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Thought Catalog is an online magazine with over 30 million monthly readers. The site serves as a platform for emerging and seasoned writers to voice their thoughts and to flourish creatively. Thought Catalog was founded in 2010, and its original mission still stands today: to empower creative people by helping them realize their artistic visions on their own terms.

5 'Red Flags' That Might Mean Anxiety Is Controlling Your Life

This piece was written by Thomas Cushman , a Thought Catalog contributor. Anyone who lives with anxiety or an anxiety disorder knows that anxiety is strange in how it manifests in daily life. It’s beyond reason or logic, in general, just makes no sense. It is also super sneaky. For those blessed with anxiety like myself, a lot of times it feels more in control than it is until it doesn’t. If we aren’t mindful or aware of how anxiety is affecting us in the present moment, it’s easy for it to kind of work its way onto the main stage and then jump out and yell, “Surprise, I’m here!” As a recovering agoraphobic, I’ve learned over time that looking for and being aware of warning signs that anxiety is becoming increasingly invasive can spare a lot of distress in the long-run. By looking for certain red flags, anxiety-controlling thoughts and other feelings can be caught early and reeled in before becoming a bigger problem that starts directing major or even minor life choices. The following five signs can be reliable indicators that anxiety is playing more of a part of your life than it needs to: 1. You avoid too many things you know you shouldn’t. Avoidance is probably the most clear-cut indication that anxiety is playing a large role in your life. Fear induces a fight, flight or freeze response that — for an individual who doesn’t experience excess anxiety — enhances the ability to cope with a given situation. However, for those of us that do live with excess anxiety, it can make us frozen, cause us to run from a frightening situation or even cause a panic attack. So you then start avoiding that coffee shop you and your ex used to frequent. Or you avoid calling your overbearing mother back. Or you avoid checking your email so you don’t have to subject yourself to whatever hell may have broken loose at work. You suddenly realize you avoid a lot of things. You realize your anxiety has gained the power necessary to control where you go and what you do. 2. You worry too much about everything. Some worry is good. If you didn’t care about anything, you wouldn’t pay your bills, for example. It’s important to worry about the right things in the right amounts. But when the worry takes on a mind of its own, things get a little dicier. Anxiety is a funny thing in that it often feeds off of itself. The more the worry runs wild, the more out of control it will feel. So when the focus of the worry shifts from normal things in normal amounts to worrying night and day about — for example — whether you’re capable enough or are just a living example of imposter syndrome, or whether you’ll find a stable career that doesn’t suck the soul out of you, or whether you’re actually deserving of the healthy, non-toxic love of another quality human being, the worry just starts to take on a life of its own and can become a controlling force in your life. 3. You think about the future too much. It was the Chinese philosopher Laozi who graced us with the quote, “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” When anxiety starts to take control of our thoughts, we start to think more about where we will be tomorrow and less about where are right now. Rather than focusing on the fact that you’re currently on the couch with your significant other, enjoying time together watching your favorite show on Netflix, you’re focusing constantly on what needs to be done to prepare for tomorrow’s meeting, or what laundry still needs to be done, or what you need to do to prepare your breakfast for tomorrow morning. When we start thinking these thoughts all of the time, it exhausts us and keeps us feeling continuously anxious. 4. Your anxiety stops you from chasing what you want. For those of us with anxiety, our minds seem to throw out a constant stream of what I like to call “what ifs” — or thoughts that focus on future outcomes of events that haven’t even happened yet. These will make the world seem like a scary place. You want to quit your job and work as a freelance writer? But what if you can’t make enough money to pay your bills? Or maybe you want to take a trip to Thailand but you’d have to go alone since none of your friends can go. But what if something bad were to happen? What if you can’t handle such a substantial adventure and wind up lost and alone somewhere? Catastrophizing is the name of the game with ”what ifs.” These thoughts oftentimes lead to self-sabotage and prevent us from living the life we deep down want to live. 5. You notice your anxiety makes you feel like “less” than you are. This can be the most draining piece for someone with anxiety. While we know it shouldn’t, anxiety can sometimes cause our self-esteem to take a hit. It makes you doubt whether or not you’re capable of handling whatever you face. It can make the uncertainty of the future feel like it’s working against you. It can make you feel like everyone else has such a handle on life when you subjectively struggle on the daily with trying to keep your fear in check. Most days this intense self-doubt isn’t a problem, but when it starts to appear more and more frequently, it’s a sign that anxiety is not only taking over our thoughts, but our self-perception as well. When we start to feel that anxiety defines who we are as a person, that’s a sign that anxiety has taken on a much more dominant role in our lives than it needs to. This story was brought to you by Thought Catalog and Quote Catalog. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here .

