Posted on 25 July 2017 by Michael Dahl

Michael’s “normal” but really wishes he could be better.

Yesterday, my mental health med doctor and I arrived at the conclusion that at least for the next six months how I am normally is how I’ll be until we check in again in January. My med cocktail will stay the same. I am encouraged to continue seeing my therapist as needed. And, how I feel on a daily basis is (hopefully) not going to change much.

I say this with some hesitation. I still suffer on a regular basis from Anxiety. It does not feel good to have a panic attack (and all the emotional and physical pain that accompanies it) every couple of weeks … to say nothing of the daily (for the most part short-lived and predictable) anxious moments when I fear the day ahead or I internalize “how stupid Michael was” each night as I spend a few minutes blowing everything out of proportion.

So why is this acceptable? Because most of my day I am not haunted by Anxiety. I go about my home and work life normally (whatever that means). And I am not depressed. Thankfully, (say it again) “I am not depressed.”

And so, I feel lucky. I should feel lucky. Tweaking with meds for a year and a half and then verifying with my med doctor every couple of months that this is acceptable — not optimal, but acceptable — is a good thing.

But I’ll admit it. After a panic attack or sometimes when my daily fears subside, I get really angry and all “Why me!?” about this all. I hate that I have this cost – benefit analysis of “what can I live with” that on a few days now and then fells more like “what can I endure.”

And so let me be frank about just a little bit more. I hate that my drugs make me tired most of the time? My god, I feel like going to bed each night at 7:30 pm and struggle to make it to 8:30 or 9 pm on most nights.

And one last thing. Oh, I hate this. My drugs S … L … O … W things down. It takes me a minute for my thoughts to catch up sometimes. I want to be sharp. I want to be in command of my thoughts immediately.

Of course, my doctor says, “You know, it’s good to mull over most things before you (in the universal “you” sense), blurt something out your mouth. Which is true. But we’re more of a society that blurts things out and interrupts others when we speak. It’s hard to get attention holding up my hand when I am finally ready to speak.

I’m sorry. This post is much more negative than it should be. I just agreed with my med doctor that my meds are working. I’m at an acceptable place. For most of the day, I control my emotions rather than them controlling me. I’m happy. I rarely use the word “snazzy” in vain. Sometimes I whistle when I walk. I’m good. Okay. I’m okay. On the “what’s my mood on a daily basis scale” that my med doctor asks me about each time I visit, I’m a 6.5. The “2s” of a panic attack are rare. What do you want, Michael?

What do I want? I want to feel more normal than my current normal is. But sometimes we have to accept the illness that’s been thrown at us. Sometimes you can’t win it all … you just have to live the life you can achieve and appreciate it.

Easier said than done … at least as I’m typing these words.

(Sorry for the poor writing in this post. I just had to get the words out as they came to me.)