Normal on the Outside

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Disclaimer: SickNotWeak does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content contains explicit and sensitive information that may not be suitable for all ages.

People who don’t know otherwise would say I look “normal”. What they don’t see, what all of us who suffer are good at hiding, are the moments when we drive by water and think how easy it would be to drive in. Hold a knife and think about how easy it would be to just cut those wrists. Being down on our knees begging God to please take this away even for a day. The things being thrown, the tears that are shed, the days we spend in bed because we JUST CAN’T DO IT today.

I fight with those thoughts and emotions every day.

My story. It isn’t spectacular and perhaps it isn’t that tragic. I don’t know anymore.

I was a good girl, a smart girl, a popular girl. I had loving and supportive parents. I did everything “right”. If there was a book on how to raise a great child, I think I may just be in it – well — before I turned 20 that is.

One night I found myself pacing outside my boyfriend’s sister’s house

Life was moving along quite well; I was in college, doing what college kids do. But then one night I found myself pacing outside my boyfriend’s sister’s house, in a full blown panic, feeling like I was going to die, fighting for every breath I took.

That feeling hasn’t gone away in 19 years.

If it sounds dramatic, that’s because it is dramatic. If I did not take my anti-anxiety medication, I would feel like I did that night every night. Further to my point, my doctor didn’t give me anti-anxiety medication right away, and instead tried an anti-depressant. I lost 15 pounds in 3 weeks from the adrenaline going through my veins and the pacing I did around my house. He gave me a medication like valium. I was calm again. But it didn’t last long.

I was diagnosed with severe Generalized Anxiety Disorder and depression. I have been on more than 20 different medications. I am not quiet about it.

I have screamed from the top of my lungs since I first got sick trying to get better.

I have screamed from the top of my lungs since I first got sick trying to get better. I have fought to get rid of a psychiatrist because I was getting nowhere with them. I went back to college and graduated. I had a baby and got married (yes, in that order). I have held down the same job for 15 years.

Some days are easier than others. Once in a while I think maybe I have finally kicked its ass, and then it gives me a quick left jab to remind me it is still there.

As I write this, it is not a good day. Would this sound happier tomorrow? Maybe. Or it could sound worse. I don’t know, you don’t know, the doctors don’t know, because they haven’t figured out our brains and how to cure this disease. Until they do, it is our job to stand up and be heard.

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