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I Am Terrified

Ever since the academic school year resumed, I have been feeling extremely overwhelmed.

I am taking 14 credit hours, now have a job, have to volunteer for a research lab, and have to perform well in these activities. On top of that, I need to find a psychiatrist and find the optimal way to medicate my anxiety, I have to monitor whether or not Gabapentin is making me more depressed and in pain, convert my feelings of despair around my pain management into healthier ones, book multiple doctor appointments, discuss multiple issues with my doctors, worry about the amount of weight I have been gaining as the only form of exercise I can do is walking, and continue to find joy in living through a pandemic.

I have also noticed a huge shift in my behavior- I feel myself becoming more angry, upset, and judgmental. I think part of these emotions stem from the fact that recently I have been feeling very judged by some of the healthcare professionals in my life. What was supposed to be a space of healing for me now feels unsafe.

It feels like a lot of the progress I made in therapy seems to be halted at the moment. I don't want to say I am back to square one as I don't believe one ever really goes back to the beginning after putting in so much effort; I believe part of them- even if it's just a scintilla of their being- retains growth.

But I am still terrified. I am terrified of all these new symptoms I am experiencing and I am terrified of how they will affect my journey. I believe this a key part of being chronically ill- fearing the unexpected. Because the first time it arrived, it changed our lives forever. And now we worry about doctors, therapists, medicating our anxiety, managing our pain, and surviving it all.

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