Today was a better day than I’ve had in a while. I cleaned, I did laundry, I cooked, I baked, I did my homework, I went to Starbucks, I went to target. And why am I telling you this? Because several days this week I didn’t get out of bed. Because one night this week I wrote you’ll find later in this article. Because it’s important to talk about how dark and light this is, how day and night it can be. I can flip in an instant.
There isn’t always a reason, sometimes there is. My brain can change everything in a few seconds. One minute I am fine and happy, the next my hands are shaking and I’m panicked. Today in the store I was borderline having an anxiety attack because I realized I was going out of town in two weeks, and would come back and need to get ready to start training for a new job. A training process that I’m terrified about. And, And And… I just kept going. Luckily, my best friend is the best at breaking things down into smaller things that I can do to help. Ex: “But going home will be so good for you” “You will be so amazing at this job and I’m so excited for you. You can do this.” Seriously, how lucky am I to have that kind of support??
I’ve gotten in the habit of trying to write when I can tell it’s getting bad, because I see things differently then. It’s like someone else takes over. Even what I read a few days later can sound absolutely crazy, but it’s not. It’s just what depression looks like, and to be perfectly honest it’s ugly (and crazy).
So, several nights ago I wrote this, at around 12:30/1am. I hadn’t been able to sleep, and it was getting worse. I also had the flu so I wasn’t able to eat much at all. I’m sure all of that just added to things. But here we go–
I want to believe there is reason that my life is like this.
As I’m standing in my room at midnight crying for absolutely no reason, as I look at my reflection and realize it’s not a girl I want to be and it’s not who I am. Tears running down my face, eyes puffy, I haven’t touched my hair in four days, I don’t even have clean clothes to put on. That’s my reality. That’s what this looks like. It’s not pretty. It’s not a trend or to get attention. Because I hate when people tell me that. You think I would go through this for attention? No. God I would never wish this on anyone. It’s standing at your vanity grabbing the edge while you are crying to hold yourself up. As I try to convince myself to go start shower water to try to see if the hot water can calm me down. It’s trying to hold yourself together when you think the world is ending. When you feel so alone.
That’s always the word. Alone. You think you are alone, you feel alone. You start scrolling through social media and posting a bunch of stuff to try to convince yourself you are not alone. You want the likes and the comments, you want the affirmation. You want compliments. You turn to that to try to feel good. But it’s still an empty feeling. Honestly, it makes it so much worse. You end up on the explore page and you see people who are getting engaged, or buying a house, or who look perfect, who have incredible jobs, who are graduating college, who have this or that or whatever that you wish you could have. It’s insane. I mean, I don’t know these people, and yet here I am scrolling through their picture perfect lives. But that just makes it feel so much worse, because you start blaming yourself about why you aren’t good enough to have those things.
It’s not like I can even talk to anyone about this when I’m breaking down because they always look at me with a sad look and say “I’m sorry” but then they move on in the conversation. That doesn’t help. I just want someone who will listen to me and not be annoyed they have to deal with me and my insecurities, and my mental illness.
I know it’s hard to imagine anyone going through this. But even people who don’t look like they struggle do. I know that tomorrow everything will look better. I know that. But right now all I see in my reflection is a girl in tears, who doesn’t think she is good enough for the people who love her. A girl who feels lost and overwhelmed.
Okay so… Obviously, that is going to worry a lot of people. Let me stress that I’m good, I’ve actually been happy today. I worked on projects, I finished up this article, I played with my dog, and I finally have a clean apartment again. I know some people will think that I’m oversharing, but this is a topic that someone has to start talking about. Even the uncomfortable stuff.
Ps- I did take the shower, hot water did in fact help. I also drank a cup of hot tea as well as hot chocolate and was able to calm down. I have several things I will do to come back from it, and each time something does help.
Celebrate the little victories, cleaning, getting out of bed, cooking, because those are huge accomplishments. They don’t seem like they are to everyone else, but to someone struggling with mental illness, doing any of these things is a hard battle to fight. One of my favorite things that my mom has learned to do, is celebrate my little victories. She understands that it is hard for me, and it means so much to me that she takes time to recognize it. My best friend does the same thing, she is constantly telling me she is proud of me when I manage to get things done. Neither one of them get upset with me when I feel overwhelmed, they talk me through it. They both understand if my kitchen is a little messy, or if I ignore my phone for hours. They have been so absolutely wonderful. My brain my like to feel alone, but I’m far from alone.
I know just how scary the dark times are, and I also know you can get through them.