THIS Is What Anxiety Feels Like

Sarah Fader, CEO and founder of the non-profit organization Stigma Fighters, started a movement on Twitter #ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike and it has taken the internet by storm.  This one hashtag has allowed hundreds of people to express their feelings and/or experiences of the impact anxiety has on their lives.  Most people suffer in silence because anxiety tells us nobody will understand, and a lot of people don’t.  If you don’t have an anxiety disorder, if you’ve never had a panic attack, it’s nearly impossible to explain how debilitating it is.  I think Sarah’s trending hashtag is going a long way to open people’s eyes about how the anxious mind works. Continue reading

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Questions

There used to be a fire that burned deep inside me.  The flames fueled my need to write about my life and struggles with depression and anxiety, to connect with other people who may be experiencing something similar, or educate those who were interesting in learning more about such things.   Continue reading

A Moment To Breathe

I have a moment to breathe.  A moment to sit back and think about the whirlwind of activity that is so demanding of my time and attention as of late.  For the first time in months I don’t feel overwhelmed, though I fear this feeling won’t last.   Continue reading

This Ship Won’t Wreck

As I laid sprawled across the bed tears spilled from my eyes in steady streams.  The stitching on our quilt felt soothing against my weary skin and I hugged my pillow closer.  This is too familiar, I’ve done this too many times.  Exhausted by the weaving and winding of this road, unable to see what monsters lurk around the next bend.  In reality, the monsters hide in the folds of my own mind, creatures I create without knowledge or intention.   Continue reading

Losing Joy

How would you feel if you lost your capacity to feel joy?  Where is the meaning in life when all of the things you love no longer make you happy?  It’s perfectly normal, my doctor says.  He says it means the meds are working.  I have a problem with this logic.  Logically, you would think if depression medications are working then the person taking them should no longer feel depressed.  I suppose this logic would depend on your definition of what depression feels like, though.   Continue reading

If We Were Meeting For Drinks

If-We-Were-Meeting-For-DrinksIf we were meeting for drinks I’d order a shot of tequila and a Corona, then I’d look at you and say, “Trust me, I’ve earned it.”  After the waiter took both of our orders I would promise I won’t have any more shots because yes, I know liquor doesn’t sit well with my meds.   Continue reading

She Wants To Believe

She-Wants-To-Believe

She’s a fighter, they say, been on the front lines in the battles against her own mind for many years.  She’s been fortunate despite her illness, though, comes from a loving and supportive family.  They say she’s better now, the depression is under control and she’s on the right track.  They all talk about how much she’s grown and the things she’s accomplished in recent years.  She thinks it’s nice they’re proud of her.  

She’s gotten better at presenting well and hiding her emotions, most of the time.  She will tell you she is better at managing her emotions, most of the time she is.  She still feels it gnawing at the edges of her sanity, an inexplicable fear and sadness scratching her smooth surface.  She’s sure you can see it if you look into her eyes, but she’s not sure anyone is looking closely enough.  They see what they want to see, she tries to feel what they want her to feel – she wants to feel it, too.

She tries to tell them she doesn’t feel right, that the edges are crumbling and the walls are closing in.  They tell her she’s fine, this is what real life feels like.  She questions herself and she questions them; after all, real life to her is different than real life to them.  She wonders if feeling nothing and fearing everything is what real life is supposed to be like.  They say to stay the course.  They tell her to hold on and she’ll make it – welcome to the real world.

She wants to believe she can be free from the traps her mind sets so cleverly.  She wants to be sure she’s not slipping back into the depths of depression’s grasp.  She struggles to see clearly; feels weighted down, lethargic, and often teary.  Uninspired, disenchanted, and restless, the days drag by endlessly.  She uses all strategies in combating these unwelcome symptoms of her disease.  She is a fighter, she refuses to let this battle be her defeat.

They say she’s better now, they say the depression is at bay.  She says it depends on how you measure what ‘better’ is.  She’ll tell you she’s fought enough to know she’s stronger now, but the depression is never far enough away.  She’s learned the hard way that they don’t understand the intensity of her feelings and that’s okay.  They love her, she thinks it’s nice they want her to be happy – even if they don’t look too closely.     

5 Life Skills for Emotional Safety

5-Life-Skills-for-Emotional-Safety

Feeling safe is one of the most important aspects of a person’s life.  We do all sorts of things to protect ourselves from harm.  We buy alarm systems for our homes and cars, we lock our doors and windows, take defense training classes, we carry weapons of all shapes and sizes, we depend on our government and police to keep us safe, and we incarcerate those we deem unsafe (for example).  But what happens when fear seeps through the cracks in our fences and over the walls we’ve built up so high?  What do we do when the thing(s) that scares us isn’t tangible but comes from within us?   Continue reading

Guesting Today

Hello loves, just wanted to let you know that I’m a guest over on The Good Men Project today!  The kind folks over there published my piece, My Husband Loved Me Through My Depression. I’d be honored if you stopped by to check it out!  Here’s a little teaser…

I wish I could shield my husband from the overwhelming emotions that take hold over sense and logic, but they are part of me. – See more at: Good Men Project

(comments closed here ’cause I’m over there today!)

Stigma Fighters!!!

Today I am a guest on Stigma Fighters!!!

“The hardest challenge is to be yourself in a world where everyone is trying to make you be somebody else.” –E.E. Cummings

I remember feeling different when I started third grade, as though there was an impenetrable glass wall between myself and my peers.  I could see them, I could hear them, but I could not relate to them.  Kids don’t handle ‘different’ well and they were not kind to me.  I was sensitive and became an easy target.  Little did I know this was just the beginning of a lifelong battle between what was considered ‘normal’ and how my brain works…

Join me for the rest of the story over on the Stigma Fighters website!

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