When My Day Starts With a Battle in My Head Between Anxiety and Depression
The hardest part of my day every day is getting up in the morning. Saturday isn’t so bad depending on the week because I might not have to get up except to walk my dogs. But weekday mornings are terrible. I typically wake up two and a half to three hours before I have to leave for work every morning.
On a regular weekday morning, I start my day with a battle in my head. My depression tells me not to get out of bed at all because it’s not really worth the energy it takes to get out of bed. Then my anxiety chimes in and begins to argue. My depression often has a laid-back kind of voice, while my anxiety talks fast. Those of you who know me can probably tell when my anxiety is high because my outer voice begins to sound like the anxiety voice I hear inside my head. It rushes and is sometimes hard to understand. I know I am talking about my anxiety and my depression as if they are people living inside my head, but that is truly how I feel sometimes. The movie “Inside Out” depicts how I imagine the inside of my brain to be. It feels like I am run by several different people who live inside my head. Depression and anxiety happen to be two of those people.
My anxiety argues with my depression. In the mornings it tells me I have to get out of bed because if I don’t I will be late for work, and my boss will get mad. In reality, I know I have another 30 to 45 minutes until I actually have to get out of bed before late would even be a minor possibility, because I leave time for this argument. There are few days where I wake up and this argument does not take place. It is a back-and-forth argument that takes way too long. Eventually my bladder kicks in and I get out of bed to use the bathroom. Then I return to my room to get ready for work.
My depression tells me to climb back into bed because I have plenty of time. My anxiety says I spent too much time in the bathroom and I’m already behind schedule. They argue some more, and I pace around my apartment. I walk to the closet. I stand and stare at my bed. I walk to the living room where my clean laundry usually is because it’s folded nicely in the basket, but it still has not made it to the closet to be put away. I don’t look in the basket or the closet for clothes to wear for the day until the second or third time I walk to them.
My anxiety then kicks in again as I try to find something to wear. Jobs that require uniforms are much better for me because I know what I have to wear and I don’t have to make decisions. Part of me knows that no one at work is really judging what I wear as long as I am in work-appropriate clothing. My anxiety believes otherwise. My anxiety wants to be popular and look “perfect” everyday. I had the day off today, and I wore sweatpants all day. I had to drive a friend to work this morning, and my depression told me not to bother showering, so I wore a scarf on my head all day to hide my hair. When another friend FaceTimed me, I couldn’t answer because my anxiety told me my scarf-wrapped hair looked horrible and my friend was going to judge me for it. I know this particular friend would never do that, but I still couldn’t bring myself to answer. This is my battle of having depression and anxiety.
I’m usually ready for work 40 to 45 minutes before I need to leave for work. All I need to do in that time is eat breakfast. It takes me a while to decide what to have for breakfast. Some mornings I’m hungry, other mornings I’m not hungry at all. But I always make myself eat breakfast. Then, more often than not, I crawl into bed with my breakfast and eat while watching Netflix. Twenty minutes before work begins, an alarm goes off on my phone so I can force myself back out of bed, put my shoes on, get my work bag and head off to work. Some days it takes me five to 10 minutes to get myself out of bed again because the same old argument happens. Luckily I live eight minutes from work, so again I have time for the argument.
Once I am at work, I’m typically OK. Getting there in the morning is truly a struggle every single day. Approximately two to three days a month, I wake up having a fantastic day. On those days, I jump out of bed, find clothes easily and walk around with a smile on my face. On those days, I do dishes before breakfast. I clean my kitchen. I play with my puppy. I get stuff done. I wish those days came more often. I wish I had that much energy every day. I wish I could be more productive on a regular basis, but at least I’m able to make it to work. If I didn’t have anxiety about paying my bills and making ends meet, I probably would still be lying in bed.
I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. It’s taken me a long time to realize I’m not alone. I want you all to know you’re not alone either. There are people out there feeling the same way you do. We will all make it through this. Most days I’m completely exhausted because I get up so much earlier than I have to, but it works for me. I hope you find what works for you, too. I hope you find a way to manage your mental health. Keep fighting. Keep going. Things do get better.
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