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Old Habits Die Hard

I just woke up from a "nap" (I fell asleep at 6, woke up at 9:30) feeling incredibly sad. I went in to my roommates bed and laid down next to him and told him I was feeling depressed and he asked me why but I found myself having trouble communicating, which happens often for me. I told him I wasn't sure why I was feeling that way but I think I have a pretty good idea of why. A lot of has happened in this last week. In my prior posts I talked about staying at my moms, at my roommates (ex boyfriends) request but I came home on Monday and now I am back in my apartment. First, I found it hard to adjust to being back in the apartment. I thought that the nightly panic attacks would dissipate once being home but that wasn't the case. Still dealing with the insomnia and the panic that likes to rear it's ugly head. Change is difficult for me, so going from my moms to back home, affected me. I felt dissociative, out of touch and a little uncomfortable. Per our agreement, upon returning, we would need to have a conversation about what I am going to do to better my self care, as well as what I am going to do to better protect him from my emotional outbursts and dissonance.

I have been having trouble starting this convo and have been in a state of slight avoidance. It didn't happen on Monday, or the next day or the next. Something always seems to come-up. And I think a level of my depression is disappointment in myself for letting my (what I'm trying to make OLD) habits, get in the way. Old habits such as avoidance, coldness, and lack of communication. I have not been living in a state of full dissonance. My attitude has been good. Surprising enough, him "kicking me out" for those two weeks, and setting his own boundaries for how I treat him, gave me a huge sense of respect and admiration for him. Before, I would often shut down around him and get angry when he would pry but I am done with that, I have to be with someone I love. Ex-boyfriend or not. 

I have made the personal choice to enter into an outpatient program for mental health. I am taking a LOA from work and will be attending a three month program at the hospital in my town. The program consists of 9 hours of group therapy a week, 1 one-on-one therapy session a week and medication management bi-weekly. Right now groups are virtual but that is subject to change. This measure was a decision made between me, my mom, ex and my therapist because though I attend therapy regularly I lack a commitment to talking about my trauma, as well as properly executing coping mechanisms. Medication, I think, is also a must at this point. My anxiety and panic has become a relentless everyday battle that I can no longer ignore. This, is the "what I will be doing to better my self-care" part of the agreement. I am nervous, mostly about the start of whatever medication they put me on. 

Another thing that is increasing my depressed mood is that my panic affects my ability to be alone. I am never alone. This conflicts with my roommates schedule. He is an athletic and active person who likes to go to the gym daily, and goes for long runs. When we first moved in to together it was right before quarantine and he couldn't do any of those things so this wasn't too much of a problem. But now, since gyms are back upon and so forth, it's been difficult. I've spent this week, going back and forth between my apartment and my moms house, feeling a little out of my own control. I wish being alone in my apartment was a joyful experience but it's not. So I often feel moved around, like a burden to him and my mom, as well as displaced and somewhat "homeless" in the sense that I have no location to live in which I am fully comfortable and able to enjoy my time. Also, because of my agoraphobia, the drive back and forth almost daily is so painful. Though I'm with my mom and she's driving, I struggle with the 10 minute drive. Clutching on to by bag at some points, heart racing, terrified of the town I grew up in and the streets I spent roaming for 20 years. When I first met my ex, and we were a couple, I would get in the car myself and drive to him almost daily...with  no problems, not even a thought of anxiety. I miss that person. In therapy today I talked about my jealousy for the carefree people that I see in the world. Like the young woman sipping wine on her fire-escape with her dinner, and the man walking down the street after having gotten off a bus and the old lady who pushes her cart 8 blocks to the supermarket. All independent, safe and doing what they have/want to do. I haven't been able to live like that in a long time. A part of me always feels as if it is missing. This takes a toll on me mentally but also physically. The lack of sleep and constant anxiety creates bad inflammation in my joints (I already have autoimmune disease) and I get headaches. I don't want to seem like I am only complaining but better to communicate somewhere.        



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