Posted on 30 May 2015 by Michael

Where does hope come from when I feel like a complete failure?

Today began quite nicely, as have the past few days.  It seems(ed) my mood is / was improving.  The depressive feelings are / were definitely receding.  And while the Anxiety is still sticking around, at least it isn’t / wasn’t at panic level mode.

Some folks checking in on my social media feeds said they sensed a bit of a change in my attitude.

That is / was true.  I’ve had a string of three or four days that seemed markedly better than before.  As I seem to be constantly writing / sharing these things, some people noticed the difference.

But some of the perception is just that I may be the most hopeful depressed and anxious guy there is.  More on that soon.

But first, while this morning began quite nicely, it took an awful turn quite early.

Nothing “real” happened.  My attitude just took a “complete 180” due to an out-of-the-blue panic attack.

I was on a pleasurable — but still exhausting — walk with my pup Franco.  I was pondering the blog posts I should get writing — I’m always doing that.  And then my chest tightened up … like panic attack, chest-tightening up.

“Where?  Where did that come from?” I asked myself.  There was no reason.  And I haven’t had a panic attack in couple of weeks.

Immediately my head started to hurt bad and feel brick-like, I started to get scared of my surroundings.  And then that triggered depressive attitudes.

“Idiot, Michael, you can’t even take your dog for a walk without getting exhausted.  There’s no chance you’ll make it into the garden today … and you really wanted to get in the garden.  Wow!  You are a failure.”

“No yoga for you … not for a long time.”

“You are a terrible person, a terrible friend, a terrible husband, a terrible everything.”

“Go home.  Take that chill pill that (when combined with the fatigue you are already feeling because of the med withdrawal) knocks you out.  Stay in bed.  Don’t move.  Be bored.  And continue missing all the people and opportunities you’ve  been missing out on for the past couple months.”

When I got home, the tears just started falling.

I am very frustrated.

Now, about where the hope comes from and me being the most hopeful depressed and anxious guy on earth.

While I feel like a complete failure, I know I am not.  I know these feelings are likely the withdrawal effects of one of the drugs I am transitioning off of.  And I know that it could get worse before it gets better.  (I’m really bracing myself for next week when I completely transition off the drug.)

I also know that in order to tamp down the feelings of failure and Anxiety, I need to take the pill that sometimes completely knocks me out.  And I know that while that pill will make my moods better, it will mean exhaustion, fatigue, and at some point in the day, near immobility.

So, knowing these things and believing the yoga mantra that “EVERYTHING IS TEMPORARY,” I know that what I am feeling is a normal side effect of withdrawal from the drug that I am weaning off.

Its just today would have been so much easier if I hadn’t had a panic attack.

There are a few other things I know that have made things better.  I am recording / writing them down to cement them in my wounded brain:

  1. While I have not been able to exercise, I have also not gained any weight back.  Having lost 50 pounds, I was scared a med change paired with exhaustion might lead to a reversal.  Thankfully, that has not been the case.
  2. Also, my garden is thriving.  Yes, there is more I could be doing.  But gardening is a bit like housework … there’s always more you could be doing.  Fact of the matter is, my garden look beautiful despite the weeds here and there.  And, it’s producing gobs of food for me and my wife.
  3. And, while I’ve had to change how I do some of my work, I am still working.  And, I am actually getting a lot done.  Surprisingly, the creativity I usually bring to my work has not been impacted despite the exhaustion.

I will make it through this.  I will return to normal.  I will be healthy someday soon.