makes my stomach flip-flop. I dragged myself to the first Group Therapy Session, but couldn't make myself go to the next. Honestly, it's just not cathartic to me. I don't feel alone in the sense that I think my symptoms are specific to me. I feel lonely in the sense that I don't know how to fix things. I'm grateful for the initial experience, but unlike my usual feelings, I don't feel guilty or ashamed for moving on from it.
On an exciting note though, I'm getting in to see the personal counselling services way sooner than last time. Within a week I got a call to set up an appointment and could've gone in the very next day if it weren't for my prior commitments. Going forward I'm still trying to use all the tools I learned in order to avoid sliding further down the slope, I'm checking in with myself, making an active effort at optimism and things that are really a passion for me. Or that I notice soothe and calm me and my trusty brain. Allowing myself to breathe through the bad and the good. Keeping track of it all, noticing what can be triggering.
Like I said you guys, it's not easy. It doesn't just go away forever. But this time, it is better. I'm able to acknowledge it sooner than I would have before. I'm able to recognise and consult with who I need to get the treatment I need. And maybe next time, it'll be even sooner than this time. Or maybe it won't. Either way, I know the help is out there. Either way, I know I'm not alone. Either way, I know I can grow.
I'll check in with you after I have a few counselling sessions under my belt! In the meantime, stay strong! I'm always here to chat, just head to YAC AT US!