I learned something about myself this morning.
I woke up this morning to the epic snow everyone has been talking about for two weeks and decided to head out and take a walk around the square. (Have I mentioned I love living in town?) I felt good and didn’t think twice about it. Came home, showered, ate breakfast, and did some general housekeeping. I still felt good–and calm.
As I scrubbed the kitchen sink I came to the realization. I have two kinds of OK. The last two days I would have sworn up and down that I was fine, felt good, and there was nothing wrong, all the while feeling pressured, restless, and uneasy. I doubt myself and question whats real. I’ll do things in spurts and then sit down, not move, and stare off into space for a bit. I even started to think that my therapist was just humoring me. This is the “OK.” (Even though reading that there are red flags all over the place, I’ll deny it until the cows come home if you ask me in the middle of it.) Looking back I can see it building up over the course of several weeks.
The other kind of OK–that’s where I’m at now. My brain is calm. I feel grounded. I know who I am and can put everything in perspective. I understand and can place my feelings and don’t doubt them at all. I’m able to look back and say to myself “These are the things that happened. They are real. But they are gone for now. Because they are gone right now, it does not invalidate everything else. They may come back, but that’s OK because I’ll get through them.” I know stopping therapy or medication or whatever on a whim is a horrible, terrible idea that most definitely would not end well. Who I was for the past few weeks feels like a different person and makes me cringe.
Now that I can stop and think about it with a level head, I wonder, was that me cycling? It was fast whatever it was. There were moments of 100% depression, or spurts of energy where I couldn’t sit still. Days when thinking was a herculean effort. Days when I couldn’t remember anything from the past weekend. Days when I felt sick to my stomach and days when I felt more than OK. I was agitated and frustrated and wasn’t thinking clearly at all.
This mental illness is real. So very real.
And I know that because I’m OK.