By: Ross Dee Wright
11:11 p.m. blinks in bold red dashes over and over again on the clock sitting neatly up on my nightstand as I or rather my mind tries to find some sort of sleep and rest but somehow my thoughts are set on running all over the place as usual. My focus wonders in the same directions as I concern myself with everything that is meaningless leaving little to no room for happiness or even rest which I am almost certain will never come within the grips of my eyes. Before I can go on I look over to the clock and see that it is still 11:11 p.m. everything is a message so of course I insist that 11:11 is trying to warn me or confirm some horrible truth. Maybe my wishes of happiness and peace will finally settle into my mind taking up residence or maybe relaxing all of the tension that is pulling my peace of mind further and further away from me with stop in an instant. 11:11 means something and I have looked it up over a hundred times so I should know exactly what it represents but I try not to focus in on it so much instead I reach over and pop my anti-anxiety pill and I wait for just the moment or second that it pops into my system to quiet down my mind and the thoughts about my life coming to an abrupt end. I turn back over and decide to search just what 1111 means and of course it means that something is trying to get my attention and that I should pay attention to my thoughts but somehow my thoughts and everything was trying to get my attention from the clock to the racing thoughts in my head……………….Things are starting to slow down just a bit and everything isn’t as intense as it was before but I knew in my mind that I only had a few minutes before my thoughts exploded and covered over my clarity and moments of sanity with total confusion. Maybe it was wearing off just that quickly because my thoughts are not supposed to be worries attached to should have’s and could have’s. The medicine is anti-anxiety but somehow my anxiety on days like this one seemed to heighten.
Jail……a mental jail is one way to describe it; my feelings but at least in jail you have a moment of free play, or interaction. Somehow my free play was restricted and redirected to worry and worrying is what I did but I thought that the medicine was suppose to calm my nerves down and relax me and have me stuck on chill mode but it didn’t.. Smiling through things is what I do best. I bet nobody knew that the active and friendly mother of two and wife was suffering from anxiety and depression a time or two that would confine me to only my room left to deal with my mind. Not a single soul would ever know how I stay up all night long only to see the rising of the sun and then I quickly fall asleep knowing that I had made it safely to morning, or how I drop out of sight from friends and family just alike because of my desire to keep my bad moments, and fragile state out of the way of inquiring and judgmental minds. I hate the questions the most. The questions that seems to probe into my life with a huge microscope; examining all of my faults or maybe that’s just the anxiety getting the best of my emotions and worries as I cry out to God in the midnight hour to come down and save me from this mental insanity or curse that seems to be tied to me my aunts, and father as well.
I have been battling anxiety and depression since 15 years old and now at 33 years of age it has seeped back in after the death of my mother. I guess it is true what people say that somehow you are your mother and she is you. I never could understand my mothers’ fears about riding on the freeway or flying until I faced those same fears and a couple of new ones. All of a sudden I just knew that my life was doomed and that I wouldn’t live to see my daughter grow into adulthood and I flashed back and remembered that being a fear of my mothers’ as well. Anxiety seems to be passed down through generation to generation in my family along with depression.
I figured that I could find the golden ticket; the answer to solve my mental problems without the doctors so I reached for herbal remedies like passion flower tea but the symptoms went away for just a bit but somehow as life stressors emerge the effect of my herbal rememedies slowly disappeared and I ended up in the emergency room with face tingles and a headache that didn’t seem to want to leave my head. After the intake nurse and my husband at that hospital insisted on making jokes about the assumed tumor that I just knew was enlarged and sitting in my head I decided to go back or rather run back to my doctor and back on my anti-anxiety, depression, and adhd medicine. I hated taking pills but I wanted some sort of peace and ability to function.
I try to incorporate exercising, prayer, meditation, eating healthy, and just living life into my daily regimen but as we all know life is still just difficult at times. So I decided that I can only take one day at a time and I am learning to live for me, love myself and others more and to stop attempting to prove myself to anybody on this earthly plain. Honestly, I have my super days and my jacked up and ran over days but I try not to focus on the bad and just pray, regroup, and live through the blahhh days. and to be honest it feels great and on those days I start slipping I pray, regroup and live. I keep my faith strong and run like heck away from that darn passion flower tea and caffeine too.
As a woman sufferer of a mental illness I think; no rather I know that it is imperative to share my stories because honey, my shoes ain’t nothing new and hopefully my story could help another woman feel like she isn’t all alone or abnormal as she attempts to live through the stigma of mental illness . It’s time to release, reflect, renew, and heal !