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Dealing with setbacks

I'm going to talk about mental health and anxiety.

I've always had problems with anxiety, though I've been able to manage it with medication and occasional counseling. For the last three years it's gotten progressively worse, and my quality of life was such that I opted to go back into therapy. The professionals believe I have generalized anxiety and PTSD from some incidents stemming back to a previous job.


So, about a month ago, I started EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing). I don't know how it works, it's completely bizarre, but shit works. For the last few weeks I've been feeling infinitely better. No more panic, better sleep habits, starting to feel human again. It's been nice having people close to me comment on how much better I seem and even look because I'm not panicked all the time.

Then, for whatever reason, I'm having a lot of difficulty with anxiety this week. It's not as bad as before—I haven't been having panic attacks and haven't been completely consumed with worry—but it's there. The anxious voice in my head is a lot louder than it's been for a month. I can't pinpoint a specific trigger and the focus of the anxiety varies tremendously. So I feel disappointment in myself, anxiety about the anxiety (what if the therapy isn't working anymore?!?!) and just...exhausted.

I get that setbacks happen. I know I'll have good weeks and bad weeks. I know that learning to manage my anxiety is going to be a lengthy, if not lifelong, process. But I hate living with this so much. It feels like a war in my brain. We'll add to that my fear of disappointing those who have been so impressed with my progress.

tl;dr, anxiety sucks.

*picture citation: Overanalyzing the reason I am overthinking things. Anxiety cat tumbler. Jan 2014

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