No, I'm Not Nervous — I'm Anxious. And Yes, There's a Difference.

This piece was written by Anonymous , a Thought Catalog contributor. I am not nervous. I am anxious. And there is a world of difference between the two. I don’t get butterflies. My stomach drops to my feet until I feel like I’m going to throw up. I don’t have sweaty palms. My entire body temperature rises until it feels like I am immersed in a fire. Nerves can drive you. Nerves can push you to perform better at your job or in life. How I wish my feelings could be chalked up to nerves. Anxiety doesn’t drive you and it doesn’t push you. Anxiety freezes you until you physically cannot move. The simple, day-to-day tasks suddenly seem impossible. The dishes pile up in the sink and the laundry doesn’t get folded and you think, “Tomorrow will be a better day, I’ll do it tomorrow.” But with anxiety, it seems tomorrow is never a better day. Today’s worries may disappear but new ones will always come in their place. Please, don’t tell me I’m just a nervous person. Nerves don’t leave you crying in your car for 20 minutes, barely able to catch your breath. Nerves don’t build a home in your brain and then refuse to leave. Nerves don’t steal your joy and rob you of enjoying the moments in life that are meant to be celebrated. Nerves can be set aside. Nerves can succumb to distraction. Anxiety is so much more powerful and it doesn’t scare easily. Nerves will settle with a pep talk and a pat on the back. Anxiety doesn’t even know what it needs. Maybe a shoulder to cry on, maybe days at a time alone in bed. To be nervous is to live through the feeling. To be anxious is to allow the feeling to control the way you live. I am not nervous, I am anxious. And there is a world of difference. This story was brought to you by Thought Catalog and Quote Catalog. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here .

Anxiety Makes Me Nervous Around People I Know — Not Just Strangers

This piece was written by Holly Riordan, a Thought Catalog contributor. I wish more people understood the way anxiety works. It seems like everyone can understand why public speaking makes me sick to my stomach. They can understand why I get clammy when my crush enters the room or when I have a one-on-one meeting with my boss or when I have to make an important phone call. But no one seems to understand how my anxiety can haunt me, even when I am around people I have known for my entire life. Cousins. Friends. Classmates. Even my own parents. There are times when I grab lunch with a friend who I am usually completely comfortable around, but for whatever reason, that day I feel like I am out of my comfort zone. My sentences are stunted. My words are shaky. I have no idea what to say to keep the conversation going. Even though I try my hardest to act “normal,” everything comes out awkward. Everything feels forced. During those moments, I feel like an outsider. Even though I know my friends love me, my paranoia convinces me that they are annoyed by how I am acting. I assume they wish they would rather be someplace else, with somebody else, because I am not the same fun-loving person they remember. The same thing happens during family parties. There are moments when it’s obvious my laughs are forced and there are nerves behind my smile. I might disappear into the bathroom or hide in the corner and stare at my phone while everyone else is joking around, which gives them the impression that I don’t want to be involved, that I couldn’t care less about spending time with them. But that is not true at all. Sometimes my anxiety acts up when I am around someone who has never made me nervous before. Sometimes my anxiety acts up when I am about to go somewhere I have been excited about for weeks. I might feel anxious before grabbing brunch with friends I love and trust. Or before taking a vacation with my favorite family members. There won’t be any logical reason to be nervous, but that doesn’t matter. The worst part is I feel like I have to keep everything bottled inside. There have been times when I have voiced my anxiety to loved ones and then have been looked at weird. Friends will ask what they have done wrong to make me so nervous. Or they will ask whether I still like them. They will wrongly assume my anxiety has something to do with them when that is not the case at all. Sometimes my anxiety is random. Sometimes it appears out of nowhere. Sometimes I cannot pinpoint what caused it or what can calm it down. I hate feeling anxious around strangers and anytime I enter a new social situation — but it’s even worse being anxious around the people who love me the most. The people I have known for years. The people who I should feel completely comfortable around by now. This story was brought to you by Thought Catalog and Quote Catalog. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here .

