Natalie, May 21, 2019

Ah depression and anxiety, my two controversial friends that have placed me in a non-consensual three-way relationship which is often very difficult to deal with. I can wake up some days and feel like I’m ready to take on anything. But on one side of the bed, I’ll have my anxiety badgering me about the million and one things that will go wrong today. And on the other side of the bed, my depression will remind me about the social event that I’ll be taking part in later that evening and casually reminding me that no matter how confident I’ll appear to be, that the people I think that love me in fact don’t, they’d rather I not be there, and that I’m weak and eventually push everyone I love away from me. And then I get up and get on with my day, after crying on my pillow, and admitting defeat.

Some would call me over-emotional. Some will tell me, and have told me before, to simply move past my problems and carry on. Some people just don’t understand how you can’t just put the thing that’s worrying you, or dragging you down, in the bin and never look back. Sometimes I am able to do this, and I feel better. But when I can’t, please understand that it’s not that I don’t want to feel happy or stop my brain racing. Believe me, if I could do it all the time, I would. But I am constantly battling my anxiety and depression, and sometimes they win, and it can be hard to control. Imagine playing your favourite video game and you have the controller, but sometimes, the controls will bug out, not work like they should, and it starts ruining your game. That is what my anxiety and depression feel like to me.

I don’t blame people that don’t understand my anxiety and depression, I really don’t. From an outsider looking in, it may just look like I’m over-reacting, that I’m dramatic and attention seeking. I’m very aware of what it may look like, but I promise it is not that. I take antidepressants to help keep my anxiety and depression on the low-down, but that doesn’t mean that I am ‘cured’. It also doesn’t mean that I am sick, or that I can’t be like anyone else, do things that everyone else can and live a relatively normal life. Because I can. I just occasionally put my training wheels back on when I feel like I need them.

I don’t need you to tell me to ‘stop worrying’ because I will always worry, even if my face and body language says otherwise. I sometimes need that reassurance that everything is ok, that I am loved, and that you won’t leave me when I need you the most, even if in the depths of my brain, my depression is telling me it’s not true. But I also don’t need you to be afraid of me, because underneath the dark cloud that my anxiety and depression form, there’s a normal human being who wants to be loved, is kind, understanding, has a sense of humour (or so I’d like to think) and always tries to put a smile on her face and on other people’s, even if it feels like I’m losing my battle.

Today has been a day where my anxiety and depression defeated me but writing this is my way of taking back control. It is temporary, and I have accepted that, but I’ll bounce back because I always do.

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