Anxiety and depression are cruel twists of fate. In my case, I suffer from both of these as many people do. Nothing terrible happened to me that I couldn’t handle. I really don’t have PTSD as a therapist tried telling me once. I think she really could see everyone as having some sort of traumatic event causing them to have PTSD but truth be told, I think I’m my case, genetics are more to blame. It just sucks.
The depression and anxiety can be all consuming at times, but the anxiety really is the worst for me. It always has been. For me, it got really bad in college. I had to sign up for a class late which meant missing the first day of class. That threw me off the rest of the semester causing me to have panic attacks every time I would get to the doors of the building. I didn’t know how to drop the class and was anxious about new places so instead, I took the F. It killed my GPA there. The recovery was brutal. I didn’t go back to that university thanks to my anxiety and panic attacks. I felt so alone.
Eventually, I returned to school but was ready to face the world. I had good friends and a good support which really helped. It’s thanks to my support system that I am the nurse I am today. I also had better control over my anxiety.. I was in a completely different stage of my life by then.
Now, fast forward to today. I’m a mother of 4 amazing kids. We’ve weathered many storms together but always come out ahead. 2 of my 3 daughters have to take meds for depression/anxiety. I am the one that caused this wretched twist of genetic mayhem. Now, my other daughter, may need medication, too. Are my genes so strong as to cause this for everyone? What a lovely thing to pass along.
Living with anxiety can be crippling, especially when it’s paired with panic attacks. All rational thought processes are out the window with anxiety. Your rational mind tells you you’re being stupid but the anxiety has you believing you will die because your heart will jump out of your chest if it beats any faster. Living with anxiety simply sucks the fun out of life at times.
I’m doing much better than I used to, but it still rears its ugly head from time to time. Chemical imbalances of the brain are just as real as high blood pressure and diabetes but the stigma associated with these diseases is profound. Why do people judge so readily? I believe it’s because they simply don’t or refuse to understand.
Take a moment and put yourself in the shoes of someone with anxiety or panic attacks or depression. Imagine being stressed out making a phone call to order a pizza. I’ve lived that. For lack of any other way to say it, it simply sucks. Normal, everyday activities are hard but we struggle through them because we have to live. Once we get through the hard parts? We are awesome and tons of fun! More importantly, we are just as normal as you.