Conversation between Depression & Anxiety
*Trigger Warning: Depression and Anxiety description
Some people struggle with anxiety, some people struggle with depression. Many of us signed up for the “go big or go home,” “here, hold my beer” super-sized combo meal of depression with an extra large side of anxiety. Here is a glimpse at how that plays out for me.
I get into the car, after checking the back seats. I lock all the doors. I drive down the road.
My anxiety says “there's someone in the back seat!”
My depression says “I hope they kill me.”
My anxiety says, “but what if they don’t?”
My anxiety says “you're not good enough.”
My depression says “you never were.”
My anxiety says, “and everyone knows it, they can tell just by looking at you.”
My anxiety says “something terrible is going to happen!”
My depression says “you deserve it.”
I drop my kids off at school. My anxiety has a full filming crew in my head, with the best makeup, special effects, and sound crew around. It feeds me images of my children being shot to death in their classrooms. My depression just sobs, wanting to turn around, to check them out early from school, to never send them back.
Anxiety feels like fingernails on a chalkboard,
like tasting sauce off a wooden spoon and scraping my teeth on the wood,
like the ear-piercing scream of a fire alarm in a closed stairwell,
like the feeling of a tag in the back of your shirt, but you can’t reach it to rip it out,
like a bad smell that comes in waves, but only after you fill your mouth to chew,
like the sharp tang of metal in my mouth,
and burlap clothes against my skin.
Depression feels thick, like the stench of diesel fumes, it makes it hard to breathe
like molasses in winter, up to your waist, and you’re running late to somewhere you don’t even want to go.
I navigate through these two forces pulling and pushing and stifling me,
throwing me off my game,
dragging me into a pit,
screaming in my face and hissing in my ears.
I force a smile, but my eyes still frown.
Some days, I even feel like I left them behind,
Like I crawled out of bed while they were still sleeping, without waking them, I left the house.
I worry what will happen when they wake up.
And they do not want me to know that I am winning.
By the mere fact that I am still here, I am winning.
By the fact that I left the house today, I am winning.
I do not feel like a winner, but I am winning.
I am winning.