For the last few months, Anxiety has punched me square in the face, knocked me down a few flights of metaphorical stairs, and proceeded to wreak havoc on everything it could get its grubby little paws on. I didn’t realize how bad it had gotten until I was standing at my front door, car keys in hand, ready to leave my house to run an errand, when my body went haywire. Shaking, crying, can’t breathe kind of haywire.
What the heck is this? I’m just running a quick errand to my son’s school not walking naked onto a battlefield. Anxiety turned the simple act of walking through the door into a nightmare. The thoughts constantly running in the back of my head whispering about all the horrible things the could go wrong had gotten so loud that I couldn’t tune them out.
And my body decided to listen.
In the past, I was able to work through it. I had outlets that I channeled the anxiety into so that I was able to function and to an outsider looking in, I appeared put together and with it. But over the last few months anxiety turned into Anxiety. It became the thousand pound monster sitting on my shoulders, telling me everything I was doing wrong. Telling me everything I wasn’t doing. Everything I should be doing. Everything. Everything. Everything.
Until everything became nothing.
In April, I stopped posting on my blog. Anxiety is the reason. It broke my brain. The thought of sitting at the keyboard and writing became mission impossible. I had nothing in me for writing, editing, posting on my blog, marketing my books, or doing any of the other dozens or so projects I have lined up.
Anxiety broke my brain.
My family has suffered through the last few months, watching as I downward spiraled, and not knowing what to do or say to fix it. Because I wasn’t even aware of the problem. Anxiety snuck up behind and mugged me. Stole my patience. My sense of humor. My ability to react reasonably to the things around me.
I wasn’t even aware any of those things were missing. I vaguely understood that something was off. That I was stressed out and feeling overwhelmed. But, I didn’t comprehend how bad it had gotten until I was shaking and crying as I stood at my front door.
At that moment, the quieter, logical part of my brain finally seized control of the reins and threw the red alert switch.
“Something is really wrong. It’s time to find out what it is.”
As soon as the panic passed, I called the doctor and made an appointment. When my husband got home that night, I told him what had happened and what I was beginning to suspect was the problem.
“I didn’t realize it had gotten that bad,” he said.
Neither did I.
Because Anxiety broke my brain.
Working hand-in-hand with Anxiety, Depression took a few pot shots as well. The quieter cousin of Anxiety, Depression slipped in, dimmed the lights, and turned the color down on life in general. I found myself tired all the time. The effort and energy required to do more than the very basics was more than I could manage. I felt worthless, unlovable, and alone. It didn’t matter how many people were around me, or how many times my husband told me that I’m beautiful and he loved me. I didn’t believe what he said because Depression and Anxiety were louder. Depression and Anxiety silenced every other voice by drowning them out.
Brains are pretty cool organs. They’re resilient, and with time and patience, they can be fixed. I’m on the mend as modern medicine helps me put the pieces back together. Quietly taking up the bits that fell through the cracks to get back on track. Life is beginning to have a little color. I’m not tired all of the time. I’ve been able to write a little and take up some of the projects that I’d set aside. The voices of friends and family are starting to break through the hub-bub of Depression and Anxiety.
Life is meant to be lived in color. If you or a loved one are struggling with Anxiety or Depression, please don’t do it alone. Please get help.
Check out these links for more information about dealing with Anxiety and Depression: