Well, so today is the first rehearsal of the CSUN Chamber Orchestra that I sadly didn't coach for last season. No doubt because of a whole list of mental health issues related to going on medication, leaving behind the consulting company I ran (or that ran me), getting it back, job churn, depression, anxiety, and plenty of other incredibly stressful things.
So what's different this year? I'm on the other side of the mental health treatment transition. I'm not done with it, and probably never will be. But my tendencies now are towards handling stress better, instead of worse. I still slip into the paranoia when I'm feeling overwhelmed, but I'm also cognizant of what it is, and I can choose actions (or inactions) that may feel completely wrong but that I know are right. Most of the time. I don't jump right onto that feeling that whoever is in front of me is the cause of my stress. And when I do, I realize it. I'm not afraid of the drugs anymore. I actually welcome the clarity they bring.
And I'm finally finding that elusive peace, and comfort with myself. That's the most important change, I think. I know that even though I'm unstable still, and still a total emotional fuckwit, that it's not the defining characteristic of who I am. It's a quirk. I'm echoing the thoughts of one of the people who unknowingly helped me on the way here, and now I understand more of what he was saying. I'm no longer my condition, but I'm also not ignoring it or denying it.
I have peace in the chaos, and the chaos is peace.