Depression and anxiety are reasons I isolate. I don’t want to bring anyone down with me when I am clearly on a path out. Isolation leaves me in places where I can’t be saved because no one knows how far I am gone. Sometimes my hope crawls up out of the darkness and reaches for help. So I go to therapy, I see a psychiatrist, or sometimes when things are really bad I am hospitalized. It’s hard to see hope in the vast world of medicine and psychotherapy. So many options to try, none are a guarantee.
Trying new medications and working on new motivation leaves me exhausted. Between the highs and lows and the withdrawals from changing I am withdrawn. I can’t sleep so I’m up all night, I can’t stay calm and I have fight after fight with my anxiety. It wants to eat me whole. Depression tells me “I can’t, I can’t win” and then takes me back down again. Up all night tormented by these two, with Stockholm syndrome I start to call them my friends.
I want to function during the day and live a normal life but it’s 8am and I’m finally feeling tired. So I force myself to my appointments, if I miss them I will be kicked out. No one can save me if I’m kicked out. When I finally return I am nauseous from exhaustion, dizzy from expelling the only energy I had left and I collapse into my bed. I sleep but I dream and those dreams are nightmares. I am haunted by my entire body incapable of escape.
They find me when I am vulnerable. I am awakened by my families frustrations. “Why can’t I help out more? Why can’t I work? Why can’t I try?” I am a sitting duck, a swollen target ready to be hit at the end of their long bad days. Depression and anxiety are giddy with excitement because they know that as long as I am being put down or thrown out that they can rule my roost. My guilt helps them, I can’t blame my family for being frustrated when I myself am frustrated with me. “It’s always me, it’s always my fault, I’m not good enough” my depression exclaims.
So I want to die. I don’t want to live another day in this cycle. How do you escape abuse when your abuser is you? How do you push through when you’re being thrown out?
I start judging myself. I know to others around I look lazy. I know I am incompetent. I am not functioning as an adult. My fear takes over and runs through my future. I am shown how bleak and meaningless my life could be. I see how the paradigm of having no control and needing to let go of control at the same time is the oxymoron of my life. But “I can’t” my depression reminds me. I can’t live life and I catastrophize.
To others it looks like I am sleeping all day, partying all night. I am up all night running from my anxieties attacks. I am battling my depression with every tool in my arsenal. Each day to still breathe means a war broke out the night before and I was lucky enough to win, for now. For tonight there will be more blood shed. Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, Fear, Guilt, and the rest of their friends are coming for me. I have to prepare and rally my troops as best I can to hold my ground but my troops are all beaten and broken because in case you didn’t remember, I’m in this alone.
So I feel the despair of defeat. I know my days are numbered. I start to make amends. And that’s when it comes in, Gods grace, the smoking gun. Before I die I must have my affairs in order but I can’t organize because my depression and anxiety have me in their cross hairs. My hope, my smallest friend of all, sighs with relief. And so it goes on night after night and day after day. Until one day. Until, that fateful, one day to come.