Last Wednesday my anxiety decided to surge and caused me to feel electrified in the most unpleasant way. Saturday I went to see Fantastic Beasts, which truly lived up to its name, and I was beginning to feel better until my disassociation ring (click the blue to read about it after) exploded off my finger 30 minutes into the movie. I didn’t realize how much I’d miss it until it was gone, and now that I am without the grounding tool I had gotten used to, I am feeling so much worse.
I was hoping the weekend would improve my disposition, but Sunday I received awful news about my brother whom I no longer talk to, and my heart ached. Since then, I have felt exceedingly fragile, as if I am a porcelain doll that has already been broken and glued back together several times. My glue is weakening and I find myself in a state of grief, quickly moving from feeling calm, to over anxious, to being reduced to a teary mess.
While I don’t wish to speak specifically of the source of my heartbreak, my grief comes from not only the bad news, but from the realization that my siblings and I have been abandoned by our parents from the very beginning. Now, all three of us struggle for different reasons, and though one of our parents is aware of our suffering, they still refuse to care or shed even a drop of empathy upon us. I grieve for everything my siblings and I never had, for the love we were not given, and for everything we must fight now in order to survive and hopefully thrive. This single thought has stuck with me the past few days, and I find myself crying constantly, my depression and anxiety at an all time high. It feels like that scene in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, where Scott is completely abandoned in the desert, as you can see in the featured photo.
All of this has made thinking about anything extremely difficult. Despite my heath issues I usually try to be as productive as possible, but my depression has made everything feel impossible. I’m weak and heavy, and while my thoughts normally explode in my brain like fireworks, they’re now lacking color and are mostly smoke. Depression and anxiety are both tricky monsters, and together they’re even worse. People sometimes talk about depression and how it causes feelings of overwhelming sadness or complete apathy. They talk about how it makes living a futile chore. We also talk about anxiety, our brains being constantly over stimulated with calculations and worry, and the illusion anxiety gives of a heart aching to explode out of our chests. All of these descriptions are completely true; but when you have both anxiety and depression, the symptoms are all swirled together for the perfect mental nightmare.
I always make sure that my readers know I talk from my own experiences alone, because my life is the only one I have lived. I don’t speak for every chronically ill person, every woman, or every person who struggles with mental illness. Of course, it is always my hope that my words are relatable; nothing pleases me more than when I get a comment from someone being told that they feel like I “get it.” After all, what’s a better feeling than knowing that you are understood?
That being said, to me having anxiety and depression at once feels someone keeps abusing my light switch. They turn my switch upwards and everything launches into action at once; my anxiety goes into warp speed, my worries and fears storm my mind, the pain in my muscles, nerves and joints surge. Suddenly I’m shut off, and while the anxiety and pain is still there, it is blanketed by exhaustion and heaviness. I still feel fear, but rather than being overcome with worry I think, “who cares?” as I struggle to stay awake and find a reason to keep going through my day. Just when I think that at least feeling heavy and tired is better than feeling like I’m bursting at the seams, my switch is flipped again, and my brain is once again filled with static.
Living this way is miserable, and of course when I talk to most people about it, their first reaction is, “you need medication!” Nothing aggravates me more than this suggestion. While medications are certainly useful, they aren’t magical cures to a problem. They’re supplementary, meant to be only part of a whole treatment. They also usually forget that I have tried to take both anxiety medications and depression medications, and every single time, I’m left with either a severe allergic reaction or worsened anxiety and depression to the point where I’m manic. Some have even made me hallucinate which is anything but helpful.
I have all this suffering and pain, all this illness while living in a city that is not my own and I have no medication I am able to take. My doctors and psychiatrists are now too afraid to give me anything else for fear I’ll either go insane or anaphylactic. Once again I feel abandoned, carrying the weight of a thousand lives rather than just my own. As I’ve said before, many days it feels like it’s all just too much for one girl to carry, especially since I have many other illnesses besides these two.
I feel paralyzed by everything going on in my body and mind, yet I still have to function. I still have to go to work at my current job and start my new part time job tomorrow, all while pretending nothing is wrong. I still have to cook and keep my home tidy, do all kinds of paperwork and keep my life running. Though I have rested the last few days, I don’t feel any better at all. Sleep isn’t even enough at this point, and this morning when I talked to my social worker on the phone, I had nothing to say aside for “I don’t know,” when she asked what she could do to help me.
I feel sick, heartbroken, defeated and lost, yet at the same time I feel as if I don’t have any time to feel it. I haven’t even had time to grieve the death of my grandfather in April or the end of my two and a half year relationship in September because I’m just struggling to survive. I believe that not being given the ability to properly cope only adds to more sickness, and I can feel it all bearing down on me. The worst part of all this is two weeks ago a few major changes happened that made me absolutely ecstatic; I felt less sick, amazingly happy and excited for my life. I wish it had lasted longer, but it never takes long for life to grab me from a high point and drag me back down.
Each night I go to bed, regardless of how the day was, I tell myself, “I hope tomorrow is better.” Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t, but my hope always remains. I’ve only been awake today for two hours, but I can already tell today is going to be rough, so I will say it now rather than waiting for my bedtime- I hope, as I always do, that tomorrow is so much better.
These silent hearts we hold within our hands,
Within my heart, the rush is just the same.
These silent hearts, protect it from the dark.
And let silence be broken.