I've been really wanting to write about this for awhile. And by 'this' I mean living in my head while struggling with depression and anxiety. Words really don't do it justice, but I am going to try and explain what goes on in my head, so maybe, just maybe, someone can understand.
There are days when I feel absolutely unattached from by own brain. I feel disconnected. I don't know how else to describe it. I feel crazy. I don't know how to handle things, I feel emotionally uninterested. It's like I know it's my mind, my brain, but the feelings and thoughts inside don't seem like mine. I don't feel like me. It's very disconcerting. Daily tasks are burdensome, lying on the couch seems much more interesting than even watching t.v. Sleep becomes priority, eating falls off of the list. Forcing isn't a strong enough word to describe what I have to do when I need to get something done, like going to work or having responsibilities. You know those old 'depression hurts' commercials. It does hurt, physically and emotionally, mentally and spiritually. On my mission, there would be days that I would wake up and my body would ache. My head would pound. Headaches were a daily occurrence. I couldn't get a grip emotionally. You know when you get that 'Oh NO' feeling in the pit of your stomach. Times that by ten. I would wake up with this heavy feeling in my chest and the melancholy ache in the pit of my stomach. I would try to shake it, ignore it and get out of bed to keep going. But it lingers. Mentally you berate and belittle yourself because you feel like it's 'all in your head' and it's not real. Your self esteem drops dramatically. You feel paranoid that everyone is judging you for what is going on. I remember trying to explain to my companion what I was feeling and when I was hearing myself talk, I felt even more crazy. I felt like a failure. And then, talking to people, being social, and having a life all disappears. You just don't want to deal with anybody. Being lonely is the way we try to suffer through. Depression is real. I know many people who read this won't quite understand or even get a glimpse at what I am trying to portray. Just know that sometimes we don't even understand what is going on in our own heads. It's frustrating, embarrassing, and annoying.
Anxiety is hard too. I remember the night before my first day at work. I was sobbing because I was so terrified I was going to do awful and that I couldn't do it. Once again, it's like all control is gone leaving you to your own devices in your messed up brain. I wish I didn't have these problems. I get nervous, hyperventilate, cry, and even get physically sick. People say calm down, but hey, it's hard. When you don't always have full control of thoughts and feelings, it is hard to calm down. Thinking logically flies out the window. The simplest of things seem like the hardest. Happiness seems unobtainable. But, there is hope. I promise.
As I struggled more than I ever had before, I received several blessings that would aid me in understanding my own struggle with this terrible mind disease. Multiple times I was told that I 'was blessed with the gift of depression.' When I first heard that, I wanted to scream. What kind of blessing is depression?? Not a blessing at all. But as I continued my fight, talked to trusted leaders, and really leaned on the Savior, I realized it was blessing me to see how strong I really was, what tools Heavenly Father had given me, and what I was capable of becoming. I was able to really use the Atonement of my Savior. Healing, enabling, and understanding come with using the gift of the Atonement. Depression and anxiety gives us the opportunity to become more one on one with the Savior. It helps us realize our strength, potential, and ability to overcome trials, troubles, and hardships. It gives us a reason to get on our knees and pray, to rely on our Father who loves us more than anything. Depression sucks, but God and Christ are greater than depression.
I still have days when I feel absolutely crazy, when I don't want to talk to anyone, and when I don't even want to live. But Christ makes up for all of that. If anyone who reads this has struggled or is struggling with some of these same things, I'm always here for you. We are to never fight our battles alone. "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high."