Depression and Anxiety

Sleep eludes me except when inappropriate. I can toss and turn all night, but in a meeting, I could slip into the deepest, sweetest, drooling sleep. Sometimes I’d put my hand over my eyes, thinking that I could descend into that sweet sleep with nobody knowing.

This is part of my dance with anxiety and depression. Suffering assumes an externality. I don’t suffer from depression or anxiety. Each of them is on the dance floor and I engage, and they engage with me.

All my life I have lived on a kind of internal roller coaster. Sometimes, I am giddy about life. Then just one word, a glance, a thought, can send me into what some would call despair.

I don’t strive to be happy. I don’t know what happiness is or what it means. I have felt content, and can embrace the transience of that feeling. But that feeling is like standing on a rock in a raging ocean; I know it won’t last.

Depression is not sadness. Anxiety is not worry. Instead, both are physiological, attaching to the part of the brain that weaves narrative. Depression is indecision, not wanting to answer the phone. Anxiety is feeling like you’ve lost your wallet when you haven’t.

My grandmother was taken away to an institution and given shock treatments. The woman’s strength emboldens me today; she never gave up. I think of her when I make my bed or wash all the dishes; don’t give up on the little things!

Depression is not sadness. It is a feeling of being pulled to the bottom and not wanting to fight your way back to the surface. Anxiety is being hunted in the jungle. Everyone feels these things. It is not weakness. I acknowledge them and embrace them as best I can.

Next entry, Housing