Breakdowns and Therapy

This isn't easy for me to write about. It brings everything back up. But, it's important. It's really important.

This past April, a few days after my birthday, I began to have breakdowns. At night, I began to feel a deep pressure in my chest, I felt like the world was full of doom and it was all hanging down over me. I began to cry for literal hours every night. I couldn't sleep or eat, even plain white rice turned my stomach. I woke up Spousal Unit at 3am and had him give me a blessing. It was the first peace I'd felt in weeks, but it was short-lived. As soon as it got dark at night, everything went to hell. I was having nightmares when I did sleep, I felt sick, I felt horrible about life in general. I dreaded leaving my home, I couldn't get myself to do anything, I avoided my friends and family and their expectations. Just looking at a chore to do could send me into an emotional tailspin. Over all of this was the certainty that I was a useless failure in life who couldn't help anyone, not even myself. It was one of the most awful times in my life.

I saw my bishop. He gave me a therapist's number and I scheduled to see the counselor right away. I still see him now. I was sent to my regular doctor's and have been taking Lexapro ever since. It has definitely helped. Even though I couldn't see it then, things could and did get better over time. I was not diagnosed with anything, but I now understand anxiety and depression in an entirely new way. You don't have to have a chronic or permanent condition to be suddenly catapulted into these things.

The last few months have been difficult as I am finally coming to terms with my upbringing, manipulations, deceit, abuse, and limitations. I would spend my life trying to fix other people instead of working on myself or helping myself. I was defining my life by service to others at the expense of myself and my husband. I believed myself a terrible wife for having problems and being a burden on him, so I would throw myself into helping someone else whom I perceived to have worse problems, whose emotional issues drew on me until I had nothing left to give. I put my self-worth on those actions and they broke me.

I shattered on the ground.

My loving husband took care of me. He has been my rock, my love, and we are closer than ever. I am learning not to give myself so freely, but to take care of myself. I have to address the pain I am in and go through everything I fear with both middle fingers in the air, to put it crudely. You get my point, though.

I am still a work in progress in a big way. My faith was shaken but I am doing my best to be steady in that. But, God's word and love through a blessing from my husband's hands was the only thing to cut through the haze of impending and certain doom I felt. It gave me the clarity to go "I need help. I need help now." And it gave me the strength to seek it.

My family and friends have been an amazing support, even when I had to retreat from them all for my own health. I dreaded certain streets and roads, I dreaded seeing names on my phone and computer, I left social media. But they all stood by me to protect me. I cannot begin to express my love for them now. They saved my life. I began to learn boundaries and that toxic people have no place in my life, even if they are good people and especially if they are not good people. My health and wellbeing came before any perceived 'slights' and feelings they may have.

Rest assured, I am not going through these breakdowns any longer, but I am still finding myself delicate in ways I was not expecting. It's a careful trial, to learn what will and will not hurt. To test a boundary and see if it no longer needs to be so strict or if the wall must remain steadfast still. To acknowledge anger when people trample on a boundary and allow them to taste the consequences despite their entitled feelings toward my help.

I am not God. I am not appointed to take on every problem. Empathy and sympathy are wonderful, but if it is paining me to give it beyond my endurance, than I must step back. Emotional support is not becoming their therapist and then when they don't get better it is not my fault. I can breathe again. I can be absolved of the responsibilities that were never mine to take on. I can look forward to life with hope again.

Hope is precious and rare.


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