Imagine if you will the space on the floor where you stand when you get up every morning. It seems sturdy, correct? Hard wooden floor or carpet atop sub floor that will be guaranteed to be there to catch you each time you need it. Now imagine if it wasn’t there one day and you fell through a black hole in the floor unexpectedly with nothing catching you. Maybe you land on a hard, cold surface able to get a foothold and crawl your way out with much effort. Or maybe you just keeping falling through the dark too numb to move just waiting for the crash landing that may take minutes, hours, days, weeks, or months to happen just so you can get your bearings and hopefully start the long crawl back up and out of the cold darkness. Now, imagine if you never knew if you were stepping onto a safe secure floor or plunging into the darkness every day. The hypothetical trap door is tricky, and triggers are often different each time you step on it.
This is kind of what depression and anxiety are like and for people that suffer with from these, the never knowing is a daily occurrence. You may go to bed hopeful and eager to start fresh tomorrow, then “Whoop”, trap door opens and down you go unable or struggling hard to even make a simple decision, get dressed, answer a phone call, email, or text message. And trying to explain to someone who hasn’t experienced this makes it worse as it causes additional feelings of unworthiness and sadness.
For myself, I feel like, “What the actual hell, Karebear?!?”, “What do you really have to be depressed about?”, or “Where did this anxiety come from?!?”, “Are you making excuses again? Get your ass up and go about your day damnit!”, “Stop being a crybaby, you are fine!”. The reality is that, though I am physically fine, mentally I should be put in an asylum and the key thrown out the tower window.
Now, if you personally know me, you may not even be able to comprehend that the smiling, hyper, talkative ginger (for now blonde) girl could ever feel this way. The truth is those are mostly coping mechanisms to trick the mind, for lack of a better analogy, into thinking all is amazing in Karebear’s world. Yeah, that would be nice. Now don’t get me wrong, I am blessed with the basics and beyond, food, cloths, nice home, amazing children, loving husband, a few solid folks I call friends, and even a few haters to keep me honest. But, Gosh Darn It, somedays I can’t even stand the skin I am in. As if that trip down the rabbit hole and crash landing crossed or loosened a few wires causing the smallest task to feel comparable to standing at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro needing to get to the top with unsurmountable gravity holding you down by the shoulders and a crowd of villagers screaming “You can’t do it!!!!”.
To make things interesting, there are days that the trap door to the black hole moves around, maybe on the road you travel to work, school, or meeting a friend or as you walk confidently through a busy store or down a sidewalk through town. “Whoop!” This is even worse because at least in the safety of your home you can hide under the covers, lock the door and shut the shades, turn up the music to drown out the voices mocking you, or cry and scream at the top of your lungs. When in a public setting, these actions are not socially acceptable.
People really need to understand that what you see on the outside is not always what it looks and feels like on the inside.
Just my bits and pieces….