I had this big article I was writing in my head on anxiety and fear. How hard it is to explain to people who’ve never had depression what you go through when you are on a downward spiral. The anxiety and fear that fills you and drags you down until you would do anything to stop feeling that way. Then yesterday something small tipped me back into my own spiral and I couldn’t make myself write.
I spent most of yesterday fighting against old bad habits I have cultivated to deal with my issues. I’m still not out of it yet today. It takes so much energy to fight against a part of yourself that you know are being irrational.
Fighting against the tension riding your spine and banding your ribs until you feel like you can’t breathe. And always the fear, irrational, smothering fear that obliterates your common sense. Fear that has no cause and no reason, you are just shiver with fear and waiting for something to tighten or loosen enough for a change to be made. For something to finally give.
I have an on going argument with a friend over why we are drawn to damaged characters in writing and in life. I believe that everyone is damaged in some way and we all just have different ways of coping with that damage. She thinks society rejects those who show they are damaged, that acknowledging the damage in public is social suicide. I say it is acknowledging that no one is perfect and those that seem to be so are just better at hiding their flaws.
Depression and anxiety disorders have never been socially acceptable. it is often seen as a failing of the person suffering from the condition. They were not strong enough, they were not persistent enough. They did not get out and get up and do things enough. They were not enough.
As an introvert I have issues with most of the “cures” that people offer for depression.
- Forcing yourself to get out more when you are not comfortable being extremely social just adds to your exhaustion making it take twice as long to recover.
- Faking that you are perfectly fine might get you through the days but it still all comes back when you are alone.
- Talking to friends only works if you have friends available to talk to which lately has been slim to none. I am too honest to lie to the people around me that I am not having a bad day.
Instead I have been trying to find ways to be healthy while I recover from the down swing.
- I have to get the chores done at least once a week. No one else but me will care if the dishes sit or the lawn is not perfectly mowed. Use that energy to recover and get your head back straight.
- Do something good for yourself. Take a walk, go to the zoo, exercise, create something. Take an hour and lay in bed and read. Play with your pet.
- You want to sleep the day away? Okay. As long as you don’t have any important things that must be done you can go to bed at 5pm and wake up at 6am. However, you have to make up for that lost time on the weekend by getting all your chores done.
- My main rule is becoming “Be kind to yourself.” You are allowed to fail occasionally. Not everything needs to be done right now.