I’ve thought a while about what exactly I was going to say when I came back to the blog after my somewhat-lengthy absence, and the first thing that came to my mind was, “I should apologize.”
Almost everyone I’ve ever known has told me, at least once, that I apologize too much (which I then, of course, apologize for). Since I can remember, I’ve been saying “sorry” for everything: Bumping into people, crying, stating my opinion, being early, pretty much everything. I would probably apologize to someone for flinching in response to their angry fist.
I took a hiatus for the sake of my own sanity, and this time, I will not be apologizing.
To my own surprise, I have kept my posts, as well as the growth of my blog, consistent for over a year and a half. The last couple of weeks have been the first to go by without any updates from me, and I’ve been feeling terrible about it. Guilty. Aimless. Homesick.
However, there were other feelings I’d been having that far trumped all of these.
About two weeks ago, I misplaced the last of my many medications that were supposed to carry me until the date of my refill. I know that some people (especially in my family) are against mental medication altogether, but when you have a degree of depression, anxiety, and paranoia like I do, then you absolutely need it to achieve at least a minimum quality of life.
I take antidepressants, several anti-anxiety meds, sleep meds, and medication for seizures, schizophrenia, and A.D.D. Going through withdrawal for just one of these medications is bad, but for all six of them? HELL.
So, there I lay on the couch in my living room, unable to sleep, suffering from cold sweats and fever, shaking uncontrollably while debating over whether or not I should go to the hospital.
I can’t exactly remember how many days I went without sleep, but enough time passed to cause me to start seeing shadows in the corner of my eye and hear things that weren’t real. I was alone, sick, and terrified. A dark shadow began to wrap itself around everything in my home that I once considered a safe haven. The few, short moments of rest I got every few days clouded my mind with such terrifying nightmares that I gave up on sleep altogether.
For weeks, my mind desperately roamed every inch of my memories in search of comfort, but there was none to be found.
I’ve discovered that during awful times such as this, my paranoia likes to come out of suppression and take me hostage while it can. And without my medication, I had no choice but to surrender.
I can’t even write about how irrational and sickening my thoughts became. Think about a time when you might’ve watched a movie that was so scary, it left you with a painful pit in the bottom of your stomach. Now imagine it staying.
Finally, I broke down completely. My car has been on the market, so I decided to use the little money I had left over from the semester and grab a cab all the way to my mom’s house.
Now, I never cry in front of my mom. Never. I guess that I’d seen her cry so much when I was growing up that I decided to hide my emotions so I could be strong for her and my sister. It’s been that way for as long as I can remember, but as soon as the cab pulled up to her house, I ran straight to her room and buried my face into her neck, sobbing so violently that I couldn’t even speak.
She is sick with Huntington’s Disease, which causes extreme mental instabilities that can be so difficult to deal with that the ill often turn to substance abuse for relief.
I had been missing my mother terribly, but when I finally fell into her loving arms for comfort, I found myself missing her even more. There is nothing worse than coming home to somebody who isn’t really there any more.
Thank God for my sister and nephew who were able to make me laugh for the first time in weeks. I’ve been spending every second with them, and after a very emotional heart-to-heart with my mom, I’ve been able to spend a lot of time with her, too…the sober her.
So, that’s where I have been hiding out: With the ones that I love and care about the most, and while I still have a (now) subtle knot of senseless fear in my stomach, I believe that it fades a little more every time I hear my nephew laugh, smell the hints of my childhood beneath the walls of our house, or witness light in my mother’s eyes after years of dimness from the pills.
And though I have been neglecting my site, I will not apologize, because some things are just more important than my aspirations. You shouldn’t apologize, either.
If someone has a surgery or breaks an arm, they are still able to rationalize and feel happiness. They are easily excused from their regular activities.
If someone deals with depression or schizophrenic paranoia like I do and they take some time off to heal, then people often accuse them of laziness, telling them to “look at the bright side,” or to “stop feeling sorry for themselves.”
It’s so twisted! If I had the choice, I would choose ten broken bones just to be rid of one of my mental disabilities. Whether we like it or not, our realities are what our minds create, and if you’re mentally ill, your reality can easily turn into a pit of despair at any time.
So if you ever need to put your life on hold so that your mind can heal, do it. So what if you make someone angry or you miss out on important things? Your reality is what’s real to you and no one else, and healing your mind could just save your life. Trust me, my own mind has brought me right to the edge of death more than one time.
I’m not going to tell you not to be afraid. Sometimes, you need to be so encompassed in fear that it forces you to ask for help or take a timeout on your life.
Your mind is your truth. Never apologize for healing.
Once your wounds heal, scars will remain to show what you’ve been through…