Today, I am stepping out of obscurity. I spent almost an entire week nowhere. It wasn’t a decision I made. My mental health took a turn for the worse, and I was lost.
It started a couple of weeks ago when I re-started Lexapro to help with my situational depression and fibromyalgia. (We combined it with Gabapentin to help.) At first, everything was great. Physically, I felt so much better. It seemed to be working.
About a week into this, I started to notice I was sleeping more. I thought it might be a good thing because sleeping well has been an issue for me for quite a while. As the days passed, I was needing more and more sleep.
I went to my scheduled appointment with my psychiatrist last Tuesday. I sat in the waiting room for 40 minutes before I asked what was taking so long. No one gave me an answer. I watched the minutes tick by on the clock. People who got there after me left, having completed their sessions. The weight on my chest became heavier with each passing minute. I started to breathe heavier. I knew what was coming.
I asked if I could just reschedule my appointment. Tears flooded my eyes. They asked me to just wait a few more minutes. I told them I couldn’t. My heart was pounding in my chest. Again, they asked me to wait. Through broken breaths, I told them I had to get out of there and bolted for the door. The security guard at the front of the building said something I didn’t comprehend as I ran outside into the cold. It was below zero degrees outside, and the freezing temperature was a comfort.
I got to my car and waited out the panic attack. It took about twenty minutes for me to be able to think straight again. I went back inside, feeling embarrassed by my behavior. I wanted to explain myself. I was still crying and trying to control my breathing as I apologized to them for running away.
They had a nurse come out to get me. She was able to talk me back to a normal state of mind. The doctor was unavailable, but she promised to let him know what happened. We rescheduled my appointment and I left.
The three days that followed consisted of me doing nothing but sleeping and zoning out in front of the television. I didn’t pick up my computer even once. I didn’t play games on my phone. I was a zombie, sleeping more than half the day each day. We ordered take-out because I couldn’t function enough to cook or even make a sandwich. There was one day the only thing I ate was chips and salsa, and only because I forced myself to. Food wasn’t a priority.
Friday night, I made the decision to not take the Lexapro. I knew it was the culprit. Saturday morning I felt a little better. I spent the day playing The Sims, and managed to put myself together enough to go to dinner with my husband. Sunday was slightly better, and I picked up my laptop. I didn’t post anything anywhere, but I did check my email and social media notifications. It felt like a step forward. I didn’t respond to messages, because I didn’t quite know what to say to people about my delayed responses. Last night, I finally reached out and responded to a couple of people. I finally felt up to conversations again.
Today, I woke up feeling much better. I am dealing with guilt for having mentally disappeared for so long. I know it’s not my fault. It wasn’t a decision I made. It just happened. Luckily, I know the guilt will pass. Unfortunately, I don’t know that it won’t happen again. I just hope people will continue to understand.