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The Hidden Ways My Depression, OCD, ADHD, and Anxiety Affect Me

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I overthink every situation, every text, every conversation in my life.

I fear being left or forgotten, and always think the people in my life are going to leave. So, I push them away or leave before getting left, because I know what it’s like to be abandoned by the one person who was always supposed to be there for you no matter what. I force myself to follow through with plans or go to see someone who wants to meet up, because I don’t want to disappoint them or have them mad at me. I don’t want to go anywhere by myself, and feel uncomfortable in new situations. I’m super quiet and keep to myself around new people, and I’m labeled as a “bitch.” That, my friends, is my anxiety.

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Chaos, Post-it notes as reminders for the simplest things, alarms — many alarms — and not just for waking up. Starting something and then randomly stopping, and doing something else without even realizing it, then hours later realizing I never finished what I had initially started earlier. Doing my laundry, but completely forgetting about that last load in the dryer for days. People talking to me and me not responding because I don’t hear them because I’m daydreaming. Being a workaholic because I need to constantly be busy or my anxiety takes over. Keeping a pen in my pocket so I have something to constantly click to keep my hands busy to help me focus. That, my friends, is my attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Counting to 99 every morning before I get out of bed, and everything I do must be divisible by three. Panicking because I need to have someone check to make sure I turned my flat iron off or turn back around and check myself, only to realize my hair has been curly for weeks. Needing structure, routine, and consistency and if something doesn’t go as plan I start freaking out. Making sure I pull with my right and rip with my left when getting paper towels from the dispenser at work. That, my friends, is my obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Here’s my favorite of them all: feeling sad for no reason, sleeping too much or too little, or not feeling capable of getting out of bed. Going days without leaving my bed and crying for hours for no reason. Forcing myself to go to work and put a smile on my face as if nothing is wrong; doing this more times than I care to admit. Going into deep episodes where I either lose an unhealthy amount of weight in a short time or gain weight. My last severe episode in the fall drove my OCD wild because I wasn’t in control of it happening. It’s like I’m lost in a familiar place. That, my friends, is my depression.

So before you judge or assume things about someone, please sit down and have a conversation with them. You never truly know what someone is going through. This is my life and these are my daily struggles. I wake up every morning to fight the same demons that keep me up at night. I am thankful for the friends I can talk to who not only hear what I’m saying, or at times not saying, but they are actually listening not to respond but to understand. Ninety-nine percent of the time I don’t care, but that one percent I do is what keeps me going, because I’m determined to be happy.

Photo by Vladislav Muslakov on Unsplash

Originally published: September 15, 2017
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