I had every intention of writing a lengthy blog post today but other things intervened. For one, the bedtime panic attacks that have been the bane of my existence for the past week resumed and I spent most of two hours using deep breathing exercises and other learned behaviors to keep them from building into a full-fledged freak out. I had to do the same thing for the first hour of the flight home, though eventually the tightness in my chest and the associated sense of panic subsided before I touched down safe and sound. My psychiatrist back at NIMH assured me, right before she discharged me that they will go away with time, provided I don't have another hypertensive crisis.
The most immediate revelation I became aware of upon arrival is how much things have changed here in my absence. I, too, have changed. I am nothing like I was five months ago, since I forged a new life for myself in the course of the time I was there. I feel like a character in a war novel, returning home after months fighting at the front and returning to find that the town of his birth is nothing like it was before he was deployed. A succession of new faces, new relationships, new friends, new buildings, new surroundings, new routines, and the like have changed me forever. I'm not going to say that one can't go home again, but it does take a while to reconcile the person you've become with the person you were before you departed.
As for matters with the girlfriend I have left behind---well, matters will either resolve themselves or they won't. She, bless her heart, is convinced she will find me a job in the DC metro area. Though I would jump at the chance to go back up there to live and be with her, I am not going to jump into a major life decision like that impulsively. Relocating requires much planning, and having done it once before, I have no illusions about how much effort is involved. To use an old cliche, one must crawl before one walks. Sustaining employment, due to my illness, has been a challenge as has been having a sustained period of emotional health.
If I do move back, it will several months from now, I will have a guaranteed job, a place to stay, some semblance of health insurance, a psychiatrist, a therapist, and enough money saved up so that if I had to be hospitalized I could pay for it instead of ruining what little credit I have even further.