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Mental Health

Life In The Shadow Of Anxiety And Depression

It’s impossible to think straight when the walls start closing in around you. Something that would be insignificant when perceived through a rational mind is life threatening when you are in an extended state of panic. A panic that grows and grows until it’s bigger than the problem that created it, until it’s bigger than you. It blocks out the solution, it blocks out everything. You wish you didn’t feel this way, but you can’t remember what it feels like not to.

Your stomach is in knots, your skin flushes ice cold, but you’re sweating, burning up inside. Each time you think of the thing that’s brought you here the feeling intensifies. Your heart pounds hard in your chest, you feel every painful beat. You want to cry, and sometimes you can but sometimes the tears won’t come and you’re trapped with the fear. It’s exhausting to live with. A constant state of being ready to fight, terrified you won’t have the energy to win this battle for yet another day. And you can’t talk about it because nobody would understand, or they would judge you, or see you for the failure you feel you are, or they would find out the secret you have tried so hard and for so long to conceal.

These are the times you would give anything for the sorrow, the all consuming grief that shakes you with heavy sobs. The solace of letting go, a release valve to try and relieve the tension, the fear, the feelings of worthlessness. Trying somehow to cry the pain away, but never quite managing it. A sorrow so profound it leaves you exhausted, broken and weak. When the tears come you don’t think they’re ever going to stop. Your eyes are puffy, your face swollen and red, your body aching and your heart, your lungs, your entire chest hurts. You feel sick from the fatigue of crying so hard and yet you cannot stop.

These are the times you long for the numbness. The days when you don’t feel anything at all. You see people around you, laughing happily, but you feel nothing. It doesn’t hurt, there is no fear, there isn’t anything at all. You watch the world through grey tinted glasses, alone amongst friends. You’re along for the ride with no idea how you you got on it or where to get off. Trying to fit in, laughing at the jokes, smiling in all the right places, but it never quite reaches your eyes. Hearing everything as a dull, muffled blur as if from under a heavy blanket. Staring into the middle distance, your eyes fixed on nothing. Your mind blank and empty, your heart more so. Trapped in a state of apathy and lethargy, you are hollow, lost and without hope, aspiration or motivation.

These are the times you have to keep fighting. To reach out and grab whatever it takes to stop you falling any further away from yourself. To talk to someone, to write down your feelings just to get them out, to scream into a pillow. To keep going and hold on to the thought that this too will pass and maybe with a bit of help, you can find your way back to the path back to wellness, the path back to you.

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