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Realizing My Depression and Anxiety Have Made Me Feel Fragile

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I feel fragile.

This is rather a stunning realization for me. I’ve always felt strong. Strong under pressure, power of the earth beneath my feet, wind at my back, worlds at my fingertips (pen or keyboard), singing with ebullience and without restraint.

Now I feel fragile.

I’ve gone from wanting people to notice how unruffled I could get in tense situations, to hoping they notice the crystal vase has been pushed perilously close to the edge of the table with the uneven legs. I don’t want anyone to walk on eggshells around me, but I also don’t want them to be completely oblivious when my behavior changes due to rising anxiety or deepening depression.

Along the way, I’ve learned fear. I’m afraid of what I might do or say. My sense of humor has always had a time-share on the dark side, but now, I hear words coming out of my mouth that sound threatening. Of course, I keep conversations light and breezy with customers at work. My co-workers have gotten a small sample of my edgier mindset. Now, I have had to disclose fully the extent of my daily struggle. I had a meltdown recently that forced me to call out of work. I was dressed, car keys in my hand, two steps away from my front door … and I couldn’t take another step. I broke down in tears. A wave of depression had overwhelmed me in that moment. The table with the uneven legs had wobbled, and the crystal vase tumbled off. I alternated between crying and sleeping for the next 24 hours.

Now that more people who know me know this about me, I’m concerned that they feel the need to speak more gently to me. I don’t want kid glove treatment. I want to be treated like me again. I want to be strong again.

I want to feel the lead in my crystal again. I don’t want to feel fragile.

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Unsplash photo via Jez Timms

Originally published: May 29, 2017
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