My Mini Breakdown

Mental illness is such a broad spectrum that includes many illnesses. For me, anxiety and depression are those I have trouble with. Depression doesn’t let you know when it will creep up. It just appears out of nowhere and takes over your life. At least that’s how it is for me. In recent time, well, before Covid, when it reared its ugly head, I was able to stay busy and shake it off. But these days, unable to travel, act or do much outside my home, I’m unable to distract myself and depression takes over. I’m blessed to have a good support system, and to be able to put my experiences into words helps a lot.

I used to suffer from bad panic attacks. It feels just like it’s depicted in movies on TV. The room seems to narrow, people get bigger and/or closer, you feel like your choking as your heart races. Thankfully I do not have panic attacks that severe anymore and hadn’t had an anxiety attack in years until Covid. The fear of contracting and dying from Covid caused so much anxiety all of a sudden that I could not control it. Toppled with depression and pain from fibromyalgia flares, I began to feel so overwhelmed.

I didn’t want to worry my loved ones so I kept how I was feeling to myself until it was too late. I was in a fibro flare, panicked, and in a state of fear all at the same time. Sound familiar? I thought about death so much basically, feeling it coming for me. I began having night terrors which made me afraid to go to sleep. My pain made it impossible to cope. I had to push with every ounce of me to take care of my mom, my brother, and myself.

I tried explaining how I was feeling but at the time, I thought they could never understand. That frustrated me even more. I got to the point where I knew I had to do something. So, I took some me time, distanced myself a little, did some writing, and decided to wait it out. I stayed in prayer and read daily devotionals. I took long showers and bubble baths, talked to my mom, and eventually after about three weeks, I began to feel the spirit of depression release.

It sounds simple, but it was not. All I know is that this is what worked for me. It took three weeks or more before I felt better but I knew it was only temporary. I had to work through it on my own. When I emerged, family and friends, I was met with so much love. I thank God that after each storm when the clouds lift, my life is still full of hope, love, and joy.

I hope this helps someone know they are not alone.


Valerie Collins
Valerie Collins
Valerie Collins was born in Tucson, Az, the last of six children. She has loved writing since a child but decided to pursue a career in Orthopedic nursing. Shortly after her marriage and birth of her first child at the age of 22, she was diagnosed with the chronic pain disease, Fibromyalgia, its subsequent conditions, illnesses, and syndromes. Once the disease disabled her in 2001, she revisited her passion for writing poetry and short stories and has accumulated over 100 poems and spoken word pieces over the years. She became a member of the International Society of poets in 2002 and The International Who's Who in Poetry in 2006. She currently is a member of Realistic Poetry International, Who's Who Among American Business Women, and Women of Facebook Create. Her accolades include 2005 Poet of the Year. She was awarded both the Outstanding Achievement Award in Poetry and the Official Commemorative Poetry Ambassador Medal while serving as a Poetry Ambassador associate in 2007. She wrote a play entitled “Fix Me Jesus” in 2012 for Alabama 1st COGIC State AIM Youth Convention Competition drama category which was awarded second place. Currently, she is in rehearsals for her second stage play for the local playwright, Shawna D. Moore which will be on stage in August 2019. She is in the process of compiling a two-volume poetry book entitled My Poetic Life: A Memoir of Love and a book detailing her life with Fibromyalgia, entitled Behind the Walls of Silence. In July 2018, she created her first blog site My Poetic Life (The Book) as @vfurrmstheblogger to act as a launch for both books and it has taken on a life of its own. She also owns a small crochet business, Val's Gifts of Warmth, where she sells her handmade crochet items.

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