It Took a Lot for Me to Leave the House This Morning


As I wake up at 6 a.m., alarm blaring through my skull after I retired to bed just nine and a half hours earlier, I try to put on my “positivity hat.” I feel more tired than when I went to bed the night before — how is that even possible?

I physically struggle to keep my eyes open as I sit up in bed, stomach churning with anxiety and whole body aching from chronic illness. I’m having a flare-up due to stress.

I think about how much I desperately desire a few more hours of sleep. And then I think about how if I did get it, it probably wouldn’t make me feel much better anyway. No amount of sleep helps to relieve my fatigue and exhaustion, and it wouldn’t help me mentally either. Not really. I’d just feel like rubbish and beat myself up for missing work. Again.

The gloomy voice of depression sets in and tells me I’m useless anyway. Why do you bother pretending you can live a regular life? I inevitably crumble at the slightest change to my routine, and my chronic illness flares up at times, catching me off guard and resulting in a worsened mental state in addition to the physical. I feel like I can’t cope.

Old friend Anxiety arrives, too. It reminds me of all the things I could do wrong today and everything I’m not yet comfortable with, that isn’t familiar or predictable to me. I feel like I’m going to be sick. I’m almost paralyzed.

I think about how easy it would be to just cower away under my duvet, or run away and never look back. Sadly, the thought of no longer existing seems the best option for a moment, as it would take away the pain I feel, the doom and gloom hanging over me and the wretched anxiety plaguing me every single minute of every day. It would put a stop to it all. It often presents as seemingly the only way out of me feeling so useless, hopeless and not capable of coping with anything. The delicate link of depression and anxiety for me is debilitating in every way possible.

It starts with anxiety, which sets in when I feel out of control, out of my comfort zone or useless — i.e. when I’m not learning something as quickly as I “should be,” when my routine has changed or when my chronic illness has flared up. This anxiety is constant for me and causes many symptoms, from nausea to diarrhea and insomnia. Having these symptoms constantly initiates more anxiety, and it’s an endless cycle. I’m anxious about being anxious. Feeling this way all the time makes me feel down, and at times I dislike existing, therefore I slip into a depressive state and another bout of depression arrives swiftly. Often, those around me notice it before even I do. Then I’m battling both anxiety and depression, and I’m sure this isn’t an unfamiliar story to many of you.

Despite waking up feeling so dreadful this morning, hounded by anxiety, depression and chronic illness, I still got up, showered, dressed, ate breakfast and made my way to work. Every single second on the train, I spent it trying to enforce some positivity: Today will be different. Today, we can do this. Today, I’ll be in control. Trying to calm the anxiety down makes me more anxious, though. But I still left the house today. And it took a lot for me to do so. More than anyone might imagine.

Image via Thinkstock.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

Follow this journey on The Invisible Hypothyroidism.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Anxiety

A little girl playing in leaves

To My Daughter on Her First Day of Therapy

To my daughter, Today, at 4 years old, you are starting on a journey you might continue your entire life. It will not necessarily be easy, although at times the inner work may be lighter to bear. You see, you, like me, have an anxiety diagnosis. You, like me, have worries that overwhelm your brain [...]
female student walking to school wearing a backpack

When You're Ready for College, but Your Anxiety Isn’t

My anxiety has always been a part of my life, always. Usually it’s just like a dull hum, always there but easy to ignore. I finished my first year of university at a school only an hour away from home. After getting through the year only having a few panic attacks during exam season, my [...]
one woman looking peaceful and one woman looking evil

I Have an Evil Twin Named Anxiety

On my way to pick up my son from daycare, I started getting ideas for my writing projects, and of course, I’m couldn’t write those ideas down. My anxiety started to build, but hey, I’m a pro at this by now, and I could handle this. Suddenly, like a sign from the stars who wish to [...]
a woman walking down a dark hall

How the Film ‘Lights Out’ Reinforces Negative Stereotypes About Mental Illness

My wife and I love movies. We go to the cinema at least once a week and watch plenty more at home. As my wife’s anxiety sometimes makes it difficult for her to go out, it’s great to have something she looks forward to every week. Our favorite are horror films. The movie “Lights Out” [...]