depression

No Land in Sight

(Trigger Warning: Mental Illness)

Very rare that I post back to back, because I’m just super inconsistent and flaky. I just needed to write, it is so helpful when it comes to my mental health. Some of you may know that I struggle with mild depression. You could read more about that here. BUT because we are in the process of PCSing (moving from Japan to Texas), I’m now dealing with anxiety, which is triggering my depression and it is freaking awful. I have never had to deal with anxiety, except the occasional flare up while driving. This anxiety though, is disgusting and I feel terrible.

I’m just constantly worrying about everything you could imagine. The packers come tomorrow, and it’s unreal. It’s pretty difficult to decide which items we could live without for 6 weeks, what items we want to donate, and which items we need for our day to day life. It’s just so stressful to get everything organized. I’ve always had this strange obsession with things. I guess I have some mild hoarding tendencies (no I don’t collect dead mice or feces). I find sentiment in some things that most people will look past. I collect birthday cards, attraction tickets, I even have my very first paystub. I guess I’m kinda attached to my house. This is the first house I’ve ever lived in on my own, it was brand new, and it’s my home. Such an odd feeling to pack up all my things to relocate somewhere completely new. For some reason, writing takes my mind off of the tough part. It feels pretty good to write about it, instead of holding all the worry in. Honestly, I just don’t have many people who I can talk to, people who actually understand what I’m going through. So many people are uncomfortable talking about their mental health, possibly out of denial? I don’t know, I’m not a psychiatrist. Anyway, it is pretty sad that I’m so overwhelmed, I can’t even find time to be excited about moving. I want to be excited about moving.

Anxiety to me is: thinking of the worst possible outcome. It sounds crazy, and it kinda is. It’s like my brain is overthinking and causing me to doubt everything that I do. I’m thinking about things that could happen, but are completely unrealistic and they probably won’t ever happen.  Of course I’m well aware that my thoughts are very unreasonable, but it’s just the way my brain is choosing to process things right now. I read something that said, “Anxiety is like swimming in the ocean with no land in sight”. Now try to visualize yourself in that ocean………….. It’s extremely scary. You know the feeling when you’re unsure if you left the stove on when you leave the house? The feeling you get when you’re about to take a major exam in your worst subject. Imagine feeling that way for days on end. I feel like I’m constantly forgetting to do important things. Envision yourself in a maze, you’re walking around for hours trying to escape. The hours of walking turn into days, weeks, and you just can’t find an exit. I know there is an exit, I just haven’t found it yet.

I’m struggling pretty badly with my sleep schedule right now. Normally I go to bed at 10 pm, now I’m heading to bed around 4 am. The thing that sucks about that? I have a hard time sleeping when the sun comes up, so “sleeping in” for me, is sleeping until 9 maybe 10 if I’m hungover. Everyone is different, but my body functions much best when I get a full 9 hours of sleep. But this, it’s awful, I’m so exhausted I could cry. I’m so stressed I grind my teeth while I’m awake, the worst! I’ve also been eating horribly. I don’t feel like cooking, so I’ve been eating so much fast food, which obviously doesn’t make me feel great physically. Unfortunately I’m not making the best decisions when it comes to how I’m treating my body, but my mind just isn’t right right now. I’m just patiently waiting for this whole move to be over, so I can hopefully relax and get back on track with my life.

I know that I could go to mental health and see a therapist, everyone who knows me should know that I’m a huge advocate for therapy and counseling. I just don’t really think the timing is right. I’ve sold my car, and I only have a few weeks left here on island. Anyone who knows anything about military doctors in Okinawa, would know that it’s nearly impossible to get an appointment within 2 weeks. So I figured I would just ride this one out, and find other ways to cope. However, because I have never dealt with long-term anxiety, I need some help. Aside from the breathing exercises, how do y’all manage anxiety? Does anyone meditate? I don’t have much experience with meditation, but I really want to learn. Anyone study mindfulness and chakras? Again, I’m learning, but I still don’t know much about how all that stuff works. I would prefer to medicate myself in the most natural ways possible. Before anyone asks, I do not have access to smoke MJ. All I’m gonna say is that if I could, I would. *winks*

Writing is definitely good for my mental health, but I don’t always have any inspiration to do it, so I often hit dead ends. I guess I am just looking for help from people who successfully deal with anxiety and depression. For some of us, mental health takes a “village” to get through. Nobody should ever have to go through this alone, and I’m always here if anyone needs to vent. Trust me, I’ve supported plenty of strangers online who were on the verge of a breakdown. Don’t ever be afraid to talk about mental health, because it is just as important as physical health. I promise, you are not alone.

Dealing With Depression.

In honor of Depression Awareness Week, I want to blog about something different. Unlike my other posts, this one may make people feel slightly uncomfortable and possibly a bit confused. I just really want to clear up some of the common misconceptions of depression, because not everyone understands it. Depression is a part of my life, and I want to share with you all how this affects me. I’ve had mild depression for about 5 years maybe. Depression is one of those terms that people often use lightly. I’ve seen plenty of people talk about depression as if it’s a mood, similar to sadness, but it’s not. Depression is a mental illness. People with depression think differently than those without it. Everyone experiences depression differently; because I have mild depression, I never experience suicidal or homicidal thoughts and I don’t self-harm. Another common misconception; IT DOES NOT TAKE A TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCE TO DEVELOP DEPRESSION. Nothing specific happened 5 years ago that I will link to my depression.

Depression makes me feel certain things, sometimes there are feelings that I can’t put a name on. Feeling angry for no exact reason. Feeling alone in a room full of people. Feeling exhausted after sleeping all day. Feeling discouraged when things don’t go the way I hoped it would. Feeling frustrated because the people around me just don’t understand. Feeling overwhelmed and tired. When my depression hits me, I honestly feel careless. My depression usually flares up for about 3 days, yeah, THREE DAYS at a time.

Every now and then, I get so frustrated I cry. At times I just want to stay in bed, in the dark, alone. I cancel plans a lot, sometimes I just don’t feel like socializing. A lot of the time, I don’t want to talk to anyone. I struggle to find peace. Sometimes I like to go on a drive, and take the scenic route. I may take a 45 minute shower just to escape from reality. I often grind my teeth when I’m sleeping, and I get nightmares. At times I don’t want to eat, like I wish I didn’t have an appetite. Of course I end up eating because I find comfort in food. I then get frustrated and feel guilty because I’ve overeaten and now I feel worse. CRYING OVER SPILLED MILK IS A REAL THING!!!!

Depression to me is; pain, exhaustion, anger, irritation, annoyance, and frustration all at once. I don’t always think logically when my depression hits. I ignore the people around me, and I often snap on those who are closest to me. Instead of talking about my feelings, I write about them because I don’t have a ton of people in my life who understand my depression. Obviously everyone has their own way of surviving depression, writing is how I do it. Depression is a real thing, there are 350 million people in the world who suffer from it! Take some time to learn about it! Some of your closest friends may suffer from it, and they may feel like they have nobody who they can vent to. Understand that depression is not sadness, its numbness.

If I ever need time to myself, I need the people in my life to understand why. It’s not me being standoff-ish, it’s because I have depression and sometimes I need a break.

 

Disclaimer: this is specifically a post about how I am affected by depression, everyone experiences it and handles it differently.