A War Against My Anxiety/Depression
It was 2005. I was fourteen years old and I wanted to die.
I woke up in bed and stared up at the ceiling of my bright yellow room. A feeling washed over me as negative thoughts bombarded my consciousness.
I’m so tired.
I closed my eyes, letting myself drown in the darkness for a moment. My body felt tied down by concrete weights. It hurt to move. It hurt to breathe.
Another war. Another struggle.
Words pounded in my skull, and dug deeper and deeper into my heart.
I’m so tired. Why am I alive? They’d be better off without me. What’s wrong with me? I hate this.
Stupid mistakes I’d made the previous day rung tightly around my chest.
A Battle of Life or Death
When I was in Junior High, I struggled with suicidal thoughts. My mind circled around the smallest mistakes I’d make and created so much pain inside of me that I longed for some kind of escape.
I’d watch my friends and think, how can they be so happy? How can they smile and laugh without a care in the world? What’s wrong with me?
That one question: What’s wrong with me, dogged my every step. It became an obsession.
I fought this war daily. A war of words cutting into my self-esteem. Telling me that I wasn’t good enough. I was a failure. I couldn’t be happy.
It Was Exhausting
In brief moments, I’d rest. The swords disappeared and it was like I’d experience a fleeting moment of joy and wonder, is it gone? Have I finally found peace?
But then a crash would come and I’d be back where I started. Struggling to survive.
Stuck. Alone. Frustrated. Tired.
Eventually, I knelt down and poured out my heart to God and pretty much gave Him an ultimatum.
I’m sick and tired of feeling this way, but I don’t know what to do. I want to be happy and if I keep feeling like this, I’m going to do something about it. Something bad. So if you’re out there, if you really care, I need help. I really, really need help.
Ironically enough, soon after my mom pulled me aside and sat me down to probe what I was thinking and everything spilled out.
I Wanted to be Happy
My thoughts and beliefs made it impossible for me to be happy. Every day my mind and emotions became a battlefield as I struggled to know who I was and if I mattered.
I couldn’t forgive myself for mistakes. I didn’t think I was worthy of friends. I didn’t think anybody cared if I lived or died.
I was wrong. Oh wow, was I wrong!
But because my thoughts swirled around and around the same feelings and beliefs, it was almost impossible to believe otherwise until someone intervened.
I’m so glad they did.
“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.” ~ Peace Pilgrim
“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t—you’re right.” ~ Henry Ford
Since May is the Mental Health Awareness Month, I’ve been thinking a lot about my own journey towards a healthy self-esteem. I’ve been thinking about how my life has changed and how far I’ve come.
It’s taken me years to get to where I am now.
The war occasionally makes an appearance. I still have my days. Anxiety will creep in and I have to make sure to slow down and smell the roses. It never really goes away.
But I’m learning. I’m learning every day how to change my thought patterns and beliefs. I’m learning that I’m not alone and there are others out there who suffer.
So, if you struggle with this, if you face your own war every day, I just want you to know that you’re not alone.
Keep fighting. Don’t give up. Talk to someone you trust. Call the suicide prevention lifeline (800) 273-8255. It’s free, confidential, and someone is always on call.
I’m not a doctor or medical professional or anything like that. I’m just a girl who’s experienced a small dose of what this war can be like.
I don’t know you, or what you’re going through. But I do know that depression and anxiety has a way of twisting our thoughts into making us feel like we’re terrible. That we don’t matter. That we’re alone.
It’s not true.
Human? Yes. Flawed? Absolutely! But unworthy of love or deserving death? No.
Let me repeat that.
Hope for better days. Turn to your higher power. And don’t give up.
You’re worth it.
It’s easy to believe that’s not true. Trust me, I know. But you are. Don’t let the shadows drown you.
Keep fighting with everything you’ve got because you’re worth it.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. It’s something very personal to me. I hope you have a blessed day!