I feel like I’m suffocating under the weight of my own emotions.
It’s interesting. I’ve been telling people for a few years now–therapists, friends, boyfriends–that what seems to be more of an issue for me is the anxiety. After being afraid to eat food for a year, still somewhat terrified of medications (even Tylenol), afraid to drive on highways, afraid to talk to people (still), and finding myself in the throes of uncomfortable palpitations, difficulty breathing, and dizziness whenever I get anxious, I felt this was the scarier beast. I was under the assumption that years in therapy, both group and individual, had given me the gift of coping mechanisms for my depression. If I force myself to workout, get enough sleep, and eat properly, all will be well. If I force myself to leave the house, the feeling passes, eventually. Then, out of nowhere the depression hits, like a sudden gust of wind, storm impending. It’s more insidious than the anxiety and that’s what makes it harder to prepare for.
The anxiety is there consistently, through most of my days. There’s typically some big thing making me anxious every single week. Common contenders include: dating situations, my relationship with my mother, work, social interactions, the zombie apocalypse, and whether a food I have been tested for allergies for (negative result) will give me anaphylaxis if I eat it. I never said it made any sense whatsoever. However, it is predictable and therefore I have some tools at my disposal to deal with it.
The depression hit me hard again this time. The last time I felt this down was at the end of my first year of nursing school and it came on after I ended a dating situation, reluctantly. It’s like every time I open myself up to somebody new and they disappoint me, forcing me to end contact, a part of me is stolen away. It’s palpable when the energy slowing drains from my body in the aftermath. In that instance, I spent two weeks not leaving my apartment. I had nowhere to go. There was nobody who cared where I was as I didn’t really connect with my classmates too profoundly. It was as if the world forgot I was there and I was happy to keep hiding.
I’m starting to feel similarly right now. Granted, I did have the flu earlier this week, but I’ve only been to one work shift in the past week and I will have off this weekend, a weekend I was supposed to work, for family illness. Realistically, I could go to work, but my mind is not there. I don’t know where my mind is right now and that’s the most frightening part; I’m spinning. I have so many thoughts going through my head at one time, all divergent, I can’t make sense of anything.
At the end of my relationship I was completely fed up. I was DONE. D-O-N-E. Done. It was to the point where I hated everything my ex did. The way he smiled. The way he talked. Who he was. I was completely resentful after months of feeling like I was carrying the relationship and putting more effort in than him. I immediately started dating again and after a string of subpar dates two months post-breakup, all my mind does now is think of how most people suck and I miss him. What is that? My logical brain knows it needed to end and that he will likely never be a good fit for me. Maybe I’m, in turn, a terrible fit for him. Yet, why does my heart hurt so much right now? I thought I was fine. And I sit here and turn circles inside my head about what everything means.
The only conclusions I can come to right now is that, by God, time needs to pass more quickly so I can finish this grieving process and that I’ve spent my 20’s grieving, mostly the ends of relationships, but also the end of my innocence, the end of my childhood, the deaths of family members, the deaths of various dreams I’ve had and never fulfilled. I have existential exhaustion at this point. Daily, I push forward, trying to find some hope in it all and I certainly have my moments of exuberant joy, but this is quite the slump right now. I want nothing more than to not feel the way I feel right now. That, folks, is depression and anxiety: knowing you are in a trap in your mind. I always want to be anywhere but here.