My Dirty Little Secret
Updated: Feb 28, 2019
Since I began this journey, I've tried really hard to keep my posts light and fun - something positive that people can see a couple of times a week to maybe help lift their spirits if they're down or get them motivated. Ultimately, that's why I started doing this. However, there's one topic that I haven't tackled that is a huge part of my life, therefore I would feel like a giant phony if I DIDN'T share it at some point. It's heavy, but it's a part of me and I won't get this serious too often.
I suffer profoundly from anxiety and depression.
It's genetic and something that is VERY misunderstood in our culture. What I've come to realize is that it's, for some reason, a taboo subject that IMMEDIATELY makes people feel uncomfortable when you start talking about it. So you shut up. Because who wants to make people feel uncomfortable? (Except for the select group of awful people in the world that get off on that). You bury it back there with the rest of the those ugly demons in hopes that maybe it'll just go away. Maybe you'll have a day in the near future that you DON'T pace the floors about a minuscule decision like brushing your hair.
For a very long time I didn't even know what I was feeling. I would have these days where I felt extremely nervous and scared for no apparent reason. I longed for someone to hold me in the fetal position and tell me everything was ok. As I got older and read more literature and experienced more of the world, I learned that this feeling was in fact "#anxiety". So I embraced this word and paired it with my own hopeless feelings. I felt a certain closure, to finally have a dictionary term to explain this overwhelming sense of terror I had been experiencing randomly for so many years. But that was just the beginning of a ride I had no idea I'd be on for the rest of my life.
I'm not a shrink. I've never been diagnosed with either of these clinical disorders. But I'm extremely #intuitive and in touch with my feelings. I am willing to see the worst in myself and look it straight on in the mirror and tell it to F@!& OFF (if only that worked). One of the things I really do cherish about myself = I own my shit.
"I am willing to see the worst in myself and look it straight on in the mirror and tell it to F@!& OFF"
I started to learn quickly that these two disorders can very much go hand in hand and actually sort of feed off of one another. Or at least in my instance, that's what happens. Once one decides to back off, the other one rears it's ugly head and says "HOW HIGH YA' WANT ME TO JUMP?" And round and round we go...
Things I've learned to be true about this inevitable trait of mine:
1) People that don't suffer from anxiety and/or depression don't have an inkling of what it feels like.
Anytime I have ever said "My anxiety is through the roof" I've gotten back these responses:
"DRINK SOME TEA"
"JUST RELAX AND TAKE A DEEP BREATH"
"THINK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE"
"WHAT ARE YOU ANXIOUS ABOUT?"
ANSWERS 1-3: If any of that EVER worked, I would never have anxiety. SOOOOO... yeah. I wish.
But it's not their fault. They're just trying to help and don't understand. Which circles back to the fact that these topics should be discussed as much as possible without any discomfort or #judgement.
"You are NOT ALONE."
The 4th response addresses the common #misconception that anxiety stems from one specific worry. That may ring true for some, but for me, and many more I'm sure, anxiety is a FEELING. A feeling that cannot be explained or derived from anything specific. It is an overwhelming, unsafe feeling that can make you incapable of executing any kind of decision, and it suppresses the ability to keep one single thought in your mind for very long at all. It basically controls your overall ability to think straight WHATSOEVER.
2) One of the triggers to unleashing the worst kind of anxiety and depression (for me anyway) is #alcohol.
Those 4-5 glasses of wine with the girls or watching #TheRealHousewives seems like a swell idea at the time, but the next day, not only is there a hellacious #hangover, but also paralyzing anxiety, which leads to depression as the day unfolds. It's a lonely, scary and long-ass day that I wouldn't wish on ANYONE.
3) Talking about anxiety and/or depression as an 'annoyance' is common and total bullshit.
I've seen a lot of "get over it" behavior towards these #disorders and it makes me see red. If you don't understand something or inhabit it, how is it possible to disregard it? I hear in books and stories and movies all the time - "she stayed in bed all the time and never got up". As an annoyance. Maybe she didn't feel like she had a choice. Because that is exactly what this can feel like. It is an #emotionalparalyzation that you are not in control of.
I would say that my overall point in writing this was to maybe, in some small little way, shine a distant, faint light on a very big, #heavy, COMMON topic. This is just MY story. There are a million more that are far worse and FAR more tragic and sad. For so long I didn't even KNOW what I was feeling. So maybe someone might read this and identify with that and seek help. I know the answer for me has been love, compassion and self-understanding. I don't take medication because I don't like the way it makes me feel. Instead I tackle it head-on everyday - for now. That's my choice, but not the right one for everyone. I also wanted y'all to see that under these pretty outfits and photos and positivity is still someone who is far from perfect and has a very real problem behind the scenes. This is my authentic self and the first time ever talking about it publicly.
If you or anyone you know that might be dealing with these feelings, I'm listing some helpful resources at the bottom. Dont' ever hesitate to reach out to ME. I will help you in whatever way I possibly can and know that you're not alone. I'm not an expert when it comes to anxiety and depression. This is only MY experience and journey and feelings. I imagine it's different for every single person that struggles with it. But you're NOT ALONE.
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