I know a lot of my initial posts seem kind of random. In a way, that’s just me. I like so many things and have so many thoughts going on in my head in one time that I wanted a blog where I could do a little bit of everything. I have had so many blogs (Shout out, LiveJournal and Xanga of Yore!), but have never had one where I felt like I had the freedom to make it something I could be proud of sharing.
I’m not an amazing writer. My hands never keep up with my brain. I really enjoy writing though. I have so many journals at home that it makes my bookshelves look way more impressive than they actually are in reality. I have always hoped to write something and get it published. Maybe I still will someday. For now, I have this space and hopefully some people will read it. If not, at least I know I have somewhere I can put a lot of my thoughts out there.
Something I want to talk about today is my struggle with depression and anxiety. I know I am not alone. It seems like more people are feeling able to talk about it when before it was always swept under the carpet. As a pretty over the top Christian growing up, I let a lot of my depression and anxiety get suppressed. I wanted to believe that if I could just be a really great Christian girl then my depression and anxiety would go away. I do not know for sure where I got this idea. I am sure it was the teenage pressure of desperately wanting to fit in where I obviously did not. Plus, there are certain circles that do believe depression and anxiety can just be given to God and that be it. I am not saying that has never happened. I’m sure somewhere there are people who legitimately believe it has for them and that’s wonderful. Yet, it is not something that has happened to me or anyone I know. It took years for me to finally be open about how hard it has been and a lot of the time people can not deal with that.
I was diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder when I was eleven years old. I started Prozac not too long after. I went to counseling, but my fear of social situations got so intense that eventually my parents agreed for me to be schooled at home. I was alone most of the time. We had moved to the small town I had been living at pretty much a year before and it was not a smooth transition. I did not have friends. I was teased and bullied. I tried to switch schools, but it happened there too. It got to the point where I would hide in the library during lunch and not eat. This started a series of events that would eventually manifest itself into an eating disorder that nearly took my life. (That is a WHOLE other entry…)
My depression and anxiety battle is a long and complicated one. But then again, who’s isn’t? As I grew older, I made a lot of scary life-threatening mistakes. I pushed people away or held onto them too hard. I have always felt like there is something missing in me. Some sort of gene or common bond that I just did not get when I was created. I feel it in me all the time. When I am alone, when I am around others, and when I am truly honest sometimes I want so much to give into the hopelessness that feeling creates.
There are good days and there are bad days. On good days, I laugh and smile. I feel like I can be the person I want to be. But, the bad days are hard. They hurt sometimes more than any kind of illness I have ever had. I want to scream at myself to just snap out of it, but sometimes the beast within claims me and all I can do is pray desperately for any way out I can.
Recently, I have lost a lot of people through my journey with depression and anxiety. Some had to get away for their own good. In my less healthy days, I was toxic. I was so sad and lonely that I was like a dementor just sucking away the happiness around me. Other times, it is just people who can not get it because they do not struggle with it. For them, it is a simple fix. They are happy because they want to be. Yet, it is just not that simple. Believe me, I have looked. They do not not understand how depression robs me of myself. They can not understand how the fear and sadness keeps me up at night. How my guilt for all I could have done better and should do better surrounds me at all times.
What I wish people could understand is that I want to be happy. I want to not wake up feeling like this. I want to believe I can be alright on my own because I am strong enough. Yet, as someone who craves community as much as I fear it, that is a hard thing to finally believe.
There is so much more I want to say and share but today is one of those hard days. The words I am hearing are not my best ones. I have to try to push through it, but I wanted to open the door on this topic. I do not want this to be a negative space but at the same time it has to be real. I believe people with mental health issues of all kinds deserve to be real and to be heard. Maybe it is not comfortable or neat but so many out there are hurting and just want someone or a group of someones to say we hear you and we love you, and even though this really sucks, we accept you for who you are right now.
I hope that if you need to share you will do so. Find people that love you for you and do not be afraid to ask for help.
You are not alone. You are loved. Let’s try believing that together, shall we?