Tag: sadness

The Day the World Stopped Spinning

September 12, 2016

This time of year always finds me at a loss for words.  Fifteen years have passed since the towers fell and I still can’t so much as think about the date without beginning to tear up.  Heartfelt posts fill the mess that we call social media on September 11th and each and every one breaks my heart.  I admire those who can find the words to so succinctly express their emotions on days like these.  I don’t always have the strength to share what I am feeling and so I write now, one day late, for that very reason.

I was barely a teenager, at the age of 13 when the world stopped spinning.  I sat in my fourth block English class, with my best friend sobbing next to me.  Rumors had been traveling throughout the school that terrorists had struck the twin towers since that morning.  I was a skeptical, know-it-all, teen who refused to believe something of such brevity could ever happen so close to home.  Terrorists were far from us, not here;  not 45 minutes from my house.  It wasn’t until that fourth block period when I thought, just maybe, the rumors were true as I watched my best friend sob uncontrollably as she worried for her brother’s safety.  As she was ushered to the guidance counselors, it crossed my mind that maybe the rumors I’d heard weren’t just exaggerated truths.

My father picked me up from school that afternoon and not two seconds after I shut the car door, he too was in tears.  It was true.  It was all true.

I watched the world I knew shatter before me on the television screen.  That amazing little box that brought me so much joy watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S and Nick @ Nite was now emitting a new darkness.  I watched as they replayed the footage of the planes striking the towers, over and over and over again.

I looked out the window and I could see the billowing smoke in the distance.  It amazed me that the smoke could travel that far.  The sky was gray.  The America I once knew was disappearing before me.

I remember lighting candles that night and taking them outside to be joined by my neighbors.  We all gathered on the streets with candles in remembrance of those lost and those still fighting to be found.  In that sea of sadness, there was a glimmer of hope.  It was so good to see a united country- a town filled with candles in the darkness, cities across the country and the globe showing their support.  It was a glimmer, but a light nonetheless.

Fifteen years later and my family is safe.  My best friend’s family is safe.  I wish I could say the same for so many who have suffered a loss that I hope never to understand.  It feels like eons ago and like yesterday all at once.  I pray that this country remember that small glimmer of hope we felt once upon a time.  May we stand united again.  May the fighting within our own country come to an end.  May the hatred subside.  May we look to the future with the childlike optimism as I once did so many years ago.

9.11 memorial.jpg

Who Invited You? (A Note About Unwanted Depression/Anxiety)

I am not having the best night due to reasons I’d rather not discuss.  (Ya know, cause I like to stay relatively elusive when posting personal struggles publicly on the internet).

As I’ve written before, depression isn’t always present but it is persistent.  I have my good days, (sometimes lots of them in a row!) but the bad days somehow always show up.  Depression is like that one relative whose invite to the party you always “lose” but they manage to show up anyway with a sidekick you like even less (AKA Anxiety).

Recently, a friend and fellow blogger posted a Buzzfeed Article about what it is to suffer from both anxiety and depression (Hey, that sounds familiar!).  She then followed up with her own piece about what it is to have a panic disorder.  She encouraged fellow sufferers to discuss and share in the comments (and while I will also post this there), I wanted to write a blog in response to both of these posts and remind her, and others like us, that we are not alone.

If you would like to read Kacey’s original blog- please click here.

The Buzzfeed article that I mentioned earlier, entitled Here’s What No One Tells You About Having Both Depression And Anxiety, is in essence just a list of symptoms to which all sufferers can immediately relate.  It always makes me wonder if there are people out there who DON’T feel these things.  If so, I envy them…just a tad (tad means a lot, right?).

In seriousness though, I wonder if this list is relatable.  If you’ve never been in the throes of depression and anxiety, can you understand?  Can you empathize?

In the event that you didn’t read through either of the aforementioned links (because I probably wouldn’t have either), I’ve included a few points that most resonated with me.  Depression & Anxiety Are:

“3. It’s feeling more tired the less you move, but your heart racing at the thought of taking the first step.”

This is one of the hardest things to combat when I am in a period of depression.  The desire to sleep and the need to get work done are in a state of constant battle.  I hate to say it but, sleep wins most of the time. Sleep means escaping emotions and the pain that comes with them if only for a little while.

“8.  It’s fearing every day that your partner will get fed up and leave, but your anxiety whispering in your ear that they deserve better and should.”

SO MUCH YES HERE.  My inner monologue when in a relationship is almost always “Please leave me and save yourself the trouble.” Actually, I’ve probably said that out loud before on numerous occasions.  

“17. It’s coping mechanisms and escapism, because when you’re not trying to hide from one part of your brain, you’re hiding from the other.”

Escapism- YES.  I need to avoid triggers that will upset me and often times that means avoiding (escaping) people and/or situations that will cause me pain.  

*Masochism and anxiety do not go hand in hand.

My anxiety manifests itself in rather obnoxious ways.  During a panic attack:

  1. My body will start to overheat (think hot flash x 10).
  2. I start to shake (so severely that my muscles begin to tense and I will be more sore than if I had spent 8 hours at the gym).
  3. I get nauseous, (which makes me even more anxious and so I cry).
  4. I cry a lot.

It’s not the end of the world but in that moment (and sometimes that moment can last hours), it sure as hell feels like it.

And my depression?  Well, like I mentioned before- it’s a lot of wanting to sleep.  It is fixating on how worthless I am and fearing that I will never amount to anything.

Sometimes, the depression and anxiety overlap.  Sometimes, they don’t.

But guys, guess what!  There is a light at the end of the tunnel!  I am NOT worthless.  I have already amounted to a lot and will continue to do so.  These annoying, unwanted house guests never stay forever.  They most certainly overstay their welcome, but eventually, I get to kick them to the curb and it is always a glorious moment of triumph.  So if I look at it that way, I get to have lots of extra triumphs in my life in addition to all of my non-depression related successes (because when I lay them all out there, I am pretty successful).

I AM FULL OF ALL THE TRIUMPHZ.

AND SO ARE YOU!

You will have bad days.  We all do (even those who don’t suffer from depression), but they won’t last forever.  Cliche as it may be, the sun WILL come up tomorrow (you can bet your bottom dollar).  I am not telling you that it will be easy.  It won’t be.  I am telling you that it is possible and I implore you to seek help if you need it.  There is NO shame in asking for help.  (A lot of people see it as a sign of strength and bravery.)

Talking about mental illness helps us shed the stigma.  So talk about it.  Surround yourself with people who support you and if you feel like you don’t have anyone- feel free to reach out.  Comment on my blog, comment on my Facebook- message me, whatever it is.  We can have a nice talk about it. 🙂

* * * * * *

Borrowed From the Aforementioned Article:

To learn more about depression and anxiety, check out the resources at the National Institute of Mental Health here and here.

If you are dealing with thoughts of suicide, you can speak to someone immediately here or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which you can reach at 1-800-273-8255.

If you want to speak with someone anonymously, go here for additional help.