I’ve learned over the years that for me to be at my best, to deal with my anxiety in the best way possible, I need consistency. Yes, I know that I can’t have consistency 100% of the time, because life is well life. And anything can change at any moment in time. COVID has forced me to deal with change and inconsistency, even though I would rather stick my head in the sand and pretend everything is okay.
My Mom’s cancer diagnosis turned my life upside down in a single moment of time. I asked the question, and her answer was yes. Since that moment in time, I’ve been fighting along with her, cheering her on, helping her, supporting her. 6 months later, here we are.
As some of you may know living during a worldwide pandemic is anything but consistent or routine. Or when someone you love gets diagnosed with cancer, the routine and consistency you built your life around has suddenly crumbled to the ground. And you stand there looking around trying to figure out how to put the pieces back together. You look for your support system, your family and your friends. But my circle has gotten smaller and smaller. I will be honest with you; I’m struggling right now. My support circle has changed over the last 6 months. The people I used to rely on are gone. Friends I once told everything to have become complete strangers. I can’t help but feel like it’s because of me. That because of my mental illnesses, people leave. That I am too much, too difficult to love.
I have cried too many tears over people who simply don’t care like I thought they did. What do you do when someone you considered a best friend tells you that they don’t think we could be or should be friends anymore? Even though we were so close, I was no longer wanted in their life. It happened so fast, and I was completely blindsided by it. So I have respected their wishes and removed myself from their life. And others have just left with no explanation. I also found out what it feels like when you tell someone that you miss them, and they don’t say it back. Instead, they give you a generic bullshit response. This isn’t some random new friend; this is a person you’ve known for almost 10 years.
The biggest problem I have with all of this is that my depression and my anxiety THRIVE on this. They love telling me that I will forever be alone. That no one will come into my life and stay. That no one will love me for me. I’ve been the forgotten one, the left out one, the oh we will invite you next time one. I’ve been the lonely one.
Some of you might be thinking so she’s lost a couple of friends, big deal. But being someone who lives with depression and anxiety on a daily basis, being alone or feeling lonely can be troubling. It can let the darkness creep in. Being alone with your thoughts can be a scary place for someone like me. Sometimes they get so loud, that the only thing I can do is cry and cry and cry. There have been times in my life where I was in a dark place, but after being there I won’t ever let myself go back to that place. Unfortunately, not everyone can do that. Not everyone is that lucky. And that breaks my heart. People want to know why others keep their stories, their struggles quiet. Because it can be so hard to understand what is going on, what you’re dealing with, what you’re living with and you don’t want to share that with someone just to have them turn around and leave. And there is always the fun time when someone asks you how you are doing and you decide to be open and honest and you tell them that you are really struggling, and they don’t respond. Depression & Anxiety brain tell you “See, no one wants to hear it”. So, you scroll through your phone looking at the names, wondering who you can turn to. You look at all those unanswered texts you’ve sent, and you keep scrolling…
So, yes, I am struggling right now. Feeling lost and not sure which way is up. But I am taking it day by day and sometimes hour by hour. It isn’t an easy fight, but I am committed to fighting. No matter how many people come in and out of my life. Because deep down, when I tell the depression to shut up and the anxiety to take a hike, I know I am worthy of being loved, worthy of being understood and celebrated for the woman I am. I’ve worked damn hard to get to this place.