The Realities of Living with Anxiety and Depression
One thing about anxiety and depression is that you can be perfectly fine for weeks and then wake up one day and even getting out of bed is too much. Eating is too much. You can’t really interact because you can’t pay attention or really listen and your whole body feels weighted down. You want to be left alone, but sometimes feel insanely lonely. You want to get out of bed but what’s the point you’ll just feel like this in a different position or different location and why make it harder on yourself, to maybe make it easier on the people around you who want to help and fix it but don’t understand that they can’t.
I’ve taken my meds and my job is fine life is fine but it doesn’t matter because chemicals in my brain say that it’s time to cry and feel like the entire world is too much so you lay in the dark and wonder how long it’s gonna last, if it’s going to have an effect on important things in your life, like it has so many times before. What will I fuck up this time? You don’t turn on the tv or listen to music. Nothing you read or watch or listen to keeps your interest or has meaning. You should eat but the idea of making something, even deciding what to eat, or the physical act of lift-bite-chew-swallow is simply too much. Sleep is comfort because you’re not forced to actively exist. And it’s not necessarily that you want to die, you just literally don’t have the energy for the world asks for on a daily basis.
Depression isn’t feeling sad. It’s not laziness. It’s an all consuming, energy draining, physical pain causing, incredible burden.
Living with that burden takes incredible strength. And so many of us are so fucking strong, but you can’t push a rock uphill forever, regardless of how strong you are. Every step drains you more and more but this is life and other people’s rocks are smaller sometimes or they’ve got their rocks on wheels and they’re just taking a stroll.
But sometimes the weight of that boulder gets to be too much, and you just have wedge something under there to stop it from rolling back, to ensure you don’t lose the progress you’ve made, so you can find somewhere dark and safe and quiet, and let yourself be exhausted. You let yourself cry. You let yourself be honest about your needs, and your abilities. And that time is what’s needed to recover.
It’s weight of all the things you blocked out while you were staying positive and working and being happy and social crashing through your inner defenses, suddenly, brutally. And it hurts and it’s scary and it leaves you utterly physically and emotionally drained.
Tonight I’m laying in my dark bedroom by myself trying to just let these feelings eventually slide away, without attaching meaning to them. Just exist. Let it happen. Let it float away. Maybe I’ll feel better in the morning. Maybe I won’t.
But right now, in the dark of this room, with my Ativan finally starting to kick in, I can relax into this maelstrom and just let it dissipate.
And sometimes self care doesn’t look like it from the inside, but I understand my emotional state better than anyone. I know that this isolation will allow me to not feel the pressure of maintaining a facade while interacting with others. It lets me have the safety and security those with chronic anxiety and depression need. I have my dog. I have blankets and pillows. I have dan in the other room willing to help me if I need, but also understanding that right now I just need quiet and space.
I’ve talked a lot about my mental health recovery as of late. It’s important to acknowledge that it’s not all upward progress. Recovery is a hard road. It’s a heavy burden. But I also know that lately I’ve spent way more days not feeling like this than I have feeling like this, so even though tonight is hard and painful and heavy, I’m still making progress. I’m still better than I was before.