Remembering To Breathe

breathe

I have picked up my laptop so many times in the past month or so, stared at the blank screen, & placed it back down again.

So many things have been happening. Things that I don’t even understand,.. so how could I possibly find the words to explain it to all of you.

Then I remembered I started this blog because I wanted to start being honest and open. I wanted to learn to accept and love my life for exactly how it was, no matter how messy or hard. I wanted to be Raw and Real. So instead of trying to come up with ways of explaining, I’ll just tell it how it is…

In the past 2 weeks I have had 4 panic attacks. And although I have always had a history of anxiety and depression, these were different. Scarier. Uncontrollable.

The first one happened on my way home from work. My kids were in the back seat. I felt a weird tightening pain in my chest, my fingertips started to tingle & I noticed it got harder to breathe. Then came this overwhelming feeling to cry, for no reason at all. In two minutes flat I had gone from singing along to the radio, to having a complete meltdown in the middle of the highway. It was the scariest feeling I have had in so long.

The second one was two days later.. And I never knew this was possible but I literally woke up with it. At 8am on a Sunday morning, I woke up because my throat hurt and I had a weird pain in my chest. I drank some water, tried to get comfortable. Nothing worked. And the pain grew stronger. An hour passed. Then two.. By 10:30am I was in full panic mode. Clutching my chest trying to breathe wishing I could rip it open and let the air in myself. Hands shaking, crying. I went to the ER. The triage nurse took one look at me and had someone take me straight back to a room. I can only imagine how I must’ve looked to them.

The dr said I was in a full blown panic attack and they had to give me something to calm my body down because I couldn’t do it on my own. At this point, it had been FIVE HOURS! I was exhausted!

Fast forward a few days & I went to see my dr. I left his office with a prescription & an apt with a psychiatrist. I’ve had two more attacks since then.

Since then I have been taking my medicine everyday and waiting for the apt with the psychiatrist. It feels kinda weird telling the world this. Being so vulnerable and admitting that I live with mental illness. But if I didn’t I would be like everyone else who looks down upon it with shame. As though speaking on it makes it contagious.

There’s one thing that the dr said that stuck with me. It can happen at any moment, anywhere, for no reason at all… & it can be genetic.

That’s when I remembered 5 year old me. At my grandmothers house watching TV. Family talking in the background. My mom was sitting on the couch helping my sister with her homework. There was nothing happening.

Next thing I know my sisters homework is dropped to the floor and my mom is shaking, except it wasn’t a seizure. She’s crying and mumbling something no one understands, and it gets so bad my uncles have to pick her up and put her in a cold shower to calm her down…

I remember 7 year old me. Sitting in the room I shared with my sister directly across the hall from my mother’s. I remember hearing crying from my mom’s room suddenly. Loud, sad crying. Out of control sobbing. I open the door to my mom’s room and see her on the bed shaking again, except this time her hands are on her head and she’s breathing really heavy. I ran to get my brother…

For so long I didn’t understand why that happened to her, or why she was so upset. I was scared to ask. And now, years later I get it.

For someone with an anxiety disorder, especially in severe cases, the trigger doesn’t have to be something big. It doesn’t have to be a loved one dying, or losing your home. It can be as something as simple as forgetting your wallet or missing your bus.

And what makes it SO FRUSTRATING, especially for me, is that it comes whenever the hell it wants. Before this I hadn’t had a panic attack in almost 3 years. I’ve had my ups and downs. Still struggled with depression. But nothing like this.

Then one day it just creeps up & says “Hey, its been awhile. Lets see if you remember me.” & Just like that your laying on the floor clutching your chest begging it to stop, dying to breathe.

I didn’t write this post for pity or concern. I wrote it because in that small amount of time I remembered what it felt like to feel completely hopeless and out of control. It made me feel as though I should just stop trying. At everything. And I know that might seem silly to a lot of you. But that’s exactly how it is.

Posting here wasn’t a priority anymore. Writing in general just seemed like a waste of time. What was the point if I knew that I wouldn’t make it to where I wanted? I just didn’t care. And I HATE when I feel like that because I know that I’m better than that. And I know that’s not me.

