Yall remember when Britney Spears had a break down of sorts and cut her hair off in 2007? Thats what I’m coming out of. Maybe it was a quarter life crisis. Maybe I called in black
for a couple weeks. I still have my hair but I wasn’t at work from July 6th-July 25th.
No seriously, my depression and anxiety took me to a place where I was unable to function. I was in the bed MOST of the time. I was working and sleeping and working and sleeping. Rinse. Repeat. I was existing, not living. I stopped going to church. I didn’t have the social energy church required. I didn’t have any social energy or any motivation to DO anything.
What’s important to know about depression is that you may not necessarily feel sad. For me, it’s more of feeling just absent which may or may not make me feel sad. I was absent for months and did not realize it.
I also have anxiety attacks that were becoming more frequent and making it hard for me to sit down at my desk at work for long periods of time. I was also making lots of mistakes on my work.
I haven’t been myself this year. I got fired in January. I THOUGHT I bounced back (
because them bitches had to hire me back) but I had not bounced back. I hadnt healed from a very traumatic experience that hurt. Getting fired sucks and I should have taken the time to deal with it. All I did was fight for my job back and go right back into the situation that was harming me.
Looking back there was no reason for me to be mentally healthy. I was fired in January and hired back a month later under the same supervisor that obviously didn’t want me there. I had to work under someone i wanted to punch in the face for months; no wonder i lost it. Also, my medicines had not been adjusted in YEARS.
I went to my hometown for the 4th of July weekend Its always a festive time because all my family is in town and it’s my mom’s birthday on the 6th. I did not have a good time. Again, I stayed in bed most of the time with no social energy. I WANTED to have a good time with my family but it was like I couldn’t. Depression on top of anxiety and a constant headache.
On July 5th when I went back to work after the holiday wknd. I was too anxious to sit at my desk and do my job and thought to myself “I can’t do this.” I told my mom, my therapist and a few trusted friends that I need to go get treatment for my depression TODAY.
I made arrangements to take a leave of absence for work. I told my boss. She prayed for me (laid hands everything and chile) which is funny because she’s a big part of the reason I was so sick.
Anyway, that day after work my friend “Isabella” came, got me and took me to the hospital to get me an assessment. I would not have gone without her. I came home that day after work and got in the bed with plans to go the next morning.
Chiiiiile, I had to wait 4 hours to see a clinician. I would have gone home after 20 minutes. I’m so glad Isabella was with me cause I don’t like waiting on a good day and that was a bad day, honey.
I wish I had time to tell you all about the people that I had to wait with. It probably isn’t a good idea to have a bunch of anxious ass people in a quiet ass waiting room (and my phone was dead!!!!!).
I finally got to see a clinician and she asked a bunch of questions and decided that “Intensive Outpatient Therapy (or IOP)” was good for me. I didn’t need to be admitted because I didn’t want to hurt myself or anyone else.
IOP was a group therapy setting Mon-Fri from 9am-12pm. I would also have access to a psychiatrist.
In short, group therapy did not work for me. The room was too bright, no windows, the chairs were uncomfortable and I had nothing in common with the people in group nor was I interested in their problems.
When we would first come in the morning we would do ‘mindful meditation’. We’d sit there and stare for a few minutes. Again, did not work for me. I had to sing a song (usually a hymn) in my head and rock back and forth to not have an anxiety attack.
We would go around and do ‘check-ins’ where we would talk about how we were feeling. On one of my check-ins I needed to talk about how frightened I was that Donald Trump would become POTUS and the therapist stopped me because we couldn’t discuss politics. That was the day I decided I was over ‘group’. If I can’t talk about politics or white people, the sht ain’t therapeutic.
In the mean time, I had seen the resident psychiatrist and he had adjusted my medicine. I was feeling better. I had more (social/mental/emotional) energy. The downside is the medicine has become more expensive but feeling better is worth it.
I told them I needed my walking papers and was going back to work. I have learned that it is important in this broken healthcare system to decide what you are going to do because often times providers are more concerned about money (especially those with mostly medicare/medicaid patients) than your care and aren’t going to necessarily do what is best for you. Them people would have had me in group therapy miserable for as long as my insurance would cover it.
Don’t get me started on insurance, Jesus.
OH! and in the middle of all that I got food poisoning! On Tuesday or Wednesday of group I woke up feeling very anxious but went to group anyway cause therapy is supposed to help right? I’m not going to give yall any details but I ended up going home early from group and was very sick for the rest of the day. I thought I was a goner, yall. I was writing my obituary in my head. I’m dramatic. I THINK I got food poisoning from Papa Johns because that’s what I had to eat the night before.
Thank God for Jehova-Rapha, I don’t look like what I been through.
My mother named this #CarriesLifeMatters probably because I stress myself about the happenings in the world and my vessel was empty so I was useless to the movement. I haven’t been able to do any activism work locally for a long time. I will be back soon though.
There were a few things I had to do and a few decisions I had to make when it came to getting better. One decision was that I was going to stop trying to convince white people and men of racism and patriarchy. I cannot wake everybody up. It isn’t my job and it is stressful because stupid people tend to do that. I’m no longer going back and forth on my social media posts. If you don’t get it, I’m sending you on your merry way. My people are getting killed. I have to use my energy to fix this thing.
I also have to make sure that my physical spaces (namely my bedroom and car) are not cluttered. Lack of motivation comes with depression and I wasn’t motivated to clean my space it really made my anxiety worse.
The adjustment in my medication almost instantly helped my energy and my sleep schedule. Once that I’m used to it (and ain’t broke no more). I’m hopping back on this get healthy train. I am the heaviest I’ve ever been. It’s 100 degrees outside. The devil is a liar. I could not get physically healthy because I was not mentally/emotionally healthy. Knowing is half the battle. I’ll post the #CarrieShrinks plan next week.
Thank you so much to everyone who has sent me a message of encouragement and or prayed for me. I needed it more than you know. Hope I can catch you all individually.
I’m STILL HERE.