“No doubt about it, Sarah. You are clinically depressed. And those tremors and flashes that you’ve been experiencing, those are brought about by your anxiety. Yes, you have panic anxiety, as well. I’d call my psychiatrist partner right now to come here, with your consent of course, so that she could prescribe you an antidepressant. I think you need it.” That’s what my psychologist said to me eight months ago when my sister brought me for an assessment. It was all a blur. I may have heard them saying words like online therapy, counseling, depression, panic, and all those medical terms. When she said antidepressant, I just went blank.
When I regained myself a bit, I learned from Alicia Clark, PsyD, “You may experience anxiety as the feeling of having a pit in your stomach when you worry about something or as thoughts that race around keeping you up at night. Or even as a sense of dread that you’re not going be able to handle what’s ahead.” Oh yeah, that is so me.
My name is Sarah, and I am not an addict. But I was once a severely depressed individual. I too was once an extremely anxious and panicky person. Why? Well, it was my stupidity on love. I fell in love with a disturbed human being.
I heard from our daughter that he was diagnosed with dissociative personality disorder. No wonder it was so difficult to adjust with him, but I stayed for twenty years. I was 100% faithful and genuinely loyal. My fault was that I gave it all and left nothing for myself. That was my ultimate mistake. I should have prioritized myself before him or any other person, because how can one give love unconditionally when you cannot provide it for yourself?
This is a personal recount of my experience up until I decided that I was through with this monster who consumed me for two decades. I mean, enough is enough! I gifted him five beautiful children and what did he give me in return? He gave me five mistress incidences, and him with kids on all of them. I’m just done with him and that chapter of my life including this person.
When My Psychologist Told Me I Was Clinically Depressed Suffering From Panic Anxiety
So, we went home, and my sister shoved a pill in my mouth. “Take that, bibbi. I mean it.” She handed a tiny cup filled with water and stood in front of me as I gulped down the white tablet. “I want to sleep, fifty-seven.” I call my sister “Bubba,” and she calls me “Bibbi.” It doesn’t mean anything. That’s just how we call each other – our terms of endearment. “Ok, you rest your mind. And let’s call it a day.” She said that to me as I dozed off to dreamland.
I didn’t sleep very long. I think I woke up after two hours or so. My body was so tired, and my eyes were blurry from crying. But I couldn’t bring myself to slumber and total relaxation. My psychologist said that it is understandable with what happened to me and that we will work through it.
We had our first session less than a week after my evaluation. I don’t want to divulge on what happened except that from minute one to minute sixty; it was nonstop tears. I was crying the whole time. This terrible, terrible person has hurt me to the core of my being – of course; it was a justifiable act for me to cry my hearts out, according to my therapist.
But why was I doing that? She told me that it was brought about by a combination of emotions and feelings. I was crying for the end of my 20-year relationship. It’s supposed a milestone, to be able to reach two decades of marriage, but now it’s going to end. My therapist said that I was mourning for its death, the death of our marriage. And even if it was painful, it was the life I knew.
She also told me that I was sad, lonely, and beginning to feel angry about everything that has happened. Anger can lead people to cry, and that’s why I was doing such during our session.
Each week, the same thing happened but what I noticed is that the crying became less and less. From a full sixty minutes, it became fifty-nine, then, fifty-eight, fifty-seven, fifty-six, fifty-five, and so on. A month ago, I didn’t cry, even for a second.
I was proud of myself because I got over it. In my mind, I know, I survived. The death of my marriage wasn’t the death of me. It was a rebirth, actually; a life that didn’t include the monster who tortured me for the past twenty years.
What I Did All Those Months To Help Myself Recover
I sang every single day. My voice has a lovely tune to it, and I honed it daily, posted my videos on my IG. It was a bit of self-love, I know, but I wanted to feel good, and with singing, I was in my element. I had to do it. “There is growing scientific evidence showing that the brain responds to music in very specific ways,” says Lisa Hartling, PhD, “Playing music for kids during painful medical procedures is a simple intervention that can make a big difference.” I may not be a kid but Dr. Hartling is right about this, speaking from experience.
Together with my sister, I also went back to martial arts. This led me to lose weight and gain muscles. My body was changing, and not only that; my mind was also in a state of repair. Martial arts helped me gain my self-esteem back, just like with singing, bit by bit. It was such a blessing that I stumbled back on this art and way of life.
What else? Well, I started to travel, alone and with friends. I see to it that I spend time with my kids a few hours every Sunday, and I visit my mom each week. I tried my best to fix my soul, and I guess, with therapy, that’s what helped me move on and get my life back. “Therapy is for everyone. The right therapeutic relationship can help you to create a less painful, more meaningful way of understanding yourself and being in the world,” said Dana Harron, PsyD – and I believe her.