While chatting with a friend recently, the topic of anxiety came up. This friend is someone lucky enough to not have to battle the demon that is anxiety everyday, but – they are someone compassionate and caring – and want to learn more about the daily struggles.
I’ve never been able to sit down and explain to them, or anyone, what it’s like living with my crippling anxiety and depression.
So, I thought now was as good a time as any to attempt to explain it.
More often than not, I wake up utterly exhausted. I never sleep well. When my head hits the pillow – my mind is constantly racing thinking about what I did that day, and even further back. I question myself and every decision I ever made. I toss and I turn until I eventually fall into some sort of sleep…which usually last for only a few hours.
So by the time I do wake up, I’m exhausted and my body aches. I’ll lay in bed dreading the fact that I have to get up and go out into the world again. I’ll contemplate how much I actually need my job.
Can’t I just stay in bed?
I must get up.
…I force myself up.
Throughout the day – I beat myself up over every mistake I have ever made. Even every mistake I may possible make.
I think about the decisions I have made, both good and bad.
What could I have changed? What could I have done differently? It’s like the thoughts are consuming me – eating me from the inside.
I’m always worried about every single thing…and I’m always expecting the worst out of every situation.
I worry about the little things (did I forget to call so-and-so back).
I worry about the big things and constantly imagine the worst case scenarios.
My anxiety leaves me always worried about every.single.thing.
I obsess over everything. Questioning myself, questioning everything I said in past conversations.
If I’ve texted someone, and they haven’t texted back – my mind immediately jumps to conclusions, racing…wondering what I did to upset them. I mean, why aren’t they texting back right away?!
But, on the flip side – if someone texts me, it could take me days to respond…if I even do at all.
Some may think I’m being selfish, thinking that everything is about me. But, in all actuality – I’m not really concerned about how each situation will affect me. I’m more concerned about how I (and my “weakness”) will affect everyone around me.
I feel as though I am a burden on those around me.
I bail on events or plans that I was at once so excited to go to because when the day comes – my anxiety is so bad that the thought of going out and being around people induces a panic attack.
My heart races, I’m sweating, dry heaving…feeling sick to my stomach.
The tears well up in my eyes until I cannot hold them back anymore.
So often, you wouldn’t guess this is the case. The things we share on social media paint our lives as happy, and shiny…glamorous even.
We hide behind the lens, putting a filter on our lives. Scared that if we’re open and honest – we’ll be judged.
But little do we know, so many others are suffering through their very own anxiety and depression battles.
This would be the part of the post where I would share my secret to finding happiness through all of this. But, I don’t have one.
I’m sorry. I’m fighting this fight every day myself.
This is something I still struggle with every single day. Of course, I find my way through it. I try to be proactive and change my train of thought.
When I feel myself slipping, I acknowledge it – I acknowledge it and try to figure out what has triggered me, if there was anything at all.
I try to force myself to remember that this too shall pass, and that there is happiness out there – and I deserve it.
For me, personally – I think the next step in my journey through my mental health battle is finding a new therapist. I need to find someone I am comfortable with…a non-partial outsider.
Someone I can talk to who can help me through my battle(s).
It’s never easy reaching out and asking for help…but honestly, it’s the only way to get through this crazy thing called life.