Lately I’ve realized that I’m into funk and I don’t know how long I’ve been living through this period of my life. I feel depressed. But does it have anything to do with my cross-country move last year? Or perhaps I continue to struggle after recovering from COVID-19.
I love the weather in Southern California and I can be outside all year round and enjoy the beauty of nature. What is wrong then, you ask? I don’t know and that’s okay too. Sometimes life is overwhelming and we can’t pinpoint exactly what is pushing us to the edge.
I am the kind of person who wants to support others by often hiding my emotions and feelings. It doesn’t mean I’m not emotional, but I tend to hold back my feelings for long periods of time until everything comes crashing down like a waterfall minus the serenity.
After PHighting for my life with pulmonary hypertension (PH) Over 17 years of adapting to new normals and ultimately redefining myself, I acknowledge that I am a different person today than I once was. I have found that I can now easily become anxious, depressed, frustrated and angry. Sometimes this change causes me to hurt those I love the most.
I feel a gnaw inside me that I tried to decipher and discard, but it continued to bother me. It’s close to my heart, but not like the chest pains, palpitations and heaviness that PH makes me feel. It’s different, but what the hell is it?
All my life I have considered myself a truly good person who tries to make the best decisions, although at times, as my family will tell you, I failed. Everything is fine; everything we do. I am human. What we do next matters most.
But how can we do what is best when we have no idea what it is? What if the world around us seems to be getting closer to us every day?
The other day, I was having trouble with self-motivation. No matter what I tried to refocus my energy on, nothing worked. The fog in my head and confusion intensified, which only threw me back even more. When my husband Manny got home from work, he asked what was wrong. I fell down, tears streaming down my face.
The next day I called my mom in Texas. She was there with other family members celebrating high school and college graduations. When she asked how I was doing, I again became confused. I told her that I had made so many mistakes in my life and regretted the things I couldn’t go back and fix.
She reminded me that we all make mistakes – it’s part of life. I said I feel like I’m not doing enough and I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much in almost 50 years. Sometimes I don’t like the person I’ve become. But why?
Yes, I have changed over the years, but why can’t things be the same as before? What will happen in the future?
Because of this ongoing struggle, I realized that I needed more help. My doctor advised me to see a psychiatrist, but at the time I didn’t think it was necessary. However, I made an appointment. Talk about anxiety!
The psychiatrist told me that my anxiety was out of control. Also, my brain fog and lack of concentration persisted after I had COVID-19. But the psychiatrist had a plan. Although I wasn’t thrilled at first, we agreed to start taking the new drugs at the lowest possible doses for a month.
I am indebted to my mental health try. Plus, I want a part of me back. Mental health has affected every aspect of my life. But with PH and my other comorbidities, the psychiatrist said, I have more on my plate than I realize. She was attentive and wanted to help me feel better overall.
So, it looks like there’s a new player on my medical team. Taking care of my mental health is critical and I am proud to have reached out for help. Here’s to getting out of this hole.
If you are struggling with mental health issues, Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services has helpful resources on its website.
Note: Pulmonary Hypertension News strictly news and information site about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice and put off seeking it because of something you read on this site. The views expressed in this column are not Pulmonary Hypertension News or its parent company BioNews, and are intended to generate discussion on issues related to pulmonary hypertension.