I have both anxiety and depression. That isn’t particularly rare. I’ve heard from many people who struggle with both disorders. However, I wanted to take a minute to describe how this terrible tag team torments my life.
Anxiety for me is a constant worry, a constant fear, even though it is difficult to identify exactly what I am afraid of. If I am on a crowded train, or in a crowded space generally, the anxiety comes from being around so many people. But even when I leave that environment, I still have anxiety. Anxiety that I left the front door open, that I left the burner on the stove on, that I am going to be pick-pocketed, that I am going to get into a car accident on the way home, that my loved ones are going to leave me. It goes on and on until I can’t even identify all the fears I have. It makes me care too much about everything. It makes me overly concerned about what everyone thinks of me and, oh, I can’t fuck up, because then everyone will think I am a failure, a waste of space. Everyone will leave. And I know this is wrong, but I can’t stop thinking it until I want to just curl into a ball and stop caring.
And then I do.
I stop caring because the depression comes, and I just can’t care. I just don’t have the fucking energy to care. I don’t have the energy to go to my friend’s game night or answer emails or exist. And suddenly I don’t want to. I don’t want to die, I just don’t want to exist because the energy it takes to keep breathing is just so exhausting and so painful and I wish it would just stop.
And I yo-yo back and forth between these nightmares, these terrors plagued upon me by the terrible tag team that is depression and anxiety. And both are exhausting in their own way. Both leave me raw and drained.
And society may think I am lazy because sometimes it takes all my energy just to get up and do something productive with my life. And people ask why I can’t just “fake it until I make it,” as if that is how it works. Yes, I put on a happy face, and push myself through the day. But this can’t be making it, can it?
This pain I feel at hiding the damage done my terrible tag team, this fake smile, this isn’t making it, is it?
And no, it isn’t. It does get better than that. Because now I have therapy and medication that at least make it manageable some of the time. And I have people I can turn to if I am in crisis. I have these tools and that holds the darkness back. It keeps the tag team of anxiety and depression in their corner while I recover.
There is no shame in seeking help. Anxiety and depression are very different, but they complement each other, teaming up to take me down. It is only fair that I turn to my own tag team of medication and therapy to fight back.
And if you are struggling in the darkness that is brought on by this terrible tag team too, then I encourage you to seek help and find your own tag team to join you in the fight. There is no shame in it. Just healing.