Saturday, October 31, 2009

anxiety and depression

Where to start? I suffer with both anxiety and depression, of the 2 I prefer anxiety and here is why: recently my mother Helen was talking the her brother Mark and he was telling her that his son wan missing classes and his excuse for this was fear, nervousness, and an ill feeling. My uncle said he thought his son was just being lazy (I may be misquoting) but one thing my mom said was for sure is that my uncle thought it was a load of crap. Helen was quick to tell him that I had been suffering with anxiety for years and in fact it is very real and can be very serious, once he had been informed that it is likely to be genetic and that a close blood relative suffered with the same thing he was more open to the reality that this might be genuine, so he asked Helen how I treated it (medically) Helen answered back that I treat it with good self esteem and nothing else! This answer in this day and age I feel is mostly unheard of for several reasons, we live in a time where we are lucky enough to have helpful medications that help keep our minds and bodies on track if we are consistent and willing to put in a little effort, or a less positive outlook is that we live in a society that says "It's not your fault" you are not responsible for your actions and feelings so you are free to do whatever you like. let me give a brief description of anxiety for anyone who has no idea what it feels like, its feeling physically sick, its fear in your mind and down in the pit of your stomach its stress with or without a cause. Have you ever had a test you didn't study for, or a job interview that was extremely important and felt any or all of these things? My friend once told me that his brother-in-law would have serious anxiety before every football game. Now imagine having those sick nasty stressful feelings about going to work, about going to church, about Thursday, about ANYTHING! Most people understand this feeling because they have felt parts of it before, but I have it all the time! Over nothing. In fact I have it now, but the difference between me and most is what I choose to do with this feeling, and I choose to do absolutely nothing. I do not let this feeling rule me, I HAVE to be responsible I CAN NOT sit at home all day and ignore my responsibilities because I don’t feel good, I know what I'm dealing with so I deal with it.

Depression can be a lot like anxiety for me because it happens suddenly and often without cause, I don’t hate being depressed because it happens rarely and I feel strongly that in order to understand what it's really like to be happy and kind you have to understand what it's like to be truly and genuinely sad and unkind. A few years ago I was living in Utah and going to a small school called LDSBC at one point I started having some pretty serious depression so I spent a lot of time alone and stopped being my friendly outgoing self. For some reason this really bugged my roommates, in their defense I had let depression get to me and it was winning out over school and cleaning and everything else. So finally my roommate decided she'd had it with me and wanted to know what my problem was, I told her I was just sad so she asked me why and I answered honestly that I didn’t know why, that answer was NOT ok so she pressed me and pressed me for a reason that I did not have saying that I couldn’t be sad without a reason, I asked her if it was possible to be happy without a reason and of course her answer was yes, my answer would have been yes, I'm happy all the time without a reason, but this time I was sad without a reason and she did not approve which made me even more depressed. Being sad is not what I dislike so much, although I choose to be happy most of the time I'm okay with being sad. What I dislike about it is that I give myself a free pass to be mean, I tell myself it's okay, but I know it's not and it makes my heart even more sad then it was. At the moment I'm having a little depression, all I wanted to do all day was lay down, I just needed to lay down and sleep so when I finally got my chance to do that very thing of course all I could do was lie awake with my mind buzzing and listen to Jacobs passive aggressive snoring. UGG! I QUIT!! How's that for a positive outlook.


Elspeth said...

I want to quit life frequently, and have a bit of success at it (refer to my recluse post). But I'm really proud of you that you don't take drugs to supplement your agency. I think that drugs take away people's ability to choose and that if people would try harder to work through their problems without them then the world would be a happier place!

BTW You are amazing, and I love having you in my family!

Katy said...

Rachel, you are an amazing person, and the fact that you can control your anxiety and depression without the use of medcations is amazing to me! I wish I had that ability! I am sure the upbringing you have had, and the love, support, and understanding of your family help tremendously! You are very fourtunate to have a family that understands your needs and have taught you the skills you need to cope with these illnesses.