By Matt Carver
As someone who suffers daily with anxiety and depression, I can personally tell you it’s not easy to live with at all. It is something that we don’t talk about enough as a society. Every day is a struggle. A constant battle with my inner demons. Living with anxiety means that I constantly question if a person really means what they say. To a normal person, a simple “I love you” can be taken at face value. However, I tend to question everything.
Do you really love me?
Is this just some kind of joke that the fates want to test me with today?
Anxiety doesn't stop there. It also makes me second guess every single decision I make. I feel anxiety when I stop to get gas. I feel it if I am taking too long to pay at the grocery store. I even feel it when I struggle to remember if I turned off my straightener before I left the house, even though I know I actually unplugged the stupid thing.
In social situations, my anxiety gets even worse. My irrational thoughts tell me that the person in the corner is judging everything you do, that person over there thinks that your friends can find more suitable company, or even that the couple whispering are obviously talking about you even though they have no clue who you are.
Anxiety makes things difficult, because it makes a person doubt everything and question every single decision they make. Even in writing this, I fear that you will just think that I am a basket case. Or even just annoying.
Once the anxiety stops, you would assume that the struggle would be over. That my mind would want to relax. However, as soon as the anxiety quiets, the depressive thoughts jump into my head. They are often more damning than the anxiety driven thoughts. Some days I feel like life is pointless and that everyone I know would just be better off if I just exited the stage of life and moved on to whatever comes after this.
My depression likes to make me feel like a tiny ant standing in a city full of nothing but skyscrapers. Those towering buildings scream at me with all their might.
You are a pointless little ant. Not one single thing on Earth or in space cares about you or what happens to you.
I wake up sometimes and feel like the whole world is literally against me. That I just have this huge boulder on my chest that is full of nothing but self-doubt. My dog will greet me and all I can think is “wow you could have such a better owner and friend than me.”
Depression sucks, for a lack of a better term. It literally destroys my drive- that drive that allows me to do anything productive in the world. Even when I do feel positive, depression makes sure I can see the negative. Depression isn’t only feeling sad- it is literally the word sad built into some benevolent force that pulls you down till you can no longer move.
I can be fine for days, or even for months, but good days also mean bad days will come. You maybe feel as though I should just change and move past my anxiety and depression. Understand that anxiety is like a person standing behind me, whispering sweet nothings about how every decision I make is being judged. And in front of me, depression stands like a giant god-like figure, pushing me back and telling me to just stop trying to move past him.
I now take medication and do art therapy. Both forms of self-care help me relax. I try to stay busy, to quiet the dual demons of anxiety and depression. Please know that if you know someone like me, and they say they are having a bad day, maybe just listen without trying to make them better. Do not try to fix me. All I want is to be heard. It’s the best thing you can do for someone like me.