Down, Down We Go

This will not be the typical encouraging post I’d planned on writing here. No, there won’t be much to guide yourself off of. This will simply be vulnerability and honesty as I express the inner most parts of myself. I can’t keep it together today, and I guess I feel I shouldn’t have to. And maybe you’ll find some comfort in knowing that you’re not alone.

If you have a mental illness, you know how draining it is to try and fight off the overwhelming thoughts and feelings that come with it. For some of us, it’s depression. For some of us, it’s anxiety. For others it’s a constant fluctuation between happiness, elation, anger, anxiety, and deep depression. I like to call those days hell because that’s truly what it feels like. And we don’t know how to express in that moment that we need help. We don’t know how to control it. Even if we’ve acknowledged our condition and we spend a large part of our time battling it, we won’t always overcome it. It will, on some days, still manage to find a way to creep into our consciousness and overwhelm us with thoughts and feelings we can’t ignore. For me, it starts with a thought that suddenly becomes the singular focus in my mind. My brain takes it and turns into a mountain, spinning it in circles until it’s consumed not just my mentality but my body as well. I often refer to this as “my brain is spinning”, because I don’t know how else to describe it. The spinning creates a lot of anxiety—it doesn’t exhaust it, it just amplifies it—because shutting it off is nearly impossible and often times it begins creating something that isn’t part of reality. It’s like being in an small room where the walls are slowly closing in on you. With this comes an immediate reaction to escape, which causes me to lash out. I often find myself exploding at the people closest to me, finding whatever I possibly can to be upset about (especially if the original thought was created because of said person); and when I say exploding I mean exploding. It’s almost as if I’m so desperate to be rid of this feeling that I try to force it on someone else, and once I’ve reached that state there’s no turning back. Everything becomes a battle. Everyone becomes an enemy. Very few things can snap me out of that state, and honestly I still don’t know what those things are.

Enter the depression. Once I’ve realized I’ve lost it over something ridiculous and small and unnecessary, I often find myself lost. Everything feels black and void. All of those thoughts that were targeting something external suddenly turn inward and target me. I don’t want to get out of bed. I don’t want to even breathe. In those moments, it seems easiest to slip off into the blackness. It seems easiest to let it consume me, because then I wouldn’t hate myself so much. I wouldn’t look in the mirror and be so disgusted by what I see. Wasn’t I happy 24 hours ago? How can I let this happen again and again and again?

Why can’t you just be normal?

Why are you so emotional?

Why do you let this happen?

The people around me don’t deserve this. Wouldn’t it be better if I just….went away?

But I know that in another 24 hours I’ll be happy again. The sun will be shining, the birds will be singing. I’ll be sitting next to my boyfriend and daughter and everything will be fine. Until it’s not again. Until I have to reenter hell, and the cycle repeats itself.

I know I won’t win every battle.

But maybe

Just maybe

One day I’ll win the war.

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