When You're 'Convinced' Shopping Will Make Your Depression Better

This piece was written by Kendra Syrdal, a Thought Catalog contributor. A more astute individual would say that I feel like I’m able to buy happiness. That by filling my Target basket with candles and whimsical phone cases and various bags of candy, I’m hoping to get yanked out of feeling completely apathetic the second I enter my pin. That I’m confusing one destructive behavior (self-loathing, fear of rejection, being numb, wanting to just sit and sulk) with another (spend, spend, spend). That instead of treating myself, I’m “treating myself” with the wrong agenda. But today I’m not that astute individual. Today, I’m not making those acknowledgments. So there I am, wandering through the aisles of Sephora while Robyn blasts above me. Just me and my depression, out looking for some lipstick to make us feel better while “Call Your Girlfriend” plays on. Maybe a Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain in “Pretty Beige” will make me excited about getting out of bed in the morning. That version of me will wash my hair more than once a week and enjoy working out and not do so consistently under protest. She thinks first dates are fun and exciting and genuinely gets excited for other people’s accomplishments. Maybe “Pretty Beige me” didn’t binge eat two snack bags of chili cheese Fritos because she was just so bored and sad and couldn’t form a coherent thought so she decided stuffing her face was best. Or maybe skincare. Yes. That’s the ticket. It’s impossible to be depressed when you’re in possession of the GlamGlow mask that every beauty blogger instagrams with the captions #selfcare and #selflove. This peel off, absurdly blue mask will not only revolutionize my pores, but my brain. The “me” that snapchats herself in an expensive face mask (but worth it because #selfcare #selflove) has no reason to be sad so she won’t be. She knows better. She knows that as long as you treat yourself and love yourself you’ll never wake up with the impulse to quit your job and move into your parents’ basement. It’s choosing to be happy! It’s as simple as that! If my mask and my lipstick won’t cure it, highlighters are always there. Even if I feel like a garbage pail on the inside and like everything is too much, I can always put so much shimmer on my face you’ll instinctively say, “She just lights up every room.” Just a little bit of “Ambient Light” on my cheekbones and under my brow bones and no one will suspect I haven’t slept soundly in five days. There’s no way a me with highlighter, clear pores and a flawless pout thinks about dying even on Friday afternoons when the sun’s out. “That’ll be $124.72. Are you a VIB member with us?” the cashier says. Sure am. And wow, would you look at that. All that time, all that perusing, all those products, all that Robyn — and I’m still me. I’m not someone else. And I still don’t feel better. This story was brought to you by Thought Catalog and Quote Catalog. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here .

Hypervigilance and Anxiety

This piece was written by Holly Riordan, a Thought Catalog contributor. I hate crowds. I hate loud noises. I jump at the sound of thunder and fireworks and doors slamming. For that same reason, I have a fear of confrontation. It doesn’t matter if someone is screaming at me or if a couple in the other room is screaming at each other, either way, it makes me highly uncomfortable. It puts me on edge. It increases my anxiety. I can’t be around it without losing control of my breathing. Because of my hypervigilance, I have a tendency to overreact. I think situations are worse than they are, because my mind only sees things in black and white. There isn’t a gray area. Either things are going well or things are falling apart at the seams. Either something good is about to happen or something horrible is about to happen. That’s the way I see the world. That is why some people consider me overly-sensitive. I will read too far into their facial expressions and tone of voice. I will misinterpret their actions as a sign that they are upset with me, that they hate me, and then I will overreact. I will defend myself. I will explode over something silly. I have a tendency to jump to conclusions. I am always waiting for the past to repeat itself, which is why I am wary of anyone who enters my world. I think they are going to hurt me in the same way I have been hurt before. I think it’s only a matter of time until they disappoint me, so I keep myself guarded. I am constantly worried about something horrible happening, and not just emotionally. I am worried about someone getting hurt. About someone dying. When I hear yelling, I assume the worst. That is why I have trouble staying asleep. I am jumpy. I am startled easily. I wake up whenever I hear a noise and wonder whether someone is breaking into the house, whether I am going to die. I hate the unexpected, which is why I don’t want anyone touching me without giving me warning beforehand. Surprises are difficult for me to handle. I prefer routine. I prefer predictability. I hate putting myself into new situations. I hate talking to new people. I hate when I’m not sure what to expect, even if it’s something as small as not knowing where the bathroom in a building is or how much traffic I should expect on my drive there. I am always on guard. When someone walks into the room, I check their body for weapons. When I’m alone in my room, I keep my music down so I can hear if glass shatters or someone screams. When I leave the house, I keep a knife and bottle of mace inside my bag. Because of my hypervigilance, I am always on alert. Always looking out for danger. Always expecting danger. My hypervigilance makes it impossible for me to relax, even when there is nothing realistic for me to worry about. It makes me feel like I am never safe, like I am never home. This story was brought to you by Thought Catalog and Quote Catalog. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here .

