Anxiety tends to have me jump to the worst case scenario in everyday situations. We like to poke fun at this in memes – and don’t get me wrong they make me laugh every time. Like this one – it’s me, and I’m sure some of you.
But in reality, it’s not really funny. It’s not fun for you or the other people involved.
Needing to ask people in my life if we are good constantly is not fun.
Over analyzing everything a person says and know that it’s not good isn’t fun.
Believing that anytime you are around a group of people laughing so you think they are making fun of you isn’t fun.
Being surrounded by multiple stimuli and needing to remove yourself isn’t fun.
Standing on the outside of a party and feeling like there is a barrier between you and everyone else isn’t fun.
Not being able to walk into a place where you don’t know anyone isn’t fun.
Anxiety isn’t fun, and in reality, it’s not funny. Reading posts and tweets about anxiety make me laugh and have me feeling a bit lighter about what I deal with for a moment, but then reality is back.
I’m not saying anything is wrong with these memes or jokes – I need them in my life, but I also don’t like minimizing the effects of believing the worst things will happen. I have this irrational belief that if I think of an awful thing happening it won’t happen because I thought of it, so I also can’t think of good things happening to me because of the same logic. But at the same time, I also believe those terrible things can happen even if I think about it. It’s confusing. No matter what – I think of bad things, and it may or may not give me anxiety.
This makes normal life situations increasingly difficult including starting school, looking for jobs, and dating. These are things that almost everyone does at one point in their lives. Starting new chapters. Hoping for the future. Believing in the future. But I go into most of these pushing my hope down because a part of me believes that it isn’t going to work out anyway. But I really want to believe. I really want to keep trying.
I remember starting graduate school two years ago and feeling lost. This was when my anxiety and depression took over my life. I didn’t want to leave my apartment. I wasn’t making or even trying to make new friends. I felt out of place. I felt like I was unworthy of being there. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. But then something changed. I recognized what was happening. I started to pull myself out of it with help.
At times, I am still pulling myself out of the grasps of anxiety and depression. I still feel their grips on my ankles trying to drag me back. I hear anxiety’s “what if”’s and I hear depression’s “why bother”’s. I hear them giving me their perspectives on everyday scenarios and big life decisions. I hear them tell me that when my boyfriend or friend says something out of the ordinary, then they hate me. I also hear the real me speaking up more and more. The one that tells me to try anyway. The one who tells me not to give up hope. The one who tells me to trust the process of life. The one who tells me I am worthy of love. I try to listen to her.
It’s not easy listening to my truest self when anxiety and depression are constantly weighing me down, but I’m getting better at it. That’s what all I can hope for right now. That I am trying and hoping despite what anxiety and depression are telling me. That I am moving forward and giving my all even though there is a small piece of me believing that I’m not enough. It’s me doing what I believe I should really do, despite depression and anxiety. It’s me kicking ass.