22 May 2017

The Anxiety Lie

I won't pretend to know anything about anything, particularly not a subject still being understood by folks far smarter than I. What follows are my experiences and some thoughts about them. I write to maybe try to better understand me, and possibly provide some insight into why I'm so withdrawn and sad sometimes.


For the better part of the last 6 years I fought against the conviction that I was worthless. And, in the end, I won. Because it's not that unbelievable that everyone is worth at least something to someone, because in the end no matter how little you may think you are worth, you are never worthless.

So my anxiety came up with a new lie, a much better, more subtle one that, like all the best lies, contains truth.

Backing up a bit.

There's a line I often see on the Internet that says something like, "Anxiety is caring too much about everything. Depression is not caring about anything. Having both is exhausting." and, yep, that sums up my experience too.

I have a new, less catchy, one: Anxiety is the liar, the bully, calling you names and putting you down day after day. Depression is lying down and accepting it, believing it's true. (Or falling down into a deep, dark misery pit that is cold and wet and really hard to climb out of, oh and the darkness is heavy too.)

from tenor.co
So the first lie was that I was worthless. It was a pretty good one, I'd never had lots of self-confidence or self-esteem, so when depression hit I went straight down. Gradually, mainly by the slow, hard, sometimes near impossible plod of just getting up each morning, I learned it wasn't true.

Then, like an AI in a sci-fi movie, it got smarter and two weeks ago I was whammied with something I'm struggling to refute.

For the first week I could hardly talk to anyone. I felt like such a fraud and hypocrite and was utterly disgusted by myself, by who I was as a person. I lay awake thinking of every potentially inept thing I might have done, from primary school onwards, convinced all of my friends must hate me, even though all evidence was to the contrary, and that I definitely didn't deserve them.

While the intensity has passed due, mainly, to hiding out at home, I still feel really edgy and tense and like anything might trigger another panic.

from giphy.com
That's just about everything I have the courage for today. I went to New Zealand when I was 19 without a qualm in the world. Now it's a big deal to talk to the postman or write a little blog post.

So it goes.



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