Self-Harm Isn't Just Hurting Yourself Physically

This piece was written by Leighton Sullivan, a Thought Catalog contributor. I always wondered why I was so sad, why it seemed like my whole world was a constant shade of broken and bruised, why a smile felt so foreign on my own lips. It’s taken some time, but I understand now it wasn’t some flawed piece of my brain that kept telling me, “Hey, nobody cares.” All these years have passed, and I’ve finally learned that it was myself that made me this way — so inexplicably sad. Maybe self-harm isn’t just hurting yourself physically. Maybe self-harm is the way your thoughts eat you alive at 3 in the morning because it feels like you are the only person in the entire world who is capable of loving you. Maybe self-harm is loving a pretty boy or girl who never intended to love you. Or maybe self-harm is the way we examine ourselves in the mirror and wonder how much a tummy tuck or a nose job would cost. Maybe self-harm is the way you talk to yourself negatively when you don’t look like the girl you passed on the street on the way to work. Maybe it’s the way you guilt yourself into not eating that extra snack before bed, because you just can’t afford the calories. Or maybe it’s the way you let him (or her) treat you like you’re disposable, like you’re nothing special. People may ask, “How could you? How could you let yourself live like that? How could you make yourself so sad over things that won’t be important five years down the road? How could you let anyone treat you like you’re not amazing and unique and important?” I know how. You may be like me and struggle with believing you deserve better. You’ve lived your life this way for so long, that living any other way would just be weird. Let me tell you some things you need to know. That the extra skin around your waist is not ugly. A boy (or girl) who can’t make the commitment to love you is not worth a single tear. It’s OK to eat an extra snack. Anyone who has ever treated you like you are not the moon and the sun and the ocean and the skies does not deserve your love. Not taking care of yourself is self-harm, even if society doesn’t recognize it to be. Please seek help if you need it. This story was brought to you by Thought Catalog and Quote Catalog. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here .

The Unusual Technique I Use to Manage My Anxiety

This piece was written by Jodi Tandet, a Thought Catalog contributor. A few months ago, I was minding my own business at my usual grocery store, when a ferocious little girl bolted out from behind the salad bar, roaring with anguish. She pounced on my back and shrieked at the top of her tiny powerful lungs that my day would be miserable, that I was a horrible person, and that everyone on the planet despises me. I managed to gently shake her off. But later that day, she show up at my workplace, tugging on my skirt while I was busy tackling a difficult task. “Jodi,” she said. “Jodi, Jodi, Jodi, Jooooooooodddddiiiii! Hey Jodi, guess what, Jodi?? Guess what?? You fail at everything, are a complete disappointment to your family, and are doomed to die alone!” Then she wailed an entire ocean and stole my lunch. (insert spooky sci-fi music  here ). OK, so that didn’t actually happen. No small child is out there terrorizing the good people of America; that’s just what it feels like when anxiety flings itself upon me, terrorizing my mind. I didn’t dream up this nightmare child all on my own; my therapist suggested I adopt her. It’s a surprisingly effective method for managing my anxiety disorder: I imagine that my anxious thoughts are being said – or more frequently, screamed – to me by a three-year-old girl. Much like a rambunctious toddler, when my brain is invaded by anxiety, it: – Becomes frozen with fear, keeping me from doing things I might enjoy. – Imagines agonizing scenarios over and over and over. — Is unable to recognize how unlikely there are. — Works itself into a tantrum. – Says it’s useless, a failure, unlovable, hopeless,  a jerk ,  basic , (insert more childish insults here). – Worries about every. little. thing. Then worries about its worries. Assigning these thoughts a child’s voice allows me to recognize them for what they are: unreasonable, naive and really freakin’ mean! This strategy also allows me to separate myself from my anxiety disorder. It’s not that I’m unreasonable, naive or mean — the disorder is. It’s loud. It’s obnoxious. It desperately seeks my attention at all hours of the day. But it’s possible to discipline this child. I can make myself Super Nanny, with Anxiety as my charge. I can: – Tell Anxiety to quiet down; I’m busy now with more important things. – Comfort Anxiety, assuring her she’s special and kind and worthy of love. I know she’s just too upset at the moment to see it. – Make Anxiety go to that social event or send that important email. Super Nanny knows best — it’ll be good for her. Has this strategy utterly cured my anxiety? No. I’ll likely be entrusted as her guardian for life. But by taking medication and remembering that as Super Nanny, I can consciously work to guide Anxiety’s behavior, I’m learning to live with her. This story was brought to you by Thought Catalog and Quote Catalog. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here .

