A long road ahead

Hello everyone. I am home and getting back into the swing of things. While I was away, I was able to write a little bit but didn’t get around to publishing anything. I decided to make some time to sit down and review what I wrote, and then offer an update which talks about my time with my boyfriend and his family, my anxieties about what I need to do to so I can get help, and loving myself more.

First week of November, 2019:

It has been a week since I left home to visit my boyfriend. I have lots more time to spend with him and his family, but during my time here, I have noticed that my stress level has been high.

It’s a huge change in routine, for one. His too. We had our separate schedules, and the visit has been great but also something to get used to. This has been rough on my mental health, and I miss my family and pets dearly. It’s also been hard adjusting in terms of my misophonia.

At home, I’d have lots of time to myself. I wear earplugs daily, but alone time means taking advantage of no triggers and opportunities to take out my earplugs. I hardly have that here. I have a room to go to and chill when I need to, but earplugs out is never an option. I have my headphones, but I want to engage in conversation with everyone. It’s just a constant battle. Since being here, I have also been experiencing more anxiety attacks. I’ve had about 4 the past few days.

It’s all part of the temporary schedule change. I am relatively certain that I’ll have more control over my anxiety once I get help.

But it’s the little things that make it easier. My boyfriend and I visited some of his friends and family about an hour away, and when we got back my senses were completely overwhelmed. I was also tired the entire day and irritated at things I’m normally able to handle. This and several other factors, like misophonia, contributed to my sensory overload. I eventually had a panic attack and nearly hyperventilated. I was highly emotional and lucky that I was just with my boyfriend at the time. After I calmed down, he said, “I am proud of you for speaking up about that one YouTube channel bothering you earlier. I thought you handled it very maturely and calmly, though I’m sure you were battling lots of rage.”

It’s just little things like this; words of affirmation that make it so much better. Him saying he was proud of me, that I did well. Reassuring hugs. My struggles and efforts feel validated. And I know for some that might not be something that helps, but for me it does. He also made me tea and expressly told me to relax, as I had been spoiling him a lot by making him food and just doing a lot of things for him.

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November 21, 2019

I type this with an excitement I haven’t felt in a long time. It has been such a great experience overall visiting my boyfriend and his family in this humble house. It takes a little while for me to get used to certain things, mostly routines. I like his attention, but I obviously understand that when visiting for a long time, you can hardly expect a person to give you all their attention everyday.

I wrote the above during November, but now it’s December, and I’ve been home for a few days. I miss my boyfriend terribly, but I’m sure you already know that.

I got used to things around the house, namely the noise and everyone’s routine. I was always awoken in the early morning because that’s when most of the household got ready for work. But as the days went by, I was able to either sleep through it or fall back to sleep relatively quickly. Everyone seemed to enjoy my company, and I’m so glad and thankful. 

Speaking of thankfulness, we celebrated Thanksgiving at the house, and it was so nice. There was good food, good people, laughter, and I made brownies that got eaten within two days! I even made a second batch about a day later that got eaten just as quickly. I miss the vibe over there and I miss the love of my life. I did not want to go back home because for me, home was right where he was.

I talked about how I had a panic attack in the November posts. I was anxious and somewhat depressed even while I was visiting. I knew it wouldn’t just go away. But I’m absolutely terrified. I don’t want to seek help because of the unfortunate stigma of admitting I need it. Additionally, I’m anxious about everything that could go wrong if I do. I will be triggered, so will therapy actually help me? Should I mention my misophonia? What if I’m prescribed medication that makes me feel worse? Or makes me gain weight? Will I be able to afford therapy/medication? All these fears and probably more. I think about all the times I stay up late, mind wandering, tired but unable to sleep. Wondering if my best is not enough. If I’m too much of a burden to the people in my life.

I know I need to slow down and breathe, so I am. I know that I need help, so I will get it. I need to love myself more and take care of myself, because I’m the only one who can. No one can do it for me. I want to get better not only for myself, but for my boyfriend too.

Being back home means there are things that need to get done. And if I don’t stay busy I’m going to be more depressed and anxious. I’m a photographer and I have a session coming up. I have photography assignments awaiting me for the newspaper I work for. I need to upgrade to a better camera. I have a doctor appointment in a few days. I have to make a plan to get help for my anxiety and depression. I need to practice driving. I need to look for a second job. And other tasks I can’t talk about here. I have a long road ahead but not as long or arduous as the road to Mordor. Just have to take it one step at a time and remember to breathe.

I will end with an uplifting journal entry:

What quote(s) inspires you on difficult days?

I really connect with this quote from the Bible in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (Douay-Rheims) – “[4] Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up; [5] Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil; [6] Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth; [7] Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. [8] Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed.”

This quote has gotten me through the toughest of times. In my relationship with my boyfriend, in the midst of being triggered, anxious, or depressed. It’s hard sometimes, but I come out the other side feeling a lot better. I don’t always remember, but that’s another thing I need to work on. There’s always room to improve the way I react to things. Charity (love) is patient. I will be more patient, and kinder, and endure.

Until the next update. See you soon.

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