I always knew there is always the possibility of a relapse when dealing with mental health issues. I really thought if this happened to me that I had gained enough skills & knowledge to be able to cope & deal with it fast enough that it would not effect my day to day life. Once again, I was wrong.
My progress was amazing. I was back to work full time, enjoying life, and conquering the world. I had a wonderful weekend visit with my sister who was in from Dallas. It is wonderful to have such a bond with a person that it didn't feel like it had been 5 years since we saw each other last. It was a completely drama free weekend.
It caught me off guard. It hit me like a tonne of bricks. I was completely paralyzed. The anxiety was keeping me up at night, the pain in my chest was frightening. I was confused, as I know, from the past, that my anxiety/depression appears when I experience trauma. There was no trauma, in my eyes, the past weekend.
So, why, after my sister returned to Dallas, did I start having severe anxiety attacks? My own self diagnosis was that going from a extreme happiness to an extreme sadness my body recognized it has trauma and reacted accordingly. I saw my therapist and she confirmed that this was very possible. We talked some more and realized that there were other things that explained my anxiety. One was the witnessing of a motorcycle accident, although I was calm during & after assisting the victim of this accident, but mind & body held on to the unexpressed emotions I felt from this event. Also, there were some stories my sister shared with me about her past, I had no idea that things had gotten so bad in her life. She made it through it all, and I am very proud of her for doing so, but, once again, the unexpressed emotions of guilt, sadness, fear, etc built up. As soon as my body found a moment to absorb all that happened on the weekend, it reacted in a big way. I was too busy, all weekend, enjoying the time with my sister, and being very present in that moment, that I was not going to let anything get in the way of that.
I was so confident when the anxiety started that I had all the skills to work through this quickly, but sometimes things are bigger than you realize, and require more attention then you first thought. This is now the case with me. I haven't been to work in over a week. Although, my anxiety has almost completely subsided, there is still some work to be done. I am hoping I will get into see the specialist within the next few days and be back to work after the long weekend. Is this hopeful thinking? I do not know. All I know is that I definitely do not feel that this relapse is a long term thing. I truly believe I can work through this in a timely manner and get back to living again.