4 Things I Actually Need You to Understand About My Depression

This piece was written by Lovely Tesorio, a Thought Catalog contributor. In a world where we glorify sarcasm and bash on sensitivity, it is getting harder and harder to cope with depression. People often belittle depression. They seem to associate it with random mood swings. You share just a little piece of how you truly feel and then you get judged, mocked and made fun of. People often tell you to “move on” and “get over it” because it’s not anything physical. But that’s where they are wrong. Depression involves all aspects of a person’s life. It can affect a person emotionally, mentally and physically. Let me share with you just some of the things I faced (and continue to face) in my battle against depression. 1. The suicidal thoughts are endless. I think about them every time my brain is not preoccupied. For example, when I cross the street, I stare at the passing vehicles and think of how easy it would be to die. I think about suicide notes. Then I begin to wonder if people would attend my funeral. Would they cry? Would they regret things they’ve said to me? Would they even care enough to come? Then my heart begins to feel a painful squeeze as I imagine myself being buried without anyone mourning for me. The emotions of self-loathing get heavier. And then I feel helpless. And alone. And insignificant. 2. My panic attacks have the worst timing. They get triggered by the littlest actions and then all of a sudden, my whole body feels cold. I start to sweat profusely and it gets harder to breathe. I try to think of all the things my psychiatrist told me. Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts. Unfortunately, those happy thoughts don’t work all the time. I clench my chest and lock myself in the bathroom again. I can’t let anyone see me like this. I can’t be weak. People hate it when I’m weak. I try to inhale as much air as I can, but it’s useless. I feel like everything I try to breathe in doesn’t even reach my lungs. It’s going to be fine. I’m going to be fine. I repeat this to myself over and over again. 3. Crying spells at night are a problem, too. I don’t want anyone to see me cry because I’m afraid I’d be labeled too sensitive and too shallow. They would ask me why I’m crying and I’d try to explain, but some people wouldn’t and couldn’t understand. So I’ve practiced the art of crying silently instead. I let my tears fall uncontrollably as they soak my pillow. Every night, I cry myself to sleep as I hope that my eyes will eventually get tired and my body will finally allow me to sleep without nightmares. Eventually, I fall asleep hating myself for feeling too much. Why am I like this? 4. Then some days, it gets really, really bad. The pain becomes too much. Everything just hurts and the pain starts to destroy the little self-love I have left. I self-harm. My vision is blurred by tears but I sense the familiar sting and I feel relief and guilt all at the same time. I knew it was wrong but at least, this was a kind of pain that I could control. I’d make one cut, and then another, and then another. I continue to cry because I know I shouldn’t harm myself, but I don’t know how to cope anymore. I have my family and friends but I do not feel like they are there for me. I lock myself in the bathroom for hours and then I look for a huge wrist band as an attempt to cover the cuts. I go out and act like nothing ever happened and everybody around me does the same. Depression can do a lot of things to a person and it can manifests in several other ways other than what I have shared above. So the next time you meet someone who tells you that he or she is depressed, don’t tell her to “get over it,” just give them a hug. Make them feel loved and treasured. Abandon the sarcasm and mean words and replace them with simple gestures of kindness and empathy. Just be sensitive, because sometimes, that’s all someone with depression needs. This story was brought to you by Thought Catalog and Quote Catalog. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here .

