One word: Stressed. Rather, let’s emphasize that… I repeat, STRESSED. This past year I’ve been feeling it constantly and it’s growing. Perhaps it’s my high functioning anxiety or the fact that I’m trying to battle it alongside my clinical depression. Whatever it is, it’s taking over my life.
My high functioning anxiety causes me to be the “perfectionist,” or the “Type A” kind of person. A lot of people see that I’m quite the overachiever and have my life together. From having an hourly schedule to monthly calendars and being anal about budgeting or keeping up, I’m honestly a mess. The thing that many people don’t see is I am struggling and really, don’t have my life together at all. (Cue in my clinical depression.)
At times there are moments where I just want to give up or ask myself, “What’s the point?” In the morning I was motivated to conquer the world but two hours in, I felt like going back to bed and doing nothing at all. Yet, half-hour later anxiety kicks in and complains that you must keep busy or you won’t get anywhere.
Cue in the crazy thoughts. Such as the fear of being alone (separation anxiety and YES, adults have it too) or the fact that you want to say so much but just can’t get yourself to because you’re so afraid of having people make fun of you?
The idea of being invited to a party is so exciting but in reality, I dread being at the party with people I don’t even know. I say in reply, “I’m just busy tonight,” and if they complain “You’re always busy!” I always smile and say, “Well I enjoy being busy.” (Which is a lie, let me tell you that straight up.)
I end up doing tiny things that only a rare few have noticed, such as the fact I can NEVER sit still and I fidget, A LOT. The thought of all of that causes low self-esteem on my part, thinking to myself the grandeur question, “What if I’m never going to be good enough? For my family? For my friends? For my loved one? For myself?”
In the end, it causes you to crash and you end up in your bed alone anyways. (Depression aren’t you just a dandy thing?) Just a cycle of emotions from anxiety to depression and vice versa. Literally the only thing consistent in my life it seems these days. Now just living with that constant anxiety and depression, it has taught me a lot about balancing my perfectly imbalanced life.
I’ve been through therapy which has helped quite a bit, especially after I made the personal choice of refraining from taking medication. But I realized I need to learn because I can’t depend on a therapist my entire life.
There are little things that I do to get in control of my anxiety and depression. Like adult coloring books (No, not the ones you are thinking of, although some are rather hilarious.) and making to-do lists. Taking the time to drink some hot tea and play a video game which may be rage inducing. But the biggest key on how I control my anxiety and depression?
Meditate or take a walk. That’s what I do. Even at work, I just leave for a bit and walk about the building. I try to take deep breathes just to get my mind back in control. Usually my panic attacks cause my shortness of breathe, heart to ache and on occasion passing out. But getting control of my crazy mind is key. Just telling myself to relax or having someone else say it to me helps A LOT.
Once that happens, I force myself to have positive thoughts instead of the Negative Nancy that comes along with depression. Even more so, I BELIEVE in myself and take a step back. “Baby steps,” I whisper to myself. Baby steps, some video games, coffee or tea. Good. Family, friends, happy boyfriend and cat? Much better. Realizing that life isn’t so perfect and that there are people who love and care for you even with the struggles makes living a perfectly imbalanced life not so bad.