I’ve been inactive as a writer for far too long, and today I’ve decided to make my return to the world of blogging. Not because I have “followers” asking where I’ve been, but because writing has always served some sort of therapeutic function for me. It seems that for a little while, I didn’t know what to say, even to myself. I couldn’t make sense of my thoughts so I abstained from writing them down. After so much time has lapsed since my last post, I want to emphasize (even if only to myself) the importance of continuing forward with your passions, no matter what they are. Writing, for me, is a passion that simultaneously brings a sense of equilibrium to my mind. A quote comes to mind- one that was very prevalent in my life during the years of eating disorder treatment: “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” One should not stop in his or her tracks simply because the unknown or unfamiliar lies ahead. That pattern of thinking (and thereby acting) leads absolutely nowhere. So with all that said, I’m going to push forward. I’m going to revitalize my habit of writing because I truly believe that it was (and could still be) beneficial to my general well-being. And in bringing back my joy of writing, I am going to embrace that sense of uncertainty. I’m going to write down the things that DON’T make sense, rather than waiting for clarity before divulging.
So here we go…
The sun is shining; why am I unhappy? I don’t know if those two phrases are inherently linked together, or if it’s just my innate desire to have a reason behind the fluctuations of my mood. It’s a statement I make and a question I ask myself all too often, as though my mood stability is somehow linked with the movement of the clouds above. Regardless, I feel as though these two phrases, when placed alongside each other, are the perfect encapsulation of what it is like to live with severe depression as well as crippling anxiety.
As I write this, I can feel a deep pressure on my chest. I can’t tell if it’s a force being pushed upon me from the outside, or whether it stems from the inside out. I feel alarmed, as though I should be jumping to action, but I don’t have the motivation to do so. I don’t care what happens, but I’m obsessively invested in choosing the right path. Or in making sure everyone else is happy. It feels like each day drains me of my energy, but at the same time a nagging voice is drumming between my ears, telling me to do more, make more, say more, try more, be more. I know that there is a pool of tears tucked back somewhere behind my eyes–I can feel it. Anxiety, however, has built an indestructible dam, keeping those tears floating behind closed doors. The tears are antsy for their chance to escape, but anxiety knows better: there’s no time for crying. I don’t have time to cry because there’s so much to do. But I can’t seem to extract myself from the folds of this couch to take one step, let alone conquer a to-do list the length of a spider’s home-spun silk supply. There is no food in my refrigerator…for once, not an eating disordered choice, but rather a lack of time to grocery shop — or a void of willpower to do the mundane — and I can’t tell which is truly the reason.
It’s a forever-revolving sand-filled timer, leaving no space between beginning and end, no gap in which to pause and figure out which end is up. THAT is what depression layered with anxiety looks like. It’s wanting to achieve at a high level, but not having enough momentum to walk the aisles of a supermarket, let alone having the strength the surge through a ceiling of tempered glass. And when I’m sick, forget it.
I’m a paradox of a human being: I want to be loved, but I want to be alone. I’m lonely, but I don’t care enough to make new friends — or is it anxiety telling me I’m unable to do so? My insides feel jumbled and stretched taut at the same time. Like someone with no direction and too much ambition at the same time. It’s confusing to make sense of, and it creates for some very mixed emotions. But I didn’t write this post to confuse you. I didn’t write it so that you’d pity my mentally ill mind trapped inside a high-functioning body. I wrote this down as though to say “be patient with us”. While I can’t speak for everyone that struggles with comorbid mood disorders, I know that for me, it’s a downright cluster of misunderstanding at times. I have to be patient with myself from day-to-day while I figure out the ups and the downs, the patterns and the outliers. If you can be patient with me, too, that’s all I could ever ask for.
If you’ve made it this far into my rambling, I want to thank you. It is people like yourself who have the desire to understand my own unique experience– and that is so important (and rare) to find in a friend. This is a messy and unedited first delve back into the world of writing, and I’m trying to sit with that discomfort. Because at the end of the day, it’s OKAY to not have life all figured out and structured perfectly into the lines of a planner. The sun is shining, and today I’m unhappy…and that’s OKAY.