My Anxiety and Depression.

 

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The Taste of Sorrow
Rene Magritte

 

If you want to know what my anxiety is to me, it is being unable to make a new psychologists appointment after my old one left. Letting my pills run out rather than make a phone call. It’s avoiding a therapist for reasons I’m not even sure. It is a pain in my gut every time the phone rings. It’s finding excuses to push people away. Being unable to sleep in fear of anything that breaks my routine, anything new. It’s having high blood pressure because my heart races every time someone gets close enough to take it.

My depression is a call to the void. It is staring at train tracks and wondering what if. I hide in a hole building a wall of trash around me like a castle wall.  I think of the past and never the future. I feel a call that leads me deeper into the dark. I find sad story’s and music and weep to myself. But sometimes I find someone who is worse off than me. I use what experience I have and try to help them, not for unselfish reasons but because it makes me feel better as well.

Hiding and pushing everyone away would be so easy. Even doing things I enjoy bring on painful feelings. I’ve done it before, I dropped out of school, grow fat and suicidal. I wrote on my skin with a knife. As painful as it all it, it is easy. I slip down a similar hole all the time. But I still slowly crawl out.

 

Changeing Gravity

Have you ever laid flat against the ground and feel as if gravity was holding you down? Sometimes I forget how much I distract myself from myself. Just a few moments alone with my thoughts is enough to send warm tears down the sides of my head. I feel somber. My mind is so very clear, but the tears don’t stop.

I recently had to visit a new psychiatrist. My old one had moved away leaving me to deal with a new one. Sitting in a chair answering questions that I had long forgotten the answer too. I can’t remember old doctors names or the years when I started a certain medicine. Suddenly being asked the days date, and counting backward from 100 by 7 was embarrassing. It seemed my last doctor added agoraphobia to my chart without telling me. The lack of control over the situation made me feel so small.

What hurt more than any of my anxiety, however, was my father. Before I left for the appointment I happened to talk to him and told him where I was going. His response was surprising that I still seek help for my mental Illness. I have been seeing a psychologist almost longer in my life then I have not. Nearly more than half my life. How could he possibly not know?  The nights I spent crying myself to sleep, the times I hurt myself, the very close fact that I was going to kill myself. How blind has he been to the pain in my life? When I was young I suffered alone. As I grow up I decided never again, for my sake I would be open and honest about it. It hurts to know that someone close did not hear me.

sisyphus

Sisyphus by Grace McClain

 

 

Camping with Mental Health Issues.

Growing up my parents would pack me and my two siblings up to go camping every year. It was always over a weekend and we have a family reunion in between. When I was little I really enjoyed the experience but as I grow into a moody teen I set up a PlayStation in a tent and never leave. As depression took over my life, I sneak off at night to cry.  They were beautiful quiet nights. My sobs mixed with only the sounds of frogs and crickets. However, I remember distinctly secretly wishing someone would hear me.

It has been a few years since then, and another family reunion has come up. I decided to try camping on my own this past weekend. I now have my own car, my own tent, my own money, I thought I surely be able to recapture some of the glory of my childhood. My Sister had similar ideas and was already planning a trip of her own as I was mine. We would have a chance to see each other for the first time in nearly a year.

The first thing I noticed about all of this was just how much effort my parents put into it. Booking a campsite, bringing food, water, clothes, soap, toothbrushes, and every other little thing that makes the experience a little more comfortable. I arrived on my own early Friday and was proud of my little set up. Things were going well. I managed to go for a swim in the pool and even strike up conversation with strangers despite my anxiety. My sister arrived in the evening with her boyfriend and we had a good time catching up. I made hotdogs over a fire.

campsite

Then I was alone in my tent, and all I wanted to do was collapse and cry. The sense of loneliness that filled my heart was like a dagger. I texted my mother for support before finally falling asleep. The next day was the family reunion. Frankly I was disinterested in the whole affair. It was nice to see my grandmother, my aunt, and cousins, but I had little to say to any of them really. It was hot, and exhausting. I must of sweat my weight in water. The reunion was wrapping up when it started to rain for an hour. I ran around to secure my sight so that the rain would not ruin anything before the rain stopped anyway.

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Perhaps it was the heat, or dealing with the social aspects of family but I broke. I could only sob uncontrollably. I wanted to run away. I managed to walk for a while, the woods where pretty and reminded me of the times me and my brother would explore them. I followed a trail to a winery near the campground before walking back. It was here I made up my mind to just leave the campground. I turned some mail I needed to give my sister over, she was swimming in the pool, and quickly walked away embarrassed.  I hid in the woods, my back against a tree hiding from my sister and from myself. I was having a full on panic attack. I imagined what it be like to hang myself from one of the trees in front of me. I traded some emotional texts with my brother, mother, and sister. The sun came down while I was hiding behind that tree. Bugs crawled along my legs but I did not care anymore.

walk

I walked back to my campsite without any light and packed up my tent and things and got in my car. I drove past my sisters campsite, gave her a hug and drove away. Sobbing and crying along the way. I had to pull over to the side of the road to wipe my tears more than once. When I was about fifteen minutes from the campground I pulled over once more. I could only think that “If only I just jumped into the pool with my sister that we could have swam, made s’mores by the fire and everything would’ve been ok.” I know I was running away, all i wanted to do was run away. I felt humiliated about how emotional I got, making me feel even worse. I called my mom, as if asking for permission if it was ok if I just turned around and forget it all happened. My sister was still up, sitting by a fire, I still had a little time to change the outcome of the night. I turned the car around, went back to the campsite. I went to my sister campsite and managed to enjoy a bit of time by the fire.
I never did put back up my tent, I slept in my car with my feet hanging out the window. I was able to go for one last swim in the pool with my sister before we had to leave the campground. It was a stressful weekend over all. I feel like I made a fool of myself the whole time. However I did manage to scrape together a better ending than what could of been thanks to the support of my family.

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Bullying and Self Confidence

Bullying is a topic that come up a lot in the news. Sadly its often long after the damage is done. Many people have an opinion on it, some I find are just filled with ignorance. Bullying is at it’s worst when its sustained over long periods of time. Not just a one time fight on the playground but weeks, months, even years of continued mental and/or physical abuse.

Some say “Bullying is just part of life, and kids need to learn to deal with it.” Well yes, but don’t expect them to grow healthy coping methods out of thin air.  “Stand up to your bully and they will stop” Most bully’s target people that can’t stand up for themselves. They pick on people younger, or have less friends to back them up, and people who don’t have the social skills to handle it. Then they keep on bullying till there self confidence is so low they are almost broken.

My first bully was my brother, he was two years older then me, an although we since have found friendship he was not my last bully. That lack of self confidence that could only let me take taunts by pretending to ignore them. I became a figurative punching bag because I made no reactions back. When I snapped and tried to fight back, I was pushed down all the harder because I was well out numbered.

There is no easy fix for bullying. Being too heavy handed, or too soft can make things worse. It may always exist but that does not mean we have to tolerate it. Helping a victim have a little more self confidence is much easier then trying to fix one that has completely broken down.

Prison

prison

live in a prison of my own creation. I trap myself into a small world with habits and routines. When I stick to the same schedule every day I feel safe. When I know what i’m doing tomorrow my anxiety subsides. However I suffer under my own unspoken rules. Day in and day out I live like a prisoner. I have no bars but I never think of escaping. I want to break out…