I am ill… I am broken…

I am ill… I am broken…

This weekend I locked the door of our condo, got into the car and headed down toward to visit the family in Colorado Springs. I distinctly remember shutting the door, opening it again to make sure I turned off all the lights, closing it again and locking the doorknob lock. As soon as the Wifey pulled out onto the main road I started to feel very anxious about the front door. While I did remember locking  the doorknob bolt I couldn’t remember locking the deadbolt. Furthermore, I didn’t ‘feel’ like I had locked the door.

I expressed this feeling to the Wifey. We spoke about whether I remembered locking the door. She said that was enough for her. She trusted that I did it before I left for the car. Her reasoning was sound and I intellectually understood it. But, I couldn’t quite seem to trust my memory and that anxious feeling I had wouldn’t go away. I even found myself questioning whether I had actually shut the door itself. I simply fixated on the issue until we arrived at our destination.

I was able to set it aside for most of the remainder of the day. I let myself get distracted by visiting with family. But, I awoke at 3am the next morning, in the throws of a full on anxiety attack and ready to drive all the way back up to Boulder just to check on the door. The Wifey was able to calm me down enough so that I was able to fitfully get back to sleep.

Later that morning I was got a hold of a friend and he went to the Condo to check the door. It was locked. I was finally able to actually enjoy the rest of the weekend.

I’d like to say that this sorta thing doesn’t happen to me very often. But, as I talked to the Wifey about it I realized, or finally recognized, that that simply isn’t the case. In hindsight I can now see numerous times where similar situations have arisen. For instance, I used to wake up and wonder if I had shut off the laminator at work. I’ve actually gone into work on the weekend to check. Now, I unplug the damn thing before leaving for the day and walk around the area with a mental checklist to make sure I will remember that everything is turned off.

I’ve known for awhile that I have some issues with my mental health. A couple of years ago my doctor thought I might have SAD. She prescribed Vitamin D and light therapy for the winter months. I really felt that this combination helped me get through some tough patches. The Wifey could actually tell if I skipped a dose or hadn’t sat in front of my light. Sadly, I was feeling fine so I stopped taking the Vitamin D sometime in late summer (I think). I didn’t start taking it again as the winter months came on. I thought I was doing ok. I now know I was wrong. I’ve been moody and snippy with the Wifey and friends and I didn’t even realize it.

I’m sorry guys, I didn’t know… I’ve restarted the Vitamin D and light therapy. It’ll take a bit before I find an even keel again but I’m working on it. Please hang in there.

Still, I’m not sure that SAD is actually what has been happening with the anxiety/fixation thing. Granted it might be part of it or somehow feed into it but I don’t think it’s the whole of it. I’ve seen the symptoms before and I’m well aware of what can happen to a person who chooses to repeatedly ignore them or is too afraid to ask for help.

I’ve always feared that there would be a time when I’d manifest the symptoms myself. Perhaps I’ve known for awhile that I was experiencing them and I’ve just been trying to ignore them. I’m actually not sure. Regardless, they seem so damn obvious now.

So next week I’ll be seeing if I can set up an appointment to see a mental health specialist. I’m hoping that they can give me a diagnosis for whatever it is that I’ve ‘got’ and that there is a course of treatment. The prospects terrify the hell outta me. I’m well aware that there is still a social stigma attached to mental illness and even me discussing this in such a public forum may have unforeseen consequences for my career and whatnot. But, I just want to be better and there may come a time when I feel ‘just fine’ when I’m really not. It’s for those times that I write this.

I am ill… I am broken…

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2 Responses to “I am ill… I am broken…”

  1. Jess Says:

    Hugs! Oh friend. I’m so sorry. I have every confidence that it will get better if you seek treatment. Good luck!! I’m proud that you’ve been brave enough to even seek treatment in the first place. We’re here for you!

  2. Diana Says:

    Even if you think you might have an illness, chances are you can get help for it. I’ve come to understand that the earlier you get a mental health screening, the better your chances at getting effective treatment. Go in. Get checked early. Take care of yourself!

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