Today I pulled into the church parking lot. I had all the kids dressed. A diaper bag packed. It took me 30 minutes to drive there. I saw all the cars and flipped my car around.
You know when you’re swimming, you’ve held your breath for a long time, your lungs burn and you come up for air. And that first breath is almost painful. You feel the air go in your lungs but you don’t feel like you actually got anything. That’s how anxiety feels.
But it doesn’t stop.
It’s never being able to shut your head off.
It’s feeling like an elephant is sitting on your chest anytime there’s conflict.
Even though you can feel your chest going up and down you feel like you can’t get any air.
You are suffocating.
It’s either shutting down completely during an argument or screaming back completely irrational. There is no in between.
It’s hating yourself for being like this.
It’s knowing how you are.
It’s knowing you seem crazy.
But it’s also never being able to stop it.
It’s hearing one thing and understanding it.
But your brain flips in and turns it and replays it and dissects it.
It’s being certain everyone is always mad or annoyed with you.
It’s hating when your kids ride with other people because you’re certain the car will wreck.
It’s begging it to stop.
And then there’s the depression.
The one who whispers to you all day long.
The one who tells you you will never be enough for anyone.
Never a good enough friend.
A good enough daughter.
A good enough significant other.
A good enough sister.
The one who drains your energy and tells you you can’t get out of bed today.
The one who tells you everyone would be better off without you.
The one who doesn’t remind you to eat because honestly on the darkest days walking downstairs for food is too much.
The one who constantly reminds you you are unworthy of love.
The one who you have to fight every time you walk past a liquor store because you know inside is a temporary fix.
The one who notices every sharp object.
The one who knows that enough sleeping pills could do it.
The one who knows that if you let your car run in the garage it’ll all be over.
The one who tells you your kids are better off that way.
The one who your fake smile masks.
Because you know if anyone sees your depression they’ll pry.
And you know you can’t handle that.
You can’t talk about why you’re always sad.
Or why you have no energy.
Or why you canceled plans to lay in bed.
My anxiety and depression both hate and love each other.
And when both are present I just accept that I can’t leave the house that day.
This year has been really, really painful.
I’ve cut out a lot people I love.
I opened up about being raped in high school and was so proud of myself for not staying silent another year.
And then it happened again a few months after admitting it happened years ago.
And I realized in this life nothing is fair.
But I know some have it so much worse.
I know that.
I sat at the police department completely numb.
I felt nothing.
They took my clothes for DNA.
They interrogated me to the point I felt like it wasn’t worth the pain.
Their response when I was finished filing a police report was at that point it was “he said she said” and they’d argue that bruising was consistent with rough sex so it was going to be a hard battle and I had to be prepared for that if I was going to move forward.
Just writing that out killed me a little.
I took the right steps this time.
The first time I regretted not telling anyone for years.
I never ever thought I’d have that happen again but I did.
And it was a waste.
So what? I go through hell? The court tears me apart? And maybe they’ll be given a few month? Maybe.
I felt like I was the one in the wrong.
I remember them pointing out the fact that I was wearing shorts that were “very short” (I was a waitress and live in Florida, it was terribly hot)
So I dropped it.
I didn’t pursue it.
They always win.
And I’d like to think that’s where my anxiety stems from.
That I have seen the most evil side of people.
I don’t want to be around them.
I cringe when people so much as wave to me at Walmart.
I hate making eye contact.
I have to genuinely think about.
My depressions been around longer than that though.
And the two of them are just too much for me.
There is a war in my head all day long.
I take care of kids and remind them they are loved everyday because I never want them questioning their worth.
Even on the days I don’t know how take care of them when I’m so emotionally checked out.
Even on the days it’s terrifyingly dark.
I’ll smile for them.
I’ll hold them.
And it is so draining.
It’s draining being okay for other people.
They go to sleep and I pass out because I’m so exhausted.
I have a newborn I can’t bond with.
And right now my life it’s hard.
It’s so hard right now.
And everyone says one day it’ll be better.
One day it won’t hurt.
Hang on for us.
Hang on for your kids.
Hang on for the good days ahead.
So I’m hanging on, but it is unbelievably painful.