I’ve been open about my struggle with anxiety and depression in the past, but never really described in great detail what that looks like for me. It’s not easy to describe. It’s not something everyone gets.
It’s me asking my boss if I can go home a few hours early from work because I feel sick, but the sick isn’t a cold or a sore throat kind of sick, it’s a I could literally burst into tears any second now because I’m just really fucking sad today kind of sick.
It’s staying up until 4 a.m. when I have to work at 6 a.m. because the adrenaline rush that comes after a panic attack and the racing thoughts that Just. Won’t. Stop. long enough to let me sleep, keep me up until I’ve decided it’s too late to even try to.
It’s wanting to be close to someone, literally anyone, but always keeping people at an arm’s length because giving someone that kind of opportunity also means giving them the opportunity to leave.
It’s always assuming the worst. Always thinking the worst. Always expecting the worst.
It’s wanting to let loose and have fun and drink a couple of beers, but fearing the person I become when I drink and hating myself the morning after I do it anyway.
It’s understanding how and why people become alcoholics and addicts. Because I’ve thought one too many times, “I can stop whenever I want to, I don’t have a problem” right before a binge.
It’s wanting to talk to my friends about what I’m going through, but feeling guilty because it’s something I’m always going through. And they’re probably tired of hearing about it anyway.
It’s frequently and passively reaching out on social media because I just want someone to talk to.
It’s taking solo domestic and international trips because I’m 100% sure the lightbulb will go off and I’ll suddenly just know who I am.
It’s vacuuming my living room a minimum of three times a week because I feel slightly less anxious when I can see lines in the carpet.
It’s doctor’s appointments and therapy visits and a pill every day that’s supposed to “make me feel less sad”.
It’s losing interest in family vacations, Magic Mike shows (half-naked men should always peak my interest, what is wrong with me?), GNOs with my best friends, talking to my Mom on the phone, and eating food that’s actually good for me.
It’s taking up painting, buying a thousand books I’ll never read, and working a part-time job on top of my full-time job because anything that distracts me from my thoughts, is a distraction that’s welcome here.
It’s throwing myself into partnerships with people who rarely say the right things and often do the wrong things because I would rather convince myself for a small amount of time that someone actually gives a shit than be alone.
It’s pretending everything’s OK when I really want to check myself into a mental health clinic.
It’s thinking the world would be a better place without me. It’s thinking my family and friends would be less burdened if I didn’t exist.
It’s fighting those thoughts.