Mama Bunkfish

Navigating marriage, motherhood, and mental illness on Jesus, caffeine, and naps!

 A Silent Illness 

This past summer I suffered a series of panic attacks. They weren’t especially obvious – just a feeling of dread, chest pains, and a near-debilitating bout of insomnia that I felt I masked pretty well. I finally accepted the fact that maybe it was time to increase my medication. When I spoke with my psychiatrist, she suggested that I say the Serenity Prayer. After my out of body experience (the one where I throat chopped her for that nonsense) I explained to her that I had prayed; and that the answer was get some meds before I went off the deep end. 

It’s hard to explain to people who don’t have a mental illness what it’s like. I think there’s this misconception that it’s a choice. That if I want to not worry, just don’t worry. That if I don’t want to be depressed, just don’t be depressed. Well folks, it isn’t that simple. My depression, for the most part, is hormone-induced. It ebbs and flows as the month passes on and is pretty much under control. 

But my anxiety had not been controlled because of all of the other things going on around me. Granted, most of them didn’t directly affect me but that’s how anxiety works. It’s kind of like being on an elevator. You keep trying to get off but every time you do, someone else gets on and presses a button that takes you to another floor. And it happens over, and over, and over again. And even though you try with all your might to get off-you can’t. 

I’m happy to say that six months later, things are a lot better. I’ve had my rough days but I’ve gotten through them. Sometimes it comes out of the blue. Other times I can see it coming like a freight train. But on this journey, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve learned a lot about the people who genuinely care and those who only want to be around when it’s ‘all good’. But most importantly, I’ve learned that on the other side, I have a story to tell about how I got over. 

Until next time…

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