Goodbye 2019, The Year Of 21

21.

What could that mean? I guess it could mean many things, but the one that probably springs to mind is a special birthday. Unfortunately I didn’t turn 21 this year, so it’s definitely not that. An address? Nope.

It’s actually a test score that sums my year up pretty well. This is the post that I have written, deleted, re-written and re-deleted numerous times this year. It’s the honest explanation of why there have been so many spells this year when I’ve been MIA without any real explanation. Why I seem to be on a roll and suddenly just vanish for days or weeks at a time.

I don’t trust myself to not delete this post again before I actually post it, but I’m going to try my best to see it through. Not because I think you care about, or maybe have even noticed, what’s been going on. Not becauseI feel like I owe you an explanation. Just because it’s something that, although not easy to write, needs to be addressed.

So what kind of test could possibly exist where 21 is such a significant score? Mental health testing, that’s what.

Earlier this year I was diagnosed with, and started treatment for, acute anxiety. I had become so emotionally and mentally fragile that leaving the house was making me physically sick. I was getting four hours of broken sleep on a good night. I couldn’t concentrate and I couldn’t even remember simple things. I was having multiple panic attacks a day. I had no appetite. My heart felt like it was racing as if my soul had just finished a marathon, but all I was doing was sitting. My hallucinations and night terrors were returning with a vengeance.

So how on earth did I end up in that state?

In addition to still trying to process everything that avalanched in the latter half of last year – buying a house, substantial upheaval at work, heartbreak and bereavement – there were things that happened at the start of the year with friends that left me feeling betrayed, isolated and unsafe and what ensued was even more heartbreak. There is a distinct difference between being independent and being genuinely alone. Add to all this that I have almost lost my job twice this year. At this rate, who knows, I might not even still have a job by the time I actually post this. As somebody who blew all her savings buying a house, this is a terrifying prospect. The simple answer may seem to be to just get a new job, but there is so much brain fog that I haven’t even had the cognitive competency to even contemplate what I could do if I didn’t have that job anymore.

It reaches a point where you have been worn down so much that even small inconveniences start to become a big problem.

The worst thing is, the more that you know you’re ‘overreacting’, the worse things get. You are totally out of control, you can’t help yourself and there are points where they cycle gets so vicious that you think that the deep, dark hole is your life now.

When I ended up at the doctor it was nothing but a cry for help, and don’t worry somewhere in amongst the help was a telling off that I really didn’t have to leave it that long. In fact I probably shouldn’t have left it that long.

After a few weeks (and trials and errors) of treatment I did the little questionnaire and found out that I scored 21. After a few weeks of treatment and definitely feeling more stable than I had felt before, I scored 21. Do you know what a score of 22-24 is? Recommended referral to a specialist psychiatric facility.

That’s right, according to my Googling abilities I probably (almost definitely) should have been referred to a psychiatric facility for treatment in 2019. What was I doing instead? Out there in the world trying to make my life look as normal on the outside as physically possible.

So yeah, that’s where I was in 2019 <insert cry laughing emoji here>

Some days, I feel okay.  I genuinely have felt okay.  I have got up and got stuff done.  Then some days are a struggle and two thirds. On the okay days I have all this motivation, all these great ideas, and on the struggle days I just couldn’t quite execute them. Maybe I’m just making excuses, but I definitely think it affected the consistency of my content in 2019.
Thank you to you all for sticking around and for standing by me. Thank you to the people who didn’t let me suffer alone and the loved ones who didn’t fall out with me when they found out that I had been suffering alone. Thank you even more so to the people that don’t ask questions.
I’d love to say that we’re going to kick butts in 2020, but I don’t know that. I hope so, but I’m here to say that we’re going to take it a day at a time. Hopefully things will sort themselves out and we will all be able to have the content we deserve…but if it’s not to be, then so be it.

So from me, it is an enthusiastic goodbye to 2019 and I am ready to welcome 2020 with open arms…and crossed fingers!

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