Anxiety and depression have become the ‘thing’ when it comes to millennials. You can go onto almost any website and you’re guaranteed to find at least one article or post about them. People glamorize a real disease, something that is eating people apart from the inside out. A mental illness and pain that is indescribable. To be frank I am not sure why it is a topic that is being glamorized.
I have suffered with anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember. It isn’t like I just woke up sad one day, I clearly remember being happy. But one day I was sorta sad, then I was really sad after a little while, a slump I just couldn’t break. Then I was ecstatic and happy and back to myself. Then I would panic and was never quite sure what was happened. Then I hated myself, I hated the way I looked the way I acted I was my own worst enemy. Sense I knew I couldn’t get away with self harm, being a cheerleader and all (what a twisted irony) I decided to starve myself. Punish myself. How is that pretty? How is that something so glamorized in media?
I then went to college far away in hopes of solving all my problems. But instead I muted them, just for a few months. That’s when I started waking up once a week in my boyfriends arms crying and shaking. He couldn’t touch me or I’d freak, I was safe physically but not mentally. I would sit in a shower with ice cold water dying to feel again. It got better, the attacks happened less. I was happy again.
Then I had a few stressors and things fell apart again. I was alone. I felt unlovable. So I went to old habits. I didn’t leave bed, I shut people out, and I punished myself by not eating. I hated everything about myself. Then magically I was ok. Then as if by magic, or sick fate, I was sad again. I didn’t care about my grades, I didn’t care about my social life. Everything was going wrong. My dad was in the ICU, my grandmother had passed away, and I was dealing with finals.
There are months where I’m on top of the world. Then there are days were the simplest of tasks, like sitting in a class for an hour has me unable to breath. It feels like a weight is dropped on my chest and the world is spinning. I lose grasp of what’s real and what’s not.
My confidant, the person who calms me down when I have a panic attack at 3 am tries so hard to understand what I’m dealing with. I saw him one day and didn’t tell him I was coming off of an attack and he wanted to strangle me, I wanted him to, I wanted to feel. He tried so hard to understand and still does. I think him and I could be happy together, we could fall in love. But he knows I’m not ready, he knows that I have to learn to take care of myself and love myself first. This ‘glamourous’ disease could cost me the man of my dreams. The first person I ever 100% trusted with my problems. How could you want that?
Everything and every person is always just out of reach for me. Happiness is standing on the other side of the street from me, I can see it clearly. Then a bus passes and it disappears. It’s like a sick twisted game of tag, except I’m always the one chasing rather than running.
There are days when I appreciate the beauty of the world, and the little things. That is when I know I made it. I celebrate small victories when I make it through the day without wanting to stay in bed. The days where I do everything possible to stay busy are my favorite, it means I’m winning. There are moments when I take a moment to reflect on my life and realize how beautiful it really is, and I cherish those moments because they are very few.
I hate to be the person who writes about her anxieties and depression on the internet. I never wanted to be. This will be the first and the last time that I put it all out there. I just want people to know that it isn’t as beautiful as you think. It’s not something I tell people, there are only a handful that actually know what I’m dealing with. They can’t relate, but they are there for me no matter how much I push back. It’s not that im embarrassed by my illnesses, but I don’t think they’re something to be proud of.
But I am proud of myself, because I know I’m strong and a survivor. I’m not just waiting for the good days, but instead fighting for them. They are there and eventually I’ll catch up to them and I’ll happily say “tag: you’re it.”