It's Saturday evening. We ran errands in Idaho Falls earlier before Ben left for work. I was going to do homework, but the neck pain was setting in and I was burnt out and my husband was leaving me to the house alone for 9 hours and I didn't want other company but I didn't want to be alone. I sit down to do homework but keep distracting myself with everything else the world has to offer. My neck hurts and has zero respect for the ibuprofen I downed. I eat some chocolate. I get another paragraph read and take the notes. I give myself a well-deserved break. I massage the tendons in my neck but my hand quickly wears out. I check to see if the chicken is done cooking yet in the crockpot. It isn't. I sit down. I do some more homework. I check every social media account I have on my phone. I watch cute cat videos for a while because I'm excited for the cats we are adopting. I try to solve one of the problems from the reading. It seems too hard. My neck hurts. I run myself a really hot bath and put in some Bath and Body Works soap for bubbles. I light my "be peaceful" candle with lavender and eucalyptus. I make some chamomile tea with plenty of honey inside. I put on my sad indie rock/pop Pandora station and gradually get into the bath because it's scalding. I lean my head back so I can soak the rock-hard muscles in my neck. My heart is at probably 130 bpm from the water temperature; I checked it against a Sousa march in my head. I wait. It's hard to stay in there but eventually my eyes get heavier and I relax. My neck doesn't hurt anymore. After a while, I down my now-warm tea that tastes mostly like honey and I put the lid on the candle jar and get out. The chicken is done. My neck starts to hurt again. Ben is due for his lunch break soon. I hope dinner tastes okay. My neck hurts just as bad as it did before after only 5 minutes. I start some rice. I sit down. I might start some homework but it also might not be enough time before Ben comes home, so I might not. We teach Gospel Doctrine in church tomorrow and I haven't even printed out my copy of the lesson. I haven't begun the complicated computational problem for my classical mechanics homework that was assigned a week ago. Wow, my neck hurts.
Self care or procrastination? I don't even know anymore. Bubble baths and tea are great, but they aren't what get me through the day. Medication and meditation make the days bearable. My neck tension is so bad that I usually take painkillers at about 3 PM when I feel the pain coming on. I sleep 9-10 hours and have the hardest time getting out of bed, but once I do, I'm okay. Most days I stay okay and focused. Some days I'm not. I agreed to medication because it was going to be a temporary fix. I was going to recover from my anxiety and get off the medication and use my newfound skills to maneuver through life, now only needing 8 hours of sleep again and having happiness and calmness and everything I lacked. It's been a few months now and I'm wondering when the recovery is supposed to start.
I guess maybe it's more like Schrodinger's cat. Recovery is possible, but having to learn to cope because you're never going to fully "recover" is also possible. Which will it be for you? Who knows, you're in the thick of it now, and the box is still closed. Hopefully you'll figure out how to open that box so you can know for sure. Right now, I don't know if recovery is really what is going to happen. I never thought it was genetic or chemical. I thought it was just some rough situations and some bad wiring when I was growing up that I just needed to overcome. But as I struggle through the chronic pain and drowsiness and as I try to be good to my husband and balance everything, I've realized that maybe it isn't about overcoming. That isn't necessarily a bad thing by any means. But it's important to recognize that not everything will be overcome here on this Earth.
I guess it all just makes me grateful that I know that because Jesus Christ came here to this earth and lived His life in submission to the will of the Father, that because He suffered all of my pains in that garden, and because He was crucified and three days later was resurrected in a perfect body, I'm not alone and someday I will be with Him in my own perfect body. My brain won't do this stuff. I'll have more joy than I can even realize because of all that I endured here. And I'll be there with my family. With my husband, with our eventual kids, and with my parents and my siblings. How great that will be. No anxiety, just so much joy because of the anxiety. It's hard to be grateful now, but I know I'll be grateful then for getting through it all.