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Just because I’m quiet doesn’t mean life’s easy

It’s been nearly a year since I wrote something in this blog. It’s not because depression (mine or my dad’s, which I wrote about last time) has gone away. In fact, it’s been a hard time in that year.

Last fall my dad ended up in the hospital, and the doctors found he had a blood clot while he was there. So in addition to continuing to find his way out of depression (over a year later, he still struggles as he adapts to his next phase of life) he’s had to overcome physical ailments too.

It’s a frightening experience when an otherwise healthy parent lands in the hospital. My father barely has been sick in my 37 years on this Earth.

It’s made it difficult on me, though, because I worry about him and my mom. I have a lot of moments where I feel pressure to be the responsible one and take care of everyone. That’s a hard task when you live 75 miles away.

And then at the end of March I was laid off (my last day is in September), which adds another level of anxiety to my life. I’m thankful for the friends and colleagues who have helped me as I seek my next opportunity, but that doesn’t mean I don’t struggle internally. There have been days I have minor (and very few major) freakouts over what I’ll be doing come September.

Just before I was laid off, too, my doctor and I slightly changed the dosage of my medication in order to address my weight gain concerns. The changes weren’t good for me, and it the layoff hid me from realizing it for over a month. And I was angry at myself for not realizing “hey, this is a medication issue” sooner because I pride myself in knowing my body and my brain well.

My underlying depression issues are under control, but life circumstances has made my anxiety skyrocket. I’ve taken Xanax for quite some time, though I have a love-hate relationship with it. The doctor had me try Visceral as an alternative, but I had a scary night of vivid dreams (thinking someone or something was in my apartment). It was fun to learn one of the side effects is hallucinations, so I won’t take it again until I see my doctor in a few weeks. I’ll stick to Xanax until then.

I’ve promised myself I won’t suffer in silence, and I’ve held up to that bargain with myself. But sometimes life makes it hard. I don’t trust a lot of people to talk about the struggles of life and how it’s affecting me mentally, so I stay quiet most of the time except for a very small, intimate group of friends and family with the specifics.

I also can’t tell you how important it is for people to say “how are you doing?” and tell me that they’re thinking of me. A simple hello can say “hey, I care,” and when you feel like your world is crashing down that’s important.