Hi, I’m Alex and I have depression. I’m not depressed at the time of this writing. But I do have depression. It sucks. And it likes to strike at the most inopportune moments. Isn’t that how it always is?
(note/TW: this is how I have experienced anxiety and depression, and sometimes still do)
But first, Anxiety:
I’m very open about my experience with anxiety. Mostly because I feel like it’s more accepted. Sure, it might debilitate me, cause my mind to spiral out of control, make me cry, make me sick, make me too afraid to leave my home sometimes. But it also makes me so scared of failure that I’ll push myself to my limits to be “successful.”
On the outside, I just appear driven. But on the inside, I’m barely treading water. People only see what they want to see, and success is valued – so in a twisted way, having anxiety means I care.
Depression, on the other hand, is a dirty word. It’s a dark place, a shadowy figure looming over your shoulder, ready to strike at any moment, ready to knock you off your feet and isolate you. Depression makes me “lazy” and “unproductive.” It’s a dark shadow over my life that makes me crave days spent in my bed with the blackout curtains drawn and the white noise fan turned on. It doesn’t make me driven. It doesn’t make me fear failure.
Because when I am depressed, I am failure. I encompass failure.
I am a dark shadow that has no joy or motivation to do anything but lay in bed and binge watch tv shows I won’t remember a week later.
The first time with depression…
When I was diagnosed with depression, I was 21, a senior in college, and recently returned from London. I broke down in the shower because I realized that the constant drowsiness, need to stay in bed, skip class, and sleep 13+ hours a day, disconnect from my peers, and inability to focus were something more than just “adjusting to coming back to school.”