The Place Where Depression and Anxiety Become Consuming


A few months ago, I had the honor and privilege of attending a mental health conference and a writing conference, in the same week. While I know, to some, this may sound boring or uninteresting, for me it was amazing. It truly was the “chance of a lifetime.”

However, as the week progressed and the days crept on, a familiar feeling began to take hold. An unnerving feeling. An exhausting feeling. An anxious feeling. An overwhelming feeling. Before long, I found myself hiding alone, at an Applebee’s in Baltimore, from my peers, from my friends, from myself.

As a writer, I knew I needed to get my thoughts and feelings down on paper. However, my laptop was dead, and my hands were shaking. So I ordered a beer and some wings, and I ate until I settled down. I grabbed a sheet of paper, a pen and another beer.

Then, I wrote. I just wrote.

These are those thoughts:

This is what depression feels like, and this is what anxiety looks like.

There is a place I know so well, where the world comes alive and the social thrive. Where chatter falls and laughter rings. Where hugs are shared and love sings. Yet, at this party, I am lost.

In this space, my smile comes at a cost.

Make no mistake, I put on a good show. I laugh, dance and hold my head high. I carry on conversations without batting an eye, but I am not OK. Damn it. I am not OK because in this space, I am broken.

In this crowded place, my self-doubt remains unspoken.

My long painted lashes hide my tears. My bold personality hides my fears. I run to the bathroom. I hide at the bar, but beer cannot save me and makeup cannot hide my scars. Because it is in this space that terror takes hold.

In this crowded place, my anxiety is untethered and uncontrolled.

I am a mannequin on a display. I’m a puppet on a string. The walls are cracked. The floor is glass, and I can feel myself falling in. I cannot be heard amidst the chaos. My voice is buried beneath the beat, but dear Lord, know I am screaming.

Know my entire being is teeming.

With insecurity.

With angst.

With despair and dread.

Because, yet again, I am being consumed by my depression.

Yet again, everything I know is being called into question.

In this space, I am empty. In this space, I am numb. In this space, I am dazed and detached. In this place, this crowded place, I am all alone.

For more mental health stories, visit Sunshine Spoils Milk or follow Kimberly Zapata on Facebook.

This originally appeared on Sammiches & Psych Meds.

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