A Mental Health Check-in

Time for a little mental health check-in. I wrote over a month ago that I was going through a difficult bout of depression and anxiety. I was not sleeping or eating well. I was having difficulty with work, writing, and simply living a normal life. I had returned to therapy, and I was beyond thrilled with my care from my doctors and support team.

So now, weeks later…how am I doing?

Better. Regulated meds. Optimistic about my mental health. But in all honesty, it’s not perfect.

From a daily perspective, I am doing pretty well. I can manage any anxiety better with my medication regimen, coping strategies, and even some phone apps. My depression is not as severe. I am back to exercising regularly, and I do a lot of yoga and stretching to combat the tension and anxiety. I can go to work, meetings, school functions, and can meet deadlines without much difficulty.

But as I said, it is not perfect. I still have unrealistic anxiety about things that give me pause or stop me from doing normal things. I have days where I wake up panicked and sad for no reason at all. I keep Xanax in my purse because if I cannot calm down with my coping strategies, I feel better knowing I have a backup. It makes me numb for several hours, which is unpleasant, but at least I can work and write. I often look ridiculous in public places because I am using muscle tension or isometric stretches to cope; sometimes, I am hiding in a bathroom so I can do my deep breathing without anyone seeing how strange I look.

I still go to therapy and a psychiatrist, but I do not have to go as often. My team has let me dictate when I see them, and I find myself more than willing to go to my appointments. I love taking anything they suggest and at least trying it. If it doesn’t work, then on to the next thing.

And I am finally starting to feel physically better. I still suffer some nausea and upset stomach from my meds, but it is not a constant like before. I have not lost anymore weight. My energy is returning, and I’m hopeful that my sleep will start improving soon. The older I get, the more important my sleep is!

So for my mental health check-in: I’m doing as well as I can.

I’m vastly improved from a few months ago. I write this to you all to show that there is hope. The effort, the pain, the tears, the struggle…that is not diminished or wiped away.  There is still work to do, work I will probably have to do and maintain my entire life. But today, I can say that things are optimistic. What more can I hope for?

Get the help you need – suicide is never the best option. If you or someone you know is suffering and needs help, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.


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