I’m Worried My Anxiety Is Going to Make Me Lose Everyone I Care About

This piece was written by Holly Riordan, a Thought Catalog contributor. I want to talk to my crush — but I don’t want to send the first text. I want to make more friends — but I don’t want to socialize. I want to dance at bars and buy tickets to concerts and travel through different countries — but I don’t want to leave the house. There is a long list of things I am dying to accomplish — but my anxiety has been holding me in place. I rarely leave my comfort zone. I play it safe. I stick to my routine. I keep talking myself out of doing the things I have been daydreaming about doing. I tell myself I will text my friends later in the week, that I will have fun later in the week, that I will actually live my life later in the week. I procrastinate out of fear. And then I hate myself for it, because I am stuck inside the house while everyone else is enjoying their time. I am never happy. I am either outside, socializing and wishing I were inside where I felt safe and warm, or I am inside, lonely, wishing I were outside with other people. It feels like every choice I make is the wrong one. The problem is my anxiety makes embarrassment an everyday thing. I’m embarrassed to approach cashiers in case my card doesn’t go through. I’m embarrassed to ride buses in case there aren’t any seats left and I’m forced to stand over someone. I’m embarrassed to answer the phone in front of other people in case they get annoyed about how loud I’m being. I’m embarrassed to talk in public, to sneeze in public, to breathe in public. I am in a constant state of discomfort. I am never secure within my skin, regardless of what I’m wearing or who is standing next to me. My insecurities follow me like storm clouds. There are moments I feel like I am never going to get anywhere in life because I have anxiety. I feel like reaching success is impossible. Like finding friends is impossible. Like entering a stable relationship is impossible. I’m worried my anxiety is going to lead me to lose everyone I care about — my family, my friends, my boyfriends. I’m worried about my unanswered texts and turned down invitations piling up, convincing my loved ones they are better off without me and my negativity. I’m worried they are going to get sick of my worrying. I have to keep reminding myself that my anxiety is only a fraction of my personality. It is not the only thing people see when they look at me. It is not the only part of me that matters. Even during the days when leaving bed seems like an impossible task, I have to keep believing my anxiety is only going to hold me back for as long as I let it. I can choose to fight against the urge to stay inside. I can force myself to leave my comfort zone. It might take a long time. It might require late nights sobbing and a few more canceled plans and appointments with therapists. But I can do it. I refuse to let my anxiety stop me from accomplishing everything my heart dreams of doing. I am not going to give up on my goals. I am not going to lose my friends. I am not going to let anxiety win. This story was brought to you by Thought Catalog and Quote Catalog. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here .

I Want to Live, but Depression Wants Me Dead

This piece was written by Vienna Adriano, a Thought Catalog contributor. I woke up from a dream where people condemn me from my past mistakes — nothing special, nothing new. I didn’t wake up crying. It was a three-hour sleep. It has been a while since I had the luxury. There was no nightmare, lucid dreaming or sleep paralysis. I was grateful. It was 5 in the morning; I got up as if I was still dreaming. Still, I moved. I ate breakfast, swept and mopped the floor, cleaned and fixed my things and then spent an hour in the bathroom. I loved the water so much. Yet, I still felt empty. So, I decided to watch videos on YouTube. I stumbled upon this video that said, ‘You are not depressed’ and that I should stop “ obsessing” about it. I would probably be offended on other days, but today, I just didn’t care. Thinking about it now, it said that depression comes and go. I guess not for me. It stays — even when I don’t want it to. It stays for who knows how long. But, that does not mean I will stop functioning, breathing, living and dreaming. I do not want to die. Depression just wants me dead. I want to live, that is why I fight it. It is what all my struggle is for: to live. There are days I try to be productive and not think about it. I can treat myself right and seize the day. Those are the days I’m strong enough to win against it. However, there are days I just want to stay in bed. Days I don’t bother to know which day of the week it is because I don’t want to wake up at all, anyway. Those are the days I’m strong enough— just as strong as I am when I’m productive. I’m strong enough to get by. We face different demons in all kinds of forms. We deal with them in our own ways. How you experience depression may be different than how I experience it. But, one thing is for sure, depression does not make you any less of a person. Tonight, I laughed because I felt so happy. I thought, “How can I be feeling like this when two nights ago, I did things I shouldn’t do?” But, that’s just the way it is sometimes. The cycle goes on. Yes, it is tiring. These highs and lows, mood changes, days when I want to pull my hair out because my head hurts so bad or every time I punch the wall because my hands are so numb—they times are really maddening. But, I go on. And I know every day, I will. At least, I will try to. Because I do not want to die. I do not want to die miserable. I want to live. Please self, keep going; This story was brought to you by Thought Catalog and Quote Catalog. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here .