I’ve realized this is all going to get worse before I start to feel better.
From the time I was 16 to about 21, I used drugs and alcohol to calm my nerves and escape from pain. I kept up the drinking until about a year ago when I started putting in a genuine effort to stop.
It was when I began drinking less that I was stuck with myself and my feelings of sadness and anger and self-loathing. There have been so many nights I’ve sat at home thinking about being raped and bawling. I’ve forced myself to be alone in my quiet apartment and feel. I’m getting more used to being with my memories instead of running.
Instead of dealing with my anxiety, I’ve found ways to escape. I’d cover it with beers or force myself to be overly outgoing, always surrounding myself with people and somehow pushing the anxiety down until it reached this point that I can’t ignore it and some days can’t function.
These days, when I feel a panic attack coming on, I sit down and think a lot about how I feel and why I feel that way. Is there a reason for my anxiety? If not (which is most of the time), I just curl up on my couch to cuddle a cat or stretch on my bed while listening to music until I feel stable enough to go on with life. It doesn’t sound like hard work, but it is much more difficult than having a few drinks.
And it doesn’t feel like I’m getting any better. I’ll have good weeks when I can exercise and clean and work, and then bad weeks where I completely crash. Getting out of bed is nearly impossible and my body is in so much pain even walking a block from my car to work is difficult.
For a while, this frustrated me. It made me think I was always going to be a total fucking mess. But now I think I just need to get through this period of feeling and thinking and suffering through everything. Maybe, for now, that’s the only way to get to a place where I’ll be able to heal.