“Life is painful, suffering is optional” -Sylvia Boorstein

I’d be lying if I said that I never choose to suffer. There are days that I don’t let myself suffer. But there are also days that I can’t help but feel as though I am suffering. As long as I don’t get stuck there, that’s what’s important. 

I haven’t been feeling well for over a month now. My heart isn’t staying in rhythm. To be honest, I haven’t felt quite right since I was shocked. I feel as though my anxiety is crippling me. I’ve been there, I don’t want to be there again. The depression is awful too. I feel numb in way. Between all three things, I’m exhausted. Mentally and physically exhausted. I’ve done some research and these are normal feelings after being shocked. It really takes an emotional toll on a person, so I guess it’s to be expected.

I have lost my license for 6 months, which is protocol, but I feel like I can’t catch a break. I so desperately want to be “normal”, not that many people know what a normal life is. I don’t want to carry my phone everywhere I go just in case I need help. I don’t want to have to worry about locking doors, because god forbid I ever needed someone to get to me. I want to feel more comfortable in places other than my home. I don’t want to feel scared as often as I do. I want to feel safe enough to close my eyes at night to get a restful sleep.

With all the stress lately, I’ve had some setbacks with my OCD. I’ve had OCD for years. I don’t know why, but I’m ashamed of it. I think it’s because I fully understand how unrealistic my thoughts are sometimes.

 For those of you who don’t know much about it, I can try and explain how is effects me. It’s an anxiety disorder where you have to combat intrusive thoughts by doing rituals to try and control your anxiety. Doing these rituals are sometimes the only thing that can make you feel better. And I’m not even sure if it really makes you feel better or if it just satisfies your mind into thinking you have control.

A lot of my intrusive thoughts are about death, wether it be me, or a family member. Once these thoughts enter my head, I do rituals so that these thoughts don’t turn into reality. Crazy, right? How can checking doors and window locks precisely four times save someone’s life? I know that it can’t, but this is the illness. I can’t help it. 

I had pretty good control over it for a good bit after intensive cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy along with medication. But with my recent setbacks over the past couple years it is becoming out of control again. I have rituals that I do everyday, but I find myself creating new ones and that’s three steps back in my treatment. 

For example, I have a pair of socks that I was wearing when my defibrillator shocked me. I can’t wear them because then it would happen again, but I also can’t throw them away because I didn’t die. Now every time I open my sock drawer I have anxiety about that pair of socks. These are the thoughts I deal with daily, to put it into perspective, it’s a good day if I can go two hours without an intrusive thought. My battles are not all physical, they are mental as well. I think if I felt better than I would have better control over my anxiety, less intrusive thoughts with less of a need to act out on these ridiculous rituals. 

I have trouble sharing about my mental illness because it’s embarrassing. But I want more people to understand me. To my friends, I’m sorry if it feels like I don’t make an effort anymore. It’s just that I’m exhausted, it takes so much just to get through the work day. I like to be home because that’s where I feel comfortable. And remember, my “comfortable” is still filled with anxiety, panic, doom, sadness, and frustration on top of not feeling well. So just imagine how much worse my “uncomfortable” is. 


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