It’s Not Just Anxiety…

My openness on this platform has always been something that readers have called admirable. It’s always been important for me to keep the “real”, in a world where pretty much every single “influencer” promotes the fake on their platforms. With that being said, I’ve been less than shy about my struggles with anxiety and weight loss. 
If we backed up, just a little bit, you’d remember that last September I was prescribed to Lexapro. It didn’t work for me, and I came off of it end of winter. I “handled” things on my own for another six months, and I thought that I was doing great. I was slipping into a depression that was unrecognizable to myself, because I never had depression before. The way my body constantly hurt, the way my sleep was interrupted nightly, the way I absolutely hated the world I lived in, made me believe that these were not symptoms of just anxiety anymore. 
I would literally spend all of my time in bed. 100% of my time outside of work, I was in bed. I coped with the world only through reality tv, Instagram scrolling, and food. I completely shattered myself and the image I had of myself, and often times wished that I could just escape for a little while to an island just to breathe. 
I knew this wasn’t just anxiety because with anxiety, I could bring myself back to reality once the feelings had passed. With depression, I wasn’t able to bring myself back. It was a slope, and I continued to slip downwards, making sure to keep a smile on my face so people wouldn’t recognize it. It got to a point though, where people who knew me, but didn’t really know me could tell. I was at my part time job, and the GM looked at me and said “you’re not good today”. Not a question, a statement. I said “definitely not, but I will be”. He could read the depression on my face, and I think it was the first time that someone outside of my “circle” really could read me. 
I scheduled a doctor’s appointment, my yearly physical, and knew that this conversation needed to be had. I’d spent too many days relying on food to make me feel better, and I didn’t recognize myself when I looked in the mirror anymore. I was sad, all the time, and was ready for change. But, I was scared. With anxiety, I wasn’t scared to tell the doctor that I thought I had it. I felt though, with depression, that feelings of failure were creeping into my brain. I never understood it before, when people would say that depression just made them feel like a failure, yet- there I was, with those exact feelings. 
I cried for a week leading up to the doctor. In the bathroom at work, in the shower, in bed, I was just scared to admit my inadequacies to another person, out loud. That’s saying a lot, because I love the doctor’s office, and I always have. I love going in there and believing I have 139 different ailments, then taking a blood test, and being totally normal. The doctor’s office has always calmed me, except for this time. My appointment went fine, up until I heard the words “severe clinical depression”. I was diagnosed with something I didn’t even know I had. I was so good at putting on this face, and surviving the world, that when I heard that, I was shocked. The doctor told me that she didn’t know how I was surviving like this, because I was really struggling. I was prescribed Cymbalta, and sent on my way. 
The doctor said something to me that made me really realize how bad I was struggling. She said “often times, your body will show pain in different ways, like your back or your arms, because your brain can’t tell you that your brain hurts. It is hoping that moving the pain will make you go get help so that you can heal it”. Like, my brain just wants to feel better. 
Here’s what I learned. I have not failed. Taking an anti-depressant, or having depression and anxiety does not mean you’re a failure. Someone with high blood pressure is not a failure, and they take medication to help control that. Someone with arthritis is not a failure, and they take medication to help control that, too. I have depression, and I am not a failure. I need medication to help me control that. I can’t do it on my own, no matter how much I think I should be able to. And still, it’s okay to not be okay. 
So, that’s just a little update in my brain, and how it’s working currently. Cymbalta has been in my body for a little over a week and I’m not seeing too many changes as of yet. I do notice that it’s a definite upper, where as Lexapro put me straight to sleep. I started taking it at night, and I literally didn’t sleep, because I was so wired ALL NIGHT LONG. Since switching it to mornings, I have slept better and more rested. 

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