Here’s another mini-post, under 500 words:
I am a person who suffers from both depression and anxiety. Sometimes one triumphs over the other. Sometimes they both overwhelm me, rendering me somewhat useless. That’s just the way mental illness goes. The symptoms and effects are not something you get to choose or control. You can handle it with coping skills, strength, and a little bit of help. Still, there are times that each of us suffering feels like we are drowning without any life preserver; the tide keeps pulling us downward, farther away from the shore.
Lately, I’ve been dealing with really strong anxiety. There isn’t any one thing in particular causing it to act up. But, there it is. It’s a shadow lurking over every single part of my life. It keeps me awake with rushing thoughts. It wears me down with constant bombardment.
When my anxiety acts up, I get this heavy feeling through my chest like someone is sitting on me and won’t move. I feel my stomach churn with every decision I make. There is no action that doesn’t elicit another wave of thoughts, crashing over my head. My esophagus burns. My lungs beg me to gasp at the air, determined that I’m not actually breathing. My muscles ache. I simultaneously want to cry and punch things and break into tiny pieces.
My thoughts turn into an irrational mess, attacking every happy occurrence and intensifying every negative interaction. My appetite shrinks down.
The biggest thing that pulls me through, the biggest thing that gives me hope, is knowing that there are people out there who care. If you are family or a friend reading this, I appreciate that you’ve seen me through all the struggles. If you are a random stranger reading this and you feel compassion for what people like me are going through, thank you for empathizing. Anybody out there going through something similar, know that you are never alone. Sometimes we just need a human connection.
Thanks for reading this. I am going to try to sleep now.