I was finally "officially" diagnosed with anxiety in 2021.
I say finally "officially" because unknowingly, I’ve had anxiety as far back as my memory goes.I had no idea.
I think faster than my mouth can keep up. I will overshare to avoid the silence. My irritability is on 10. I hyperfixate-- which I’d always thought was because I am extremely passionate about things.
I’ve recently found that when I find myself knee deep in projects and it becomes my newest obsession and receives all of my attention, it’s my anxiety.
When I’m feeling anxious it’s easier to find myself immersed in a project, directing all of my focus and attention there.
There’s nothing like diving into a 9 hour project on my laptop to avoid my anxiety!
All that said to say this: it’s okay to get help.
Even when at the core of your being, you love who you are and may be fearful that you’ll be judged for acknowledging your mental health. You don’t want to sound like one of those cliche, super woke gen-z kids, do you?
But judgment cannot be what stops you from addressing this perfectly present piece of your brain.
There’s tons of options for therapy and options for medication, if needed.
I’ve used both TalkSpace and Cerebral.
Back in 2016 I discovered TalkSpace and if it weren’t for my therapist, Miranda, I would not be where I am today.
It’s funny, as teachers, we know a job is a job-- but ultimately, it’s just work.
I doubt Miranda even remembers me or the impact her words have on me even today. I reached my max with her after working with her for a year, then we said our goodbyes.
Though we had many talks about life, anxiety, boundaries, accountability-- all of these things, at that time I was completely against even the idea of being medicated.
I was who I was and I did not need a pill to help me manage my symptoms.
Of course, I was in control.
Fast Forward to 2021, after having Hero, I knew it was time to explore options of attempting to see where anxiety, therapy, and medication as a combination could take me.
My current therapist is no Miranda-- I don’t tell her much about shit, if I’m being honest. We don’t focus on feelings and past scars-- but more on how to healthily live with anxiety as a wife, mother, teacher, and business owner.
I’ve learned I have no idea how to relax.
I have no true hobbies-- aside from listening to Kanye West while working on Kinda Sorta Teacher things, dinner and wine dates, or attending my students’ basketball games.
When I am asked what I do to relax-- I found I have no answer.
I don’t relax.
Maybe at the end of a long day filled with all of the things, I enjoy watching a show with my husband (we recently binged season 5 of The Last Kingdom and the new Vikings that was added to Netflix), but ultimately, I can only commit to watching tv when I am not anxious-- otherwise I cannot focus on watching TV, so sometimes that's even a whole thing.
So here I am, on a Saturday.
A day off.
After putting in a 6 hour work session at my favorite coffee shop this morning-- and mind you, I drank cold coffee the entire time because I could not stop my brain from taking a break long enough to take a sip from my mug.
Spilling my anxious thoughts to paper as a public journal entry.
Because I am anxious lately.
And if you are too, it’s okay.
I have fallen off of the routine of taking my medication, because sometimes life does that.
And I can see the difference between medicated Ty and unmedicated Ty.
When I am being honest with myself, while taking my medication as directed, I am healthier. I am happier. I am less anxious. I can relax-- like sitting on the couch and doing nothing.
So, hey-- this is your sign that if you are struggling with your mental health and feel uncomfortable to open up with a therapist or think medication will make you a typical dramatic woman, reconsider.
Acknowledging your mental health and seeking therapy can change your entire universe.
I’m getting my medication refilled and will be back on track taking them this month-- I am not saying ASAP because I would be lying. I have a wedding next weekend and know I won’t take them until after then because I will be having a few too many bubblies and vinos at the ceremony.
So, in about a week and some change.
You’re normal just the way you are-- whether that is medicated or not.
I’m normal this week, anxiety ridden and all.
I’ll be on my non-anxious normal again here soon.
Have a restful weekend, my teacher friends.
I ran spellcheck but I am not proofreading-- because my focus is all fucked up today.
Huge, love, and lots of kisses,
Ty Tiger | Kinda Sorta Teacher