It has been about a month since I last spoke with my counselor. The holidays, the flu, and a new insurance are partially to blame. Mostly it is my fault. I just cannot summon the energy to do anything that is not absolutely necessary to continued life, like grocery shopping. I know that my depression is the cause of this “avoid life outside my four walls” condition. I know that my depression is being fed, and well fed at that, by my anxiety. Once I made the appointment this afternoon to see my therapist tomorrow, I began trying to sort out what I was going to tell her. The one thing that keep popping back into the front of my mind is, “am I anxious or frightened”?
I have so many things that I am anxious about. Please note that I realize I have mental illness and I do realize that I do not have rational reasons for many of my anxieties. But for the moment, just go with it please. Accept my reasons without question.
I worry about my daughter living on her own, working two part time jobs and struggling to be able to afford food and rent. I worry about my son and his new wife and that they are well and healthy at grad school. I worry about my husband who works so hard to support me. I worry about my uselessness and my inability to contribute to our income. I worry about the present political situation. I worry that I do not know enough about the topics of the day to be able to express an opinion or get involved in a dialogue. I worry about the current political situation that seems to be building to a point where something must give and something bad will happen. I worry about the anger and vitriol I feel being poured through social media. I worry that I cannot make a useful contribution to anything due to my mental and physical limitations.
As I look at the list I just wrote, again that question comes up: Am I worried (anxious) or frightened? The two words do not have the same meaning nor do they feel the same. I just cannot separate them at this moment. Perhaps I am anxious about some issues and frightened about others. They are all tied and knotted together. It is not a gordian knot where I can pull an “Alexander” and solve it with one cut. I really do not know how to unravel it. Hence the visit to the therapist.
This is an extremely personal topic and perhaps I should not be putting it on the internet for all to see. But if the stigma of mental illness is ever going to decrease and eventually disappear, then all of us need to share our battles. I am hoping that by writing about this and thinking about what to write I can try to separate those threads into anxiety and fear piles so they can be dealt with accordingly. I will let you know if my therapist throws up her hands in despair when I try to explain this to her tomorrow.