Catholic Things

I’m Going to Be Real With You Guys

Hi guys.

I titled this post in a way that will let you know that this post is going to go deep. This is going to be a post where I’m going to be vulnerable with you guys. I’m going to provide you guys with a look into how things are going in my mind.

And I ask that you please reserve judgement until the end of this post. And just to let you know, the only thing in this post I’ve been diagnosed with is my anxiety. All other illnesses are simply speculations on my part. Thank you for your consideration and cooperation.

Let’s begin with my anxiety since it plays such a big part in what I’m going through.

As I’ve mentioned in past posts, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) in December 2015 when I was 15 years old. And for the first couple of months, I went unmedicated and didn’t go to therapy. I wanted to see how I could cope with it without outside help. But when February 2016 came along, I was having chest pains and I didn’t know what was causing it. So I went to the doctor and they put me on an anti-anxiety medication and some pain meds (to use when needed). And in the years since, I’ve also been put on an anti-depressant to work alongside the anti-anxiety medication.

For the most part, I can manage the anxiety. I can live a “normal” life. I can go out and do things. I can get things done. I can be productive and organized.

But there are still times (days, weeks, months) where I’m not as good at managing the anxiety. Times where I worry about things that others wouldn’t worry about. Things that are usually considered no big deal make my anxiety go through the roof.

And over the course of time, my anxiety has developed. Initially, it was just the incessant worrying. But now when my anxiety’s harder to manage, I have trouble concentrating. I get distracted easier. My brain has a harder time making solid plans. My brain has to work harder to figure out what I want in the long term.

And this is something I’m having a hard time coping with. And it’s something that is affecting my life in ways that I don’t want it to.

Over the years, I’ve been provided the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. The first time was offered to me by my parish priest when I was talking to him about what was going on before I was diagnosed with GAD. I’m assuming he administered the sacrament because we weren’t sure what the diagnosis was going to be. And in the three and a half years since, I’ve been anointed on two more occasions. Once while I was still in college when I was having a particularly bad anxiety flare-up. And again about a month ago when I had noticed the current flare-up of bad anxiety was a couple of weeks into it’s course.

And since the last anointing, I’ve begun to wonder if I have some other mental illness alongside my GAD.

There have been thoughts of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) because of my concentration problems. But the way that I’m experiencing things, I think it’s just a manifestation of my GAD. I’ve considered Bipolar Depression due to some mood trends/swings that I’ve noticed over the years. But I don’t think it’s that because I don’t think the swings between moods are quite as noticeable or dramatic as I feel they should be for me to have bipolar.

But one thing I can see possibly having alongside my GAD is depression.

The reason I bring up depression is because within the past few days/weeks, things in my mind have been getting worse. There have been moments and days where I don’t see a way out of my anxiety. Especially when considered with what I’m going through right now.

I graduated from college in May 2018. So over a year ago. And since then, I haven’t had a “real” job. A job where I actually have to show up. But I’m glad that I didn’t get one right away because of the emergency with my grandfather’s health last June. But when his health was getting better and he could go home at the end of June/beginning of July last year, I didn’t really have an excuse to not be looking for jobs.

But almost a year ago, I started this site. And I had big hopes and dreams for it. Hopes and dreams to become well-known. Hopes and dreams to make a good living off of the site. Hopes and dreams to gain enough of a following to work with major Catholic organizations (like FOCUS). But in a few months’ time, I didn’t really see that coming to fruition. But I’ve continued to work on the site. Some weeks and months putting more effort into it than others. Some months only putting in the bare minimum of work into it.

And in January of this year, I had a plan for if the site hadn’t gotten any closer to my dream goal. But that idea was shut down quickly due to a situation where I was scammed. And since then, I’ve been looking for jobs where I actually have to show up to work. I’d apply, maybe get interviewed, but then the job would be offered to someone else. Or I would apply and not get any answer from the organization/company.

And this is where I think the depression comes into play.

I try to make things work. I try to get jobs. I keep putting effort in. But none of it seems to be working. There seems to be no way out of where I am: unemployed and needing to find a way to make money.

Sure, there are days where I can see a possible solution. But there are also days where I can’t see any hope and have no hope for moving forward. And no hope for getting away from my own mind. No way to get away from the brain that’s trying to get me to believe the absolute worst scenario.

And something to make it worse is that I feel like there are very few people who either truly understand what I’m going through or (if they don’t understand) are willing to be there for me and listen without judgement. And of those already few people, there are even fewer that I trust to discuss this kind of thing with. Which I think can make the situation worse. But it also makes me even more grateful for the people in my life that I can trust with this kind of thing.

And people have said that maybe God has a plan for me that He hasn’t shown me yet.

And I can, in my mind, agree with them. But believing it in my heart is another matter all together. For my relationship isn’t in a place where I can place that kind of trust in Him.

I’ve known for a while that I do things on my own. I’m an independent person. And this is no less true when it comes to God. I want to think He’s real because there are moments in my life that can have no other explanation than it being God. But in my heart, I struggle to truly believe that God is present. That God cares for me on a deeply intimate level. And I definitely struggle to let Him have control of the job-search process.

I think the reason I have such a hard time trusting God and truly letting Him into my life is because for so long, I’ve been used to doing things on my own. And I’ve gotten used to having and desiring control of situations. And it’s hard for me to give up that much wanted (and maybe needed) control and hand it over to God.

I realize that if I were to truly let God into the situation and work alongside me in what I’m doing, that things could get better. Somewhere in the back of my mind knows that.

But years of anxiety, lack of relationship with God, and desire for control doesn’t want that part of my brain to flourish.

Maybe one day it will.

And as of this post’s publishing, I have a general plan for how to make things work. How to possibly get out of this rut. How to get moving forward. How to maybe get out of this anxiety flare-up.

If you’ve read this far, thank you. Thank you for bearing with me and listening to what’s going on in my brain. And thank you for not (or trying not to) pass/ing judgement on me thus far.

Maybe one day I can look back on this post and see how far I’ve come.

-Victoria

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