So that brings me to here. Right now. Writing a post almost 2 months after my last one. Telling all of you that I am human, and that just like most of you, every day is a constant struggle for me. I am sorry for abandoning you for so long, I am going to try my hardest to not let that happen again. But if it does, I ask that you please bear with me as I am probably trying to snap myself back out of it.

Thank you for all of the continued support & love & I hope you’ll continue reading!

xoxo – Jani

A Piece of the Bitter

Hello Beauties,

The past two weeks have been pretty hard for me. I cried a lot. I questioned my self as a mother, partner, friend & as a person. I doubted myself in every way, shape & form. This is what happens. Every time that pinch of darkness comes sneaking back in, reminding me it was never really gone. So I did the same thing I always do. I broke down and let it in. And all of the self-empowerment, all of the self-love & strength I had for myself, gone. Everything I worked so hard for since the last time I fell down that hole, was gone. If your reading this, your probably wondering what happened? What made me so sad? The answer… absolutely nothing.

The first time I was told I had anxiety and depression, I was a senior in high school. And up until that point I always thought there was something wrong with me. Why couldn’t I just be happy? I tried to smile more, laugh more. I painted a different face on myself every morning in hopes that it would somehow change the way I felt inside too. But it never did. I started talking to my guidance counselor who referred me to a psychiatrist.

I was so scared to go. Did this mean I was crazy? What if people find out? I was so worried that there was something actually wrong with me. After a few sessions, I still felt sad. But now I knew how to deal with it better. That was when writing saved me. I started journals, wrote poems. Sometime I even just scratched out a page with a pen as I cried just to get it out. All of my hurt and pain was being poured out on the pages, & in the end I had something so beautiful, so BitterSweet.

It doesn’t happen as often anymore as it did before. And I’ve gotten a lot better at dealing with it. But when it does happen, it hits hard. I can feel it coming in the pit of my stomach, and dread just consumes my entire being. The only thing that makes it harder now is the fact that now, I’m a mother ❤️ I have two beautiful happy children who look at me everyday with love in their eyes and happiness in their sous. They look at me, their momma, and expect me to be strong and happy for them. To keep it together and push through. But what happens when I can’t! What happens on the days that no matter how hard I try, I can’t pull myself out of it. Those days are the worst. Those days were the past two weeks.

Being depressed as a mom makes you feel as though you’ve failed in a way. It makes you feel terrible and that in turn makes the depression worse. I tell myself my kids deserve better. I feel bad for not playing with them when they ask me. I get mad at myself and scream at myself to just snap out of it for them! But I can’t.

I have an amazing support system. Friends, family & my boyfriend. Amazing people who constantly remind me that it is okay. That I’m a good mom, and I’ll get thru it. But their will always be the people who don’t understand what it is like to deal with a mental illness that you can’t control & will make you feel bad for feeling bad. And if you don’t have a support system or people to help you thru it, you might start to believe them.

Hence the reason for this post. I will be your support system. I will be your help. Because I know what it’s like to wake up in the morning and wish the day was already over before it began. To look at yourself I’m the mirror & not be able to feel anything good about yourself. Even if your not a mom, this is for you. ❤️

It is okay to not be okay. It is okay to feel sad and hurt and broken. It is okay to not smile everyday. Someone once told me that I feel too much & I use to think that it was a bad thing. But now I don’t. Feeling a lot means I have a big heart, it means my soul is good. So if sometimes feeling too much means pain & hurt then that’s okay. Take the good with the bad.

But the one thing that is so important, is to not let yourself stay at the bottom. Remind yourself of your strength, of your beauty, of the fact that there is no one else in the world like you. If there is something in your life making you unhappy, change it. Whether it be relationships, work, or within yourself. Your own self-love is so important. It’s okay to feel sad, as long as you remember that happiness exists.

I created this blog as a place one can go to for acceptance, and understanding. And just to vent. So if you read this post & have felt any of this before, if you feel alone or unhappy and need someone to listen.  If you just need a friend period.  Comment, send me a message. Reach out. Mental illness is nothing to play around with. There is always someone willing to listen. I am one of them ❤️

 

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, and are having thought of suicide or self help, please reach out to someone you love & get help. Or call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255.

You never know what someone is dealing with in their life or in their head. Spread love & kindness always 🌹❤️

Xoxo- Jani 💋

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