If you’ve ever dealt with mental illness, you might be able to relate to this.
Getting better is great. That’s the hope, right? To not have the horrible thoughts that keep you up at night, to lose bad habits, to be able to connect with people the way you should. These are all great things that we should strive towards. Using the tools you’ve been given (therapy, meds, etc.) and the people around you as support, you want to get to that point.
When I’m “better” there’s one thing that scares me worse than anything. That it can’t last forever. That I’ll at least have one bad day. Or bad week. Or bad month. That one day I’ll wake up in the middle of the night already in a panic attack again.
After I started my medication, I got better. I felt like I was walking on air. I felt wonderful. It made me angry that other people just felt like that naturally. But I fell. These past couple of weeks, I fell and I fell hard. Thoughts of dying, self-harm, and just general self-loathing have creeped back into my regular thoughts. The feeling of panic always seems to rest on my chest. I can’t stop fidgeting to try to get the nervous energy out of my system.
And it seems worse than before, and I think that it’s because I now know what it would be like if I never had these problems in the first place. Now I know what my thoughts should be and how I shouldn’t be fidgeting so much or shaking or find it difficult to breathe while I’m just sitting in my chair. I shouldn’t have my fight or flight response always on.
I think it’s also hard for the people around me. Whenever I fall into these depression/anxious pits, I sleep more and just generally don’t want to do anything. I’ve been forcing it upon myself lately to go out and see people, but now people know what I should be like. What I would be like if the chemicals in my brain were working to the capacity that they should be.
So while getting better is wonderful, it should be celebrated, I think that there will always be a nagging feeling at the back of my head. It whispers “just wait for when you fall.”