I spent too much of my adult life under a giant cloud of depressed darkness wanting to die. I hated feeling like that, yet it became my norm and I subsisted along living my life as best as I could. Ignoring the dark thoughts about how much easier it would be if I was dead. Going to therapy to learn tricks to “reframe” my thoughts. Finally convincing myself that I didn’t REALLY want to die because I could never do anything to harm myself. One therapist called it something like passive suicide thoughts. Wanting to die was my brain’s way of letting me know that something(s) was not working in my life. She said it was not the same thing as wanting to kill myself. That it was a good thing I just wanted to die rather than wanting to actively kill myself. That the difference between those two things was me being bothered enough to seek help. At the time I understood what she meant, and yet at the same time felt marginalized. Like I couldn’t even be suicidal correctly.
But lately, I haven’t been under my cloud of depression. Actually, it has been over 2 years. My psychiatrist attributes this to the judicious increase of my thyroid meds (both T3 & T4). I don’t know if that is it, but it’s as good a reason as anything else since nothing else has really changed. After my first 3 babies I was always heavily depressed & required antidepressants each time, this last baby I did not. The difference being my thyroid meds.
Except… I’ve been feeling something new to me. And it is greatly troubling. I am now scared I am going to die. Like seriously, bottom of my soul, scared I’m going to be dead soon. It is so odd to have gone from “passively” wanting to die to the extreme of being fearful of dying soon.
It is starting to effect my life. I stopped mid-shower one morning because I immediately had to teach my 4yo how to dial 911for when I slip in the shower. I won’t drive in the carpool lane bridge thing that is just too impossibly high to not fall off the edge. I won’t do too strenuous exercise because I know for sure it will cause me to have a heart attack because of my weight.
As I write those out, I know they are most likely NOT going to happen. But when I experience these thoughts, I am 100% sure they are going to happen. And these thoughts make me feel bad, very, very bad.
I’ve just been dealing with these thoughts by either doing something actively against them (not driving on the overpass) or trying to resign myself to accepting that everyone dies at sometime (at least Easton will be able to call 911). But both of those things still make me feel icky.
My epiphany was that maybe I’m experiencing anxiety (duh!). But this is where it gets murky for me. I don’t feel how I think other people feel when they say they have anxiety. My heart doesn’t race & I don’t have a panic attack. Instead, I just worry and fret and can’t stop thinking about it. Sometimes my sleep is affected, sometimes it’s not. I think about getting “help” but don’t have a lot of confidence that my psychological team will be able to help me. After all, I was depressed for probably 15 years with only moderate relief. Then there’s the small part of me that’s worried I’ll be told I’m not really anxious and that it could be worse… in other words, I’m doing anxiety wrong like I did suicidal thoughts wrong. And that’s why I feel like this was only a half-epiphany. Because I’m probably doing it wrong.