Stretching Myself Thin

The past two weeks have been funky. School started off strong and I’m still so happy to be back in the Intensive Care Unit. After a few weeks though, that happy high I was on settled down and I was left feeling overwhelmed and stretched pretty thin with new work responsibilities and coursework. To make things more difficult, I took care of a patient suffering from very intense PTSD and the next day my FNP seminar discussed mental health issues and mental trauma. Slightly triggering for me.

I still struggle with regulating my emotions and I often find that when I reach a truly happy point, I’ll occasionally fall off the bandwagon and my mood will spiral downwards. It’s a trend that has gotten better over the years through my recovery from depression but its something that I know I’ll always have to manage during my lifetime. Yes, I am generally a happy person now but I still feel things differently than most people who haven’t struggled with depression. I tend to shut down more quickly and I get absorbed into my thoughts much more easily. This can lead me down a dangerous path in terms of negative thinking.

About two weeks ago, I noticed a few of my old symptoms creeping back up (mainly, a complete loss of appetite and insomnia as well as a poor mood and complete inability to concentrate) and I pretty much just shut down. I couldn’t concentrate or enjoy time with any of my friends and I started to become hyper vigilant in my thinking, obsessing over little things and not trusting myself and my intuition. I knew that I was on the verge of a relapse which frightened me and so I called three different therapists with no luck. Literally two weeks later and one of them still hasn’t even called me back. The other two I didn’t qualify for because of my insurance.

It’s so upsetting that mental health providers are in such short supply that I can’t even be proactive in taking care of myself, especially when it’s so hard to admit to myself that I need to see someone. Luckily, I’ve been working on things myself using the techniques I’ve learned in therapy and I have been forcing myself to stay moving.  I took a day off last week to drive up to skyline drive and study at one of the overlooks and yesterday I just took a day away from school and watched football with some friends from work.

Things are looking up but I’m still in that uncomfortable worrying phase. I feel myself stretching from this process though and I have no doubts that in a few weeks I’ll be back to my happier state of mind. Right now, I’m just taking each day at a time and remembering that I can make it through anything because the worst is already years behind me.