Some of you who haven't been reading since the beginning of this blog may not know that I have an illness.
It isn't lupus or Crohn's disease. It's not even asthma. It's a mental illness.
Just to type that phrase is scary to me, like you'll read that and think, "She's crazy! Run!"
(Yes, I am crazy, but that is not what I'm talking about here.)
I think we still have a hard time thinking of mental illness as an illness that needs to be treated. I know I do. For the past year and a half, I have been treated for anxiety and depression. I have taken my medication every day and been so, so thankful that it works. Because, you see, the mental anguish that clinical depression and anxiety brings is as awful as any physical pain I've ever had. Worse than childbirth, really, because I couldn't get an epidural for my brain. But since I've been better, I had kind of assumed that it would never come back.
The past few days have not been good for me. My major symptom is insomnia, and I've been waking up before 5 every morning, unable to go back to sleep. So I've been anxious that the worst is coming back, that all my gains have been lost, that I'll have to suffer again. All that anxiety doesn't make for a peaceful day or a sleep-filled night, so it's a vicious cycle.
I do have a plan in place. I have medication to help me calm down enough to sleep. If, as my husband thinks, this was triggered by hormones (which totally can happen), I should be better next week. If not, I'll need to consult with my doctor about changing my dosage to get me back to a good place.
It's just the waiting that's hard. I've been so happy the last 18 months, it's hard to have to fight something I thought was taken care of. However, as with any chronic illness, it can reoccur and thank goodness there are plenty of options for keeping it under control.