Disclaimer: These are my experiences. Mental illness hits people differently, and many of these are things only a minority experience. Regardless, I like to talk about this stuff openly because I was #blessed with a lack of shame and this puts me in an excellent position to fight against a stigma that only hurts me when coming from those I love.
The past three months were half me sharing with my sister, and half having my room back to myself. I want to shed some clarity on what living with anxiety and depression is like, so I’m going to call up specific incidents as well as general states of mind, because that’s how that goes; you can’t just get rid of it. It affects the way you act and react, the way you think.
First of all, a confession a long time coming: I’ve been struggling with alcohol. Wine is incredibly cheap in Spain — I generally drink 1.49€ a bottle white wine — and for the time I was sharing a room, I felt hopeless, I couldn’t think of anything that would improve my life and keep me going, and wine was there for me. I started to rely on those alcohol highs to get me through the days. It wasn’t healthy, but it was the only coping mechanism I could afford; I couldn’t bring myself to go through the GP/psychiatrist/psychologist/maybe therapist pain again. I still can’t. Next I go, I want to up my escitalopram, and I will be asking for a therapist. If I have to jump through those same hoops — if I have to put up with whoever is chosen for me, like that awful psychologist I got that last time — I’m not going to go for it.
Hell, I’m thinking of switching GPs, and this one has known me since I was 14, prescribes me what he thinks is the best version of what I think I need, and there’s no way my mom’s going to take it well as he’s been her doctor for even longer.
But here we are. Last month — after my grandma left and my sister moved out of my room — I had my usual long adaptation period — a week at minimum, two, three. I had two bad hangovers, which I’d never experienced before. I genuinely started drinking less, and I’m keeping that up. I’m very proud of myself. No one else is, as long as I drink; apparently the only way to achieve parental support is to quit cold turkey, and I’ve not found a nonalcoholic drink that keeps my fingers away from my brows yet. But I’m not getting drunk every day. I don’t need the high. So I’m trying to do better.
The other thing I need to cut back on is lorazepam. I asked someone what day it was to know how many i could take; they asked me who put me on that treatment, and I laughed. Because otherwise you cry, right? This helps, but I also know, from the time in September I had to quit cold turkey for six days, that I’m addicted. It’s a vaguely controlled addiction. Controlled by me. And it’s messing with my cognitive skills in some way or other. But I’m not ready to let go yet.
Before my grandma left, I had a few meltdowns. Episodes. Whatever you want to call them. Tantrums might be a good descriptor, too. I can’t remember what caused them now, which is a pain because if I did maybe I’d be able to describe exactly why sharing a room does such a number on my mental health. But that’s victim-blaming, isn’t it? Why can’t people just… believe me, when I say I’m in deep pain? At one point, no one did, and it was a proper baby tantrum, kicking at the bed, going at my hair, and while my hair was fine really, I only ever ruin my eyebrows, I then went outside and started channeling my trich onto the plants. It was very destructive in a way I only tend to be self-destructive, and it really bothered me.
I’ve talked about my trich quite a few times on the blog, last time being 2015, so maybe it’s a good time for an update? I do have eyebrows again, but I continue to obsess over them. Sometimes I pull out my lashes, but they’re too close to my eyes for comfort, and that generally keeps me from doing damage. I have to be really angry to go for my head, and have only done so maybe twice in all these years. I don’t envy anyone whose trich is that way, but I wanted to acknowledge that I know it can be worse. You can paint on eyebrows, sometimes, but you can’t paint on hair. One thing you can do, if trich or another form of stress leads to hair loss, is a transplant; the Harley Street Hair Clinic offers FUE hair transplants using your existing hair, which seems much nicer than what I used to think transplants were like.
I have the opposite problem, so far: my eyebrows grow back with a goddamn vengeance.
Anxiety and depression are also why it’s taken me so long to post. Dread less is something I first thought of years ago, and which I still think on a regular basis. It’s not writer’s block. It’s dread.
The other day I straight up pulled out spoon theory on my parents as to why I couldn’t go to the supermarket and still get anything done, and it sort of worked so maybe I should just simplify things that way more. I don’t know. But here’s a full post. It’s taken me three months.
A general life update should arrive soon.
Post in collaboration with Harley Street Hair Clinic.