Depression and Anxiety.

I’ve been struggling a lot lately with accepting my life the way it is right now and understanding that a lot of it is temporary. I’ve been struggling with several relationships and being able to talk to others about how I feel. Dealing with expectations, judgement, “what should be”, “traditional lifestyles” and the voices of everyone around me isn’t easy. It all feels like a grey cloud above my head at all times. Even my dreams have become sad, I used to be able to catch a break in my dreams, there’s things happening that I can’t control in them and I wake up most mornings with anxiety. There’s not much that I feel like I have control of lately and it feels as though I’m being very irresponsible even though I’ve done all I could at this point. I struggle to recognize that I’ve done anything good or have done them well. I panic when I can’t contain, cope with or understand my emotions. This past week I had a panic attack; hyperventilating, crying uncontrollably, unable to speak how I feel, unable to speak at all, getting extremely hot but unable to remove the layers of clothing, struggling to stand and hold myself up…

But then you came. And for you, I am sincerely and forever grateful for. You know what to do. You know how to ground me. You took my sweater off, laid me in bed but still propped my head up so I could see you, took my shoes off and brought my feet onto the bed and then — you counted. This time down from 20, usually it’s from 10, even noticing this helped my mind get off of what it was focusing so powerfully on. Taking a breath in… and out… with me. Never letting me do anything alone during this time. You’re with me because we’re a team, as you always say, and you’ve always got my back. I don’t know how I’d get out of these head spaces without you. But you’ve taught me so much and I’m in awe of you every time. So today, in this post, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Holding so much in, or even just enough for the boiling to start, takes such an aggressive toll on someone with depression and anxiety. Keeping all of these thoughts in my head means I’m never relaxed and I’m constantly trying to resolve whatever and however many things are bouncing around.

That’s why I write. My thoughts are out and in a permanent space. They’re organized and no longer rushing from one end of my mind to another endlessly. I’m not trying to plan things out while trying to remember other things all while keeping those feelings in the back of my mind. Writing about my struggles and reading them back sometimes lets me notice how silly I may be about specific things. I can also sometimes come to conclusions just by talking things through with my writing. Doing this calms me, it takes it all out of my head and into a single post and I don’t have to hold it in anymore.

I don’t have to think about why I’m not where I thought I should be yet, or money, stress, being inactive, not having a job that has to do with my degree, paying off my 6-figure student loans, juggling a social life with me-time and a job, worrying about when I can move out or even something as simple as when to re-register my car in this state. I write both here and in a physical journal; my physical journal is more like my day-to-day and keeping track of what’s been going on. Here I talk about depression, anxiety and whatever else is bothering me emotionally — hoping to include those who may think they’re alone and / or inform others that people may seem “normal and okay” but are struggling with so so so much more internally. We have learned to appear okay, fake a smile, force ourselves to not shed our darkness onto others or talk about what makes us sad. We have determined that no one would want to hear about it and it would make them uncomfortable. So… we hold it in. Which only leads to more depressive thoughts and increased anxiety. It’s a vicious cycle and I’m just doing what I can to try and break the stigma.

— Lizzie KJ.

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