What It's Like For Me When I'm Not Okay

What It's Like For Me When I'm Not Okay

By M.W. Leigh 

Please be advised that some content in this article may be triggering.

Today it's 3:50AM. I just got off the phone with a friend in a different timezone so she could go to bed at a somewhat normal time. I told her I love her and goodnight, not only because she’s my best friend, but because I needed her to validate that the anxiety and depression are lying to me.

I've never really laid it all out before in my own words. So here I am. Sitting in my room in the very early morning, I'm watching an anime movie I’ve been looking forward to and trying to get rid of the sinking feeling in my stomach: the one I always get. It's like the feeling you get when you're leaning back and a chair and you almost fall backwards… it's like that but it's constant. Telling me something horrible is going to happen but I don't know what. I take my xanax, and I hope one MG will be enough to calm me down. However, even if it succeeds in subsiding that feeling deep in my stomach and chest I’ll still have to battle my thoughts on my own.

Everyone just deals with me.

Everyone thinks I'm fat, ugly, and annoying.

Everyone would be better without me.

Everyone hates me and wants me to die.

Then the depression and self doubt  climbs onto my shoulder, whispering to me.

I don't have much to live for anyways. I'm almost twenty-one and I didn't think I'd even make it this far, so I'm sitting in your mother's basement like a failure.

Everyone would have so much less stress in their lives if I just disappeared…

Or better yet. I should just kill myself. It would be easy you know. I'm sure even my family wouldn't notice for days, and my friends? Would never know, or care.

Of course, even while I think these things, I know most aren't true, but it doesn't make the feelings go away, and if I don't distract myself I'll start to really believe it.

I haven't self harmed since 7-22-2016, but I feel like I'm getting to a breaking point. I've been getting that feeling lately, the one where it seems like I can feel my skin and  scars, and they're calling to me, telling me that I can quiet my mind if I just tear it again.

Maybe I should tell you why I'm awake at this hour.

Well, it started about a week ago where for the first time in weeks I had actual focus, I have ADHD. This makes attention to detail extremely difficult for me to focus on details and not be distracted by tiny things that don't affect other people.

I'm currently unmedicated for this, because the last time I saw my psychiatrist I was not in school or working, so I assumed I didn't need it as most of the work I did, usually didn't have a large time restraint, but now I'm regretting it. I accidently hyper focused on an art piece. So now I'm overwhelmed, I've got a terrible sleep schedule and I'm severely under medicated for lots of issues, while trying figure out a way to tackle deadlines for work that I only just remembered I had and it's only now that I notice silent tears are falling down my face. The room is still because it's only 4AM. It's been ten minutes but I’ve gone from manageable to complete shambles in a matter of minutes.

I manage to force myself to get up and take a shower, I remove every single razor and put them in the vanity drawer before I get in the shower because the bracelets I wear to remind me that I have people who love me and don't want me to hurt myself just might not be enough to stop me tonight. I turn on the hot water and just stand in the flow of the water, sobbing. I continue to sin quietly under the water until the hot water starts to run out.

When I finally get out if the shower I dry off and return to my bed. My racing thoughts do not cease. I manage to compose myself but only for a moment but the moment I get into my bed and see the dishes the cover all but a small portion I curl up and immediately break down again.

My only salvation is that my xanax kicks in and I fall asleep, but even that is short-lived. I awake a handful of hours later, with enough time to have a productive half-day, but instead I can't get out of bed, so I fall asleep for another four hours and awake after the sun goes down, and even then it can take me up to an hour to get up and move. It's a seemingly endless cycle that makes me miss out on life, even things I look forward to. My demons have names, Depression and Anxiety. They aren't corporeal, I can't defeat them on my own.

It's very hard. It's not just something I can “get over” it's an illness that can be treated, but never cured. It's an endless cycle. It's valid and It’s real.

I want people who don't struggle with mental illness to know it's real, and I want people with mental illness to know that they are loved and their feelings and obstacles are valid. More importantly, I want them to know that they matter, and they are loved. 

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