My son and my diagnoses

They’re actually two separate issues…well, sort of.

My day started out with a bang yesterday. I was contemplating going back to sleep but then I got a call from my son’s girlfriend’s guardian. They had gone down to take him some supplies and my son wasn’t doing well.

He was nauseous and lightheaded, much as he was on the day we moved him into the dorm. His girlfriend’s guardian asked what I thought we should do for him, which was really hard to say because I wasn’t there.

I advised him to drink more water and get out of the heat for a while. He got on the phone and told me he’d had a cup of coffee and someone had given him a free Red Bull. I figured that it was probably a combination of heat, too much caffeine, and stress. (Plus he’d only ever tried Red Bull once before, and I can say that they also make me feel lightheaded and nauseous, even though I’m normally fine with caffeine.)

It all ended up working out okay in the end and he and his girlfriend got to go to a concert they were having on campus. So I guess all’s well that ends well.

But it also makes me feel like I wonder if he’ll be able to stick it out away at school. I certainly hope so. He has so many opportunities and so much potential. Yet I also know that he feels a lot of pressure and he deals with more depression and anxiety than he likes to let on. I just suddenly feel like his fate is still something to worry about.

So I also found out my official mental health diagnoses since seeing the psychiatrist at UTSW: major depressive disorder, recurring, moderate; generalized anxiety disorder; and panic disorder, not agoraphobic.

To which I say, duh.

I’m clearly not doing well right now and I don’t think my antidepressant is helping. But I’ve tried so many other antidepressants that didn’t help, either. Literally the only thing that ever helped me was Abilify and that ended up being so toxic for me. (Thankfully, I was able to get off of it finally, though.)

I gave $20 to another person’s GoFundMe campaign last night, even though I suddenly feel panicked about not having more in savings. And we need about $1000 worth of car maintenance in the next month, which my husband doesn’t want to put on credit, so that’s going to deplete our savings even further.

I’ve cut way back on my personal spending but the last couple of months have been expensive. Between getting everything my son needed for college, buying about $300 worth of things for my daughter’s new apartment, and getting our dryer vents cleaned out (which ended up costing double what I thought it would), I’m just feeling very, very tapped out. And that makes me feel vulnerable.

Suddenly I realize that I really need to be saving up as much money as possible or I’m going to end up like the women whose GoFundMe accounts I donate to. And there’s no guarantee anyone would ever start a GoFundMe account for me when I lose my husband—and certainly not one of the ones that raise tens of thousands.

Add all this to the fact that he’s on chemo this weekend and things are just feeling extra bleak. I’m really not surprised that I have a diagnosed case of both generalized anxiety and panic disorder.

I just have to figure out how to be more okay at a time when almost nothing actually feels okay.

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