Sometimes I feel like anxiety and depression rule my life. They tell me what to believe. They dictate my relationships. They dictate my free time. They tell me what other people think of me. They read minds. They tell the future. They have me prepare for the worst case possible scenarios in everyday situations. I think no one will ever love me or stay. I self-sabotage my life and relationships because I think I’m unworthy. I can’t cut myself any slack. It’s an exhausting life to lead. Always wondering when the next branch will break. Wondering how I will get hurt next — so I’m usually pretty tired with lack of explainable reasons why. I’ve had friends leave me because of them. I’ve had people say hurtful things to me. I have felt alone and vulnerable.
But that’s the worst of it. It’s not an easy life to lead. I read stories — and I write stories — how anxiety and depression have made me strong. They have taught me lessons. They have taught me how to be more self-aware. They have taught me how to pick myself up on my own. They have taught me to be brave and step outside my comfort zone. They have taught me how to endure. But — there’s always a but — if I had the option, would I change it? Would I change all of the painful experiences I’ve had with anxiety and depression to be “normal”? One hundred percent.
Anxiety and depression have caused myself and the people I love unnecessary pain. They have caused me to push people away. They have caused me to isolate myself. They have caused me to have painful nights and days. They have caused me to learn how to wear a mask. I can see the positive side of anxiety and depression — how tough they have made me — but I wish I were so much more.
Sometimes I believe that I would be a lot further in life if I didn’t have anxiety and depression. If I didn’t make the choices I have made because of them, I would probably be a lot happier. But I also don’t see the point in wondering what could have been. Of wondering what life would have been like without the pain because that wasn’t and isn't my life. My anxiety and depression brought me here. They brought me to connect with people I never would have otherwise. They got me to write. They got me to see the world and others in a new light. Yes, maybe I wish I didn’t struggle with anxiety and depression, but I also currently love my life and the people who are in it. I wouldn’t trade where I am for anything else. It’s okay for me to say it sucks sometimes, because it does.
My life is good. I am happy. I am moving forward. Anxiety and depression are much smaller in their decision-making power than they were before — but they are there still. It’s just something I live with now. Like someone who wears glasses, it might sometimes be annoying, but it really isn’t going anywhere. Your life can be amazing even with anxiety and depression, it just makes it a little more difficult. It’s okay to admit it sometimes sucks because it does — just don’t give up.
Written by Sylvia Marcia