Hiding With Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression both make me want to hide. They both make me feel like I don’t matter to people, like I’m unworthy of happiness and satisfaction. Depression makes me feel hopeless and weary. I’m weary of having felt sad so much for so long and not knowing what to do about it, like there is something wrong with my emotional self. It feels like there is a dark cloud surrounding all of the feelings I could be having if I were more of an “OK person.” Part of me is dying, and I know it. I am trying to do things I think will help me feel better, but that empty feeling inside won’t go away.
Sometimes anxiety will suddenly jump up and make small worries seem like giant fears. Anxiety’s always there though, lurking around in the background, influencing my thinking and making me choose aloneness, sadness, making me avoid social life and ultimately making me lonely, which adds to the depression. I read stuff, I try to “fix up” my thinking because I think there is something wrong with it. It seems to get better for a while, then I end up feeling just as vacant and awful about myself and my life as ever.
I’ve been like this since I was a teenager. I was able to block out some of my awareness about this state of conditions by using alcohol and cigarettes and pot for long periods of time, but those habits didn’t actually help. In fact I felt bad about them so they added to the darkness of depression.
Anxiety now makes me afraid of people, afraid they really don’t care about me, that they just humor me and don’t take me seriously, that they will say things to me that hurt my feelings. I’m anxious that I will have to try to explain again that I have these mental health conditions and that they are hurting me, that I really do want friendship and social interaction, even though I’m afraid.
I feel threatened even if I know I’m not. The whole world seems menacing, and I often can’t find the strength to feel otherwise or to act somehow socially that might change my outlook on things. The courage to make a therapy appointment is hard for me to find. I think that might help, but I’m afraid to try it. I’m working at feeling braver about therapy so maybe I can make that phone call and get going on it. I know I’m making myself isolated, but it’s because it feels safer that way. I don’t know how to present myself in a positive way because I feel so negative.
Even in all this, though, I feel some hope. I know other people like me have helped themselves and found some improvement. I have some hope that maybe I can too.
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Thinkstock photo by Michael Blann