The Inner Battle

When your mind is scattered full of thoughts, it is very difficult to figure out where the beginning is.

Let’s start with this: I’m struggling.

Wow. That was harder to get out than I’d expected.

I don’t like talking about my innermost feelings. It makes me uncomfortable. Extremely uncomfortable.

Even after that, I still don’t even know where to start.

I knew I had to write my thoughts down. While they were happening, there was a lot going through my head. I was having a breakdown in the shower.

Now, I’m sitting here on my bed, in my towel, hair dripping, down my back, picking at a dried up scab from a pimple I tried to pop a hundred times when I knew it wasn’t ready, holding my tablet, staring at the blank white screen of a new post in the Blogger app, trying to ignore the sound of my mom vacuuming upstairs and yelling at the dogs to get out of her way, and I don’t know what to say………….

Just like when I’m forced to talk to a group of people. No matter how much preparation I do, as soon as I go to start, my mind goes blank. Everything is gone.

All eyes are on me, analyzing everything I say and do. Every little detail.

That may not actually be true, and I’m painfully aware of that, but that’s how it feels for me.

That was this morning. I was running behind, getting ready for work.

Now that I’m a bit more calm, it’s Friday, and I don’t have to worry about getting up early tomorrow, I figured I should actually finish this post.

I’ve had some time to process some of what was going through my head this morning, and also forget some of it.

I’m struggling with life. Everything.

When I hear about other people who are getting through their anxiety and depression, and they talk about all the bad things they’ve gone through and how they struggled, I can’t help but feel a little bit of jealously.

It sounds weird, I know. Its not that I want to have gone through any of those things. Its more that, they were diagnosed and got help because of those things.

I’m 27 years old. I didn’t get diagnosed until 2 months before my 27th birthday, but I’ve had an undiagnosed anxiety disorder since I was a child and depression since I was a teenager.

Because I never had panic attacks in front of people, no one thinks there’s anything wrong. I’ve only ever had emotional meltdowns at home, with just my parents around, but they didn’t know there was something actually wrong and that they could get help for me.

Because I never tried to kill myself, or caused myself physical harm when I was in high school, no one ever said, oh that girl needs help.

I have cut myself before, but I never told anyone, and I always managed to keep the cuts hidden when they were fresh and scabby. I can still see the scars. I know exactly where they are. I also tend to pick at scabs and pimples and ingrown hairs and bits in my skin that don’t look or feel like they should be there. That results in scabs that take too long to heal and unnecessary scars.

You know why I didn’t try to kill myself? Because of my anxiety. Before I knew I had it. Since being diagnosed, I know that was the reason for all the times before that I ended up not attempting to kill myself.

I have generalized anxiety disorder. It causes me to worry, excessively about everything, including what people think of me and the things I do. So, every time I thought about killing myself, I would end up thinking about what I would have to tell people when I failed, and how people would react to hearing that I had attempted suicide. How they would look at me. How they would treat me. That scared me more than the thought of actually trying to do it, therefore, I didn’t. I thought about it. A lot. But I never did anything.

It didn’t occur to me until this morning, while I was in the shower, that if I had tried to kill myself back then, maybe I would have been diagnosed then, and not be struggling the way I am right now.

Somehow, in my mess of thoughts, I ended up thinking about all the meds that I’m taking. I only take one medication for this particular issue, but I have allergies and asthma and stuff, so I have three other prescriptions I take daily, in addition to my anti-depressants.

I’ve been thinking for the past couple weeks that my anti-depressants are not working.

For those of you who don’t know, generalized anxiety disorder is treated (medically) similarly to depression, using anti-depressants, but at a lower dosage.

Since my original diagnosis did not include depression, my doctor had me on the lowest dose of the particular medication that I am on. I did notice a difference, so I continued with it, but I think that it may have just been the relief of finding out what was wrong, because after about a month and a half, I felt like I was right back where I was before.

I went back to my doctor. We talked about some more things, and he decided to increase the dosage to the middle one (there are three amounts of this medication). I noticed a bit of a chance, but not quite as dramatic as when I first began taking the lower dose. And now, again, I feel like I’m right back where I was before. Maybe not quite as bad, since I think knowing what’s going on has made a huge difference, but I’m still struggling with the constant worrying in the back of my mind, and I’m still having the usual depressive thoughts and feelings of hopelessness, and not wanting to do anything.

Backtracking a bit here, while I was thinking about all the meds that I take every day, I started to think, what if I stopped taking them. I know, the anti-depressants would have some withdrawal symptoms, and I know how I feel when I forget to take my asthma controller medication, but I was thinking, maybe it would make things really bad, and someone would take notice and actually try to help me.

Then I realized, that’s immature, and people would think I was just looking for attention. Which I’m not. I don’t want to draw attention to myself. I hate that!

Then I was thinking, if I was 17, instead of 27, people would see it as a cry for help, and maybe I’d actually get some real help. Right now I feel like nobody cares. No one talks about it. I want to be comfortable talking about it, but I never know how to start, so I’m always hoping that someone else will mention it, to get the conversation started. I find myself occasionally throwing hints around, but no one takes the bait.

Why should 17 and 27 make a difference? I don’t know. I would have felt the same way about it when I was 17, back when I didn’t have any daily meds, and I relied on my fast-acting inhaler to keep my asthma under control, and I didn’t know I had an anxiety disorder. Although, I did know I had depression, but I couldn’t admit it to myself, and never told anyone.

That’s the other part of my problem. I keep everything inside. When I’m frustrated or angry, I say certain things to certain people, but never to the people who caused the frustration or anger. I keep everything bottled up inside because I’m too scared people will judge me and call me a bitch or whatever.

Its stupid.

I know that.

Then I go back to how nothing bad has ever happened to me. What right do I have to feel depressed or anxious, or hate my life, or hate myself? I don’t. I’ve had a pretty decent life. Not spectacular, but not bad. I haven’t suffered any serious illness or trauma. So why do I hate my life? Why am I depressed?

I DON’T KNOW!!!!!!!!!

I don’t understand it, so why would you? That doesn’t mean it isn’t real. I’m not making it up. I’m not looking for attention. Attention makes me anxious. I just don’t want to feel alone.

It’s a struggle.

It’s a battle.

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