Society brushes anxiety and depression off as a little bit of insecurity more than anything. I think we do all have insecurities and doubts, but people are struggling way more than whether their shoes match their top and whether they’re feeling a little bit sad.
A day in the life of somebody with Anxiety and depression is beyond mentally draining.
It waking up and brushing your teeth with the one you love and not wanting to brush your teeth for less of a time than them because you don’t want to look like you don’t take care of your teeth. Its looking in the mirror daily and wondering how you managed to find somebody that would propose to you. Spending a long time getting ready because you’re so worried about the way you look. Its sticking to the same make up routine to avoid being out of your comfort zone. Its writing a blog post and dealing with the major anxiety because theres going to be people that are going to have a bitch about it.
Its cancelling on friends because (delete as appropriate):
- You don’t feel Adequate
- You feel uncomfortable
- You don’t want company today because you’re too busy fighting demons
- You don’t feel pretty enough
- You’re not able to keep conversation flowing
- You’re not able to drag yourself out of bed
- You’re not able to physically get up and leave the house today
- You feel you have nothing interesting to bring to somebody else’s life
People question what its like to have depression and anxiety. They expect you to be stuck in bed and physically not be able to move for weeks on end, and for many this is correct, but this isn’t the case for all. Some people find that they actually go out more often to try and fill that hole in their life. Others paint a pretty picture to their friends and family about how perfect their life is in the hope that it might make them feel better. Some people prefer to stay away from others altogether and completely shut out the world.
I find that personally my biggest issue is the anxiety. I question EVERYTHING I do and doubt everything that I say. Somebody could ask me what the answer to 3+4 is and even though I’m certain with my answer, its likely ill still end my response with ‘I think anyway, I’m not sure, I’m rubbish at maths’.
I walk down the street and fully feel like everybody that walks past is judging me. I get worried that they’ll be judging my weight, what I’m wearing, whether my make up looks ridiculous or why I’m not wearing any make up at all showing my dark circles and looking like a drug addict. Wondering whether I look too young to have a child, why I’m walking down the street at 2pm with my child which means I mustn’t have a job and must be lazy and sponging off the government. When I’m sat on a bus I’m worried about the person sat behind me watching my movements, does my hair look bad from this angle, can they see my roots, if I stand up will my top come up slightly and show off my stretch marks.
When people come to my house Im the kind of person that would say ‘ignore the skirting boards, they were like that when we moved in, ignore the plaster were due to wallpaper. I actually point out the imperfections myself so that nobody will do it behind my back.
I do have more good days than bad. Some days I am overwhelmed with how lucky I am to live the life that I do. I love that I have a beautiful family, were lucky enough to have food and drink and a house and car and a life that allows us to make happy memories and enjoy the time that we have on this earth.
But other days I question my own worth. What is my purpose? Why does my mind play constant games with me? Why do I feel like I’ve got a marathon to run when the only thing on my to-do list today is to cook tea and do some fun crafts.
Its like never feeling good enough. Never feeling confident enough to approach somebody. Not feeling good enough to complete a task to the correct standard. People expect that its just a little bit of worry due to overthinking and that they understand because they also had anxiety once before a big presentation. Its way more than overthinking. Its a constant battle happening in your brain and theres absolutely no way to stop it, even if people say things like ‘try not to think into things too much, try to forget about it”
I am an extremely empathetic person and to my own dismay I mostly live my life through the eyes of others. I spend my time in a conversation wondering how the other person feels. Whether they think I’m being boring or I’m not being truthful or I’m not actually listening to them because I’m too busy thinking of an adequate response.
Some of my bad days I just need to curl up in a ball and hide away for a few hours and have a cry. Others I just need a cuddle and time with my family. Other times I am able to hide it completely and paint on a smile as though everything is fine.
I live in the constant battle of being so deeply in love with my family that they can get me through anything, and also having them around being my biggest concern of one day losing them due to this horrendous illness.
Its like I have many different ‘Laurens’ to attend to, when I actually only have the time to care for 1 or 2 of them.
- Mum – being a mum is to me the most important of the many roles, from spending time with Joshua and being a mum in general, to being a stay at home mum and keeping up with the housework/shopping/bills and other ‘mumsy’ stuff
- Being a girlfriend/daughter/friend – talking to, spending time with, checking in on and generally having these people in my life is a blessing but sometimes I find that I spend more time worrying about being good company than actually doing so
- Work – although I’m not currently working its something i constantly worry about. I am so desperate to build a career and become successful but with current issues of childcare and working hours its not going to happen overnight
- having me-time – I rarely have time to just relax and have me-time. We spend a lot of time as a family and luckily I have Ryan who I am able to completely be myself around through the good bad and the ugly, but I love those days where I can stop battling with my own mind for a few hours and just switch off, whether that be writing a new blog, taking some photos or having a few drinks and a bit of a pamper session.
- Being depressed – This one takes up a lot of my time. Putting things on hold, cancelling days out and appointments, avoiding day to day duties and rearranging schedules because of my ‘fuck everything’ days. Those are the worst
- Being normal – It sounds absurd, but when you’re depressed the most simple thing can be a chore. The routine of waking up to do absolutely nothing with your day is hard. The idea of having a shower and washing your hair can seem like a mountain climb. The idea of having company round for dinner is way harder than cooking some extra food.
Its like I’m endlessly spinning plates and deciding which ones I’m going to have to let smash to the ground in order to keep the other ones going.
As hard as it might day, and as worthless as it can sometimes make you feel, I have learnt that having anxiety and depression is not something to be ashamed of. It is a serious illness. We are not crazy and are most definitely not just being overdramatic or lazy.
I sometimes think into the person that I am and the challenges that my own brain can put me through, and it has often led to me feeling ashamed. Society plays a big part in that for the fact that in this day and age depression and anxiety are still a taboo subject and most people are still frightened of admitting that life is not always sunshine and rainbows. I hope that one day the subject will be discussed openly and people will feel in a more comfortable position to stand up and tell their story, because its most likely that you are surrounded by people that are in a similar position.
Its taken a lot for me to write this blog and even now after writing it up, I’m still tempted to delete it and pretend it never existed (and maybe on one of my ‘fuck everyday’ days I might do just that, but I’m going to go ahead and post in the hope that theres just one person out there that might feel a little less stressed in knowing they are not alone.
It’s a battle I am fighting every day and will continue to fight. I don’t always win, sometimes it gets the better of me, but I am proud of the fact that each time I get a knock back, I will continue to get up an fight back every time.
Every flower must grow through the dirt in order to blossom.