I had lost my direction in life. Like a seed cast into the vastness of a field on a careless wind, I tripped through the days with no sense of where I was going. At that point in my life, all I could see was the rising, suffocating stalks of the field around me. I stepped timidly through my new surroundings. I was hopeless and everything looked the same. I moved yet I saw nothing distinguishable in my path, differentiating my new place in the field from the next.
Had I the knowledge then that I know now, I would have realized that, even though I felt as if I wasn't moving forward, or making any progress, I was. Each and every step somewhere leads you on the path that you're on. And even though it may seem like we have no direction, we are ultimately moving in -some- direction. We are never staying still. That notion is simply impossible. Our progress is in the days that go by. Each step we take is movement closer to recovery. The beginning of a journey cannot be born without taking a step, however unsure that very step is.
The first beginning days after I had quit the clinical nursing position felt like a fresh breeze. I had shrugged off the anxiety of going to the job, yet.. I was still wracked with the anxiety of, "What do I do now?", "What's next for me?", not knowing that it would be months and months until I found the answers to those very questions. Always having been a very brave young person, it was very disturbing to me that everything under the sun caused me to be afraid, caused the fangs of anxiety to rip into my skin. If I wasn't afraid about the job situation, about money, it was simply being afraid of even going outside. Even when the stress of money completely flew out of my mind (I cashed in my 401k and was set for months), I still stressed and worried about everything. Staying at home for hours on end while my husband worked, set me up for hours and hours of thinking, stressing, and creating a prison of self-doubt for myself. I never left the house. I barely even got out of bed. And these were all precursors of things yet to come.
I had trouble sleeping. I don't even think I ate well either. And I couldn't bear to think that I was depressed. Me? No. Depression was for other people. Not for me. Not for how strong I thought myself to be. It was for my mom, for other people. Not me. Yet, I found myself looking it up, taking online tests to see if I was indeed depressed. I found myself in a holistic store, buying St. John's Wort and herbal remedies to help me sleep.
I don't know how I ended up going to a therapist. I don't know what triggered the need to go. I had never liked therapists. I knew inside that they couldn't help. Even going to the therapist, leaving the house, spurned the anger of anxiety. I went a few times, and never went back. It wasn't helping. I didn't want to talk. Somehow then, I knew I could only help myself. In the haze of sadness and despair, I knew that I only had the key. During my few sessions, however, we tried breathing exercises. She tried to teach me to breathe through the waves of anxiety that always seemed to conveniently wake me up just as I was about to fall asleep. The exercises didn't help. At this point, I was too far into my own labyrinth of mental self-destruction to even give it a chance.
I somehow too found myself at the doctor's office. I remember the many days before, while taking St. John's Wort, being afraid of beginning to take an anti-depressant. Me? Anti-depressants? 'I am not this thing, this depressed creature', I thought to myself. I am not this. But I was. Back then, I thought it was some horrible thing. Depression was a badge of shame, of something being wrong with you, something horribly wrong. Somehow, because I was depressed, it was all my fault: "If I just hadn't quit; If I had just stayed with the company, my family wouldn't be going through this; my family wouldn't be suffering." I never let myself rest from my constant barrage of self-destruction.
The only rays of hope in my life at that time was my husband and the things we did together during those dark days. The bitter cold walks at night; the light of the fireplace while my husband and I watched our favorite new T.V. show. Nothing else. I looked forward to nothing else. It is an incredibly lonely existence to look forward to only two things in your life. I wandered aimlessly through the days. The hours of my day while not doing the things that brought me some semblance of joy was filled with regret, despair, and anguish.
And I didn't know that soon it would get worse.