It’s been two years, two years since my life forever changed. Since the person I grew to be, completely vanished. That girl I used to know is gone. She will never come back.
In one second, the entire baseline of who I was left this world. The second you left, I left with you.
730 days of living in this hell, in my grief. Hoping each day, the pain would subside just a little, enough to allow me to breathe. It hasn’t. It hasn’t gotten any easier, or any better.
I’m still completely emotionally exhausted. I still dream of you every night, in some way or form.
I’m tired of explaining myself to others around me.
“Why are you still so sad?”
“Why are you depressed?”
People will ask me these questions, almost every day. The average person doesn’t understand, and never will. It’s not like this feeling will ever go away.
The constant state of feeling hopeless, feeling lost and the overwhelming feeling of sadness that completely consumes your mind and body, isn’t something that can magically go away.
The pills that I take every day, to help manage my anxiety aren’t magic pills. They are pills that simply allow me to manage my anxiety. I still get panic attacks. I still feel dread every morning I wake up. I still feel lost and hollow.
I’ve been diagnosed with general depression, anxiety disorder and panic attacks. I’ve also been diagnosed with PTSD.
Mayo-Clinic defines PTSD as follows: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
Most war veterans become diagnosed with PTSD, because of all the horrific things they have seen in the event of war, and in third world countries. The images, events and the experiences they go through stick with them for the rest of their lives.
My PTSD isn’t any different. With such a life changing altercation I experienced when I lost you, it has created these symptoms that reflect exactly what PTSD means to any war vet.
So when someone on the outside asks me why I’m so depressed still, it really irritates me. Living each day literally takes everything I have left physically and emotionally.
Time doesn’t heal anything, it just teaches us to live with the pain.
That’s what I am simply doing, every day. Living with the pain. Trying to manage it, trying to not let it overcome and take over my life.
Right after I lost you, the pain consumed my entire body, my entire heart and my whole life. I didn’t eat or move, I just slept. I didn’t leave my bed. I tried to pretend this was all a dream. I tried to pretend this was an awful nightmare, and that I would eventually wake up.
The pain consumed me until the point where I thought I couldn’t move forward with my life, and the will to live didn’t exist.
I’ve been able to control and mange this pain now, through the help of medication, therapy and my dog Rufus. Don’t get me wrong, the pain is still very much there still. The pain is still so raw sometime, it hurts to breathe.
The depression and anxiety that came after I lost you, will never go away. I have realized that. It’s something that is here to stay for the rest of my life, I just know how to manage it.
Those panic attacks will happen, where I physically cause myself to pass out from anxiety. Those will probably happen around anniversaries, or important dates such as your birthday, the day you left, and the last day I was able to see you on this earth.
What I’ve learned is that I can do things both physically and mentally to prepare myself. I may still have severe attacks when these events come close, but I will be prepared and have the right action plans in place.
That’s what I hope people can understand, about my mental illness and my life. It’s another stigma of mental illness. If someone suffers from a mental illness, most others assumes you can see a “shrink” or take pills and you’ll be fully healed the next day. That’s anything but accurate.
It’s a constant battle, it’s a constant struggle every day to live with a mental illness. It’s something you have to work on every day, some days are easier and some days are harder.
Just like cancer, you experience relapses and setbacks. It’s something that cannot magically go away, and may never will.
I have to learn to live with my mental illness the rest of my life. I have to learn to live without you, for the rest of my life.
It’s different every day, no one day are alike. My anxiety level changes every hour, every minute and every second of every day.
As I continue to write about the loss of my brother, my mental illness and my every day struggle I hope it opens eyes for others around me. Even if I don’t personally know you or not, I’m hoping this can somewhat educate the public on issues people stray away from.
I just want the world to understand. I never did before, until I lost you.
Until next time.
So it goes.