Trying to keep my head above water

This isn’t a “pity post” – it’s just an update.

I haven’t been in a good place recently. I’m depressed. I’m sad. I cry all the time. Life in general feels overwhelming.

Depression saps my energy. Regular household chores seem too big an obstacle, so I do as little as possible. My concentration level is virtually nonexistant.

A few mornings ago I stood in the kitchen and held an antidepressant in my hand, contemplating for a moment if it would be worth taking. Did I really want to endure 2-4 weeks of adjustment and all the side effects that might linger indefinitely? Would it really benefit me to take it for a short time, since I was sure to quit once I started feeling better? The answers were clear, so I put the pill back in the package.

I never started going to counseling like I had planned on doing, so I guess I’ll give that a shot. It couldn’t hurt, right?

Taking a proactive approach

I have decided to start going to therapy for my constant hypochondria. While it is easy for me to poke fun at myself here and in real life about my anxiety over imagined medical misfortunes, the reality of the situation is far from humorous.

Case in point: While eating lunch last Friday, I felt something lodged in the back of my throat. I assumed it was a bit of food that had failed to go down properly, so I tried to wash it down with a few swigs of tea. No luck. When Honey and I got to the car, I stuck my finger into my throat and felt a lump on the right side. My mind started racing as I tried to figure out what was wrong. I imagined that I was having an allergic reaction to something that I ate and that I might wind up in the emergency room because of an obstructed airway. I wondered if it might be something more serious like cancer, and started pondering all the disfiguring treatments and surgeries I might need to endure.

All of this worrying made me very anxious, and when I get anxious, I shut down. I stopped responding to Honey’s questions, which he understandably didn’t appreciate. It didn’t seem to matter that I realized my thoughts were illogical; I was unable to quell my anxiety. Once we got home and my panic subsided a little, I decided that enough was enough.¬†While I may not be physically ill as often as I imagine, I am sick and tired of worrying about my health.

So, I’m hoping to learn some coping mechanisms. I know I could probably take medication to control my anxiety, but that would just be treating a symptom instead of the problem. Maybe an experienced counselor can get to the bottom of why I overreact to every ache and pain. We’ll see.