Life doesn’t always run you in circles, but sometimes you find yourself back in the same place you were 14 years ago. In the same apartment… in the same little town- even though you have moved multiple times (even out of state) trying to find your place in this world. 14 years ago, I was 13 and began experiencing depression.
I self-medicated with alcohol from a young age, beginning soon after the age of 13. Things were hard. Today, I am 27 and things are still hard. I have not binge drank in 18 months. In the last 4 years, I only binge drank one time. I had one relapse, when my step-father passed away.
In the last 14 years I have struggled medically with chronic migraines, IBS, depression, anxiety, and chronic sinusitis. I confidently sip my medical struggle cocktail and try to deal with the hangovers of life. The side effects of medications for one issue make the symptoms of another issue worse, but you have to pick your battles and try to work through it the best you can.
- Chronic Migraines – I had intermittent FMLA at my last two jobs because my migraines affect my ability to function. Trips to the urgent care became so frequent, they began to know me by name. Stress is such a huge factor for my migraines. When I am in a ‘low’ I can have migraines that last days.
- IBS – I have had multiple colonoscopies, and endoscopy, stomach biopsy, and corrective surgery. Depression medications typically cause constipation and this irritates my IBS. I know what foods to completely avoid, but trying to figure out what foods ‘comply’ with my stomach is almost impossible. It seems like things are okay with me one week and awful the next.
- Depression – I was diagnosed with ‘manic depression’ when I was 13. Today, this is called bipolar depression. I have crying spells, times when I feel invincible, periods when I reorganize things that are perfectly organized, I am impressionable, have mood swings, and all of these other nice quirks.
- Anxiety – I have passed out from it before. Yep. I was a fainting goat. More recently, in the last two years, my anxiety has channeled into social anxiety. When I lived in Nashville for two years, I didn’t even ‘go out’ with friends more than 5 times (dinner, social function, etc).
- Chronic Sinusitis – Being sick and on antibiotics all the time sucks. Having sinus issues feeds into migraine issues often. My nose is better than any weatherman. Before the rain comes, my allergies go nuts and my nose swells to the point I can’t breathe. It feels like oxygen doesn’t get to my brain and increases my anxiety.
How did I end up going to the moon and back to Apartment 24? Glad you asked.
I was working in Nashville, and I left my job to move to Alabama because one of my family members needed assistance living in their home. They could not live in their home alone anymore, and they did a lot for me as a child. I did not want them to have to leave their home. After moving to Alabama, I was blessed to receive a work from home job with the sister company I was with. It paid less, but the cost of living in Alabama was less than Nashville… I was working on my credit score, and got my car refinanced for a lower interest rate.
Things were going okay, until they weren’t…
Things didn’t work out with to take care of my family member, and I had to move ASAP to get settled for my work from home start date on the upcoming week… so, there I was- moving into the 2 bedroom apartment with my mother and brother. My mom had lived other places in the last 14 years, but ironically found herself back in Apartment 24 two years ago. I slept on the couch for a week, then the three of us got moved to a larger place. So, in one month… I lived in four cities. It was a CRAZY roller coaster, but I am finally in a stable place.
I feel like I left my job in Nashville for nothing, but… I have went to work 3 weeks and worked 40 hours consecutively for the first time in months. I am very thankful for my work from home job, and if I would not have taken the risks I did then I would not work from home. Good things do happen!
I just wanted to share some of my general medical history and what’s been going on with me lately before I go into ‘full-blog mode’. If you read ‘my story’ you will find out a little more about my mental health journey. As this blog progresses, I will share stories of successes, failures, happiness, sadness, and more about my journey will unfold. Some of my upcoming posts will focus on social anxiety, FMLA, emotional support animals, and mental health in the workplace.