I felt like I just kept sinking and sinking deeper into a black hole and was slowly finding it hard to see the light at the top. (Catch up on why here)
Think about it… if you are in constant pain, you can’t do what you used to do, all of your friends are doing what you used still, and you are left behind it’s very hard to stay in a positive mindset. I wasn’t a very fun person to be around. Luckily I was in a position in which I did not have a family to take care of and I didn’t have the responsibilities of a husband to worry about. I really give props to those who have that situation. For me, I found it extremely hard to hold onto my relationships -whether it was a boyfriend girlfriend relationship or friendship relationship.
Up til that point my boyfriend Brad had been so supportive. So amazing. So understanding. So comforting. He is only in town on the weekends and would spend the majority of it at my house, just sitting watching tv on the couch. I didn’t really make an effort to keep up our relationship. I didn’t make the effort to even get out of bed to change my clothes, let alone get out of bed to sit on the couch with him. I was irritable, negative and most likely just plain mean. When he would call me during the week to check in I never felt like talking… I was sick of saying the same old thing every day ‘I didn’t do anything today. Yes I’m still in pain. No, nothing has changed.’ and I would just get irritated. Eventually his calls started becoming less and he started coming over less frequently on the weekend. I cannot blame him at all. This whole situation hasn’t been easy for me and it surely hasn’t been easy for him. When you’re sick you never really stop to think about how your illness is affecting everyone in your life. My family was supporting me 24/7- giving up their freedoms, giving me their time, their energy. I didn’t take the time to ask how it was affecting them and how I could make things a little bit easier for them too. It wasn’t until Brad and I started fighting constantly that I realized I needed help.
I began ordering anxiety and depression books online, but found that because of everything I was going through I couldn’t concentrate long enough to read more than a few pages. I asked my pain management doctor if he could recommend a psychiatrist and I made an appointment. I’m not ashamed to say that I went to a psychiatrist because I knew that I needed someone else to help me get me out of my funk. Some of my loved ones weren’t ecstatic that I was going because they had very negative opinions on anti-depressants. I knew I needed something, at least for a short term, to help me. I also knew that I wanted to do something more than just medicate as well. I began meeting with him to work on a plan to get me back to ME. It seemed that all he wanted to do was prescribe medicine at first, but after expressing my wanting to know what else I could do to help myself my psychiatrist suggested I go and see a psychologist as well. He also suggested I look into doing some chair yoga. Before my injuries I enjoyed doing yoga and was missing working out. After doing some googling I learned about chair yoga! Of course! Why hadn’t I thought of that before? I started doing it every day to strengthen my knee. I started seeing a huge difference not only in the strength in my leg, but also in my mental state. Because I could see that working on myself was beginning to really open me up and help me to shake these problems I booked an appointment with a therapist.
To date this was one of the best moves I made for myself and for everyone in my life. I began seeing Dr. Kunkle-Miller in April and started working on pulling myself out of the depression and anxiety cloud I was in. I wanted the change to happen overnight. I was cry that I just wanted all my relationships to be back to where it was before. I wanted to feel like myself again. I wanted to go back to my old life. I didn’t want to be immobile, in pain, and miserable
It was a long road to get to where I am now, but it was a great first step, a huge step, in the right direction.
Have you found yourself in a similar situation? How do you deal with pulling yourself out of a depressed state? I’d love to hear your story! It’s extremely important to support yourself in situations like this, so check out this blog post.
Wishing you a pain free day!